You have decided to leave the United States and move to Europe. As your country of residence, you have chosen of the most beautiful countries in Northern Europe – Sweden. Sweden is known for having some of the most stunning places on our planet. But, before you begin your new life in Sweden, there are some things that you should know. This short guide will provide you with all the necessary information you should be familiar with once you relocation to Sweden. Continue reading to learn more about this beautiful country.
Some general information about Sweden
Sweden provides universal health-care and tertiary education for all of its citizens through the Nordic social welfare system. It is also a member of several organizations:
- UN – United Nations
- WTO – World Trade Organization
- OECD – the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development
- Council of Europe
- Nordic Council
Sweden has joined the European Union, but has refused to join NATO. Sweden has the 8th higher per capita income in the world. It ranks very highly in various metrics of national performance, such as:
- Quality of life
- Protection of civil liberties
- Economic competitiveness
- Human development
What to expect once you move to Sweden
1.Don’t expect everyone to know English
English represents a universal language, but you can’t expect everyone to know it perfectly. In fact, many Scandinavians don’t know English that well. Don’t try to speak slower or louder for them to understand you – you could come off as being rude to them!
- Try not to use lots of body language
Remember to not raise your voice a lot, or else any Swede you’re talking to might get easily irritated. If you’re using lots of body language while interacting with Swedish people, they might perceive you as someone who gets way too excited about whatever you’re talking about. A tell-tale sign that a Swede doesn’t like you too much is if they unconsciously turn their body away from you or shade their eyes, as if they’re blocking the sun.
- Silence is not awkward in Sweden
Imagine you’re talking to someone and suddenly there’s a pause in the conversation. You’re both silent. You might think of that as an awkward situation, but in reality, Swedes think of that as a comfortable pause. Don’t be too pressured if there’s suddenly a pause in your conversation!
- Don’t try to educate Swedish people
Regardless of whether you really mean it or not, trying to educate any Swede will make you look very arrogant. Try not to give them life advice when they didn’t ask for any. Also, remember that Swedes don’t really know much about other countries’ politics and daily affairs. Don’t try to educate them on such topics!
- The Vasa Ship in Stockholm is the holy-grail of engineering
Don’t try to argue otherwise. To every Swede, this work represents the ultimate work of art and engineering that mankind has ever witnessed. And since you’ll be living in Sweden soon, you should think so too!
- Swedes love their personal space
Don’t try to intrude a Swede’s privacy and personal space. This means – don’t stand too close to them while waiting in line at the grocery store. Also, don’t try and sit next to them in an empty bus! Find a place where you can sit alone, unless the bus is absolutely full of people.
- Don’t order decaf coffee
Whatever you do, don’t go to a cafe with a Swede and order a decaf! To them, it is awful and most of the time, not even available at most coffee shops. You need to learn to drink lots of coffee if you want to blend in with the Swedish!