Tag Archives: expat / expatriate

Growing up in Sweden

Growing up in Sweden

What does it mean to be a child in Sweden? Growing up in Sweden has many benefits.

Learn about school and vacation, family and leisure time, culture, hobbies and joining a club. What is Swedish children’s literature and do all parents work? Is there a support system for the young and how many children really play an instrument?

www.sweden.se shares the full story on Growing up in Sweden.

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Read in Swedish – website with samples

Read in Swedish

Reading is learning. Reading is traveling. I would say that to read is to rest and activate the brain at the same time – depending on what you are reading and what the purpose of it is.

I have not yet taken to read books on a tablet. I prefer to hold the book, flip through the crispy pages, smell the paper and insert post-its where I find something memorable. I also love a nice cover. I usually read in Swedish or English, but try to read at least a couple of books in German every year too. I think it is a good way to keep up the language and also to learn new words; especially the new, trendier words.

Read in Swedish – samples

Despite my love for the physical book I don’t mind reading shorter texts on a screen. There’s a webpage I use where you can read extracts from books published in Sweden. This is useful and inspiring when you look for something to read in Swedish. But it is not only valuable to native speakers – I also sometimes use it for my Swedish classes.

The website is www.provlas.se

Here are a few tips on what to read if you are learning Swedish – children or adults, beginners or advanced, first language or second!

Any good reads lately? In Swedish I am currently reading “En man som heter Ove”

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Travel notes

Travel notes

There is nothing like seeing new places, meeting new people and experience new situations to broaden your horizons. You learn not only about the world and its people but also about yourself. Moving abroad might be the ultimate test in this school of life, but traveling is excellent too! We carry memories for life, perhaps friendship or even love. We fill our cameras and smartphones with photos. Pictures are a great medium for remembering, but what about the written word? Do you keep travel notes? There are many travel blogs out there; perhaps a way for people to just keep notes. A simple note book (or a fancy one 🙂 ) will do to! As will of course digital tools.

Travel notes – why?

You might take notes to remember places, to describe sights. It can be for your eyes only or for your children who travel with you, or even for generations to come to discover. Sometimes when you write you see things more in detail. You notice the smells, the colors, the feeling you have at that point. How food tasted. Smell/taste in particular is hard to capture on a photo – yet.

The pen brings out an awareness on another level, at least in me. This does not mean I always take travel notes; not at all. But I am happy about the notes I have taken in the past. It is fun to read, and always surprising. I find things in my note books that I had totally forgotten about! Small situations, conversations or details. It is a sure trip down memory lane.

Taking notes is also a great way to see how you change yourself. I have previously written about taking early notes when you move abroad to savor the first impressions – after a while you won’t even notice the details you first found so striking.

Travel does not always have to be in real life though. You can travel by books and movies. Today we have fantastic means to travel online; videos, information and people. Connect and learn, take part in chats, follow country accounts on Twitter (Rotation Curation); share and ask! You can still take notes!

Tell me, do you take notes? Do you keep them in a note book or online? What do you do with them?

travel notes

#seetheworld Twitter Chat on Sweden is coming up!

#seetheworld

Join the Twitter chat on Sweden Aug 14! The community of #seetheworld will share and learn about Sweden! Whether you have already been to Sweden or not, live here or don’t, know something about it or nothing at all – come join us! This is a nice opportunity to chat about Sweden with fellow curious twitter friends. And, to connect with new friends! We all want to #seetheworld!

To join the conversation log in to Twitter and follow the hashtag #SeeTheWorld.

You can also follow

me, the co-host, @globatris

the founders @theCultureur and @RovingAltruist

and of course @SeeTheWorldChat

https://twitter.com/thecultureur/status/365212764148473856

What is a TCK – a Third Culture Kid?

What is a TCK – a Third Culture Kid?


“A Third Culture Kid (TCK) is a person who has spent a significant part of his
or her developmental years outside the parents’ culture.” Third Culture Kids – Growing Up Among Worlds by David C. Pollock and Ruth E. van Reken

Origin of term TCK

Sociologists Ruth Hill Useem and John Useem coined the term “Third Culture”, in the 1950s. They spent a year in India with the purpose of studying Americans living and working there. After having met not only expatriates from the US they noticed that the lifestyles of the expatriates differed from home and host cultures. It made up a culture of its own, shared by other expats. Useems labeled culture of origin as first culture, the host culture the second and the “shared commonalities of those living internationally mobile lifestyle” as the third culture (p 14, Third Culture Kids – David C. Pollock and Ruth E. van Reken, 2009). While John Useem focused on the adults Ruth Hill Useem took an interest in the young expatriates. She referred to them as Third Culture Kids.

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You know you’re a TCK when …

You know you’re a TCK when …

Most people who are TCKs are unaware of it. I constantly stumble over new twitter connections revealing they have just found out about Third Culture Kids and that they actually are one – or rather ATCK – Adult Third Culture Kid. It is very often followed by a sigh of relief; that’s why I’m me! When I talk about TCKs in my workshops I rarely meet people who are familiar with the term; even though they are expats.

Three days ago I found an article on the funny yet true side of the TCK story – 31 statements along the line “You know you’re a TCK when …” . Tons of posts and pages of this kind can be found on the Internet, but this post is really worth sharing!

I tweeted it, put it on Facebook and Google+. Here is the link if you’ve missed it!

Feel free to add in the comments if you think of more signs!!

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Top Ten Tips for Moving to Sweden

Top Ten Tips For Moving To Sweden

1)      Securing employment in Sweden can be a bit of a challenge. Often, the language barrier can be an issue, but as a native English speaker you will have an advantage among other expatriates.

2)      Many English expatriates opt to become teachers at international schools. Having a British Post Graduate Certificate in Education is an asset as well as an intermediate level of Swedish. However, the qualifications will vary depending on your teaching level and school board.

3)      You can find work online through company websites or through Arbetsförmedlingen, which is the largest job placement website in Sweden. You may also find work through Stepstone, Thelocal.se or Monster, which are also popular search engines.

4)      Similar to other Scandinavian countries, the Swedish healthcare system is funded by taxpayers; however as with many other nations, the public health care system does not cover optometry, dentistry, or orthodontics to name a few.

5)      Prescription medication must be provided by a physician, and it is provided through your personnummer then sent directly to the network of drugstores across the country. Thus, it is very important to receive this number as you will need it for many things.

6)      When visiting a doctor, you may be required to pay a small fee of about 150 to 300 SEK. After 1,100 SEK have been paid within one year, further healthcare will be provided free of charge.

7)      Primary education in Sweden is mandatory for children between the ages of 6/7 and 15/16 and it s free. Children can attend pre-school (förskola) between the ages of 1 to 5. Pre school is very common in Sweden as it aids in the child’s development and learning.

8)      There are also a few options available for private schooling. Within greater Stockholm, you will find Sigtunaskolan, which offers boarding for boys and girls. Another notable private school is Lundbergs skola, which is located within proximity of Kristinehamn.

9)      Higher Education institutions offer programs taught entirely in English or in Swedish. Sweden is home to many internationally recognized universities such as Uppsala University, Lund University and The Stockholm School of Economics.

10)   You may also choose to learn Swedish through private institutions such as Folkuniversitetet or you may seek Swedish courses at a higher education institution. However, Swedish courses at a university are not publicly funded. Alternatively, many private firms offer Swedish language training to expatriates.

 

This post was sponsored by Overs; a UK removals firm, specializing in removals to the UK, Europe and  worldwide. Get in touch and see how we can help you: http://www.overs.co.uk/

 

Any point in making friends with expats who leave?

In my last post I very briefly talked about summer time as the time when expat friends leave. You can read it here. A reaction I received was that it can be quite exhausting with the constant effort of making new friends, and the sadness when people leave. I agree; it is. Of course it is. But it doesn’t make it not worth it.

When I was about to move the last time, two new expatriate families moved into the village where I had been living for 3,5 years (with no other expats with young kids – how’s that for timing!). We met a few times but there was really not time or energy enough to bond properly before we left.

On the other hand I have met people last minute at other expat locations with whom I have kept contact through the years.

You never know, do you? So, grab the chances, but cut yourself some slack – if you believe timing is way off then be okay with not trying too hard.

Here is a link discussing the point of making friends with people who leave. Click!!

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Expat friends leaving

Summer. That single word promises a lot. Time off, no school, days at the beach, travel, sun, shorts … and people leaving. Relocation prime time. Dear expat friends moving on to another country – or perhaps yourself. Time to say goodbye; to promise you will see each other again. Soon.

Personally, I like to leave first. How about you?

Read some tips on leaving/being left by Olga Mecking.