Tag Archives: moving to Sweden

Learn the Swedish language by listening to music

Learn the Swedish language by listening to music

Learning a language it is beneficial to listen to and sing along to music in that language. You learn new words but more importantly you get a sense of the rhythm and intonation of the language, as well as learning pronunciation.

Below is a link to a popular summer song in Swedish, by Tomas Ledin. It is called “Sommaren är kort” – summer is short.

video with sing-along text.

To learn the Swedish language by listening to music you need to pick up the words in the song. I have made a Sommaren är kort – glosor translating Swedish into English.

Sing along!

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/

 

Midsummer – what’s it all about?

Midsummer

Midsummer in Sweden or elsewhere, or just interested in learning what it is all about?

Flowers in your hair – as a crown -, Swedish smörgåsbord when it comes to food or just the herring and new potatoes. Midsummer pole and traditional dancing, picking wildflowers and … rain. All is Midsummer.

I found an article in New York Times very well describing a Midsummer Day’s Dream. Read it here!

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100 challenges #blogg100

#1 Saturday Jan 26

What have I done?!  😉

#1 Decided to join the challenge #blogg100

#2 Decided to go to an outlet center on a Saturday. An outdoor mall mind you. Freezing cold and a strong icy wind.

Well, the second decision of the day – check! Safely returned home in time for a late lunch. I like the concept of outdoor malls. Just not in combination with the Swedish west coast winter wind.  There was a small outdoor mall where I lived in the US when I was an expat in Michigan. Loved it. Starbucks, GAP and Bodyworks. A grocery store and some restaurants. A small green area with a tiny playground and a fountain with a bench next to it to enjoy an occasional ice cream.  Perhaps 20 stores all in all. The outdoor concept with a “main street” gave it a European feeling. I believe it was called The Village. Only missed one of my favorite stores; Target. Come to think of it it wouldn´t really have been a “village” with a Target in it.

Decision No.1 I´ll have to live with for the next 100 days. Good for me! Love the idea! Found the challenge only this morning, so starting 3 days late. Just need to finish 3 days later. Since we´re on twitter, my business and I, and Facebook, Instagram as well as on Google+ and Youtube, the project should be perfect for providing my different media channels with content. And vice versa. Want to join?

Let´s go!

Cultural parenting – of course! But which cultures?

Parenting styles can vary from family to family. But there are also differences between countries, or should I say cultures. We appreciate different values, which are likely to impact our upbringing of the children. Sometimes they are easily spotted, sometimes they are not. Concept of time for instance is a good example. Coming from a culture where being on time is considered important and a courtesy, I found it annoying at times as a foreign student working in groups with others that were happily an hour late for study meetings. No surprise that we soon found out that Germans and Swedes worked well together!

As always, awareness of the values and set of rules can lead to a better understanding, and less annoyance; tolerance. In the case of time, I simply learnt to agree on another time with the students I knew would be – in my world – an hour late.

Being a parent or not; moving into a new culture you will be exposed to the impact of cultural differences. As a parent a playground is a perfect location for observation and “study”. It´s fascinating that you often can tell from the parents’ responses to their children’s behavior from which country they are. I have encountered societies where one believes that adults should not interfere when children are “playing”. In the beginning I just assumed they did not care; now I hope they care but still want the kids to solve problems on their own. I have also experienced children being constantly corrected and taught. Swedes are normally somewhere in between these two parenting styles; of course, I would like to add with a touch of irony– after all we are the land of “lagom” (just enough) and “mellan” (in the middle).

There are also differences when it comes to physical punishment (illegal in Sweden) and scolding in public. Some people want other parents to know they are dealing with the matter, and some don´t.

Another, always hot, topic is whether it is considered acceptable for a parent to deal with someone else’s child.

I do believe that the culture you are currently living in influences your parenting. It is a way of fitting in, of accepting the hosting society but also grabbing the good stuff!

It is interesting once you start thinking in terms of cultural parenting. What are the cornerstones of your culture/-s when it comes to raising children? Which are the strengths? Have you added anything from your host culture?

Perhaps you are even a slightly different parent in another location! And by that I am not referring to the newly relocated, stressed and culture shocked parent …

Do we really need that … (fill in the blank)?

Moving is your big chance to declutter. Sure, you might be fortunate enough to enjoy a moving company packing service, but still there is often the need to go through things. Sometimes you already know where you will be living, and that space might be less.  Climate can impact too; there was no reason to keep all our humidifiers when relocating to Sweden.  However leaving our garden furniture behind was not a climate-related decision, even though one might think so – especially after this rainy summer.

I usually say that moving once in a while is good for closets and attics. And also for basements, not to mention garages! You can sell things, give them away to friends, or donate them to charities.  Ask friends, at the club/work or the neighbors for ideas.  In the village where I lived a few years ago, you simply put your no-longer-wanted items out in the street, at the garbage collection area. Whoever walked by finding an interest in the object could simply take it. If it was still there at garbage-day, it was removed. My pasta-maker, still in the box, found a new home that way.

Another system seemed to work well in the village nearby.  A couple of days per year villagers could bring the bits and pieces they wanted to clear out to a selected open area. Items were then free to any other resident who wanted them. In the afternoon the remaining things were donated to charity or found their way to the dump.  A friend of mine, a trailing spouse adapting well to the local life, left two chairs and came home with a table. I would like to see more of these environmentally friendly solutions!

In Sweden you can try www.bjussa.se . Here you can advertise items to give away.

Traditions and celebrations – a Smorgasbord for expats

One of the best things with living in different countries, and being exposed to various cultures, is that you get a bunch of new traditions to take on. You can choose freely – adopt the ones that appeal to you and fit your regular schedule of celebrations. It can be big; it can be small. As an expat; try to celebrate with locals if you can. If you moved already, keep the traditions – sometimes they prove to grow even stronger!

In my case there seems to be a strong connection between traditions and food. Anyone else? This year, with a bunch of friends from different parts of the world, we decided to celebrate Cinco de Mayo; because of the Mexican food. But we also looked up some information about the tradition, and background, so we all learnt something new. We had a wonderful evening and will most likely do it again.

Thanksgiving is coming up, closely followed by 1st of Advent.  Again; food involved. But we must not forget the most important ingredients – people and the opportunities/excuses to get together!

What are your traditions? Have you started any new ones? What happens when you move – do the traditions grow in importance or do they tend to fade away? Would love to hear your comments!

Sign up for next series of expat seminars open now

“Turn your family adventure into an enriching experience” – series of seminars/workshop for expatriates starting again in May. Sign up is open, e-mail for further details charlotta@globatris.se.

Seminarierserie som även passar dig som återflyttat till Sverige efter en tid utomlands. Se under flikenWorkshops.