Maud is a 24 year old student from Switzerland who originally had planned to go to Finland. But as we all know, life can take unexpected turns and she is now on her 5th year in Sweden. Here she tells us it happened.
My plan always was to move to Finland. My grandmother is from there and I just love that country. Shortly before I turned 18 I applied for jobs. I didn´t get any and so I tried to apply as an Au Pair. I met some family’s but they all lived very off from everything, which can be boring for a young Au Pair. I received a request from a Swedish Family in Stockholm and I took that job instead.
My plan was to stay for one year and then move on to Finland – but I found love in Stockholm (both the city and a guy), so I stayed.
What was the hardest to adjust to?
The whole migration thing is quite tricky for Swiss People. We have more rights than people from outside Europe but less than People with citizenship in EU countries. I didn’t get my personal number for 1.5 years. Without the personal number you can’t do anything in Sweden. So basically I had to pay taxes but could not use anything which is paid by taxes (library, school, even health care was tricky).
What do you like about Sweden and Swedes?
The nature, the never-ending-light-days in summer and the always dark days in winter. The non-hierarchy policy and the equality.
What is your favourite Swedish word?
Elektronegativitetsskillnaden och häftklammarborttagare
What do you find strange about the Swedish people?
They can be afraid of conflicts and sometimes the Swedish language is quite rude (like if somebody is using hand lotion and you want some, you basically say “I can take some too!” instead of “Can I have some too?”.
In Stockholm people become friends with each other in school time and those friendships hold even in the adult live. To become friend with Swedish people later on is very difficult. They usually are not in need of more friends and there for not “out looking for friends”.
What do you miss the most from Switzerland?
The hot summers, my friends, cheese and chocolate.
Do you have any advice for a Newbie?
Check the migration board´s homepage BEFORE you move to Sweden and maybe apply for the visa at the ambassador in your country. Be aware of that it is very hard to find a place to stay in the big cities (especially in Stockholm) and there is a lot of fraud regarding this ongoing.
Never accept any suspensions offer (like a central place witch is quite cheap, if you rent 30m2 apartment down town, it will cost you around 1100 EUR/month).
Do you have an anecdote about something strange that happend during your first time?
There are some words in Swedish which means something completely else in your language – be aware! For example “slut” means “end”.
How did you meet your partner and why did you decide on Sweden?
We have friends in common and met on a night out. I like this country and he has his friends and family here. We maybe will move to Switzerland for some months in some years but Sweden is a good place to live. Especially when you calculate the social care system: day care for children, free school, free doctors…
What are the difficulties of a culturally mixed relationship?
Food (Swedish people always eat the same food on every holyday like midsummer, easter, Christmas… and in my opinion it sucks), holidays (example where to celebrate Christmas) , language, maybe your Swedish partner has more friends than you and this can give you some lonely nights.
What are the positive aspects of a culturally mixed relationship?
Learn from each other (aspects and language), multi-language children with healthy genes.