Sriram is a 33 year old post-doctoral researcher from India who arrived in Sweden in April 2016. After completing his PhD in Taiwan, he stayed there for a couple more years in the same research group but his interest to learn new things and travel brought him to Sweden.
What is the hardest to adjust to in Sweden?
Lack of a personal number is the hardest thing. I got a one year contract starting March 2016, but after getting my visa and arranging my trip, I could only be here in April. When I went to Skatteverket, I was told that I can’t get a personal number because they count my contract from the day I enter Sweden and thus it’s less than a year, which means I won’t have a personal number.
Soon, I realized what the lack of personal number means, I can’t have a fully functional bank account, can’t use net banking, can’t get medical attention in vårdcentral (especially with a toddler at home) and so on. I have now applied for an extension and hoping to get things solved.
What do you like best about Sweden?
I’ve lived all my life in Asia and although I have been to Europe before, this is my first visit to Sweden and Gothenburg is a very quiet city. I like the neighbourhood where I live, the weather (super nice summer and an awesome winter), the surroundings and a lot more.
What Swedish word is your favourite?
Ursäkta… I like the way different people say it.
What do you find strange about Swedes?
I don’t see people greet each other so much, maybe it’s just my personal feeling.
What do you like about Swedes?
They don’t beat around the bush, they just convey what is needed.
What do you miss the most from India?
Who helped you feel at home here?
My landlord Matilda was very kind to have the house ready when we arrived, she even bought some things for us to eat. She was also kind to show us places nearby and took us shopping over the weekend. My boss Fredrik helped me settle down workwise and his help in getting the house rental contract was useful.