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Move to Sweden from UK (London)

(14 Posts)
Holly34 Tue 29-Dec-15 03:26:10

Anyone in Stockholm? Know of a good hospital for child birth

Moved here few months ago and really like it we might make it a permanent move after baby arrives DH prefers it here to London. I am bit uncertain thou. Any views? anyone else also moved here and felt they made the right choice?

did anyone study at university masters or phd? wink

Hipotle Sun 03-Jan-16 12:04:38

Have you joined the FB group English Speaking Mums in Sweden? Many of the members are Stockholm based and you will get some great advice there.

Holly34 Sun 03-Jan-16 23:55:55

Im not on fb hmm

purpleapple1234 Tue 05-Jan-16 00:03:50

I had DD in Stockholm at Södersjukhuset on Södermalm. Brilliant! Had a private room, two midwives at a time. Epidural on call. So peaceful and quiet. In fact, we didn't want to go home as it felt like a (very clinical) hotel! I say "we" because DH was there all the time, with his own bed!

Maternity benefit is unbelievably generous and Stockholm is a fascinating city. We loved it there. But as always, life is not perfect. We had to move as we couldn't find a new place to rent. If you own your own place and are settled with work/studying in a good spot, it is hard to beat Stockholm. We ended up moving to Gothenburg, which I love even more than Stockholm, so it worked out for us.

I was working as a teacher, but have connections with the universities. I did a post doc at a university. What are you wondering about the masters/phd?

ohdearlord Tue 05-Jan-16 01:05:27

Danderyd has a very good reputation, as does Sophia Hemmet. Do be sure of what kind of pain relief you want though and make sure it is available. Other options such as baths are also worth checking. Check as well how often they need to divert women, and make sure you've researched where you'll go if your first choice is full at the time. If your Swedish isn't great I would strongly recommend getting a private midwife or doula to be with you as negotiating Swenglish whilst you're in labour probably won't really be what you want to do!

If you're planning on being here for the long haul (i.e. till school starting age or beyond) then do be aware that the most sought after schools (Karlssons, Ecole Francaise etc. - the same applies to the non-fee paying bilingual and English speaking schools, also the fee-paying Futura International) require that more or less get your LO in the queue whilst you're still in the hospital. If that's likely to be important to you then do get yourself acquainted with the procedure for getting the all the important personnummer from Skatteverket as quickly as possible.

Regarding the Uni. I and dp have a fair bit of experience. What were you wanting to study? If you're an EU citizen there are no fees. PhD's are salaried, not much but enough. Masters studies qualify you for CSN but I think, from memory, you need to have been in the Swedish labour market for 2 years (though they do very generously count maternity leave in that time). Most post-graduate studies exist in English. All applications for Masters go through a central body, like UCAS, and you will need to have your UK quals accredited by them. PhD applications go through the university directly - but it's not usually possible here to go directly from your bachelor's to your PhD. Swedish higher education is very much focussed on training researchers so a good deal of emphasis will be placed on your thesis. Also be aware that the Swedish job market and HE system is much more specific than it is in the UK - there is not much lateral movement on the basis of transferable skills, history graduates don't tend to end up working in banking etc.

From 1st of Jan this year 3 months of the parental leave is earmarked for the father in a "use it or lose it" model. It's paid at 80% of your (whichever of you is at home that particular day) SGI (effectively your salary) for 390 days, and at the basic rate of 180kr per day for 90. You don't have to take it out 7 days a week though. You can take it in really any configuration you like, dividing days in eighths up until the child is 12 (although after the child is 4 you can only take 96 days over the next 8 years, that's to say you must use 384 days in the first 4 years). If you were working in the UK before you left then make sure you have that income registered with them so you're being paid based on that, otherwise you'll just get the basic rate for the whole 480 days. (On that note you should also investigate getting yourself registered with an a-kassa, unemployment insurance, they too will recognise your UK income - but you'll need to find the right one for your field. Much like unions, there are different a-kassa for different types of work. It will provide you with a very reassuring safety net though once you start looking for work post maternity. I'm not sure of the rules in terms of how long back they will consider income though so it may well be worth you registering now, rather than once you're ending maternity, as your entitlement could well have lapsed by then.)

Most dagis (daycare) don't take children under one year old. In fact I don't know any that do. I'm not sure there are childminders with the state system that do either (dagmamma). There are private nanny companies who will provide daycare during the first year - but these are not state run and so you pay for it all privately. They are exorbitantly expensive. Like with the schools you need to place your child in the queue as quickly as possible - especially if you're in a kommun that struggles with meeting the demand for dagis places. For dagis though you don't need to register with each individual dagis - just with your kommun and rank your first 5 (?) preferences.

Depending on where you are you may be able to find SFI (the free Swedish language courses) that allow you to attend with your baby. Do be sure to make sure they know you're a graduate (I assume since you were asking about post-grad studies) though - as the courses vary to accomodate everyone from illiterate in mother tongue to multi-lingual post-grads. Personally I would say learning Swedish is an absolute must. Although it is perfectly possible to manage here in English, it makes properly integrating an absolute nightmare if you can't speak Swedish - and integrating here is not easy. Speaking in necessarily broad generalisations - making Swedish friends is very difficult to begin with, though once you do they are friends for life.

A lot of the BVC/MVCs have access to, or have their own, English language "Mammagrupp" which are post-natal groups, a bit like NCT-groups, which are a great way to meet other new Mums. Otherwise, I'd also recommend the "Mums in Sweden" FB group. The English church (stockholmanglicans I think is their web address) I think might have a group too. If you're looking at being here long-term though do beware of the expat bubble. It makes truly settling here jolly hard work. Courses like baby swimming, or baby yoga, or the various photography courses at Fotografiska for new parents are also a great way to break the ice.

I moved here a little over 8 years ago and love it. I made Swedish friends through the university and picked up Swedish in rather ad hoc fashion. I've lived in several other countries outside the UK, and Sweden is by far the most difficult to really integrate into imho, but well worth the effort. I would say that Sweden is a very conformist, norm driven society governed by, largely, unspoken rules. Whilst it is somewhat fashionable at the moment to insist there is no Swedish culture it is not at all true. There is a definitively Swedish way to do more or less everything, from when to eat sweets (Saturday) and tacos (Fredagsmys - Friday nights) to socially acceptable political and religious views. If you can navigate your way to grasping, more or less, the rules, without feeling too hemmed in or bewildered, and can find some good friends it is a wonderful place to live!

Good luck!

Holly34 Wed 06-Jan-16 13:24:39

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Thank you both PPs for your reply thanks

how long ago did you have your DD at Sodermalm? I have chosen Danderyd but it all depends on the day of delivery if a space is available.

If we do decide to stay in Sweden I will like to teach at a English International School, Have emailed Stockholm University about the requirement as I have a Non teaching degree, not sure if even possible to do similar to PgCE?

ohdearlord Wed 06-Jan-16 13:34:26

I would email the international schools directly and ask what they require of their staff. BISS, Futura, SIS etc. all require that teachers are qualified as teachers and not just in their subject. So far as I know here the teaching degree is an undergraduate one and there isn't a direct equivalent to the PgCE.

Depending on what your degree was in though you could possibly look into completing your studies with two years of teacher-training. Exactly how and what largely depends on what age you want to teach.

www.lararforbundet.se/artiklar/olika-vagar-till-lararexamen

Holly34 Wed 06-Jan-16 13:35:30

*ohdearlord
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Thank you so much for a detailed reply. It is very thoughtful and generous of you to share each detail.. winkthanks

I am so grateful I will be taking notes down for sure.

Tbh I will like to be a teacher (primary or high School) but with a non teaching undergraduate degree not sure how much that is possible? Any advise what route I could take at University?

I love it here but the problem is I have a permanent flat from housing association Do I really want to give that up? Even the housing officer mentioned not to give up a lifetime tenancy agreement in this climate hmm

I see opportunitiesin Sweden my studies progressing, better work opportunities, good education for children this place does have a lot more to offer and what will be available to us as a family in London. confused

ohdearlord Wed 06-Jan-16 13:38:00

Do you mean you have 1st hand contract here in Stockholm? You'd be absolutely mad to give it up unless you knew you weren't ever coming back.

Holly34 Wed 06-Jan-16 13:40:53

No the flat is in London if I had a 1st hand here in Stockholm I wouldn't have this issue hmm

ohdearlord Wed 06-Jan-16 13:44:58

Ah. With you now :-)

Yes. Housing is a huge problem here. If you're going to study though get yourself in the housing queue with SSSB.

Holly34 Wed 06-Jan-16 13:47:14

thank you smile

KierkegaardGroupie Wed 06-Jan-16 16:24:29

I wouldn't give up a secure cheap tenancy in London. I would love frugally and retire by 45 and retire to Sweden. That flat is worth probably an extra 10 k in income the rest of us have to generate to pay our market rent housing costs. Then do a house swap to Sweden every summer holiday. Oh know teaching is hard work but the holidays are amazing. You could spend 8 weeks a year in Sweden if you wanted to.

Check out
Mrmoneymustache.com
A growing number of people are realising the power of living frugally and saving every penny do you can be financially independent sooner than you think. Harder to do that if you live in Sweden.

Holly34 Thu 07-Jan-16 03:24:29

Thanks PP for advise and your tips wink

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