I found out today that I get voluntary redundancy which will let me emmigrate

I’ve been planning for quite a long time to move from the UK to Sweden, and a while ago the perfect opportunity to do so arose. I work in the UK government and periodically they will run release schemes to pay people to leave (basically because it’s the only way you can make people go short of gross under performance, and if you need to shrink your staff by a certain number that’s pretty much your only option). The terms for release are generous: a month’s salary per year’s service, and as I’ve been there 10 years it means I end up with over a year’s net salary. What I’ll get paid will be under the threshold for tax, so essentially I get a year’s salary and can walk out of my job in the next few months.

I’ve been planning this for so long that it’s now a little scary to actually be facing the reality of it - in less than six months I’ll be living in a different country, which I’ve never done before! I’m a bit nervous but also incredibly excited, it’s going to be great :slight_smile:

If anyone has any tips on moving countries by all means please share.

What awaits you in Sweden, and why the decision to emigrate? Oh, and congratulations.


And so the adventure begins! Hearty congratulations.

I’ve traveled all over but never shifted homelands, how exciting!

(When life’s a little scary, you kind of know you’re doing it right!
It’s all supposed to be a beautiful, beautiful mess!)

Brit that moved to Stockholm in 1999 and is still there checking in.

Ask away with any questions you may have and I’ll do my best to help.

Do you have to learn Swedish?

Congrats! Now a question: why do you want to move to Sweden?

I moved countries, but only from New Zealand to Australia, so the culture shock was minimal. I wasn’t properly prepared, financially, and I took a few risks that I was lucky they paid off.

It’s incredibly satisfying when it works out, though.

Sounds exciting! Are you going to have a job lined up before you go? Planning to re-patriate and all, I assume? Are you looking at dual citizenship?

You can get by perfectly fine in English. Most people speak it to a reasonable degree and most people under 40ish will be pretty damn good.

If you’re like me though, you’ll get embarrassed expecting everyone to speak your language and end up learning.


I moved from New Zealand to England. While you’d assume the cultures and lifestyle are the same, they aren’t. But I could either choose to focus on the differences, or just get on and live my life in this great new country, which is what I’ve chosen to do.

And that would be my advice to you. Roll with it. Take each day as it comes. Don’t try to equate everything in your new country with your native country, it’ll drive you batty.

I happen to work for a company that formed from an amalgamation of a UK and Swedish compnay and half my team are in Sweden, along with my manager. So I’ve had the opportunity to get to know the Swedish work culture quite well. I’d say the biggest work difference is that Swedes are a lot blunter than Brits. If it’s a spade, they’ll call it a spade. Depending on your personality, you’ll either find that refreshingly honest, or a bit hard to take at first.

I got my ‘sign’ last year, now you got yours. Congrats and bon voyage!!! :smiley: It may be tough from time to time at first, but you’ll never regret it.

I’ve never lived away from London and want the experience of having lived abroad, and Sweden is an amazing country that I’ve completely fallen in love with over the last few years. Their socio-political economy is more in line with what I think a country should be, and essentially I’m voting with my feet as I’m fed up with the UK and its increasingly backward-looking, selfish perspective on everything.

That too :wink: Swedish men are seriously hot.

Thanks amanset - I’ve got a fair few Swedish friends who are going to help me make the transition but I’d definitely welcome a conversation with you given you’re a brit. I’ll send you a PM.

Jag kan pratar svenska nu, men jag behover att blir bättre - jag pratar lika som en barn :slight_smile:

I don’t have a job lined up, although now I have a timetable for moving it makes it a bit easier to be proactive in this respect. I’m actually happy at the prospect of moving over there with no job and having to look for something, I’ve got enough money to be cushioned for quite a while so that’s not a problem. As long as I get to work with people so I can improve my language skills I don’t mind, I want to be open to possibilities as I don’t really know what kind of area would be best suited to me. Having spent the last decade in the UK government I’m not sure how directly that transfers to another country, although of course the soft skills I have will be transferable.

When I was in Sweden last summer I spoke to their department of labour where people look for publicly listed jobs and said to the adviser that I wanted something with people and that paid enough money to live on. The second bit made her look confused and she said why would someone who is working not have enough money to live on. Further investigation confirmed that working poor doesn’t exist in Sweden :slight_smile:

In terms of repatriation/citizenship - Sweden and the UK are both within the European Union so I can just move there, it’s like moving from one US state to another. Sure, I could apply for Swedish citizenship at a later date, and if I choose to stay I think I would so that I can be properly involved in civic society. It’s not something I have to decide now though.

I remember when an Irish barman got chastised for not having learned Swedish after living here for many a year. His answer was: “Why should I? Every one here speaks perfect English”.

And the answer is “because you’re unable to participate in Swedish intellectual, cultural and civic life, and also it’s deeply disrespectful to the country you’ve chosen to move to”. However that kind of answer could only have been given by someone who isn’t interested in any of those things.

That’s the great thing about Sweden!

What is? :confused:

Congrats! Will you be looking for a job in the public service (is that even possible without citizenship?) or the private sector?

Please let me know if the Swedish Bikini Team needs a coach. Or a cheerleader. Or a towel boy, Or a boy toy. Better yet, a middle aged man toy.

Isamu - literally my requirements are as simple as that I work with people, so that my language skills will improve. Other than that I have no defined expectations of where I work or what I do. I believe I could work in the public sector easily enough without being a citizen (you can in the UK), but my concern there is that the level of English needed to work in the British government is extremely high, and if it’s the same in the Swedish system (and why wouldn’t it be) I’d simply be out of my depth. I did try and investigate a secondment to the Swedish department of Education but couldn’t arrange anything, however one of the conditions of the secondment would be that the job would be in English so it’s clearly feasible from their end to do that.

But really I think I’d quite like the freedom to see what comes along. I’ve got a lot of transferable skills so happy to consider lots of careers really.

Boyo jim - not before I get myself a job as the towel boy for the Swedish football team :wink: