What we always read about in newspapers and watch on telly is that living in Sweden is such an amazing experience, a paradise of sorts. No wonder expats forge documents and some don’t think twice about an opportunity to go there. Granted, Scandinavia of which Sweden is part ranks higher than any one region in the global happiness index. But as they say, the taste of the pudding is in eating and any person who takes the bold step to move over to Sweden should be ready to create their own experiences.
It would be too naïve if not exceedingly wishful for anyone to expect to only meet people with smiling faces, easy money, waiting opportunities, a full bank account once in Sweden. But make no mistake; this is exactly what some people expect to find in Sweden. But pause for a second, do not be part of these utopia thinkers who imagine living in Sweden is always a bed of roses. Before you step into that Airplane with Sweden as the destination, here we show some of the nasty and disgusting things that could be awaiting too.
Thinking about Moving to Sweden? Well, these is what could be lying ahead
Maybe you are just thinking of moving to Sweden or maybe have just heard about the sweet life that this Scandinavian country has to offer. Either way, a huge amount of information about what life really is in Sweden is available out there. You also have to bear in mind that much misinformation too exists within the public domain and therefore some people do not know what life in Sweden really feels or looks like. It is understood that Sweden is among the richest and peaceful countries in Europe. In fact, it is estimated that over 100,000 people immigrate annually to this country. This information alone is enough to take away those really dying to travel abroad. But this is just a tip of the iceberg. So much more lie in the details as you’ll likely get to understand here below.
Sweden is extremely western and similar to its modern counterparts in different parts of the world. As an expat, you will easily find most products but also their alternatives in case you do not manage to find them. That said, there are several inevitable bumps in the roads that you are likely to encounter as an expat. Although the country has a huge amount of opportunities to offer in life, it has its own quirks that will sometimes disgust you in one way or the other. However, if you decide to embrace those elements skilfully, you will definitely be able to immerse yourself in the Swedish culture with less trouble.
These things in Sweden will likely disgust any expatriate
When one reads the word disgusting, it does not mean that the likely experiences are intolerable. Of course we can’t propagate a false narrative that Sweden is a perfect society. That will be to miss the point by miles. Again, disgusting here means the expectations that may turn out to have been unfounded or existing realities in Sweden which have always been ignored in public information but really means loads in the life of an expat.
Winters in Denmark get extremely cold, expats need to be well prepared.
Majority of the expats are drawn in by the cool climate, and captivating scenery that constitutes the majority of this country. However, it is not captivating in reality. Sweden has relatively long winters with less sunlight entering the country. Ideally, cold and long winters can be detrimental to immigrants who already face issues such as residency, job opportunities, and language barriers. A normal winter season does last a couple of months. Immigrants from tropical regions in Asia and Africa may find challenges when encountering this type of climate. With time, one is able to adapt and live happily.
Making new friends in Sweden may be a heck of an experience
You will mostly be disgusted with the difficulty that exists in making friends with Swedes. In fact, this culture cuts across all the Nordic countries such as Denmark, Norway and Iceland. In their youth and early adulthood, Swedes tend to form a strong network of lifelong friends. Once this network is established, there is typically little incentive to spend time cultivating new close friendships.
Sometimes low level of customer service in Sweden
This should surprise you. While business cultures in most other nations are customer-centred, Swedish embrace the service-minded approach to customer service. Although this should not be mistaken with the conduct of the customer-staff. Most of them are generally polite and competent, but they lack the same sense of duty as, say, Americans. This might be due to increased job security, wait staff receiving a decent wage without relying on tips, and more general employee rights. Whatever the reason, it can be difficult to adjust to the Swedish customer service culture, but only with time.
Too many unwritten social rules in Sweden can be frustrating for an expatriate
Unwritten social rules form integral aspects of Swedish culture. Everyone is expected to follow and embrace them as part of their daily routines. It can be challenging at times to adhere to all the unwritten social norms that exist in Swedish culture, such as the constant need to return favours, split tabs, and always say “thank you” for everything, all of which may seem disgusting to expats. For foreigners, it can be overwhelming with so many small things to remember all at once in order to not step on anyone’s toes. It is important to note that Swedes typically learn this slowly over the course of a lifetime.
Healthcare wait lines can be disgustful at times
You should have no problems accessing Swedish healthcare if your health problems are those that are considered common, such as colds, body pain, etc. However, if you deviate from the norm, you might have to wait a very long time. Additionally, even though healthcare is free in Sweden, patients who wait too long undoubtedly perceive it as a cost.
It is important to remember that the medical appointments in Sweden occasionally need to be scheduled far in advance. Some patients can experience even up to a three-month appointment wait. Getting an appointment would not take that long if it were an emergency. As an expat, this may be a bit challenging especially if you are used to the faster access to the healthcare services back in your country. However, you will get used to this system with time.
Expenses and cost of living in Sweden is horribly high!
If used to the cheap living costs and spending less back in your home country, sorry. In Sweden, you must be ready to adjust a little. Sweden’s prices for goods and services are significantly higher. You might discover that food costs are roughly two times higher in the nation. You should be ready for a large monthly budget if you intend to stay in the nation. The only way to deal with this situation is to allocate your budget wisely and plan effectively in order to reduce the severe inflation that the nation is experiencing.
The issues highlighted in this article about living in Sweden puts one on a great learning pathway. The details should in now way scare anyone hoping of living in Sweden. Instead, it should deepen knowledge of both Swedish culture and of yourself, despite the fact that it may be unsettling. Being prepared well is the efficient way to lessen the impacts of these problems on you. Your level of comfort will increase as you become more informed about what to anticipate. All the best!