Moving to Sweden part 3

How to get over, how to take out money, how to settle down with children and whether snow is removed here – part three, household.

Part 1

Part 2

As I already wrote, most often the relocation agency is engaged in moving. It also helps to find an apartment, but the payment in my case was entirely on us. Sometimes the first month is paid by the employer.

Accommodation search

The real estate market in Stockholm is very tight. Not the same as in Berlin, but still challenging. In fact, there was no question of any choice in our case. The presence of cats puts us at the bottom of the list of desirable tenants, so we had two houses to choose from and not at all in the places we wanted. We chose the one that is close to the center (and it was a great decision). You won’t surprise anyone with the presence of children, this factor is not considered a minus, no one cares.

Prices are about the same everywhere (because they are regulated and homeowners cannot simply set their own price). The same for one class of housing, of course. Approximate prices are 13-15 thousand kroons for 1k, 15-17 for 2k, 17-20 for 3k and 20-25 for an apartment or house with more than 3 rooms (all prices are furnished). For a trendy area and a super stylish renovation, an additional payment of about +10 thousand per month, in the usual case, a neat neutral apartment with furniture and appliances awaits you. Please note that most apartment buildings do not have washing machines – they are shared by the building and are located in the basement.

When you move in, they take a deposit (from 1 to 3 monthly payments) and a monthly payment. You can pay only from a foreign bank, no one will accept any cash here. Also, you cannot come to the bank and ask to deposit cash into your landlord’s account – there is no such service. Even through an ATM, you cannot deposit more than 1500 kroons per month into your account (if you suddenly decide to give cash to a colleague and ask him to pay for you). You can ask your employer to pay and then deduct from your salary.

Apartments are searched in advance and the check-in time does not necessarily coincide with the date of your arrival. We had to live in a temporary apartment with AirBNB for 3 weeks. If you can’t find anything at all for a short time, and the budget is running out, check out Forenom hotels. They are self catering, inexpensive, and many are pet friendly.

About money

We did not have any foreign accounts to start accumulating money on them in advance. Therefore, the plan was simple – to divide the piles of money into cash in euros, non-cash in rubles for subsequent withdrawal and non-cash in euros on the Union Pay card. Concerning the Union, think for yourself – it is not accepted in all European countries. In Sweden, the situation is favorable – you can pay with them in almost all large supermarkets, in shops at the airport, and also withdraw crowns from Bankomat ATMs. As a safety net, it’s convenient.

As soon as you have a Swedish residence permit and a permanent address in Sweden (where you rent an apartment), you can open an account with Revolut. Do not forget about VPN if you suddenly do it from Russia in advance. Revolut can be linked to Apple Pay, you can order a plastic card by mail. On the Revolution you can get a salary. This is important, because it takes a couple of months to open an account here, and no one will give you a salary in cash.

You can change euros to kroons at the Forex bank, there are many of them in shopping centers and at the airport. But do not bring banknotes larger than 100 euros – they simply do not change. When exchanging 1,500 euros, I had to show certificates from Sberbank stating that I actually had a normal salary and that was what I exchanged into euros. Do not repeat my mistake, change 100-200 euros at a time, there are no questions about them.


We were moving from St. Petersburg, so the easiest option was to take a car to Helsinki, then take a ferry and you are there. The problem was that we didn’t have a car.

With great efforts, we found the owner of the minibus (God bless him with health and more money), who rented it to us without a driver, with a trip abroad. Despite the advertising of such trips, almost no one gives a car for rent with a trip to Europe.

The minibus fit 30 boxes of things, two children and 4 cats. The process was almost smooth and stress-free, because in the evening we got on the ferry, released the cats into a cabin with a window to the sea and went to dinner at a restaurant. The disadvantage of this method is obvious – the car had to be returned the same way (ferry – the road to St. Petersburg). My husband went to return, then by bus to Helsinki and by plane to Stockholm.

It is possible to enter Finland with a residence permit in Sweden. The car needs insurance and a power of attorney in a simple written form. There were only problems at the Russian customs – we were asked to open all the boxes and show the contents (that there is no product for sale). If you go the same way – do not forget the scissors and tape.

String of paperwork

Upon arrival, you will begin to deal with the registration of three pillars of Swedish existence: personummer (such as TIN), on the basis of it they will give ID kort (identity card), and with it you can open a bank account and get a Bank ID (without which you cannot get a local SIM card to activate, not to buy insurance for animals, not even to issue a discount card in a supermarket).

All the pleasure will last for two or three months. Everyone who comes from Finland or Zimbabwe goes through this.

Briefly about children

You don’t need anything to enroll your child in school, if you moved in the middle of the year – go to school right away. You need to find the Start Stockholm program, apply and then go for an interview. The school will be selected according to your needs. Schools are free, children are also fed for free (and quite tasty).

Kindergarten is possible after receiving a personal number. Then you can apply by mail. Do not forget to attach evidence of why you need a garden (a contract that you work and some explanation about the second parent – he is studying, looking for a job or is on maternity leave). If only one parent works, the garden will be given not for five days, but less. If the second started looking for a job, you can ask for a five-day period. The garden is paid. If the income is below average, then you do not pay, if the family income is high, pay up to 1000 crowns per month.

When the child goes to the garden, you go with him. Such an adaptation program – you play, eat, sleep in the garden with your child so that he is comfortable. It took us 3 days to walk with her, small children may need more. But it’s a must.

I know that until the age of 4, a child can go on a local decree and money will be paid for him (some limited number of days). I didn’t know the details, I don’t need to.

They have to pay child benefits, they haven’t started accruing me yet.

And what about the snow?

It is snowing for the third day in Stockholm, about 30 cm of rain fell. Because of this, half of public transport does not work. But the snow is removed and even in our dead end, the road is cleared once a day and even the path near the house is cleaned.

The most important thing is not snow

Of course, we did not move because of the uncollected garbage and snow.

I wanted a different IT culture, career development not vertically, but in depth, and new experience.

I really like the local approach to work-life balance. We live for ourselves and our family, and work is only a small part of life. There is no cult of overtime here (rather, on the contrary, they can be scolded), here vacation is 30 working days a year (this is a month and a half), at 5 people leave their offices and go about their business.

It may seem that this negatively affects the results. But as a product, I will note that while you are buried under a mountain of emergency communications and a mountain of contexts is piled on you, you do not have the opportunity to work thoughtfully, evaluate, decompose and see the path. Now I have exactly as much as I need – we are moving forward smoothly and I have time left for product work.

Can this be achieved in companies in Russia? For sure, but in general, the heroism of revisions and releases roams the development market until the night, it is firmly sewn into the culture and is highly appreciated by others. At some point, it became not very close to me, so the working culture in the country became an important factor in choosing.

And in the end I will tell…

I do not think that everyone needs to leave somewhere, move or change jobs. And, moreover, I do not consider Sweden the best country in the world to move to. It suits me 100%, I can’t say for the rest.

In the last couple of months, several of my acquaintances have received residence permits in Sweden and have already moved either in the process. It is a difficult path, but it is not impossible. If you decide to embark on this path – good luck to you! Hope the experience was helpful.

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