Guide to Sweden

As a foreigner that moved to Sweden it was hard to know how to do things in this country. Along the way the discussions and information exchanges (and rumours) with fellow foreigners and Swedish colleagues about how to organize your work and your personal life have never stopped.

My wife and I therefore decided to write a guide to help others in similar situations. We hope that this document will make it easier to immediately start working and living in Sweden and avoids a lot of frustrations.

Living and working in Sweden - Practical Help for post docs, PhD students and others  - From getting a personal number to buying a house

After making the guide public I received mails with suggestions. This is really great and we greatly appreciate if you want to contribute making living and working in Sweden easier for people that move here. In order to keep the guide a bit updated and more comprehensive I here offer a chance to do so in the comments section.


Comments/Updates on the Guide

Date: 05/06/2019

By: Melissa Oddie

Subject: A few edits regarding the SLU postdoc association

Hey Jörg!

First of all, this is amazing work and I know it will make a huge difference for new researchers coming to the Ecology department and to Sweden as a whole.
I have a few edits regarding the credits to our university's postdoc association. 1. The credit given to Amrit (The SUPA chair) should be given to the association (SUPA) as a whole, and 2. The name of the association changed very recently from SUP to SUPA. That's about it. Thank you!


Date: 05/04/2019

By: Sewalem Tsehay

Subject: Experience and comments on the guide to Sweden

Thank you for compiling "Guide for Sweden". It is extremely important especially for those who are not familiar about "European Bureaucracy". It is tough at the beginning of coming to Europe unless you get clear guidance. I was one of them. Some are real national laws and others are luck of information. National laws are accepted since one cannot change until the nation itself make amendment. However when you ask people even they mislead you telling wrong information not because they want to hide information but they do not have up to date information. Even I have asked administration personells, supervisors, department’s people and colleagues, I did not get the right information and I missed some benefits, which I should have used them. This because they may not have current information and have old information, I guess. Sometimes written information also need editions and up to datedness. Clear introduction to the system needs attention of the hosting university. Well-organized guide should be available in the website of the universities and should be updated every time. Your work on the “guide for Sweden” is nice beginning that can be live for enrichment.
Saying this I have at least one comment after scan reading on your document, "Guide for Sweden”.
On the document on page 6 second paragraph from the last it states "Among other things, Försäkringskassan covers you if you need to go on parental leave or long-term sick leave. Be aware that if you are on a stipend, you will not be paying taxes and will not get any benefits from Försäkringskassan in case of parental or sick leave"
I think this may be corrected. If one have residence permit in Sweden more than one year you can take parental benefit of minimum amount about 250 SEK per day from Försäkringskassan even though you do not pay tax. But one needs proper registration at Försäkringskassan or at Insurance agency. If one apply for some benefits like house allowance, parental benefit and some others benefits based on each students case, Försäkringskassan will decide and tell you.
The other possibilities is for PhD student with stipend and scholarship. These students can apply parental benefit of about 80% of their stipend like those PhD students with position/employee who pay tax.
For further information on benefits for PhD students with stipend and scholarship, see at the web site . You can contact the focal persons there and know what applies to a case.

Best wishes,
PhD student, SLU


Date: 05/04/2019

By: Alex Appiah Mensah

Subject: Appreciation

Hi Jörg,
Thanks very much for this insightful guide. You and your wife have done a great help to me and other foreigners. I have been in Sweden for almost two years now: as a master student and now as a doctoral student. This guide is very useful and I will pass it on to my other colleagues who have just arrived in Sweden.
Thank you once again.

Best regards,

Ph.D. Student (SLU - Umeå)