Setting Out to a Great Expat Experience

Making a final decision to move to a foreign country is one of the toughest things to do. A lot of worries, reservations, and fear of the unknown come fleeting through the brain. People always wonder how life would be there, what cultural barriers they will have to contend with, and the compromises when residing in a different country portends. These are common things for anyone, and nobody should feel self-pity and wilfully deny such feelings because they are real. 

Nonetheless, it is necessary to take quick steps to personally resolve some of these compelling worries beforehand so that the period of entry and integration into the new environment is not overwhelming. Whether you are moving as a student, expat worker, or a brief visit, the anxiety is always palpable. Knowing that these feelings are more or less inevitable, getting information about the pertinent things beforehand is an excellent way to attain emotional therapy before, during, and after traveling to the destination. 

Some critical information areas that one needs to explore include housing, job search, foodstuff, weather, healthcare, mobility, and primary cultural events. These form part of a starter-pack for an expatriate and leads to a greater, controlled and fun experience.  Get ready to become an expat in Scandinavia!

Becoming an expat in Scandinavia

In Europe, Scandinavia included, life can be so challenging when you move in without adequate prior information. This does not mean that nobody will be there to help you out, but such help may be less satisfying than if you had some prior knowledge. First, be ready to navigate through the language barrier. 

While most people can speak English, they ususally initiate conversations in their native languages such as Danish (Denmark), Swedish (Sweden) or Norwegian (Norway). The systems of mostly Scandinavian countries is such that language is an integral component of integration. Registering at a sprogskole ( Danish for “language school”) immediately will be a good decision for you.
 
Another important choice is to make is which Kommune or city to live in. The choice may be informed by its proximity to the workplace (in case you are coming as an ex-pat with an active job reserved for you), housing prices, proximity to social facilities, and availability of different job cadres, which you can easily transit when such need arises. Some cities have more unskilled jobs than others, just the same way skilled jobs are not evenly spread out. 

Get registered and get  an ID number

Making a civil registration with the municipality gives you access to the social system. However, to get a job, you can visit the job center and get guidance on how available opportunities. Importantly, you do not need to be too choosy on the kind of job to take in Scandinavia. Most of the tasks involve using machines, so you do not need to use physical force at any one time. 

Again, it is easier to get an additional job if you already have one than just landing the first one, so you dont have to use your Norwegian credit card to get food on the table. Having a network of people to contact is vital in getting a job. The work system in Scandinavia works through referrals. Most employers trust workers recommended by an existing network than just picking haphazardly. The job sites can also come handy. You will always see the job listings on different websites dedicated to a specific city, region, or entire country of residence. 

Just build a compelling C.V and your current contact details then submit. For advertised jobs, the response on an application may be immediate but unsolicited applications may take some time.

All in all, having critical information about the destination you intend to go to and live will significantly influence how you experience life in a different country.
 

Authors Bio

This article was written by Ludviq Hoel. Ludviq is an expat within Scandinavia, currently residing in Denmark, originally from Norway with family in Finland, and extended knowledge of Sweden. His blog https://scandinavia.life/ helps all the newcomers who want to live in Scandinavia to have one source of information to guide them through the A to Z of Scandinavia.

 

Jul 6, 2020 by Guest Blogger

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Thanks for advices. Good article!

posted by Ercan


If you're planning on working in Sweden, ask your employer for a collective agreement (Kollektivavtal), to make sure you don't get ripped off.

posted by Alexander


Great job!

posted by Enes


Interesting read and article!

posted by Franklin


Good luck :)

posted by Istvan


Interesting content must read

posted by Maria


Cool!

posted by Diana


It’s a bit hard at the beginning, however it’s a great experience. I’m looking forward to getting my next time

posted by Kamila


Thank you for the article

posted by Renat


Very informative.

posted by Muhammad Anjum



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