Region Skåne, Lund and Malmö
- Moving to Southern Sweden: The information found on this website covers a number of areas, such as moving to and living and working in Sweden, and information regarding work permits, the social security system, taxes, pensions, schools etc.
- Introduction to the City of Lund: Here you will find a wide range of information about different activities and attractions in Lund City.
- Introduction to the City of Malmö: Take a look at Malmö's official visitor site. This is a great place to start in your journey to get to know the city.
Swedish Social Security System and Healthcare
Sweden offers high quality social insurance and societal services, such as childcare and healthcare, free of charge or at a very low cost. Schools offer high quality education, also free of charge. Below are some examples of services and corresponding prices:
- Social Insurance
- Kindergarten/Pre-school Childcare
Maximum cost of €140/child/month
- After-School Childcare
Maximum cost of €95/child/month
- Public & Private Schooling (up to high school level)
- International Schooling
- University Tuition
- Planned Health Care
- Medical Visit with General Practitioner
Below you can read about a few topics related to parental leave in Sweden and information about the Swedish Social Insurance Company.
At all Swedish healthcare centres, or connected to each, there is often a maternal healthcare centre (Mödravårdscentral, MVC) where midwives work. They can be consulted on issues relating to contraceptives, sexually transmitted diseases, testing for cervical cancer, pregnancy, etc. Most maternal healthcare centres arrange parenting groups and courses for parents to take prior to the birth of their children.
Visiting the maternal healthcare centre in Sweden is free of charge, and patients have the option to visit any centre of their choice.
Swedish For Immigrants (often called SFI or Svenskundervisning För Invandrare in Swedish) is the national free Swedish language course offered to most categories of immigrants. Tuition and course literature are free of charge.
SFI is directed towards people who lack basic Swedish skills and the age limit for the courses is sixteen. The municipality (local authority) in which the person lives pays for the courses. Applications to take the courses are made to the municipality's adult education department (kommunens vuxenutbildning). There are several levels of Swedish education and, upon evaluation, people will be placed in the class best suited to their level.
For more information on Lund municipality's information about SFI, click here.
For information on SFI in Malmö municipality, please click here. The websites also contain information on how to apply for the courses.
If attending a language course isn't suitable, or for those who would like to pursue some extra practice on their own, here are some tools that might help in learning the language. These also help in getting more familiar with the Swedish culture in different ways:
- YouTube:Here there are plenty of videos teaching about the Swedish language or culture - in more or less serious ways! A good start might be the video called "10 best ways to learn Swedish fast!"
- Free language apps: There are a number of apps that could help in learning the language for free, directly in a mobile phone. Babbel, Duolingo and Memrise are three excellent examples, which focus on vocabulary and pronunciation. They can be found in the App Store.
- Hej Svenska!: An online interactive Swedish learning tool.
- Babbel: The online version of the previously mentioned app. It ca be tested for free here.
- Swedish can also be learnt through audio lessons with, for example, the Pimsleur method - the first lesson is free.
- The Swedish Institute: Another website that offers courses, language tests, etc. Visit them and see what they can offer here and here.
- BBi (Better Business international): Also offers language training via e-learning and virtual classrooms on their website.
For those who would like to be able to follow Swedish news, but in English, there is one useful online website called The Local.T
Those who'd rather read the news in Swedish, there is a newspaper called 8 sidor (8 pages), which is written in simple Swedish. On their website you can order your own subscription or read some of the latest news.
Sveriges radio (Swedish radio) also provides a news programme with news in simple Swedish called "Klartext". To listen to the programme or read about the latest news visit their website.
The publisher LL-förlaget (Lättläst-förlaget = Easy to read publisher) provides a lot of books in simple Swedish - from classic Swedish novels to modern novels from other countries. The books can be ordered from their website.
In order to find out more about Sweden, the Swedish Institute has summarised fact sheets about Sweden, covering different areas that might be of interest.
When relocating a family it is of utmost importance that the children have good pre-schools/schools, both high qualities of the education as well as a good social life with new friends.
In the Öresund Region there are several options for international pre-schools and schools. During your home-finding visit you have the possibility to get help from our external relocation partner to visit pre-schools and schools appropriate for your children.
A Selection of Schools in the Malmö, Lund, and Helsingborg area:
- International School of Lund (ISLK)
- Bladins International School of Malmö
- International school of Helsingborg (ISH)
- Malmö International School (MIS)
- Lund International School (LIS)
A complete list with links to all international schools in southern Sweden can be found here, where an overview of private and public schools, from preschool and compulsory school to upper secondary education and higher education, is provided.
There are many great ways to socialise and expand networks in the Skåne Region:
Lund International Citizen Hub opened its doors and started activities in September 2015. They can also be found on Facebook. They have drop-in hours on Thursdays 09.00-12.00. An e-mail can be sent to email@example.com to be put on their e-mail list and receive their very useful monthly newsletter and other tips!
A group established on the Meetup platform, Lund Social Group welcomes all newcomers.
A group established on the Meetup platform, Malmö Internationals welcomes all newcomers.
An on-and-offline meeting place for English speaking expats. Read more here.
InterNations is an international community for people living and working abroad. Founded in 2007 by three young entrepreneurs from Germany (former expatriates themselves), it has become the biggest expatriate network worldwide.
Rotary International is an international service organisation whose stated purpose is to bring together business and professional leaders in order to provide humanitarian services, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world. It is a secular organisation open to all persons regardless of race, colour, creed, religion, gender, or political preference.
ICS is a non-profit organisation, open to current or former expats living in Skåne. The aim of the club is to bridge cultural barriers, establish new networks and activities, and to underpin an "internationalisation" process in Skåne, creating richer and more favourable living conditions in the region.
The AWC Malmö welcomes members from all over the world. Currently, about 70% of their membership are US citizens, the rest are expats from around the globe. The AWC Malmö has an open membership policy: you don't need to be either an American or a woman to join.
Tamams Student Association works with integration, diversity and anti-racism in and around Lund’s student life. The association in Lund is a branch of the larger Tamam organisation, which was founded in the city in 2008. Their motto is “Friendship without borders”. Read more about activities on their website.
Things to See and Do in Sweden
- Things to do in Sweden: visitsweden.com and sweden.se are two useful websites.
- Things to do in Skåne contains a variety of information on Skåne in general.
- Things to do in Lund: At visitlund.se you will find a full list of current activities and attractions worth a visit in Lund. Keep an eye on the upcoming events calendar here. Two video presentations about Lund from Lund Municipality can be found on [Vimeo] and [YouTube]
- Things to do in Malmö contains details of things going on in and around Malmö.
How to find a job or start your own business, networking tips, and understanding taxes in Sweden.
Spouse & Partner Employment
When looking for a job in Sweden it is very important to register at the Swedish employment agency, called Arbetsförmedlingen as soon as possible.
Arbetsförmedlingen will gladly assist in finding a representative to speak to about tailoring a specific personal plan. A specific contact person will be allocated, depending entirely on profession, current situation and place of residence.
Check out the website Work in Swedenworkinsweden.se
In addition to this, via Arbetsförmedlingen, the opportunity is given to meet with a job coach. This contact person can assist in finding employment and can provide information regarding the Swedish and/or Danish job markets.
- On their website, vacancies can be found in Platsbanken. Most jobs announcements are in Swedish, but a search can be made for different jobs by typing in English in the free text/search field.
- The website also includes links to other websites concerning vacancies, including the English language site thelocal.se.
- Extra support offered by Arbetsförmedlingen here and here.
- From Arbetsförmedlingens’s website there is also a link to EURES, the European Job Mobility Portal.
N.B: If an EU citizen and unemployed at the time of the move within the EU, contact should be made with the local EURES adviser before the move to check entitlement to any benefits from the previous country. For more information, see here.
Are you looking for a job but feel you aren't getting any further? Would you like to increase your knowledge on the job market and what employers are looking for? Do you need some tips on how to widen your network and how to conduct yourself in an interview? Then the LICH Kick-Start Programme is for you!
ESS, in collaboration with the Cross Border Science and Society project, offers a Kick-Start Programme aiming to provide useful tools that will increase the opportunity to reach the job market. The programme comprises different institutions, companies and individuals that provide support, inspiration and shared experience in how to find employment. There is also the opportunity to get individual guidance and assistance in setting personal goals in order to increase the chances of gainful employment.
For more information, please contact Lisa Andersson, LICH, at firstname.lastname@example.org or Susanne Mattsson, Invest in Skåne at email@example.com. Do not forget to check out LICH's website where there is plenty of useful information and tips on events: http://www.internationalcitizenhub.com.
Generic CVs and cover letter can be registered on all or some of the following websites:
There are other specialised recruitment agencies, which are easy to find on Google. Just search the Swedish word for the area of expertise and write that in addition to the word "rekrytering".
Create match-mails from the mentioned websites that have that service.
Calling a recruitment company for a follow-up after registering a profile is always an option. Some will just state that they will make contact if the profile is suitable for a position, and some might chat for a while, allowing the opportunity to provide further information. One tip is to prepare what to discuss in advance, meaning competencies and positions of interest can be presented in under two minutes.
Searching for jobs via different job sites is one option, as mentioned above, but also directly on the websites of companies of interest. If a position of interest is found, then a CV should be submitted as quickly as possible. The CV can be constant, but a unique application letter for each position applied for is recommended, and should highlight the essential experience and criteria that match what they are looking for. Avoid sending generic application letters as this may be seen as lack of interest in the advertised position.
When looking for employment in Sweden, LinkedIn is an important site. LinkedIn helps by boosting visibility and allows creative personal marketing. The site also provides daily tips about interesting job opportunities in a given area. Connect to all business contacts, friends and acquaintances, update your status and let everyone know that you are available for new challenges, or send individual emails to people in your network and let them know you would be interested in hearing more about any opportunities that might arise. There is also the option to ask for references on LinkedIn. Register your CV on LinkedIn and join the ESS spouses’ Linked-in page.
Please note that EURES is also on LinkedIn. Search for “EURES Sweden”, “EURES Sweden – Tech Group”, “Nurses for Sweden EURES Sweden” and "Life Science Specialists for the Öresund Region”, if any of these groups might be of interest.
If you are interested in employment, do not forget to register at our job seeking group on Facebook.
An updated CV can also be sent to Agneta Carlekrantz in the ESS Human Resources Division. With your permission, HR can distribute it among its own networks. Please bear in mind that although HR will distribute CVs as and when possible, ESS cannot guarantee employment for partners.
- When interested in coming onto the work market it is extremely important to network. One way to get valuable connections is to join a local Rotary club, e.g. Lund International Rotary Club and Malmö International Rotary Club.
- A large business network that might be of interest is BNI.
- Another is Toastermasters Europe @ Ideon, where, besides networking, there is the opportunity to improve spoken skills.
- Please also visit Malmö Business.
- Joining seminars and attending gatherings is another possibility, and is a good way to meet new people, expand your network face-to-face and increase awareness.
- Those holding an academic exam from abroad and looking for work within an area of competence in Sweden should obtain a recognition of the foreign qualifications by the Swedish "Universitets- och Högskolerådet". More information can be found here: http://www.uhr.se/
- For those with a profession within healthcare and looking for a job in that field in Sweden must follow a defined process before a Swedish license can be obtained from "Socialstyrelsen". Examples of professions needing a Swedish license are doctors, nurses, midwifes, dentists etc. More information can be found here: http://www.socialstyrelsen.se/applicationforswedishlicencetopractiseeea
- Teachers and pre-school teachers seeking work within the profession in Sweden need to contact the Swedish National Agency for Education ("Skolverket"), who make decisions on the registration of teachers and pre-school teachers. More information can be found here: https://www.skolverket.se/certification-of-teachers-with-a-foreign-diploma
Those interested in starting up their own company in Sweden can contact one of the two companies detailed below, and/or the Swedish placement service, Arbetsförmedlingen.
Nyföretagarcenter Syd, NFCS, works with free consultations for those looking to start up their own businesses and also entrepreneurs with a relatively new company. They can help with ideas regarding the business concept and give advice on how to proceed in different matters. NFCS is independent and neutral in relation to established companies, banks and government agencies. NFCS wants to help in any way possible, and aims to give constructive and helpful feedback to all, as well as be the guide that many new entrepreneurs need.
"Almi's vision is to create opportunities for all viable ideas and companies to be developed. With our advisory service, loans, venture capital and incubation, we have customers in all commercial phases, from ideas to successful companies.”
- Be open to positions that may be below current competency levels while learning Swedish. That way you will not feel completely exhausted learning a new language and getting adjusted to a new culture while you also push yourself to perform well, as you would have done in your home country.
- If you do not intend to learn Swedish, apply for positions with larger companies in the region and also in Copenhagen (for EU-citizens).
- There are classes you can take while waiting for the right opportunity. Please visit www.folkuniversitetet.se or www.medborgarskolan.se to see what paid classes they can offer. Or why not sign up for some free courses at one of the universities in Malmö or Lund? This is an excellent opportunity to meet new people, network and learn something new at the same time. More information and links can be found under the chapter “Studying in southern Sweden”.
- Please remember that finding a new job can take time, and in itself be a full-time job, so do not give up!
Sweden has a 25% value added tax, or consumption tax, which is high from an international standpoint. But high taxes are not necessarily high, if there is overall 'value for money'.
At the pre-visit, during the second interview, an individual, international tax consultation is provided. Collection of taxes is the duty of the Swedish Tax Agency. Taxes go to the state, the county councils and the municipalities, and are used to pay society’s expenses for things such as education, care, defence and public administration. Much of the tax is returned in the form of pensions and benefits of various kinds.
ESS deducts tax before salaries are paid out. The salary slip shows how much tax has been deducted. ESS pays this amount of tax to the Swedish Tax Agency every month. At the same time, ESS pays in employer contributions for each employee. After having worked for at least 12 months, an income statement from ESS is issued at the beginning of the following year. ESS sends the same information to the Swedish Tax Agency who subsequently issue a self-assessment (tax return) form in the following April. The completed tax return has to be submitted to the Swedish Tax Agency no later than 2nd May. In the middle of June, or after the summer in certain cases, the Swedish Tax Agency will notify you of the result of the final calculation, and notify whether too little tax or too much tax has been paid - meaning either an additional payment is needed or a refund will be made.
The income tax withdrawn by ESS from your salary depends on the base salary and what municipality you live in.
To read more about different tax tables and tax rates, please click here.
Foreign key personnel include scientists, researchers, technicians, specialists and others. One main criterion for qualifying for the tax relief on these grounds is that Swedish citizens with the foreigner's skills or talents are impossible or extremely difficult to recruit in Sweden.
The main feature of Sweden's tax relief legislation provides a 25% reduction of taxable income for foreign key personnel. This means that a key foreign individual's income tax will be based on only 75% of their income.
The reduction will apply to the first three years of employment in Sweden. However, foreign key personnel may reside in Sweden for up to five years. Individuals qualifying for tax relief may not be Swedish citizens. An individual who has been a resident in Sweden during any of the five years prior to the start of the assignment in Sweden does not qualify for tax relief status.
To read more about Expert Tax, please click here.
Those liable for SINK-tax are people resident or domiciled abroad. They must receive income based on work in Sweden and this income must be liable for tax under the Special Income Tax for Non-Residents Act (1991:586).
If you are employed at ESS and qualify for Installation allowance, it will be paid before you move to Sweden, taxed with SINK-tax. If you are employed at ESS in Lund and decide to live in Copenhagen/Denmark and commute to Sweden, you will most likely be taxed with SINK-tax.
Swedish Taxes and the High Standard of Living
The Swedish welfare system — often referred to internationally as The Swedish Model — can be described as providing lifetime benefits for all citizens. It is a social and economic system whose guiding principles are full employment, equal pay for equal work and the collective welfare of society as a whole. Salaries are comparable with other industrialized countries and Swedish residents enjoy a very high quality of life, consistently placing Sweden near the top of the United Nations Human Development Index.
Unemployment insurance is in Swedish called Arbetslöshetskassa, or A-kassa. It is a private insurance you voluntarily sign up for yourself. There are several to choose between in the market, often determined by your profession.
More information on unemployment insuranceGo to IAF.se
Many graduates with a university degree are part of AEA, Akademikernas erkända A-kassa. Different insurance companies have different regulations, but you must always be registered unemployed at Arbetsförmedlingen, meet the conditions for work and been a fund member and have been in membership for at least 12 months. You do not have to be a member of any union to sign up for an unemployment insurance.
If you are offered a time-limited employment in Sweden, we recommend you sign up for private unemployment insurance to get financial support when the time-limited employment ends.
If you have worked in Sweden and meet the conditions for work and are registered unemployed at Arbetsförmedlingen without having private unemployment insurance, you are covered by unemployment insurance financed by the government. The government-financed payments are based on your previous salary.
Lund University is ranked as one of the top 100 universities in the world. In their own words, "Lund University seeks to be a world-class university that works to understand, explain and improve our world and the human condition". There are more than 100 international masters programmes and more than 500 individual courses in English at Lund University.
Malmö University College
Malmö University College is modern university with a variety of courses to offer. In their own words, "Malmö University strives to be a university open to all: A university that is structured to cope with our ever-changing job market through a multidisciplinary approach that crosses traditional faculty boundaries".
Universities and Higher Education in Skåne
A full list of the top universities in the Skåne Region.