Living in Sweden

The multicultural environment in Sweden adds an extra dimension to the work place. The vast majority of Scandinavians speak English fluently. The quality of life is enhanced through the high standards of a social security system that is available to all.

General Information

Lund, where ESS is located, can be found in the south of Sweden in the province of Skåne, and has a population of about 116 000 people. Malmö is located approximately 18km southwest of Lund. Malmö is the capital of the province of Skåne and Sweden's third largest city with a population of about 315 000 people. Along with Copenhagen, Skåne today is part of the Öresund region, a highly dynamic area with short commutes to the rest of Europe. The employment market in Lund, Malmö and the Greater Copenhagen area offers a wide range of interesting jobs, both in the private and the public sector, for partners.
It is easy to commute to Lund and Malmö from the rest of Skåne, as well as from the Greater Copenhagen area. A variety of property types can be found in locations ranging from rural to suburban, depending on your preferences.
  • Moving to Southern Sweden: The information displayed at this homepage concerns several aspects, such as moving to and living and working in Sweden. For example information regarding work permits, the social security system, taxes, pensions, schools and so on can be found here.
  • 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.

Learning Swedish

Swedish for Immigrants (SFI)
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 one 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, you will be placed in the class best suited to your level.
For more information on Lund municipality's information about SFI, click here.
For information about SFI in Malmö municipality, please click here. The websites also contain information on how to apply for the courses.
Swedish Self-Education
If attending a language course does not suit you or your calendar - or you would like to pursue some extra practice on your own - here are some tools that might help you to learn the language yourself. These also help you to get more familiar with the Swedish culture in different ways:
  • YouTube: You will find plenty of videos teaching you 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 you to learn the language for free, directly in your mobile phone. Babbel, Duolingo and Memrise are three excellent examples, which focus on vocabulary and pronunciation. They can be found in your App Store.
  • Hej Svenska!: An online interactive Swedish learning tool.
  • Babbel: The online version of the previously mentioned app. You can try it out for free to see if you like it here.
  • You can also learn Swedish 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.
Swedish News at Beginner Level
If you'd like to be able to follow Swedish news, but in English, there is one useful online website called The Local.
If you'd rather read the news in Swedish, there is a newspaper called 8 sidor (8 pages), which is written in simple Swedish. ESS has a subscription of 4 copies that are delivered every Wednesday, and usually can be found on a table close to any coffee machine. On their website you can order your own subscription or read some of the latest news.
Sveriges radio (Swedish radio) also provides a news program with news in simple Swedish called "Klartext". You can listen to the program or read about the latest news via their website.
Swedish Books at Beginner Level
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.
Fact Sheets About Sweden
If you would like to know more about Sweden, the Swedish Institute has summarized fact sheets about Sweden covering different areas that might be interesting for you to look at.

International Schools

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:
You can find a complete list with links to all international schools in southern Sweden here. Here you will get an overview of private and public schools, from preschool and compulsory school to upper secondary education and higher education.

Swedish Social Security System and Healthcare

Sweden offers high quality social insurance and societal services, such as childcare and health care, 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 – free
  • Kindergarten/Pre-school Childcare – maximum cost of €130 per child per month
  • After-School Childcare – maximum cost of €90 per child per month
  • Public & Private Schooling (up to high school level) – free
  • International Schooling – free
  • University Tuition – free
  • Planned Health Care – free
  • Medical Visit with General Practitioner – €12-20
Below you can read about a few topics related to parental leave in Sweden and information about the Swedish Social Insurance Company.
Försäkringskassan: The Swedish Social Insurance Agency
At this website you will find more information about the Swedish Social Insurance Agency. The link will take you directly to information regarding those who have recently arrived in Sweden. Click here to also read how the Swedish Social Insurance Agency benefits families with children.
MVC = Mödravårdscentral, Maternal Health Care Center
At all Swedish health care centers, or in connection to each, there is often a maternal health care center (Mödravårdscentral, MVC) where midwives work. They can be consulted in questions regarding contraceptives, sexually transmitted diseases, testing for cervical cancer, pregnancy, etc. Most Maternal Healthcare Centers arrange parenting groups and courses for you to take part in prior to the birth of your child.
Visiting the Maternal Healthcare Center in Sweden is free of charge, and patients have the option to visit any center of their choice.

Social Networking

There are many great ways to socialize and expand your network in the Skåne Region:
  • Lund International Citizen Hub, LICH: Lund International Citizen Hub opened its doors and started activities in September 2015. You can also follow them on Facebook. The have drop-in hours on Thursdays 09.00-12.00 am. Please send an e-mail to lich [at] lund.se (subject: LICH%20e-mail%20list, body: Dear%20LICH%2C%0A%0AI%20would%20very%20much%20like%20to%20be%20put%20on%20your%20e-mail%20list%20to%20receive%20your%20monthly%20newsletter%20and%20other%20interesting%20information%20and%20tips!%0A%0ABest%20regards%2C%0A) to be put on their e-mail list to receive their very useful monthly newsletter and other tips!
  • Lund Social Group: A group established on the Meetup platform, Lund Social Group welcomes all newcomers. Read more here.
  • Malmö Internationals: A group established on the Meetup platform, Malmö Internationals welcomes all newcomers. Read more here.
  • HIC Helsingborg International Connections: An on-and-offline meeting place for English speaking expats. Read more here.
  • InterNations: 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. Read more on their website.
  • Rotary: Rotary International is an international service organization 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 organization open to all persons regardless of race, colour, creed, religion, gender, or political preference. Read more about Rotary International on their website here.
  • The International Club of Skåne: ICS is a non-profit organization, open to current or former expatriates living in Skåne. The aim of the club is to bridge cultural barriers, establish new networks and activities and to underpin an "internationalization" process in Skåne, creating richer and more favorable living conditions in the region. Read more on their website.
  • American Women’s Club in Malmö: The AWC Malmö welcomes members from all over the world. Currently, about 70% of our membership are U.S. citizens, the rest are expatriates from around the globe. The AWC Malmö has an open membership policy: you need be neither an American nor a woman to join. Read more on their website.
  • Tamams Studentförening in Lund and Malmö: 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 organization. The organization was founded in 2008 in Lund. Their motto is “Friendship without borders”. Read more about activities you can join on their website.

Excursion Tips and Things to Do and See in Sweden