Testimony of an expatriate in Sweden

Expatriation has always made us dream. Whether you’re looking for a better quality of life, a new professional experience or the chance to give your children a multicultural experience, there are many advantages to expatriation.
We had the opportunity to interview Victoire, one of our expatriates in Sweden.


The story is worthy of a Richard Cocciante song … I moved toSweden for love! I met my sambo (that’s a nicer Swedish word than our French concubine, whose etymology isn’t very romantic) and about a year after we met, I decided to give up everything to follow him to Sweden.

My case is a bit special because I’ve come to live with a Swede. So I didn’t have any of the classic worries associated with finding an apartment or a job.

On the other hand, obtaining a residence permit was a bit tricky. In Sweden, even if you are a citizen of a European Union member state, you need a residence permit. I waited 6 months to get it, which was very disabling given my condition as a pregnant woman….

Once the residence permit was acquired, obtaining a personnummer was very quick (a week later if I remember correctly)! The personnummer is a decisive registration number that gives you an existence in Sweden and, as a result, allows you to open a bank account, have access to the healthcare system, pay your taxes etc… to benefit fully from the Swedish system!

But the greatest difficulty is that associated with any expatriation:adapting to a new culture.

It’s both enriching and disconcerting to discover another way of approaching life. Expatriating to Sweden or elsewhere means abandoning all your certainties.

Since moving to Göteborg, I’ve been constantly questioning myself and my French educational principles. Sweden is geographically very close to France, but the cultural differences are enormous.

For a successful expatriation, you need to be open-minded and/or lock yourself into a reassuring French microcosm. It all depends on the type of expatriation you’re looking for.

What I like about Sweden:

  • nature everywhere
  • the quiet nature of the Swedish people
  • a much less hierarchical society than in France
  • stores open on Sundays and supermarkets open late at night
  • the fact that everyone is on a first-name basis and not a condescending Sir/Madam
  • cultural simplicity: no confusion between intellectual and intelligent
  • we don’t kiss people
  • not being stared at in the street

What I find strange:

  • Swedish individualism (e.g. we don’t hold the door open for the next person when entering or leaving an area, we don’t let an elderly person sit down first, etc.).
  • dolto education: it’s cool to be a kid in Sweden, it’s forbidden to forbid.
  • a naked body is nothing to be ashamed of: at the pool, everyone is naked in the showers and sauna … it’s weird the 1st time!
  • uniformity of dress … in Gothenburg everyone is dressed exactly the same
  • the education system: take the opposite of the French system and you get the Swedish system

I hate :

  • the weather … I don’t do well with fake summers
  • the highly defective healthcare system … in Sweden you suffer before you are treated. If you don’t have a fever for at least 5 days in a row, there’s no need to go to the doctor.
  • the mother is largely sacrificed for the interests of the child. However, I believe that good harmony between the mother and the couple is necessary to have a happy child.


Mondassur can help you with your expatriation to Sweden!

To choose the best expatriation insurance for you, several criteria need to be taken into account: reimbursement of hospitalization expenses, current health expenses, maternity, dental, optical, repatriation assistance and civil liability.

For over 15 years, Mondassur insurance has covered people living outside their home countries. Our Mondassur international insurance experts will always offer you the international insurance best suited to your situation, destination and budget.
Don’t hesitate to contact us by e-mail or telephone.

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