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Thread: TMA living/working in Stockholm

  1. #1
    Ben Derindar's Avatar
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    TMA living/working in Stockholm

    My fellow failheapers/failers/failures/whatevs,

    an opening for an IT job based in Stockholm has recently caught my eye and I'm considering applying. Thing is, I currently live in New Zealand, so it would be quite the move were I to actually land the position.

    In theory, some factors make it easier for me to make such a move than most. I'm single, no kids, long used to solo apartment living etc. I imagine it would be relatively straightforward for someone like me to pack a few bags and just go, chucking what little else I have into storage for later.

    For someone in my position, the primary factor would simply appear to be the cost of living. At my end of New Zealand (Dunedin), wages are relatively low but so is cost of living (my rent is currently roughly 900NZD/600USD a month for example). A cursory comparison between Stockholm and here suggests that apartments and transportation over there are considerably more expensive, even if things like food/clothes/entertainment are about on a par with here. So it's going to require a not-inconsequential pay rise for it to be financially worthwhile for me at least.

    With regard to other factors, I appeal to all you Swedes out there, TMA your experience of Stockholm. What's daily life like there? Will I freeze to death in winter? How tolerant are the locals of newcomers who wouldn't (at first) know a single word of the local language? What's the cuisine like (as a fatty-no-more, this is more important to me than it might be for most)? Anything else I should know before I consider such a crazy leap north?

    TIA etc.

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    Movember 2012 Stoffl's Avatar
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    Lachesis VII's Avatar
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    Can I have your apartment and stuff in NZ? I hear its the happening place if you want to survive the singularity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Derindar View Post
    How tolerant are the locals of newcomers who wouldn't (at first) know a single word of the local language?
    You actually dont have to learn their language at all
    https://i.imgur.com/Rvz5b6l.gif
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  5. #5
    Lachesis VII's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smarnca View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Derindar View Post
    How tolerant are the locals of newcomers who wouldn't (at first) know a single word of the local language?
    You actually dont have to learn their language at all
    You do if you want citizenship.

    Besides, isn’t “assimilation” something all immigrants are supposed to do? Or is that only brown immigrants?

  6. #6
    Liare's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Derindar View Post
    My fellow failheapers/failers/failures/whatevs,

    an opening for an IT job based in Stockholm has recently caught my eye and I'm considering applying. Thing is, I currently live in New Zealand, so it would be quite the move were I to actually land the position.

    In theory, some factors make it easier for me to make such a move than most. I'm single, no kids, long used to solo apartment living etc. I imagine it would be relatively straightforward for someone like me to pack a few bags and just go, chucking what little else I have into storage for later.

    For someone in my position, the primary factor would simply appear to be the cost of living. At my end of New Zealand (Dunedin), wages are relatively low but so is cost of living (my rent is currently roughly 900NZD/600USD a month for example). A cursory comparison between Stockholm and here suggests that apartments and transportation over there are considerably more expensive, even if things like food/clothes/entertainment are about on a par with here. So it's going to require a not-inconsequential pay rise for it to be financially worthwhile for me at least.

    With regard to other factors, I appeal to all you Swedes out there, TMA your experience of Stockholm. What's daily life like there? Will I freeze to death in winter? How tolerant are the locals of newcomers who wouldn't (at first) know a single word of the local language? What's the cuisine like (as a fatty-no-more, this is more important to me than it might be for most)? Anything else I should know before I consider such a crazy leap north?

    TIA etc.
    European cities are expensive, full stop, examine the public transport infrastructure and be prepared for a significant commute to get something affordable, look at "Allmännyttigt bostadsföretag" for cheaper housing, it's public housing without the stigma.

    re : Language, it's not a problem anybody below 50 can at least comprehend English and you're not going to be significantly disadvantaged due to being a new zealander either, traditional local cuisine (be it Swedish, Norwegian or Danish) is generally pretty fat heavy but you're in a international city and healthy foodstuffs are readily available at your local supermarket.

    you are also going to freeze to death the first year, it's actually funny to watch people who move up to Scandinavia, i usually don't break out the proper winter clothes and gloves until it hits -5 to -10c and watching folks who move up here, they're basically behaving like it's the Arctic once the temperature gauge hits around 5c because winter is damp as fuck if you've ever been to Scotland in winter you know precisely what i am talking about, the way day length varies during the year also gets to people initially, don't be surprised if you get a mild bout of depression the first winter if you're used to being closer to the equator.

    beyond that, they're kinda bonkers when it comes to alcohol, so be prepared to do significant pilgrimages to the nearest border to get the good stuff without being fleeced alive.

    side note, we're really into rotten/pickled/fermented fish up here.
    Last edited by Liare; January 30 2019 at 06:43:03 PM.
    Viking, n.:
    1. Daring Scandinavian seafarers, explorers, adventurers, entrepreneurs world-famous for their aggressive, nautical import business, highly leveraged takeovers and blue eyes.
    2. Bloodthirsty sea pirates who ravaged northern Europe beginning in the 9th century.

    Hagar's note: The first definition is much preferred; the second is used only by malcontents, the envious, and disgruntled owners of waterfront property.

  7. #7

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    Getting an apartment will be your biggest hurdle but I suspect your company will help you out on that front. Getting around in Stockholm is super easy with the subway and not really pricey at all IMO. The locals whine about the price and service when it comes to public transport but the truth is they're spoiled silly. A 30 day pass with unlimited travel within the Stockholm municipality costs 890 SEK ~ 100 USD.

    Personally I like Stockholm. I have family there so it's a relaxed experience with not having to navigate to this and that hotel and messing with bags, parking and traffic. Winters can be cold but it's seriously just a case of dressing the part, it's the lack of light that's difficult to cope with. As with any capitol city you have people from all over the world there and everyone, everyone speaks english. You'll find most Swedes just switch to english after a few minutes after you've tried to get a conversation going in swedish since you want to practice and I can imagine that would get very annoying after a while.

    Don't worry about food, it's a big city and there's something for everyone. If you gain weight it will be all on you. (pun intended) Stockholm is riddled with gyms anyway, can't throw a rock without hitting one. That said, most people don't eat out every day of the week since that gets crazy expensive. You'll have a kitchen, fridge and a freezer, all apartments do, and you'll use it.

    The summers are awesome, get to know someone with a boat and head out into the archipelago over the weekend and just enjoy life.

    Oh and fika. You will know fika and love it.



    Also, Vitamin D is your friend from october to april. Make sure to buy.


    This guy has a great vlog on his experience moving to Sweden. https://www.youtube.com/user/thyroste000
    Last edited by Spartan Dax; January 30 2019 at 07:17:24 PM.

  8. #8
    Liare's Avatar
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    oh yea, and be prepared to get a bicycle, even if you live a fair bit outside the city, it's not uncommon to commute in by train, and cycle in the city, or commute from your apartment to the station on a bicycle.

    and yes, folks ride it in winter up here, in the snow, on fuck-off skinny tires, because traction is really just a question of willpower.
    Viking, n.:
    1. Daring Scandinavian seafarers, explorers, adventurers, entrepreneurs world-famous for their aggressive, nautical import business, highly leveraged takeovers and blue eyes.
    2. Bloodthirsty sea pirates who ravaged northern Europe beginning in the 9th century.

    Hagar's note: The first definition is much preferred; the second is used only by malcontents, the envious, and disgruntled owners of waterfront property.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Liare View Post
    oh yea, and be prepared to get a bicycle, even if you live a fair bit outside the city, it's not uncommon to commute in by train, and cycle in the city, or commute from your apartment to the station on a bicycle.

    and yes, folks ride it in winter up here, in the snow, on fuck-off skinny tires, because traction is really just a question of willpower.
    Or you just get winter tyres for your bike. Yes that's a thing.

  10. #10
    Liare's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spartan Dax View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Liare View Post
    oh yea, and be prepared to get a bicycle, even if you live a fair bit outside the city, it's not uncommon to commute in by train, and cycle in the city, or commute from your apartment to the station on a bicycle.

    and yes, folks ride it in winter up here, in the snow, on fuck-off skinny tires, because traction is really just a question of willpower.
    Or you just get winter tyres for your bike. Yes that's a thing.
    what sort of sissy are you ?

    oh wait, you're swedish aren't you ?
    Viking, n.:
    1. Daring Scandinavian seafarers, explorers, adventurers, entrepreneurs world-famous for their aggressive, nautical import business, highly leveraged takeovers and blue eyes.
    2. Bloodthirsty sea pirates who ravaged northern Europe beginning in the 9th century.

    Hagar's note: The first definition is much preferred; the second is used only by malcontents, the envious, and disgruntled owners of waterfront property.

  11. #11
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    Stockholm is lovely. As a disclaimer, I don't actually live there, several friends do and I visit STHLM frequently. However, if I had to choose one city in the Nordics to live in, It'd be Stockholm.

    Like others said, getting a flat can be really hard, but if your company can arrange that for you, you're golden. English is basically spoken everywhere until you learn höllerööing; if you don't, that's fine too. Stockholm and CPH are like the London of Nordics, international and easy to blend in; STHML even more so than CPH, I think. Lots of really nice restaurants and cafe's. Customer service can be much worse than what you've used to as much of it done by university students and they know it's just a thing they do for cash during studies until they land in properly paid jobs. Public transportation is good, as to be expected. Except Denmark, Nordic countries are rather strict with alcohol, you don't get to buy any stronger stuff anywhere except the state-owned stores. On the plus side, expensive stuff is relatively cheaper (like good champagne) because the state owned monopolies are huge buyers and can usually negotiate good deals. Arlanda airport has good connections everywhere. Nordics can be difficult to become friends with, however.

    And you'd better start liking cinnamon buns. =)

    Le coeur a ses raisons que la raison ne connaît point. - Blaise Pascal, Pensées, 277

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Liare View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Spartan Dax View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Liare View Post
    oh yea, and be prepared to get a bicycle, even if you live a fair bit outside the city, it's not uncommon to commute in by train, and cycle in the city, or commute from your apartment to the station on a bicycle.

    and yes, folks ride it in winter up here, in the snow, on fuck-off skinny tires, because traction is really just a question of willpower.
    Or you just get winter tyres for your bike. Yes that's a thing.
    what sort of sissy are you ?

    oh wait, you're swedish aren't you ?


    Haven't owned a bike for the last 9 years

  13. #13
    walrus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Liare View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Spartan Dax View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Liare View Post
    oh yea, and be prepared to get a bicycle, even if you live a fair bit outside the city, it's not uncommon to commute in by train, and cycle in the city, or commute from your apartment to the station on a bicycle.

    and yes, folks ride it in winter up here, in the snow, on fuck-off skinny tires, because traction is really just a question of willpower.
    Or you just get winter tyres for your bike. Yes that's a thing.
    what sort of sissy are you ?

    oh wait, you're swedish aren't you ?
    Get out dane, on the scandinavian peninsula, winter tyres are a good idea.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spartan Dax View Post
    Getting an apartment will be your biggest hurdle but I suspect your company will help you out on that front. Getting around in Stockholm is super easy with the subway and not really pricey at all IMO. The locals whine about the price and service when it comes to public transport but the truth is they're spoiled silly. A 30 day pass with unlimited travel within the Stockholm municipality costs 890 SEK ~ 100 USD.

    Well, that's not that expensive, but not cheap either. Vienna's 1 month pass is for example 51 € , the 1 year ticket is 365 €

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    Liare's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by walrus View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Liare View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Spartan Dax View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Liare View Post
    oh yea, and be prepared to get a bicycle, even if you live a fair bit outside the city, it's not uncommon to commute in by train, and cycle in the city, or commute from your apartment to the station on a bicycle.

    and yes, folks ride it in winter up here, in the snow, on fuck-off skinny tires, because traction is really just a question of willpower.
    Or you just get winter tyres for your bike. Yes that's a thing.
    what sort of sissy are you ?

    oh wait, you're swedish aren't you ?
    Get out dane, on the scandinavian peninsula, winter tyres are a good idea.
    no denying that, but it's not very manly is it ?

    no you see, true vikings deal with ice covered bikelanes by force of will alone, i have seen this done many times, if you simply will hard enough the ice will melt before you even drive over it.

    and if not, you end up looking like a massive fool as you slide across the bikelane on your arse.
    Viking, n.:
    1. Daring Scandinavian seafarers, explorers, adventurers, entrepreneurs world-famous for their aggressive, nautical import business, highly leveraged takeovers and blue eyes.
    2. Bloodthirsty sea pirates who ravaged northern Europe beginning in the 9th century.

    Hagar's note: The first definition is much preferred; the second is used only by malcontents, the envious, and disgruntled owners of waterfront property.

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    truly the last with pagan blood

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    Quote Originally Posted by Approaching Walrus View Post
    truly the last with pagan blood
    aye, how the mighty have fallen.
    Viking, n.:
    1. Daring Scandinavian seafarers, explorers, adventurers, entrepreneurs world-famous for their aggressive, nautical import business, highly leveraged takeovers and blue eyes.
    2. Bloodthirsty sea pirates who ravaged northern Europe beginning in the 9th century.

    Hagar's note: The first definition is much preferred; the second is used only by malcontents, the envious, and disgruntled owners of waterfront property.

  18. #18
    Ben Derindar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lachesis VII View Post
    Can I have your apartment and stuff in NZ? I hear its the happening place if you want to survive the singularity.
    As long as the singularity doesn't include the occasional M7+ earthquake, you may be right.

    On a personal front I really like it here, I'm sure there'd be things about this part of the world that I'd miss. But professionally I'm starting to feel a bit itchy, so I figure we'll see where this goes.

  19. #19
    Ben Derindar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Liare View Post
    European cities are expensive, full stop, examine the public transport infrastructure and be prepared for a significant commute to get something affordable, look at "Allmännyttigt bostadsföretag" for cheaper housing, it's public housing without the stigma.

    re : Language, it's not a problem anybody below 50 can at least comprehend English and you're not going to be significantly disadvantaged due to being a new zealander either, traditional local cuisine (be it Swedish, Norwegian or Danish) is generally pretty fat heavy but you're in a international city and healthy foodstuffs are readily available at your local supermarket.

    you are also going to freeze to death the first year, it's actually funny to watch people who move up to Scandinavia, i usually don't break out the proper winter clothes and gloves until it hits -5 to -10c and watching folks who move up here, they're basically behaving like it's the Arctic once the temperature gauge hits around 5c because winter is damp as fuck if you've ever been to Scotland in winter you know precisely what i am talking about, the way day length varies during the year also gets to people initially, don't be surprised if you get a mild bout of depression the first winter if you're used to being closer to the equator.

    beyond that, they're kinda bonkers when it comes to alcohol, so be prepared to do significant pilgrimages to the nearest border to get the good stuff without being fleeced alive.

    side note, we're really into rotten/pickled/fermented fish up here.
    Yeah, people complain about house prices here, but in absolute terms they're actually not too bad. It's cos wages here are lower than one might expect, which pushes up the unaffordability that way.

    Good to know re the language, the company is an international one so I expect English would be primary in the office anyway, but ofc I'd want to do my part to fit in where I could as well.

    Food, I actually like the fatty stuff, I lost my weight by cutting the carbs, so I'm all about the meat and veges, less so the pasta and rice. That rotten fish almost sounds appealing, depending on how it was served. Alcohol is a non-issue for me, I don't drink.

    The cold may be a worry. It never used to be when I was bigger and literally never felt it, but it's taken some adjusting these last couple of years since I've shrunk. NZ's housing stock also has a reputation of being somewhat poorly insulated, but I imagine that side of things would be better in places like Sweden where you just couldn't get away with cutting those sorts of corners?

    The latitude here is 46S, but I grew up at around 44S and I can tell the difference at the seasonal extremes even between them. So at 60N I bet that'll be a bit of a shock for me, but yeah, SAD lamps and all that I guess.

    Good post, thanks for the info.

  20. #20
    Ben Derindar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spartan Dax View Post
    Getting an apartment will be your biggest hurdle but I suspect your company will help you out on that front. Getting around in Stockholm is super easy with the subway and not really pricey at all IMO. The locals whine about the price and service when it comes to public transport but the truth is they're spoiled silly. A 30 day pass with unlimited travel within the Stockholm municipality costs 890 SEK ~ 100 USD.

    Personally I like Stockholm. I have family there so it's a relaxed experience with not having to navigate to this and that hotel and messing with bags, parking and traffic. Winters can be cold but it's seriously just a case of dressing the part, it's the lack of light that's difficult to cope with. As with any capitol city you have people from all over the world there and everyone, everyone speaks english. You'll find most Swedes just switch to english after a few minutes after you've tried to get a conversation going in swedish since you want to practice and I can imagine that would get very annoying after a while.

    Don't worry about food, it's a big city and there's something for everyone. If you gain weight it will be all on you. (pun intended) Stockholm is riddled with gyms anyway, can't throw a rock without hitting one. That said, most people don't eat out every day of the week since that gets crazy expensive. You'll have a kitchen, fridge and a freezer, all apartments do, and you'll use it.

    The summers are awesome, get to know someone with a boat and head out into the archipelago over the weekend and just enjoy life.

    Oh and fika. You will know fika and love it.



    Also, Vitamin D is your friend from october to april. Make sure to buy.


    This guy has a great vlog on his experience moving to Sweden. https://www.youtube.com/user/thyroste000
    Correct, they are offering to help with relocation etc for the right people. As I read it, it sounds like public transport is way more established over there than it is here, but that's no bad thing if I don't have to worry about my own car for example.

    I can cook for myself np so I'd definitely make good use of the kitchen, but without a car I'd wonder about trips I currently regularly take for things like groceries etc. Is grocery delivery a thing over there?

    Thanks for the link, am watching some vids now.

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