Expat community in Scandinavia

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What is the expat community like in Scandinavia? Will you be able to find other expats in the country you choose and will you feel at home? Are companies open to hire foreigners and how does that work? You will find the answer to all of that and much more in this article about the expat community in Scandinavia! 

Are there other expats?

That is actually a very good question and the answer varies depending on who you ask. There are a few expats in Scandinavia but don’t expect as many as one might find in south east Asia. Don’t let this scare you though, all most everyone in Scandinavia speaks excellent English so communication won’t be a problem. 

Also, don’t worry about friends. Most Scandinavians can seem pretty cold on the surface but once you get to know us you will find a much warmer side. Getting a job that’s not remote is a great way of making friends. You can also join different activities that suits your interest.

Will you feel at home?

That is completely up to you and nothing that we can answer for you. Some people feel right at home from the moment they land and some just can’t get these beautiful countries up north to feel like a home. The only way to know for sure whether or not you will like it is to come and try it out for yourself! Just a quick tip, don’t come in winter. You will need the summer to get settled before enduring your first Scandinavian winter. Trust us in this.

Are companies open to hire foreigners? 

This obviously depends on the company you are applying for. Luckily, most companies are open the hire you even if you are not fluent in Swedish or the other Scandinavian languages. The biggest reason for this is because almost everyone is fluent in English. In some companies, English is actually more common than the native language.

This is not to say that all companies are willing to do this. Many will demand that you at least have a basic understanding of the native language, especially work where you are required to speak with customers on a regular basis.  So, what can you do to increase you chances of being hired? The biggest thing that you can do is of course to try and learn the language! We know this can seem a bit daunting at first but it’s easier than you think. There are many classes you can take and in a surprisingly short amount of time, you will be able to talk with the locals in their own language.

How does it work?

Now this is a bit trickier to answer. Can you just move to Scandinavia and start working here? No, it’s not that simple. In order to be allowed to work in Scandinavia you first must get a visa. If you plan on staying here for work any longer than 12 months, you have to start paying taxes. These are the rules for Sweden. Let me just warn you in advanced, Sweden has some high taxes. The thing is though, you also have to take in account things like school and healthcare which are all completely free of charge. 

We hope that you have enjoyed this article and now feel like you know a bit more about the Expat community in Scandinavia. It may not be quite as vibrant as the one in south east Asia but believe us, it is still here. You won’t be the only expat, that we can guarantee. 

Ludvig Hoel
Ludvig Hoel is the owner and driving force behind Scandinavia.life. A native Norwegian with ties to Denmark, Sweden and Finland, he is the perfect guy to guide you through the delights of Scandinavia.
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