British businesswoman and extraordinary expat Lucy Robertshaw shares with YLC readers her experiences from the Swedish business sector – this month she met with expat entrepreneur Nick Chipperfield.
I recently met Nick Chipperfield – a UK-expat of 14 years – for lunch on the beautiful island of Gamla Stan (the Old Town) in central Stockholm. Over a typically English portion of fish and chips, we chatted about everything from the weapons trade to Swedish social policy.
Nick came to Sweden to work at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) on a twelve-month contract. SIPRI provides data and analysis on international security. While there, Nick researched the trade in major conventional weapons.
So, how did twelve months become 14 years and counting? One important reason was love: he fell in love with his neighbour, a lovely Swede. And crucially, Nick also found that the burgeoning Stockholm job market had plenty to offer.
“There is so much to do here – if you’re willing to take the first step and be flexible,” says Nick.
After SIPRI, he turned his hand to retail, working with leading (formally Swedish) clothing brand Gant. Then there was also a stint at French news agency AFP, and a year at Swedish Radio’s English Service where he was a reporter and producer.
Setting up single-handed
Following a further five years at international marketing agency Open Communications, Nick now runs his own company, Chips with Everything, that supplies a wide variety of clients with English content – text and voiceovers – as well as PR, editing and translation services.
Nick says that he feels the Swedish labour market is flexible, and while he says Sweden is a country where you “don’t have to worry about speaking the language at first, it’s extremely useful to learn.”
“Learning the language also helps your integration into daily life – and therefore your happiness – enormously. Also, if you’ve decided to set up shop in a country, it’s a bit rude not to!” he adds.
This is a particularly interesting point. Many of the expats I meet in Stockholm have trouble finding work because they haven’t learnt Swedish.
“I reckon you have a two-to-three-year grace period to learn the language,” Nick says.
This immediately makes me really hope that I am on the road to getting there with the lingo. Nick goes on to say that in a business situation you tend to need to speak Swedish convincingly to build trust and form a bond with clients – especially in sensitive discussions such as those related to budgeting and contracts. I find that after living here for more than six to 12 months, you need to make a decision on whether to stay and make a life here or not, and I think this is really important to growing roots.
But why is Sweden so popular with expats, and why is it often cited as an example of how to do things by other countries? A number of high profile figures have visited the country in recent weeks: Vince Cable MP and President Obama for example. I asked Nick why he thought that these people and others are heading to the “Capital of Scandinavia” and Sweden as a whole.
Nick says that while flaws remain, and inequality has grown in recent years, Sweden has managed to incorporate elements of the free market and the welfare state.
“And yes, taxes are harsh, but I think you see where the money goes here more than is perhaps the case elsewhere.”
The economy remains buoyant, and there is, in his view, a healthy work-life balance with, for example, generous benefit payments to encourage parents, and specifically fathers, to spend more time with their children.
Sweden also scores highly on sustainability and reducing environmental impact. According to recent reports, Sweden is so effective at recycling waste, that it is now importing some 80,000 tonnes of rubbish from neighbouring Norway annually. And this is important to many, Nick included.
“I like living in a country where genuine emphasis is placed on the environment,” he says.
Originally from Manchester UK, Lucy has over 15 years experience working in the business sector. After moving to Sweden two years ago she started her own company offering clients International Business Development. Although a self-professed and successful socialite when it comes to business networking, Lucy lives in the middle of the forest in Hölö, loves the tranquillity and finds this a very inspirational place to work.
There are four little letters that put together mean a great deal to the Swedes. It’s a noun, it’s a verb and it’s synonymous with friendship, companionship, sharing and nourishment. That’s right, we’re talking about fika. Want to join us?
Did you know that, according to the International Coffee Organization, the Swedes come in second in the world (after Finland) for the most coffee consumed per person? This, in my opinion, is directly correlated to the deliciously ingrained ritual that is fika; where friends, family and/or colleagues get together every day to share a cuppa and something sweet (generally termed fikabröd).
In fact, research indicates that taking a short pause from work makes employees more productive. Not only this, but in Sweden, where fika often a mandatory break in any company, a great many executive discussions take place over a steaming pot of bryggkaffe.
“At my husband’s work, a lot of major decisions are made over fika.” Canadian expat, Katie, explains to YLC.
And one can see why; workers feel more relaxed, less pressured and oftentimes more creative in an informal setting, surrounded by caffeinated beverages and yummy buns. It’s almost as if fika is the Swedish equivalent of the water cooler. Except it has more of a ritual aspect to it. It’s a soul-enriching timeout from the hustle and bustle, where a small chunk of the day is set aside for some quality bonding time; making this tradition equally warming for the heart and stomach.
But for expats wandering into a cafe alone at 15:00, it can often be a time where we are reminded that we are not natives. The fact that we may not have someone to share fika with can make us feel even more alienated from the Swedish tribesmen. Let’s face it, if anyone needs to bond over a zillion cups of stomach-cramp-inducingly strong coffee, it’s us.
The feeling of belonging is right up there on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs; this need is all the more piquant when you’ve relocated to a different country (or continent). We need to feel connected to others through the sharing of experiences, exchanging of ideas and offering (and receiving) of advice.
Sometimes we just want to lament that the Systembolaget makes you feel like you’re in a prison commissary and that smoked moose meat and lettuce slapped onto a bun does not a breakfast make.
And sometimes, just sometimes, we just want to speak English without feeling guilty for not speaking Swedish. That’s where Nina Mumm comes in.
Nina is a highly trained Swedish language teacher who hosts an informal weekly English-speaking coffee morning from 9:00 – 11:00 every Monday morning. Although she is a native, she’s had her fair share of the expat experience, having herself lived and worked in Switzerland, Canada and Norway. She is therefore perfectly positioned to dish out advice on how to balance work with family life while living in a foreign country as well as offer an inside view onto the Swedish way of life.
There is usually a small group of around six expats at the Monday morning fika, but it’s a relatively new venture and it’s been growing steadily in popularity. How Nina has accumulated such a consistently lovely and helpful group of people is beyond me, but when I attended I felt like I had just been hugged by Santa Claus. Of course, we all nattered about living in Sweden and the trials, tribulations and frustrations that go hand-in-hand with being an expat, but the mood was unequivocally positive. All of us were of different ages and backgrounds, yet we all found commonality in our present experience. We were also all similar in that instead of sitting alone on our couches watching the sun set at 4pm, we were actively out seeking companionship… and coffee.
So if you’re looking to meet some genuinely good people to share your expatriate emotions (and perhaps your kanelbulle) with, I strongly urge you to pop in to Vete-Katten and join Nina and the crew. I can’t think of a better way to start a Monday morning, can you?
*If you want to join Nina and her group of drop-dead lovely expats, pop into Vete-Katten, Kungsgatan 55, on a Monday morning between 9am and 11am. It’s free (except if you want some coffee/tea or nibbles) and there’s no invitation needed! Anyone can join in and there are absolutely no obligations to attend every week.
**If you have any queries, you can contact Nina by phone on +46707368127, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit her website or Facebook group.
Kirsten blindly followed her husband from South Africa to the land of snow and snus in 2011 and proceeded to procreate. When she isn’t discovering the 101st use of the humble wet wipe, she can be found writing adjective-laden articles for YLC.
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Finding a job in Stockholm isn’t easy. One needs perseverance and dedication… and connections. So how does a new girl tap into the system? YLC’s arbetslös Solveig Rundquist bugs out and tries to figure out how to fly into the Swedish web.
Photo: Dave Sutherland/Flickr (file)
Over the past few weeks I’ve read a lot of job announcements. My most-visited pages are Arbetsförmedlingen’s Platsbanken and Facebook, which should tell you a lot about where I am in my life right now.
You see, when you read some 100 announcements each day, you start to familiarize yourself with a lot of the terminology and cliché characteristics employers are looking for. One of the most common qualifications I see listed in job announcements is “a spider in the web.” In other words, employers want a team player; one part of a larger functioning whole. Ironically, the metaphor could also be used to describe the importance of networking in Sweden…and just how hard it is.
The problem with the Swedish spiderweb of networking is that its strands are woven of Swedish culture and experience, not to mention language.
For those who don’t already know where to find this web, it’s practically invisible. You’ve got to look at exactly the right angle and even then the lighting has to be spot-on.
So how do you network in Sweden then? Apparently you just start by talking to every other bug you know, big and small, and hope that they know other insects.
Luckily, since I’ve lived in Sweden previously, I know a lot of busy bugs. I’m finally working to put money in my own pocket. But it’s not thanks to any of the countless CVs I sent out or personal letters over which I sweated and slaved. I didn’t even get an interview. Not one. Instead I had a third-degree connection; a friend’s sister’s boyfriend managed to get me in as an ice cream seller at a kiosk near a museum.
I wouldn’t exactly call myself employed. When you have an expensive foreign education behind you, selling overpriced sweets to gullible tourists doesn’t exactly seem like a career.
But when you choose to move to a country where you lack citizenship, experience, and professional references, you’re also choosing to move down the food chain. At least temporarily.
I thought I was a suave spider, but it turns out I’m just a fruit fly.
And as hard as I try to throw myself into the web, I somehow keep slipping through the cracks. It took me six weeks and an arbitrary connection to land a week’s worth of employment selling ice cream.
Moving abroad is humbling in many ways, and with a native population that seems so hard to get to know, it’s easy to act stereotypically Swedish and keep to yourself. But it’s a lot harder to find opportunities all alone.
So be friendly. Talk to people. Be awkwardly oversocial, even. Ask that Swedish acquaintance out for fika and work up a conversation about job-hunting. I’m learning that, as reserved and impersonal as many Swedes may seem, they can be surprisingly receptive to random connections. A venerable viking who bought me a drink gave me some tips about getting in at various hotels in town. A friend with whom I was out walking shamelessly stopped a neighbor to ask if she knew of any open positions. Even the librarian at my local library insisted on adding me on Facebook so she could introduce me to a contact in the journalism trade.
So I guess I’m in, if only barely. I got into the Swedish web by being stereotypically American and asking around. It’s true that perhaps ”selling yourself” doesn’t rub Swedes the right way; lack of humility is as distasteful to them as a can of rotten fish is to the rest of the world (barring Norway). However, simply saying, ”this is who I am and this is what I’m seeking” tends to work wonders.
Well, maybe not wonders. But if you’re lucky, a social Swedish spider will show you the way to the edge of the networking web and you can start scuttling along on your own from there.
And that’s better than nothing.
Solveig is a recently-graduated American cactus who plucked up her ancient Scandinavian roots and transplanted them back to snowy Stockholm soil. When not writing for YLC she can be found cantering about town in search of culture, cheer and a career.
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Anyone for shrimp sandwiches? American-born but of Scandinavian descent, twenty-something Solveig Rundquist returns to the shores of her ancestors to join the work force of the Swedish capital.
On May 2nd, 2013, I donned a tent-like gown and a hat reminiscent of a squished pizza box attached to a suction cup. I dutifully listened to the inspirational speeches about my future and I sauntered across the stage when my name was read. The coffee and stress of three years led up to the moment of my graduation.
On May 30th I moved to Sweden.
Being a (remarkably lucky) 20-year-old with two Bachelor degrees and no student debt gave me the freedom to toss common sense to the wind. Like every other humanities major with an obtuse sense of optimism, I was going to change the world and nothing could stop me. So with my university diploma and my pastel pink piggy-bank in hand – could the picture be any more poignant? – I boarded the plane to my future.
I had previously spent a year in Stockholm as an exchange student and I wasn’t afraid to return to my old job as a baby-sitter. The nanny agency liked me and I had no doubt they would want me back. It wasn’t the most glamorous job for a graduate, but it would start the flow of cash I would so desperately need. I sent out a few emails and soon I was meeting potential families. Familes who lived in luxury at Östermalmstorg or Karlaplan. Families who were accustomed to summer vacations in Turkey and Thailand. Families who needed babysitters when they returned…in August.
I hadn’t thought the whole thing through very well. It was the beginning of June, and I had all but secured a basic part-time job that wouldn’t even start for another ten weeks or so. It wasn’t enough to live on, and even if it were…I had to feed myself in the meantime. And put a roof on my head. And go out now and then. (Hey, I’m 20!)
So that’s when the rose-colored film on my oversized glasses started to peel. I had joined the A-list – that is, the arbetslösa. Sweden’s unemployed.
There was only one thing to do. I went to Arbetsförmedlingen, the cold conrete block near Hötorget where the ranks of the unemployed stand in line to receive assistance on their hunt for a paycheck. Even getting a meeting with a case worker at Arbetsförmedlingen can be a challenge. The first time around I had neglected to register all my information online and was sent away shamefaced. The second time I stood in line for an hour and was granted a five-minute meeting in which another meeting was scheduled. And three weeks later I finallly went for my kartläggningsmöte, a sort of ”mapping meeting” where an advisor looks at all of your information and helps you plan your next step.
The advisor informed me that, as a recent immigrant to Sweden, two of my options would be a nystartsjobb (New Start job) or an instegsjobb (Step-in job). Since I am under 25 I also fall into the category of youth, which means I am also impacted by the jobbgaranti (job guarantee) for youth.
Oh, the glory of options! It sounded promising. Until he mentioned that I had to be registered at Arbetsförmedlingen – and jobless – for at least three months before I could take advantage of the youth job guaranty, and an entire six months for New Start.
So that left me with the sole option of a Step-in job. Newcomers to Sweden get their wages subsidized, making it easier to find work, while they attend SFI (Swedish for Immigrants) language classes. It’s a brilliant system, really. The classes are free and you can get a stipend for finishing the course. As an immigrant you are basically handed an opportunity to learn Swedish and simultaneously dip your toes into the workforce.
As the Swedes would say, you can glide in on a shrimp sandwich (glida in på en räkmacka)!
But I had one question. What if I had already eaten my shrimp sandwich? Enough with the metaphors – what if you already speak Swedish? The amiable advisor gave me a big sunny smile as he said the words that dashed my hopes of an easy way out.
”SFI would turn you away, there’s no doubt about that.”
It was meant as a compliment. Despite my occasional Swenglish stammers my speech is smooth, unmarred by the yankee slang and valley-girl twang of my Southern Utah upbringing. Still, as I sat on the blue-and-yellow subway headed home, part of me couldn’t help but think that I should have spoken English.
The resource I did still have was Arbetsförmedlingen’s website. Hundreds of companies and agencies advertise their openings on Platsbanken. I would have to sort through them myself and compete with Swedish applicants, convincing some company to pay little ol’ inexperienced me full wages.
I logged on to Platsbanken. Open positions: 36,568.
I never liked shrimp anyway.
Solveig is a recently-graduated American cactus who plucked up her ancient Scandinavian roots and transplanted them back to snowy Stockholm soil. When not writing for YLC she can be found cantering about town in search of culture, cheer and a career.
Follow Solveig and YourLivingCity on Twitter!
Creating a solid professional network is a tricky task in any language and in any culture. It is especially tough as an expat in a country where English is not the national official language. Check out the YLC guide to professional networking in Sweden!
You might also like:
Networking in Stockholm
Foreign Nationality Clubs
Transition as Opportunity: Your Dream Job Abroad
Hiring is often contingent on personal connections. The same applies for new client acquisition – most new customers and clients come from word-of-mouth referrals and personal connection. So how does one create a solid professional network as a foreigner in Sweden? Here are some tips from Your Living City:
1) Learn Swedish.
No really. You need to, sorry. OK, maybe not if you’re only staying here to work on a contract for a year or two. But if you are here for the long-haul and intend on working here, it’s really good to speak the language. Even if you live in awesome-at-English-Stockholm. The absolute truth is that most Swedes are better at their native tongue and will cover heavier hitting and deeper topics more comfortably in Swedish. If it comes to hiring, I’d estimate that 9 out of 10 hiring managers would prefer to have a bilingual Swedish and English speaker than an English-only speaker. Even if you work at one of the international English-as-company-language, many of your co-workers will be Swedes and speak Swedish amongst themselves. If you’re alright with not knowing the murmurings and social happenings of your environment, well OK, that is a bold choice. I’m not that brave myself. I need to know what is happening and to stay current. I also believe that you forge deeper connections with people and show something about your character to give it a go in Swedish. You might surprise yourself!
2) Write fan-mail.
I feel fairly dorky when it comes to this but I’ve found it incredibly effective as a person who is shy with approaching strangers cold. I read a LOT and do a lot of research (hell, I’m still a librarian at heart, y’know?) and I enjoy reading the Facebook statuses websites and blogs of people working with things I admire. This is also a great way to practice your reading Swedish too! When I find a concept or person or business I admire, I send them a brief email telling them that I like what they do, and I tell them what I am doing (er, well, hoping to do – I’m just at lift-off phase now). Sometimes I hear nothing, but more often than not, I get a kind reply. Sometimes I even get invited for a fika to meet in person. Even if nothing professional comes of this contact, it’s great to get your name out there and become part of a network amongst people who work with things you would like to. Which leads to:
3) Meet people face to face if you can.
That’s the tricky part. Especially here in Sweden where people are generally much shyer and more reserved than Americans and other cultures. You might feel silly or awkward trying to meet face to face, since it can spark fears of rejection (or just weird behavior). The best way to buffer this is to send an email or call beforehand and set up a time. Or create a natural situation to meet up in. Like, if you know that the owner/creator will be present at a convention or professional show, be there and introduce yourself. They are there to present and to sell their products/ideas AND to make new contacts. Be one of them!
4) Become a fan on Facebook or Instagram.
That is a really easy passive way to quietly let a business contact know that you think they are cool. It’s not as awkward as “friending’ them as a stranger personally on a network. But yes, liking or commenting on posts is always appreciated. It’s nice to know that people admire what you are doing!
4) Be open about what you are looking for, even in your social circles!
I am a member of a few Facebook groups for English-speaking expats in Sweden and these are a great source for creating a social and personal network. That said, one often sees posts for job openings or houses for sale/apartments for rent or other opportunities that you might not have otherwise heard of. When you are looking for customers or for a job, just put it out there. You don’t know who your online friends might know. Although I live quite far away from many of my FB group friends, I love to meet them for a fika if I am visiting. Some of the most wonderful people I know have become in-real-life friends this way.
6) Know and accept that stuff works differently here.
Try not to live in a bubble. This creates resentment and negativity. Swedes do behave differently socially and professionally than the people from where you come from. Celebrate these differences. Vent about them (privately) if you need to. But it is more constructive to learn about these differences in practice and expectation so that you are prepared. In New York, for example, phone calls and emails were responded to immediately. Here, the person you contact might be on mammaledighet or away with her family. She might be waiting for the right moment to craft a thoughtful response. It’s not rudeness. It’s just different. Different, not wrong should be your motto.
Good luck with your search, YLC readers!
Amy moved to Sweden in July 2011 with 1 child, 1 Swedish husband, 2 large suitcases and no idea what she was going to do with her new life in Swedish subtitles. Two years and two more children later, she is starting up a retro-modern vintage children’s store.
You can find out more about her experiences at www.expatmompreneur.com.
THE INDUS ENTREPRENEURS or TIE Global, are a not-for-profit global network of entrepreneurs and professionals, that was founded 20 years ago in the US. It soon spread across the United States to Southern Asia and then into Europe.The Nordic Chapter of The Indus Entrepreneurs, was formed in Stockholm on May 29th, 2007.
The Nordic Chapter of The Indus Entrepreneurs is an official Swedish Non-Profit organization, based in Stockholm that was formed on May 29th, 2007. TiE Nordic, has to date organized more than 45 events, that has now attracted over 1,600 participants free-of-charge, which have been supported by our sponsors NorthZone Ventures, NOKIA, POD Venture Partners, Ohrlings Price Waterhouse Coopers, and the Stockholm School of Entrepreneurship. TiE Nordic provides Nordic Entrepreneurs a platform to both share ideas and connect their interests with like-minded entrepreneurs in other regions of Europe, Asia, North America, & Australia. Our events have focused on various themes ranging from Cleantech, IT/Telecom, Mobile Services, Start-Ups, Healthcare, and Private Equity.
Each month they gather people around a selected topic. The main focus of these events is not just to take away new knowledge on a subject, but more, to gather around a topic collectively, hear inspiring speakers and get to know other entrepreneurs within the region. These events are run for their members and invited guests. There are normally two events per month. On top of this they have monthly meeting’s about local issues and then more specific topics for international entrepreneurs thus creating an international focus.
Andreas Giallourakis, chapter manager at TIE Nordic, hopes that ‘every participant will walk away with one useful contact from each event. Its a perfect opportunity for foreigners to come and introduce themselves and state what they are looking for in terms of work or recruitment and mingle with more established entrepreneurs.’
This months event: Finance your growing venture – Feb 23 2011.
‘At this months event we will listen to three guest speakers talking on the topic. Firstly, we will hear a presentation from Erik Martin, sharing his experience with venture capital financing. Erik Martin has extensive experience from the sector with more than 30 years as a Venture Capitalist and Business Angle.
Next, NASDAQ OMX will present First North and how to plan short and long term, when aiming for stock market listing.
And lastly, David Garpenstål will talk about his experiences on financing issues from the entrepreneur’s point of view.’
Time: 17.45 – 20.00, Wednesday February 23.
Place: Stockholm School of Entrepreneurship, Saltmätargatan 9, 4th floor, T Rådmansgatan
Cost: Free for members of TiE Nordic, 70 SEK/10 USD for non members. Registration compulsory.
Seats are limited, first come, first served.
Refreshments will be served.
Further Questions? Contact Andreas:
Chapter Manager – TiE Nordic
Mobile phone: +46 704 417 654
Register at: http://link.tie.nu/networking_event_feb_finance
See more at: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=154165571303930
If you’re new to Stockholm and you are looking for a lil’ taste of back home, Stockholm has a load of international clubs to suit your needs. Clubs generally meet a few times a month, and they are a great place to meet others and network.
Here’s a list of Stockholm’s Nationality Clubs:
The American Club of Sweden:
Founded in 1905, The American Club of Sweden is based on the principle of promoting the American spirit of hospitality and cooperation in Sweden. The Club’s objective is to strengthen bonds between the United States and Sweden and today it is a gateway to understanding America and succeeding in the U.S.
To promote the interchange of knowledge, customs and ideals, the Club provides frequent opportunities for networking and interaction through varied social programs and events.
Americana’s Women’s Group:
The American Women’s Club in Stockholm provides a sense of fellowship to Americans living abroad. Our purpose is to bring together American women residing in Stockholm to gain companionship and friendship among their country women. The club sponsors activity groups, luncheons, holiday activities, museum tours, trips, evening events, and volunteer activities. We offer support groups and a variety of fun activities for our members.
The British & Commonwealth Association:
The role of the British & Commonwealth Association is to arrange activities and provide information for its members to help them develop social and cultural networks.
The British Commonwealth Association arranges events of general interest to its members and of special interest to smaller groups of members. In particular the BCA is aware of the differing needs of newcomers to Sweden, students, families with young children, the self-employed, singles and retired people, and attempts to cater to their special interests.
The Caledonian Society of Sweden:
The aim of the Society is to celebrate Scotland and things Scottish; to foster an interest in Scotland and things Scottish within Sweden; to promote friendly and cultural relations between Scotland and Sweden; to promote the learnings and practices of the Scottish arts and to arrange social gatherings in furtherance of these aims.
In addition to its Annual General Meeting, the Caledonian Society holds the annual Burns Supper in January to celebrate the Scottish National Bard Robert Burns, and in co-ordination with the Swedish/British Society a St. Andrews Ball is held in November, celebrating St. Andrew, the Patron Saint of Scotland. For families, a Halloween Party is held around the end of October. Halloween (All Hallowed Evening) is an ancient Celtic custom that is now celebrated as a Christian festival of the dead, All Saints Day.
Scots have made a great impact on everyday life. Examples of the accomplishments of forward thinking Scots are Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone, Kirkpatrick MacMillan’s bicycle, John Logie Baird’s television, the discovery of penicillin by Alexander Fleming, and chloroform developed by James Young Simpson. And, of course, there’s Scotch Whisky…
Canadian Group In Sweden
The Canadian Club of Sweden is for Canadians and all others who have a connection or interest in Canada and Canadians. It is a social club where members and non-members can meet in a culturally open and friendly environment. English, French and Swedish are the main working languages at our events. We arrange many activities during the year, some in accordance with Swedish customs, some in celebration of our Canadian heritage. Our Canada Day Picnic is always a special family gathering, as is our Thanksgiving dinner. We meet and celebrate Christmas, Valborg, and Midsummer.
The club organizes events such as curling, bowling, skating, pub and hockey nights. Many cultural and sports events are organized by the committee, as well as, by our members through the electronic forum.
We also exchange valuable information with each other, making it easier to understand and be a part of Swedish society.
English Speaking Community Club
The Aims of the ESCC: is to encourage the integration of newcomers, especially those who speak English, into Swedish society in general, and everyday life in Stockholm in particular. To promote cultural and ethnic diversity, first and foremost in Greater Stockholmby means of our uniquely international character, rooted in the global English language – not in any one country or culture. To help our members to maintain and develop their English language and communication skills, by means of our range of activities.
The New Zealand Sweden Society was founded in 1980 by a group of New Zealander´s living in Sweden who thought that social and cultural exchange´s would help the integration of all new Kiwi´s landing in Sweden.
Malaysians in Sweden
MiS is a community for Malaysians and friends to share their experiences, knowledge and make new friends.
South African Society of Sweden
The South Africa Society in Sweden aims to bring together in a congenial form, people who hold a common interest in South Africa, its people, its development, its natural environment and its food and wine. To disseminate interesting and objective information about the country. To work for better understanding and closer contact between the South African and Swedish people. To encourage friendship, co-operation and solidarity between the people of the two countries o To promote and to make possible contacts between our members and organisations and companies in Sweden and South Africa. To provide our Swedish members with more opportunity to meet and gain more knowledge about South Africans and South African culture, travel possibilities, products, literature and scientific developments. To give our South African members a contact base to develop their special bicultural identity. We arrange meetings and events for members and guests. We maintain an active relation with the South African Embassy, with Swedish and South African organisations and companies The Society has no polical or religious affiliations but follows and reports on current developments in South Africa.
Swedish British Society:
The Swedish-British Society is a cultural society based in Stockholm. It was founded in 1919, at the instigation of the late Crown Prince Gustaf Adolf, later King Gustaf Adolf VI, with the aim to promote and further the cultural relations between the Swedish and the British people. The Society arranges a number of events e.g. interesting lectures by prominent speakers, visits to concerts and theatres, an annual St. Andrew’s Ball and an annual spring excursion to a Swedish manor house or castle as well as a number of other social activities. 2-3 events are being arranged each month for the members.
As a member of the Society, you have access to a library containing a selection of exquisite English literature. The library has been supplied with many new books, so why not pay us a visit. Open: Monday-Thursday 13.00-17.00 and Fridays 13.00-16.00. You can participate in English conversation, Scottish Country Dancing, cricket etc. You can also get favorable discounts in various shops.
Swedish Irish Society:
The Swedish-Irish Society was founded in Stockholm in 1949 by a small group of friends of Ireland, and has grown during its over 50 years of activity to its present membership of around 200 people. The purpose of the society is to encourage and develop the mutual cultural ties between Sweden and Ireland, and to strengthen and promote friendly relations between the two countries.
Most of the members live in the vicinity of Stockholm, where the meetings usually take place, but we have members in other parts of Sweden as well as in Ireland and other parts of the world.
The society organises between five and seven events during the year, and the aim is to provide a varied program. Our most popular meetings are the Christmas Party in December and St Patrick’s Day, on or around 17th March. Our program also includes social events, pub evenings, talks on Irish music, literature, history and other aspects of Irish life, and we arrange visits to the theatre, concerts and films to attend shows with Irish interest.