Hi! I’m Helen.

I started this blog in October 2014 after moving from London to Uppsala in Sweden. I wanted to have a place to share my news, moments from my day, and my experience of starting fresh in a foreign country.

Check out some of my recent blog posts, or if you’d like to get in touch, you can email me or tweet me.

Thanks for coming to say hello!


10 thoughts on “Welcome

  1. Hi Helen

    My plans are now in place for a move from the UK to Sweden. I have been told that I should get medical insurance. To what degree and where would I get this insurance cover. I am moving to join my daughter who has lived here for 6 years now. Any “new starter information” would be helpful.

    Thank you in advance.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Sheena – Helen, hope it is ok to butt in!
      Just wondering if there is a reason you were told to get medical insurance? We have been here 6 years and I’ve used it once, on a bit of a whim. Otherwise the normal health service is just like the NHS, only with a lot less patients! 🙂 Just wondering if you really need medical insurance at all. I’m researching the topic at the moment for http://www.newindanderyd.com so will report back again if I find out anything more!
      Kindest regards,


    • Hi Sheena, apologies for the very late response! When you apply for residence the form does state that comprehensive medical insurance is required. However the level of cover needed is only actually provided by the NHS to certain groups such as the elderly or those who have worked in the military. When I filled my residence form out I stated that the required insurance form wasn’t available but that I had my EHIC. I didn’t have any problems and was never asked about it. Hope this helps and isn’t too belated 🙂


      • Hi Helen,

        Just read a couple of your posts and found them the most helpful and relevant so far.

        I will move to Sweden in December under the circumstances of being self-sufficient.

        I wonder if you know how much money do they deem to be acceptable to live off for a year, and is it sufficient to present just current bank statements?

        Also, I looked into the health insurance requirements and then read a blog – a chap from England who took out fully comp insurance from Bupa – and was advised by Skatteverket that it couldn’t be accepted.
        Are you able to clarify on this point?

        Thank you!


        • Hi Camilla, thanks for your lovely feedback 🙂

          I’m not sure of the exact figure needed to be deemed self sufficient – as I recall I think it was around £10,000 when I was going through the process. I think bank statements should be fine. I used a sort of annual review document that recapped my savings in different accounts.

          The health insurance thing is tricky. It is true that “fully comprehensive” private plans are not considered to be sufficient. Technically there is a form you should bring but the NHS only provides those forms to very specific groups of people (I think those who have worked in the military and the elderly – if I recall correctly). I basically wrote that in the extra details section of my application and stated that I had a EHIC. While that worked for me I can’t guarantee that it will work for everyone, but we couldn’t think of any other way.

          Good luck with your move!


  2. Hi Helen,

    Great blog! Very informative and down to earth, nice to hear your perspective:) I have recently been seriously considering moving to Sweden. I have been tired of London life for a while and dissatisfied with my work as an interior designer. This coupled with my love for scandanavian design and being enticed by the lifestyle and beauty of the country has made me want to move more and more. i do not know anyone within the industry and am worried I will have to potentially take a year to study and learn the language in order to get a decent job even though I’ve had 5 years already after my diploma. Do you recommend asking design recruitment agencies in Sweden what my best approach is in finding a job? I was thinking of directly contacting companies too. I was also wondering the best way to secure accommodation as I heard that is very difficult in cities like Stockholm – I would want to rent an appartment at first..any thoughts would be much appreciated! Natasha


    • Hi Natasha! Thanks for reading!

      What you’re describing – having to take some time out to learn the language and build up the right contacts – is basically exactly my experience. I had a master’s degree and three years’ experience but sometimes it felt like that counted for nothing. Swedish companies are, unfortunately, often wary of taking someone in who hasn’t been educated in Sweden or worked for a Swedish employer.

      You could absolutely contact agencies and companies to see how they respond. One good way in is always a “praktik” (unpaid internship) – it doesn’t feel great to go back to square one and work for free but it gets you in the door and can ultimately land you a job faster than applying for advertised roles.

      On the other hand I know people who have found work very quickly after moving here. It all depends on how in-demand your skills are.

      Accommodation in Stockholm – yes, you have heard correctly I’m afraid. The rental market is very regulated and involves a points system based on time spent in “queues” for apartments. Swedes can spend years waiting in queues for a suitable property to become available. The only way around this is to take second-hand sublets which are often short-term and can be very difficult to find in cities like Stockholm. One good start would be to join Facebook groups where these are advertised – look for terms like “bostad i Stockholm”. However if you are in a position to buy you may find it easier to do that earlier rather than later.

      Sweden is a beautiful country and a wonderful place to live, however there can be a lot of challenges at the start! Good luck! 🙂


  3. Hi Helen,

    Thank you very much for your thorough reply, I am learning more and more about how to move and the challenges which lie ahead. It seems like such a shame that it is difficult to rent in Stockholm, I will consider other areas in Sweden I think too.

    Thank you for your suggestions regarding work too, I will definitely contact companies and an internship may be a good solution in order to secure future work.

    I’m still excited though…Maybe the challenges at the start make it all that much sweeter when you find your feet in Sweden:)


  4. Hi Helen. I have been looking at different countries to move out of the US. I have a four year old. I am 38. I speak French creole. Never been to Sweden. Had individuals advice me to move there.


    • Hi Rachelle, thanks for your comment. To be honest if you have no connection to Sweden or any particular reason why you’re keen to move there, I imagine it would be quite difficult. The bureaucracy of immigrating to Sweden can be quite challenging, especially when you’re moving from outside the EU. Good luck figuring out your next steps!


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