Aussies in Sweden

Sites that have donated to Aussies in Sweden are marked with the Australians Abroad sponsor logo sponsor.
If you know of a site that would be helpful to aussies in Sweden please email kate AT coolabah dotcom

USEFUL THINGS TO KNOW

IMMIGRATION

Australian Visa Advice Are there any limitations on sponsoring a partner or fiancé for an Australian partner visa?

It is very important to note that if you have a partner who you may be married to, in a de-facto relationship with, or engaged to, that is your fiancé, and that partner is considering applying for a partner visa. In some circumstances it could be the case that your partner’s application may not be successful because your sponsorship is affected.

Some of the circumstances where your sponsorship can be affected are where you have previously sponsored two or more partner visa applicants or sponsored another applicant within the past 5 years, or you yourself were sponsored as a partner or fiancé in the past 5 years.

Lots of good information HERE!

GETTING IN THE SYSTEM

Okay, you've arrived in Sweden with your twelve month residence visa in hand, what happens now? If you are here on a working holiday visa, check out the WHV page. For those who have moved here for family or work reasons, you need to get yourself in the system before you can go out and open bank accounts, hire videos, look for work or even rent a flat.

Step 1: Apply for a person number

This is something that is a bit of an anathema to Australians because of our legendary dislike of the government knowing anything about us and our persistent rejection of their attempts to foist an "Australia Card" on us. However, in Sweden it is not optional, you must be entered into the population registry (folkbokföringen). You will not be able to see a doctor, go to Swedish classes, rent a flat, open a bank account or even borrow a library book without this "personnummer". To apply for this, you need to visit your local office of the taxation department, Skatteverket. This needs to be done in person. Take along your Swedish partner (or if you are here because of work, a Swede who knows you). They will need to verify your identity, so make sure they have their Swedish ID with them. You also need to bring in your passport with your work or residence visa (uppehållstillstånd) in it. You fill in a form, show your ID and your Swede shows their ID and after a short interview you will be sent your number by post within a week or two. If you need a number urgently to see a doctor, they can issue you with a temporary number on the spot, which reverts to the proper number when it is issued.

Step 2: Social Security Office

Don't get excited, you can't sign up for the dole or anything, but the social insurance office, Försäkringskassan, is the government agency which handles pensions, unemployment, child and housing benefits as well as pensions. As soon as you get your person number in the mail, pop along to your local office, bringing your passport, person number and a "personbevis" from the taxation department. These can be ordered online by going to this page. You need to order "Ansökan" and you will get it in the post in a couple of days.

Step 3: Swedish ID card

While it is possible to get by without one of these, it can be a real hassle. As it is the universal form of ID here, people expect you to have one and it can cause confusion among shop assistants, bank tellers and staff at restaurants, chemists, libraries etc if you don't show them what they consider "the right form of ID". You can in theory show them your Aussie passport complete with Swedish visa and the letter from the tax department with your person number on it, but many will reject it outright. Of course, legally they can't do this, but unless you want to argue the point with every person on the food chain, just get the ID card and save your blood pressure. And anyway, who wants to carry their passport around with them 24/7!

Swedish ID cards are issued by Svenskkassaservice and banks. (Note: the national ID card issued by the police is only for Swedish citizens).You will need yet another "personbevis" from (just press the "beställ" button next to "ID-Kort". You will also need a recent passport sized photo. You can use the booths, but the photo must show you facing forward with both eyes clearly visible. Take these in person to the bank or Svenskkassaservice and order your ID card. You will also need to take your Swede with you to verify your identity and they need to bring their ID with them as well. They cost around 225 to 250kr and take about two weeks to be sent back to the bank, where you need to present your receipt to collect it. There is also an e-Kort, which in addition to its ability to be used as an ID card, contains an electronic chip and can be used for contacting authorities etc over the internet. These cost 500kr.

On January 1 2007, the rules for identity in order to get an ID card were tightened by Svenskkassaservice. They now require a FAMILY member (spouse, child, registered partner) to verify your identity. Note that sambo is not considered a registered partnership, so this has caused some confusion about how those who come here for work, or who are unmarried are supposed to get an ID card. The banks still seem to be issuing them under the old rules, but you may need to shop around to find one that does this. A tip is to go to the bank that your girlfriend/boyfriend has an account with as they are more likely to accept their own customer's ID. And whatever you do, don't mention that you've heard there is a problem or you may be refused for no other reason than "they want to be safe". Just ask to apply. Full stop. Trust me on this!

You won't be able to use Svenskkassaservice as they are being rather anal about it all. Note that this change was a purely administrative one and not something legislated by the government. Questions have been asked and people are looking for a solution, so I'll keep you posted on any developments.

Now you can open a bank account, sign up for SFI classes, open an account at the chemist, join the library, borrow a video and start your life in Sweden.

TELEPHONE DIRECTORIES & ADDRESS CHANGE

Hantverkare.se is a webportal where you can search and find your local handyman. Hopefully your users would find that useful
Recommended by Patrik

Swedish White Pages For finding numbers of private persons, see the Eniro site. There is also an extremely useful map section, where you can see the map of the person you are looking up and also a detailed map and directions from your place to theirs. (S)

Swedish Yellow Pages Gula Sidorna is an extensive and up-to-date guide to addresses and phone numbers of Swedish companies, organisations and authorities. It can be somewhat frustrating to use as you must have the name EXACTLY right or it lists "no matches". Even Swedes are annoyed by this. So you need to be patient. (S) (E)

Hitta.se This site is great, even more useful than the white pages. Click on Hitta.se and you can search using name, business, phone number, address etc and get the information you need. There is also a map feature to point out location and it lists mobile phone numbers as well. (S)

The Swedish Address Book or Svenska adressboken is an internet guide to addresses of authorities, companies and other organisations in Sweden. (S)

Silent Numbers All numbers are listed in the telephone directory unless you call Telia (Tel. 90200) and tell them that you want your number to be unlisted and secret. If you really want it to be a silent number you must ask for " hemligt nummer". If you only ask for it to be unlisted, it is still possible to call a directory service and get it even though it does not appear in the phone book. There is a small annual fee for this service.

Stopping SPAM or marketing callers Yes, even in Sweden you get these annoying calls, usually at dinner time or some other awkward time. To avoid this, register your number with Nix-telefon. All companies must check this database before placing calls (and are fined if they fail to do so). It works really well!

Australian White Pages Click here to double check those numbers back home. The online directory covers private persons, business and government numbers. (E)

World Clock Don't forget to check here for the current time back home BEFORE you get them out of bed at 2am! Actually, I've been rung at 3am a few times as friends don't know whether to add or subtract the time difference. Direct them to this " callwiz" page at Telstra. They only have to enter their state and where they wish to call - they will be given the country code AND the local time. It works from here in Sweden, too.(E)

Other country's phone directories At International Dial Code Directory you can find a collection of links to various telephone directories, classified by country and type. There is also a useful list of international dialling codes. (E)

Address Changing There is a system here in Sweden where you can notify Posten using this form and the information is forwarded to all authorities. It's very efficient. Then your mail is automatically forwarded to your new address until the records are changed. Things like magazine subscriptions will have to be changed manually. (S)

CALENDAR AND PUBLIC HOLIDAYS IN SWEDEN

Calendar This site at Kalendar.se gives a month at a view calendar, complete with the week number (Swedes number the weeks and you have to get used to being asked something like "We'll meet again in week 27". It also has the name days and the "red days".

Public Holidays These seem to fall at different times each year. In general they follow the church year, but there are also important ones like May Day and Midsummer as well. I usually find them marked as "red days" on the calendars, but you can also see them in list form at the website Earth Calendar. Select the year and "Sweden". (E)

CONVERSION AND MEASUREMENTS

Clothing Conversion chart Buying clothing in another country can sometimes be confusing as sizes seem to vary so much from place to place. The following chart will help you to find out what European size is closest to the one you usually wear. Yes, it HAS Aussie sizes!

Children's Clothing sizes Here in Sweden , they use height rather than age to classify children's clothing. There is a very helpful sizing guide here that covers US, UK and European sizing for men, women and children.

Shoe sizes There is a good chart at Fit Finder. It covers sizing for men, women and children's shoes and if you scroll down a bit you will get the comparison between the sizing of US, Europe and the UK.

Universal Converter I like the Online Conversion site. You can use it to Convert just about anything to anything else. Over 5,000 units, and 30,000 conversions.

Amex Chart Their website also has a conversion chart with American and European sizing.

Money converter I like the Universal Money Converter. It's quick and easy and contains all of the world's currencies.

Food measuring conversion The Longströms site provides an easy international conversion table.

COOKING GUIDE AND GROCERY SHOPPING

General notes: 1 Australian cup measure = 250ml = 2½ decilitres; bring your own cup measure if you bring Aussie recipes.

Most measures in Swedish recipes are by weight (in grams) or volume in decilitres (dl), these small measures (decilitres) are cheap to buy in the supermarket.

Self Raising Flour is not available (except at The English Shop). A common alternative is to add 1-2 teaspoons of baking powder (bakpulver) to 1 cup Plain flour ( vetemjöl) in recipes.

Vanilla essence is not available (except at places like the essence shop), so use 1 tsp vanilj socker in place of a few drops of vanilla essence. Vanilj socker is a vanilla and icing sugar mixture. You can also use vanilla bean or make your own by placing a vanilla bean in 500ml of vodka. Shake regularly for a week or so, then strain using a coffee filter.

Evaporated milk is also not available. I use coffee cream (kaffegrädde) as a substitute.

Copha (for those all important chocolate crackles) is called kokosfett and is readily available at the supermarket in the section along with the butter.

A Swedish "msk" ( matsked) is an Australian Tablespoon (15ml) measure.

A Swedish "tsk" ( tesked) is an Australian Teaspoon (5ml) measure.

Dried fruits are very expensive to purchase.

Food lists This list comes from the Göteborg branch of AWC It has a small food list with translations and some shopping information. (S) (E)

Swedish-English Food Dictionary This list comes from The Cookbook Cafe in Stockholm . It covers a lot of basic foods and is split into food categories to make finding the word easier. (S) (E)

Alphabetical Food List This list from Swengelsk has an alphabetical list of cooking terms and ingredients in English and Swedish with a small explanation for some terms. (S) (E)

Gastronomic Glossary is a list from BK Wine Tastings has a list of words and expressions that you may encounter when you are out shopping. It is arranged via food type and offers the translation and pronunciation of the words. (S) (E)

Spices This is a great site for Swedish/English translations of spices and. I check everything there so I don't make the kummin/spiskummin mistake anymore! (E).

Fish Names Translation This site offers translations of common Swedish fish names into seven languages. It is very useful as you try to work out what type of fish to buy for a particular recipe. (S) (E)

Laundry Care Symbols This chart gives a guide to common international care symbols found on Swedish clothing. You can use the PDF version to print a hard copy and keep for reference. (E)

Arla Foods This is the website for the big dairy producer, Arla. It has a great recipe section and lots of tips for Swedish style cooking. It is, however in Swedish only. But still the recipes are not too difficult to translate and the food is well suited to a busy lifestyle. A great site, well worth browsing through. (S)

Konsum is one of the biggest supermarket chains in Sweden. Their site offers a good recipe section with easy to prepare dishes. In Swedish only.

ICA This site is for the big supermarket chain ICA found all over Sweden. The site is very informative and has a really good recipe section. Again it is only in Swedish, but a great way to start practicing your language. The food relies on readily available, seasonal ingredients. I often browse here for inspiration or to try something new. (S)

The Swedish Kitchen This is a very informative page. The Swedish Kitchen has recipes as well as some historical information about special foods and links. (E)

Food From Sweden showcases Swedish foods and the companies that produce and market food products here. There is also a recipe section (E)

Lillamy This site has a little about Swedish traditions as well as a small collection of Swedish recipes.

Meranya's Home Page has some Swedish classics It also has special menus for occasions such as Christmas too. And check out the julgris (truly scary!) (E)

Princess Tårta Here you can learn how to make a Princess torte (E)

Smörgåstårta These fabulous Swedish sandwich "cakes" are scrumptious and easy to make! Take a look at some of the ones here (E)

Vegetarian Shopping The Vegan Guide to Stockholm is a good site to check out. It has a good list of places that sell (and serve) vegetarian food in Stockholm as well as links to other places in Sweden. They have a good list of shops stocking Asian groceries.

Kosher food The Jewish Society in Sweden has a list of places that either serve or sell kosher food at their Judendom website.

Kids' Birthday Parties In Göteborg, two English girls have started Upp å hoppa. This offers a themed party service for both English and Swedish speaking youngsters. So, if you want to give your child a really special birthday treat, have a look at their website and get in touch.

BOOKSHOPS

Akademibokhandeln has branches all over Sweden and on-line ordering. Check the website here. It has a large section of English literature.

Hedengrens This well known book shop at Sturegallerian in Stockholm. Classic mecca of books with literature in both Swedish or English. (S)

The Sweden Bookshop Situated adjacent to the castle at Slottsbacken 10, this shop is the undisputed home of books about Sweden. There is a good range in English .

The Uppsala English Bookshop located at S:t Olofsgatan 32 also has on-line ordering service. (S)

Rosenbads Antique Books is a REALLY nice shop in Fredsgatan, Stockholm. Drool over their selection of rare books here (E).

Antikvariat is at Dragarbrunnsgatan 53 in Uppsala. This bookshop has an extensive range of books covering many topics. Orders are by email or snail-mail. (E)

Science Fiction Bokhandeln in Västerlånggatan 48 in Gamla Stan, Stockholm. style='mso-ansi-language:EN-US'> For everyone interested in fantasy and role play. A large section of English literature on the subject.

Press Stop This great magazine shop is at Götgatan 31 in Stockholm. Looking for a special magazine? Probably you will find it here where international magazines are stacked shelf after shelf.

Internet bookshops An extensive list of Swedish bookstores on the Internet is available from the Royal Library website. (S)

Swedish Book Review publishes two main issues and a supplement every year. The main aim of SBR is to present Swedish literature to the English-speaking world (E)

Swedish Institute for Children's Books or Svenska barnboksinstitutet (SBI) is a special library in Stockholm open to the public and an information centre for children's and youth literature. (S) (E)

GARDENING

Gardening site The Kom IT site is a huge collection of information about gardening in Sweden (S).

Seed Supplier Broderna Nelsons is a major seed supplier in Småland with online ordering. A lot of good information here as well. (S)

Seed Suppliers Seeds - UK companies (not taxable to Swedes) (S)


Gardening on the net The Olda.nu site is packed full of information, including an internet gardening newsletter. (S)

Colony Gardens Koloniträdgårdar or garden plots are popular in cities, especially among apartment dwellers. You can read some information about it in English  here

Pelargoniums These grow really well in Sweden and Pelargonsällskapet is a fantastic site, including a busy forum. Mail order catalogues are available from Lenas, Broströms and Rockdala (S).

BABYSITTING

Parentnet It is possible to advertise or seek a baby sitter from among English speakers in Sweden through this website. (E)

Mums in Sweden is a support group and English speaking forum for mothers in Sweden . Thery will also have tips and information about babysitting.

Barnpassning This site is in Swedish Look under "sök barnvakt" and there you can enter your postal address and find people in your area class=GramE>who would be willing to babysit. style='mso-spacerun:yes'>  (S)

Grannar.se is a site where you can advertise or read ads for people available in your area who do various household chores, including childcare and baby sitting. Check under "barnvakt/barnpassning"

CHURCH SERVICES IN ENGLISH

Regular church attendance is not as common in Sweden as in Australia. Most Swedes, although they are members of the Swedish Lutheran Church, attend services only for special occasions such as weddings, births, christenings, deaths, Christmas and Easter.

There are alternatives to the Swedish Lutheran church. Look in the yellow pages under "Kyrkor".

St Peter and St Sigfrid (Anglican/Episcopal), Strandvägen 76, 115 27 STOCKHOLM
Tel: +46 (0)8-663 8248 Fax: +46 (0)8-663 8911 E-mail: anglican.church@telia.com
Website: Stockholm Anglicans. They hold an English Communion Service and Children's Sunday school: Sunday 11.00am.

International Church of Stockholm St. Jacob, Västra Trädgårdsgatan 2 111 53 STOCKHOLM Tel: +46 (0)8-723 3000 English Service: Sunday 6 pm.

Immanuel Church The Kungstensgatan 17, 113 83 Stockholm . Tel: +46 (0)8-587 503 00 Fax: +46 (0)8-587 503 30 E-mail: immanuelskyrkan@immanuel.se Web: Immanuel English Service: Sunday 11.00am

New Life Church, (an international, bi-linguial, charismatic Baptist church) Web: New Life (for directions see the website) Church services: Sundays at 11 am, Fridhemsgatan 17, Stockholm. Tel: 08 - 760 90 10  Fax: 08 - 760 90 54 E-mail: infor@newlife.nu

St Eugenia Catholic Church Kungsträdgårdsgatan 12, 111 47 STOCKHOLM Tel: +46 (0)8-679 5770
English Service: Sunday 18.00. Other catholic churches, check the Catholic Church website.

The Great Synagogue (Conservative) Vasagatan 40, 111 20 STOCKHOLM Tel. +46 (0)8-679 29 00

Gothenburg Anglican Chaplaincy Norra Liden 15. 411 18 GÔTEBORG Tel/Fax: +46 (0)31-711 1915 (Please ring before faxing).

St Andrew's Church (Church of England) style='mso-bidi-font-family: Arial'>Hvitfeldplatsen style='mso-bidi-font-family: Arial'> 2, 411 20 Gothenburg, tel. 31 711 19 15, Email st.andrews.got@telia.com, and they have a website in English.

International Seamen's Center Sjömanskyrkan i Nynäshamn, Fiskargränd 1, 149 30 NYNÄSHAMN
Tel/Fax: +46 (0)8-520 170 16 Tel cafeteria: +46 (0)8-520 170 05

Church of Sweden Here you'll find the website of the official church Sweden, with a lot of information about it's origins and how it operates today. (E)


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