Review by Nurse Maja: from Zagreb to Sweden

10. November 2023.

Maja Marton is a nurse who moved from Zagreb to Hudiksvall, a city with around 15,000 residents in Sweden. She started her journey by completing the first two levels of the Swedish language at Zrinka’s Swedish school, which helped her increase her competitiveness and get a job in her chosen country. She is writing her review of life and work in Sweden from there.

Hudiksvall, Švedska
Hudiksvall in Sweden. Photo by Rebecca Johansson on Unsplash

“After a few years of working as a nurse in a hospital, a lot of overtime hours, lack of time for my personal life, and everyday stress at work, I started considering moving to another country,” says Maja. She also says that she always liked Scandinavian countries because of better living conditions, nature, and a colder climate.

She liked Sweden the most, so she decided to start her new life there. Incor helped her do so.

First Steps: Learning the Language and Finding a Job

Maja wasn’t deterred by the fact that she doesn’t speak Swedish, nor the fact that moving is a big step. She knew there were agencies that could help her, but she ultimately chose Incor “due to their accessibility and best conditions.”

She also signed up for Zrinka’s Swedish school to familiarize herself with the Swedish culture and language.

“From the get-go, Zrinka was very approachable and always ready to help. The flexible schedule also perfectly matched mine.”

She completed the A1 and A2 levels and learned not only the language and grammar but also a lot about Swedish culture and customs. “This helped me better understand the cultural differences and adjust to the society after I moved,” says Maja.

Today, she believes that the Swedish language is not that difficult, but not easy either. Knowing English came in handy, as many words and expressions are similar. “Overall, it was an interesting and unique experience.”

Almost as soon as she finished the A2 level, she found a job posting that matched her skills in a hospital in Hudiksvall. She decided to apply, and Incor helped her significantly with this step as well. Her trip and accommodation were paid for, so she only needed to prepare for her interview.

Relocation

Biznis sastanak
Zrinka’s Swedish school has been very helpful to Maja. Photo by Jason Goodman on Unsplash

Maja says that learning the Swedish language definitely paid off. “The employers knew that I was serious about moving since I’ve already completed two levels,” says Maja, emphasizing that this gave her extra “points” and ultimately secured a positive outcome. She got the job!

“I quit my former job in the hospital and started an intensive Swedish language course, which was paid for by the agency,” says Maja. A few months later, or after she completed the B2 level, it was time to relocate.

In the meantime, Incor found her accommodation and organized the move. “What’s most important, the entire process was stress-free,” Maja says. “I had Incor’s support and help every step of the way.”

Working in Sweden

Maja started working in the internal medicine department where she was met with new surprises, primarily when it comes to how the work is done. “Everything is well-organized,” Maja says. The staff is divided into teams, and each team has an appropriate number of patients. “They make sure that no one is overworked.”

The employer wants the staff to be as stress-free as possible, and the patients to be appropriately cared for. That’s why, for example, they introduce additional and auxiliary nurses during shifts if any of the teams need help.

“The staff is very approachable and polite. They’re always ready to help if you don’t know something, and they’ll happily repeat themselves if needed without raising their voice or showing impatience,” says Maja. Asking questions is not treated as a sign of incompetence or a lack of knowledge, but is actually appreciated.

“The most important thing is that the job is done well, so everyone is ready to provide support when needed.”

Besides that, Maja says that breaks are very important for Swedes. “There’s a fika pause every workday around 9 a.m. – a traditional coffee break that the Swedish appreciate a lot.”

First Impressions – The People

Ruke nekoliko ljudi zajedno postavljene jedne na drugima
Maja is now sure that it’s only a stereotype that the Swedish are cold. Photo by Hannah Busing on Unsplash

Like many of her colleagues, Maja heard many times before her move that the Swedish were cold and unapproachable, but living in Sweden convinced her otherwise. “Besides the fact that they’ll always patiently and calmly help you, they respect and appreciate every person.” She says the staff even expresses their gratitude to each other for “a job well done” at the end of shifts.

Also, they sometimes organize get-togethers after work, and everyone is welcome. Maja believes that learning the language helped her fit in. She still sometimes struggles with understanding certain expressions in fast conversations but points out that she can simply ask the other person to repeat themselves or talk more slowly. From her experience, the Swedish will gladly do so.

Final Thoughts

Maja, thank you for your review! Can you tell us just one more thing – are you happy with your decision to move to Sweden? “I can say that I’m very happy with the town, job, people, accommodation, and the environment here in Sweden. Although I’m still at the beginning, I can already say that I’m finally satisfied and stress-free.”

She says she’s no longer filled with anxiety when thinking about the workday ahead. She goes to and leaves her job fulfilled. The process of adjusting to the new culture is just as relaxed.

With that in mind, she can only recommend that her colleagues follow her footsteps if they’re already considering it. “For me, moving to Sweden was the best thing I could’ve done for myself and my life,” concludes Maja.

Maja is one of many healthcare workers who we’ve helped achieve their goals of working and living abroad. Find more reviews from our candidates here!

 

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