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The experience of pharmacists who passed a Swedish course
13. November 2020.
In addition to finding positions for the specialists we provide in Sweden, we recently wrote about the experiences of Lucia and Iris taking a Swedish language course with our colleague Zrinka. Passing the language course on the C1 level opens the door to finding the desired medical specialization in Sweden, but also employment for all those who are not in medicine. That is why we are conveying the experiences of two pharmacists who passed the C1 level of language with us, obtained licenses according to the instructions, and finally found positions in Sweden on their own and moved.
In addition to Swedish language courses, you can also take English, German, Russian and Spanish with us, about which you can request additional information at firstname.lastname@example.org, where we are always available for your inquiries.
I can say that in the beginning, when I moved to Sweden, it was quite difficult for me. After the initial 3 months, it was already easier and more comfortable for me to get along in Sweden, and after 6 months everything became much easier. I learned the language after 1.5 years and have been in Sweden for about 3 years now.
Before moving, I needed to learn the language to compete in the whole Swedish labour market, which was the best solution for me. In Croatia, I worked as the head of a pharmacy and I had a good employer, but somehow that was not what I wanted for myself and the child, and at one point something happened so I decided to start the process, as the future of my child was the driving force for it.
I found Zrinka via the internet and through the foreign language school where she previously worked. I can say that she was not only a teacher but supported me in every step and motivated me when I was on the verge of giving up. I am glad she was there for me, she is a very positive and upbeat person. In the end, she instructed me to submit the documentation and how to apply for the recognition of the diploma (although I decided to recognize it through the EU Commission, which turned out to be the longer procedure).
In a couple of months, when I was at about B2 level, I got a license in Sweden, but without C1 I still couldn’t work in a pharmacy. Then Zrinka advised me to go to Sweden for a month to perfect my language, which I didn’t understand at the time, but during those months of my stay, my language sat much better as I forced myself to talk and communicate. In Sweden, I took intensive language courses every day for a month. Communication in Swedish is taught and forced, while in the afternoon we often used to stay in a language cafe, ie the place where the foreign people that are learning the language gather and improve it through conversation. In my free time, I watched Netflix in Swedish as my goal was to learn the language properly.
After that 1 month I returned to Croatia, soon passed the C1 level and 2 months later moved to Sweden. I was lucky in a part that the new boss in Sweden was full of understanding and put me on the recipes right from the start. In the meantime, I changed the environment, created some kind of routine that suits me and I got more opportunities to progress at work and everything started to work great and settled down.
I noticed that we who learned the language before moving somehow did better than those who learn it here. Sweden is a country that you either love or not, it is somehow black or white. People appreciate you a lot here, the attitude towards workers is as it should be – for example, if someone in the company is allergic to nuts, a notice is placed in the kitchen to make sure not to leave the same for the safety of others. My current boss is also very empathetic, people suit me and she paycheck is simply a bonus on excellent working conditions. I got what I wanted and I really like living and working in Sweden.
The language course is the first step and condition for you to manage and get a job in a foreign country, and I can say that I really liked this course. Zrinka is full of knowledge and ready to help whatever she needs, and in addition to her professional knowledge, I can say that she was often our unofficial life coach and psychologist as she encouraged us a lot when we got stuck. It took me a year to learn Swedish to the C1 level, after which I obtained a license with Zrinka’s instructions. I applied through our chamber and waited about 2 months for a license in Sweden.
I found a job online, and for starters, I worked as an assistant in a pharmacy where the manager was also from Croatia. In my experience, employers look at it a lot and will, if possible, place you somewhere with people who came from a similar culture. In this job, I slowly perfected my language and in a couple of months, it was a different story. After about 6 months, I got a job as a master of pharmacy and started working on prescriptions in a part of the city where there are immigrants from all over the world. Colleagues slowly introduced me to the job, explained in detail when needed and I read a lot and worked with patients to get used to it.
After a year I moved again and worked with a majority Swedish population, most of whom are cheerful and warm people. They like to joke and talk, they aren’t burdened by some surface things. For me, the job was quite similar to that in Croatia, maybe everything was even a little simpler because the system is better organized. Sweden is a country that is full of opportunities and provides opportunities for progress for everyone, no matter what you do.
For the language, I would recommend learning as much as you can before moving. Swedish is a mixture between English and German where the grammar is much simpler than German, but pronunciation is sometimes an obstacle given that it is not so familiar in the ears or people from our part of Europe and we are not used to it, but generally it is somewhere between these two languages.
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