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Australia or Sweden

Advices please!

post 2.Dec.2014, 07:59 PM
Post #1
Joined: 2.Dec.2014

Hi guys,

I am from India and had almost decided to move over to Australia to start a new life. I am currently in process with my PR for Aus. Recently i got an offer from my current employer (Software industry) to relocate to Sweden for 2-3 year term. Now i am in a fix!

Although i had made my mind to move to Aus, this Sweden offer seems lucrative as in this case everything is kind of taken care by my employer. Firstly i have a secured job and would get all the help in settling down. Secondly my family travel etc. would be paid, assistance in all practical things. Where as with the PR thing, i would have to do everything on my own i.e. find a job, house, school for my kid, etc.

There is no one that i know personally who has lived in these countries and would be able to guide me on anything. I have spent a good amount of money with the PR process already. There would be additional cost whenever i move over to Aus. With this offer, i practically pay nothing for the move as the employer shall take care of most parts with the move.

I seek some help in making this decision. The main reason for me to move was to have a better quality of life. I have travelled to Sweden quite a few times for short stays so i am a bit familiar with the weather and culture a bit, but Aus i know nothing about. Its a big dilemma for me at the moment and would really appreciate any inputs on the same.

Thanks in advance!
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post 3.Dec.2014, 12:23 AM
Post #2
Joined: 27.Mar.2013

I am an Australian living in Stockholm.

Both countries offer a great quality of life. A lot of the problems associated with moving to Sweden have been sorted out by you employer: getting a job, accommodation ect.

In my opinion Australia is a better option longer term; weather is much better, social structure is more relaxed and society is more accepting of immigrants. Cost of living is lower, taxes are lower and wages are higher in Australia. Sweden offers better support for parents, especially in the children's pre-school years. Both countries have excellent public healthcare. in Australia it may be harder to find a job and the cost of relocating could be quite high. Your industry is booming in Stockholm at the moment so you will have lots of potential employers, I'm not sure what it's like in Australia.

My advice would be to accept the offer for Stockholm, give it a go for a few years but still get your PR sorted for Australia so you have it as an option should Stockholm not be for you.

Best of luck
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post 3.Dec.2014, 08:42 AM
Post #3
Joined: 2.Dec.2014

Thanks for an informative reply Ben.

Its a good advice and I would certainly get the PR process complete so i have something in hand. This option did came across to give it a go for 1-2 years and then decide if i want to continue or plan for Australia.

The downsides to this, the way i see it, toll it would take on my kid to move from one culture to another. For us adults it may not be so difficult but for a young child, not sure how easy that would be. Also, i am not sure about the job prospects in Aus after say 2 years. I am currently 37 and would be nearing 40 then. Could it a problem starting a new life at that age? Would it be difficult to find a suitable job when I am older?

BTW offer is for Umea and not Stockholm. But I guess a smaller city would be a bit more cosier.


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post 3.Dec.2014, 08:53 AM
Post #4
Joined: 17.Oct.2012

QUOTE (Buzzs @ 3.Dec.2014, 08:42 AM) *
Thanks for an informative reply Ben.Its a good advice and I would certainly get the PR process complete so i have something in hand. This option did came across to give it a g ... (show full quote)

Stockholm is really not a very big city in absolute terms. It is the biggest city in Sweden though, so that should give you perspective on how big or small Ume? is.

With the added perspective of age, I would really recommend going with Australia. You have the opportunity to move there permanently and find a job and build a life and even if you quit one job and look for another one, your immigration status won't be in question. The initial upfront attraction of Sweden sounds really good, but if you decide to change companies after a year or two in Sweden, you're completely on your own and will have to go back if you can't find another job quickly. It takes quite awhile to get PR in Sweden for working immigrants.

Does your partner work? Do you think it would be easier for them to get a job in one place or the other?

I wouldn't worry too much about the kids. Kids are quite adaptable. My folks moved around a lot and I enjoyed it growing up...of course, I also had friends that HATED it and grew permanent roots as soon as they could, whereas I continue moving from place to place even as an adult. smile.gif
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post 3.Dec.2014, 09:38 AM
Post #5
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 30.Nov.2005

Australia all the way


you will have more problems than your kids in all likelihood
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post 3.Dec.2014, 11:01 AM
Post #6

I have lived for two years in Sydney and Melbourne and now for three years just north of Ume? and would wholeheartedly recommend Ume?.

Reasons? Property is much, much, much, MUCH cheaper than in Australia. You can buy an excellent five bedroom house with a few acres for ?180k. The same would cost at least x10 in Australia.

The healthcare here is INCREDIBLE. Ume? has a university hospital which is absolutely first-rate. We have two young kids and the treatment they have received has been amazing. And they're in a dagis (day-care) that costs very little for such advanced care.

The weather, well, we had a two month stretch of 30c+ weather this summer and a slightly less hot stretch last summer. The early winters are cold and dark but, once your over the November/December hump the snow makes everything much brighter. And there's so much to do in Ume? in the winter and summer months. Skiing, snowmobiling, skating and sledding in the winter - swimming in lakes, cycling, walking, fishing in the summer.

The locals up north are also incredibly friendly, much more than down south - and much more so than the Australians I encountered. They're very liberal and tend to admire immigrants for having the chutzpah to try something different.

The job market in Ume? is buoyant too, probably because it's a university town.

I liked Australia but I love Sweden.

In any case, I'd try it here for two years and if Australia still beckons, you've lost nothing. Good luck!!
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post 3.Dec.2014, 01:05 PM
Post #7
Joined: 27.Mar.2013

I wouldn't worry about your age, at 40 you'll be fine, especially if you have good experience that employers are looking for.
Yes its very different to be in a small town compared to Stockholm. You may hate it, but you may also love it. Small towns in Australia are also worlds apart from the big cities.
The only negative of taking the Ume? offer first is that it willdelay you final settlement in Australia should you decide Sweden is not for you. It is difficult to relocate an individuals life, let alone a whole family and takes about 2 years to get comfortable and fit into the new culture.
I think it is safe to say there is no 'wrong' decision, both are amazing options to have and great opportunities.
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post 3.Dec.2014, 05:58 PM
Post #8
Joined: 15.Sep.2010

Hi there,

Having lived in both countries for a number of years, I would have to say Australia.
In Australia, I would consider Sydney and then Melbourne due to the number of large multi national, I.T and financial companies located there especially in Sydney. Hence, this means if you do decide to move there and move on after a few years, there will be more potential opportunities with a much higher pay than Sweden. The riskiest part is that you have to weigh up the option of taking the guaranteed job in Sweden versus the potential job in Australia. As the saying goes, the higher the risk, the higher the potential return. Having said that, the current unemployment rate is at it's highest from memory at around 6.5% nationally. You may also want to consider that your partner will have better prospects of earning a second income in Australia for the family as oppose to sweden. This is assuming your partner can converse in English better than in Swedish and is not too fussy with the type of work. The most evident trade off from higher potential income is the cost of housing especially in Sydney and Melbourne. You will have to do the Maths and probably speak to a I.T recruitment specialist to suss out the potential job prospects in your field. This will give you a better insight into your job prospects and earnings in Australia.

I don't know how much of a foodie are you but if you are into Asian ( authentic Indian ) food, just bear in mind that this could have an impact on your time in Sweden especially in the smaller cities/towns. You may most likely need to cook and source ingredients to get your fix to suit the authenticity. Otherwise, The availability of Asian food in Australia is way better and more authentic than Sweden due to the number of Asian migrants and it's proximity to Asia.

Having said that, Sweden has some great points as well for a family looking at relocating.
You can't go past the free education here especially at university level. In Australia, a business degree will probably set your child or you back around 30000 to 40000aud.
Better perks for public healthcare here as oppose to Australia as you have a cap of around 1000kr per year. The cost here will be significantly lower if there are health problems in any of the family member.
Childcare cost is way way cheaper here.
You get to go to more holidays here as you are in Europe. In Australia, the average family trip will be confined to within Australia or New Zealand as the distance to everywhere else is horrendous and costly.

My take on this if it is job opportunities for yourself and your family for the long term, I would strongly consider Australia. If you are doing this for yourself ie career wise or for the short term, Sweden is not a bad place to start.
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post 3.Dec.2014, 07:18 PM
Post #9
Joined: 2.Dec.2014

Thanks a ton guys! I really have some good insights into this and also am able to see it in different perspectives.

For me, I am an open sort of person. Hopping countries doesn't seem scary to me at least, but my wife is a bit sceptical. She is a medical professional so in either of these places she will have to take some examinations to qualify for working, as Indian degree might not be completely valid on its own. In Sweden, additional thing is the language which none of us know. So I agree that both me and my partner would have better chance of landing a job down under than in Sweden later on.

So far I am somewhat inclining towards giving it a go for 2 years and then see. Another reason I'm tempted to do so is the possibility to travel around Europe. That would be rather difficult once I move to Aus (as pointed out by beanjeanie).

As for risk, i see risk is there in both cases although of different nature. So its a tough call indeed! As Ben rightly said, perhaps there is nothing 'wrong' with going for either. One way of looking at it is - to try Sweden for a while and then Aus as doing it the other way would not be an option later. As they say 'It better to try something and fail than not try at all and repent'

Current status - still confused! unsure.gif
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post 3.Dec.2014, 09:17 PM
Post #10
Joined: 16.Aug.2010

Sounds like you've answered your question. Move to Sweden for a year or two then move to Australia once you've got permissions sorted out. I like Sweden because my husband is Swedish and he has his lovely family here (and mine are a bit...special). Without a family connection there's no way I'd consider staying here long term.
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post 3.Dec.2014, 09:26 PM
Post #11
Joined: 17.Jan.2011

QUOTE (Buzzs @ 3.Dec.2014, 07:18 PM) *
my wife is a bit sceptical. She is a medical professional so in either of these places she will have to take some examinations to qualify for working, as Indian degree might n ... (show full quote)

I suggest you and your wife check what she will need to do to work in Sweden and compare this with what she will need to do to work in Australia.
With a non-EU degree she will need to go through a possibly lengthy process to work in Sweden, so if you are only staying for 2-3 years she probably would not manage it, although it depends on the profession (how many exams she needs to do) and how fast she can learn Swedish.

A medical professional with a qualification from/professional registration in Sweden or India will need to do some exams and/or prac in Australia also. Think about whether she would manage to go through the process in Sweden and then another similar process in Australia.

I came to Sweden as a non-EU trained pharmacist and gained registration as a pharmacist in Sweden. I don't think I would do that again in a new country. It's not an easy process and it means an extended period with little/no income while you get your qualification sorted.
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post 4.Dec.2014, 09:32 AM
Post #12
Joined: 11.Jun.2009

QUOTE (Buzzs @ 3.Dec.2014, 07:18 PM) *
For me, I am an open sort of person. Hopping countries doesn't seem scary to me at least, but my wife is a bit sceptical. She is a medical professional so in either of the ... (show full quote)

It is next to impossible for a non-EU medical professional to crack the license examinations in Sweden. There are written examinations and practical examinations where they interact with patients. All this has to be done in Swedish. And you get only 2 trials! I know some non-EU medical professionals who had to study the whole thing (4-6 years) again in Swedish at a university to be able to work in their profession. I am saying this from personal experience.

According to some statistics available on SCB, which I saw some time back, the number of licenses issued for non-EU medical professionals is very very low.

My final answers is, yes it's possible. But it's extremely difficult.
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post 4.Dec.2014, 11:25 AM
Post #13
Joined: 17.Jan.2011

It's not so easy for foreign trained doctors to get full registration in Australia either. In order to be able to bill via Medicare I think you need to wait 10 years or work in an area of need, ie a remote area.
However, OP didn't specifically say his wife is a doctor.

I think there are a very large number of foreign-trained doctor sin Sweden.
A DN article from 2013 says:
Mer ?n h?lften av de l?karlegitimationer som utf?rdas av Socialstyrelsen ges till personer utbildade utomlands.
More than half the doctor licences issued in Sweden are to foreign-trained doctors.

However the question for the OP to think about is whether his wife wants to work in her profession in Sweden and in Australia. I think that would be very tough to go through the registration process in 2 countries. The time and energy required would be quite taxing. When I was going through the rego process as a pharmacist in Sweden I met a few other healthcare professionals who had been trying to pass the language exam (usually the first exam you need to pass, offered a few times a year) for quite some time. When I was doing my exams (2001) it took a minimum of about 11 months to get registration counting from when you pass the language exam, however most people take several years.
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post 4.Dec.2014, 01:31 PM
Post #14
Joined: 29.Mar.2012

I Hope you get to experience both Australia and Sweden. ( I have lived in both - I love them both )

These 2 countries are so polar opposite in everything it will be a very rich cultural experience for your family.

I would do Sweden first and take advantage of being so close to everything in europe and then finish up in Australia because at the end of the day, it is easier to live there in spite of it's isolation. Also your wife would have less trouble working in her field in Oz than Sweden. (thinking language barrier assuming she speaks english ).

all the best.
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post 4.Dec.2014, 04:05 PM
Post #15

The north is crying out for medical professionals of all sorts. I know of three people that have come here without Swedish and have found work immediately. They learned on the job and were given extracurricular tuition.

I think a lot of people here only have experience of southern Sweden. The north is quite different and, in my opinion, more welcoming, accommodating and calmer. And a LOT cheaper.
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