Sweden and Stockholm
Welcome to Sweden and to the Royal Institute of Technology
The decision of getting a new job and moving to a new country, it could be confusing, scary and even trying experience. To minimize the unknown and culture shock, we would like to prepare you and give you a few facts and hints on Sweden, the Swedes and its culture. We will provide you a list of important things you should consider before and after you arrive in Sweden. There are 4 Swedish authorities a prospective foreign visiting researcher/ Professor of KTH has to contact before and after arrival of Sweden.
- Swedish Embassy or Consulate
- The Swedish Migration Board
- Tax Agency
- Social Insurance Agency
The following guide gives you the necessary information and lists the requirements for each authority. Hopefully this will help you to establish a Stockholm or Sweden residence smoothly and speedily.
Sweden is the largest country in Scandinavia with a surface area of 450 000 square kilometers and 9 million inhabitants. Sweden is a parliamentary democracy (the Swedish monarchy is purely constitutional) and it has been a member of The European Union since 1995. However Sweden is not a part of the EMU and therefore you need Swedish kronor (SEK) to go shopping in Sweden.
About one-third of all young people in Sweden go on to higher education at one of the universities and colleges. Education is free of charge at all levels of the compulsory school and higher education. Private schools and colleges are few in number and generally receive government grants.
The country of Sweden is often described in terms of contrasts: innovative modernity and historical tradition, high technology and magnificent natural settings, rationality and beauty, land and water.
Despite these extremes the characteristics of the people is often described by the typical Swedish word "lagom" which literally means "not too much nor too little". Consequently, Swedes are often regarded as quiet and somewhat reserved people who try to avoid conflicts and rarely show their feelings in public.
However, wherever you go, you will probably meet some nice and helpful people who are able to speak English reasonably well and are more than willing to help you along!
Stockholm is the capital of Sweden with some 1.8 million inhabitants. It is located between the lake Mälaren and the Baltic Sea in the middle of the country.
Even if it has a long history – in 2002 the city celebrated its 750 anniversary – Stockholm is an innovative place where new attractions and activities constantly emerge. The city is the heart of Swedish trade and business life. Several of the country's multinational corporations, often based on inventions once made by Swedish engineers, have their headquarters here. Today financial services, IT, and environmental technology are among Stockholm's most prominent industries.
Naturally Stockholm also provides a full range of events within culture and sports. Here you find a multitude of cultural centers, museums and galleries and a countless numbers of indoor and outdoor sports grounds and playing fields.
As the city is spread across a group of islands, one is always near water in Stockholm. This offers spectacular views and outstanding activities, such as fishing right in the centre of the city, sailing in the summer and ice-skating in the winter in the large archipelago outside – often described as a unique natural experience with its more than 24,000 islands, of which only 150 are inhabited around the year.
Fore more information on Stockholm, please visit:
Thanks to the warm Gulf Stream, the Swedish climate is much milder than might be expected at this latitude. In the summer it can be hot and dry with temperatures reaching 30 degrees Celsius (about 85 degrees F). The difference between the southern and northern regions of Sweden is not that noticeable in the summer, except that in June and July the sun never sets in the northernmost parts, a phenomenon called the midnight sun. Northern Sweden is covered in snow at wintertime, with temperatures as low as to -30`C, while winter in southern Sweden does not always bring snow nor temperatures below zero.
Average temperature in Stockholm :
Winter: Dec – Mar, -7 to 2’C
Spring: Apr – May, 5 to 14’C
Summer: Jun – Aug, 20 to 25’C
Autumn: Sep – Nov, 5 to 18’C
More information on Swedish weather:
In Sweden every person has a right of access to the countryside and coast known as “allemansrätten” (the right of public access). This entitles you to cross other people’s land (if it is not cultivated) or water, to fish along the coast, to stay in a tent for one night out of sight of other buildings and to pick berries, mushrooms and non-protected wild flowers. However, you are not allowed to discard litter in the countryside, to hunt or fish in lakes without permission, to disturb animals or birds, to touch bird eggs [or young], to touch anything growing on cultivated land or to light fires where the fire could spread or on exposed rock.
If you wish to stay in a tent for more than one night in the same place you must ask the landowner for permission.
Tap water in Sweden tastes pretty delicious, almost wherever you are in Sweden – and at least as good as the bottled variety that you have to pay for. Swedish tap water is clean, tasty and free and does not come in a plastic bottle and therefore harmful to the environment.
Summer time (daylight savings time) starts in March, when the clocks are set forward one hour, and ends in October, when the clocks are set back.
Sweden does not use the currency EURO, the currency is the kronor (Swedish crowns, SEK), 1 krona = 100 öre. There are coins in the following denominations: 50 öre, 1 krona, 5 kronor, and 10 kronor. The following notes are used: 20 kronor, 50 kronor, 100 kronor, 500 kronor and 1 000 kronor.
More information on currency converters:
The voltage in Sweden is 220V (50 Hz). As British and American sockets differ from Swedish ones, you may need a converter or an adapter for your electrical appliances.
In an emergency call 112 (valid for the whole country) for the ambulance, fire and police services and for poison information.
Animals and pets
It is possible to bring pets to Sweden from other EU and EFTA countries but visitors are recommended to start the planning process well in advance since several permissions must be obtained.
The EU has standards for trade and transfer of animals and animal products between Member States as well as for import from countries outside the EU. Sweden has some special rules on trade in animals in order to prevent new contagious diseases from entering Sweden. In addition there are also provisions related to protected species.
A request for permission should be made to The Swedish Board of Agriculture.
For more information see: