August 04 2006
-Where were you born?
-In which country and city are you living now?
-Are you living alone or with your family?
I live alone.
-How long have you been living in Sweden?
One year and a half.
-What is your age?
-When did you come up with the idea of living in Sweden?
Two years ago, I wanted to get a master's degree and get my life a face lift
-Was it hard to get a visa or a working permit?
-How do you make your living in Sweden? Do you have any type of income generated?
I am a journalist and media researcher. I do some teaching in university as an assistant professor and freelance as a journalist for local and international news agencies.
-Do you speak Swedish and do you think it's important to speak the local language?
I do speak basic Swedish, but I understand it quite much. It is not an easy language to learn on your own, so I am going to have some extensive and professional lessons if I decide I want to spend a few more years here. I think although the majority of Swedes speak good English and one can fix everyday activities without having to speak Swedish, it is very mandatory to learn the language to be able to work and socialise better.
-Do you miss home and family sometimes?
I do miss them. I have two sisters and my parents, but they all live in different places too, so I know it is hard to get hold of them all at the same time. Regarding activities, I am very much involved with two heavy metal bands here as a drummer, and practicing, recording and playing live takes up almost all of my free time.
-Do you have other plans for the future?
Right now my plan is to keep taking it easy and make the best of my day.
-What about housing, have you bought, or are you renting a home? How much do you pay for it?
I live with the keyboardist in my band, and we pay together US$700a month for rent, add to that Internet and electricity. This is relatively cheap here, if you are lucky enough to find an apartment in the first place.
-What is the cost of living in Sweden?
It's quite expensive. A Coca-Cola bottle costs more than US$2. Sweden is probably one of the most expensive countries in the world due to its tax/welfare system.
-What do you think about the Swedes?
They really appreciate foreigners as long as foreigners appreciate them and their culture.
-What are the positive and negative aspects of living in Sweden?
Well, Sweden is quite a peaceful country, very quiet and relaxed with a very open-minded society. One of the negative aspects is that winter is very dark, very long and very cold; we are talking about 3-6 hours of day light a day in December, temperatures dropping to -20 at times, and lots and lots of snow that lasts from November until April.
-Do you have any tips for our readers about living in Sweden?
Yes, make sure you have warm clothes and a lot of patience in winter, and learn how to enjoy things the way Swedes do.