Living accommodations and school

Living accommodations and school

Moving abroad means finding new places to live for you and your family. As well as finding a home, you will need to set up childcare or schooling. DestinationLund can help you source and negotiate the best living accommodations as well as find the communities that offer the childcare or schooling solutions that feel right for your family.

About our living accommodations support services

These are designed to save you the hassle and risks of negotiating legalities in a foreign language. Our short- and long-term accommodation solutions are specific to each client. Each package includes:

  • Range of options offered based on your location, family needs, size and budget
  • Submission of real estate booking requests and bidding discussions

Typical Swedish housing
Swedish homes generally maintain a very high standard. Flats and houses are well-insulated and equipped with well-functioning kitchen and bathroom appliances.

In larger cities like Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö, flats can be quite expensive and the housing market is competitive. In smaller cities and towns, it can be easier to find a spacious and central flat or house for a lower price.

Renting a home
Renting a flat in Sweden is a very common form of housing, and is a good option for those who are not yet ready to buy a home. Flats are rented through either first-hand contracts (förstahandskontrakt) or sublets (andrahandskontrakt).

A first-hand contract is signed between the tenant and the owner of the building. These contracts can be either permanent or for a set period of time. The most common way to get a first-hand contract is to register for your municipal housing queue (bostadskö). In larger cities, it can be difficult to find a first-hand flat, as queuing can take several years. In smaller towns, you can often register with the local municipality and get a flat right away; however, you will need your Swedish personal identity number and possibly proof of your income to be approved for a contract.

Contact your municipality to find out how to sign up for your local housing queue.

A subletting contract is signed between the tenant and the person who either owns or holds a first-hand contract for the individual flat. Though subletting is common in Sweden, especially in big cities, it is important to make sure your landlord is trustworthy and to receive a signed formal contract.

There are a number of ways to find available sublets. One of the most common sites is blocket.se; others include bostaddirekt.se, hyralya.se andandrahand.se. Most of these sites will be in Swedish, so familiarise yourself with some basic Swedish housing vocabulary:

Lägenhet/hyresrätt: flat/rental flat
Hyra lägenhet: let a flat
Uthyres (i andra hand): to let (sublet)
(Number) rum och kök: The number of rooms the flat contains aside from the kitchen and WC. 2 rum och kök is a 2-room flat (1 bedroom) with a kitchen.

Tenant rights
As a tenant in Sweden you have comprehensive rights regarding everything from your monthly rent to maintenance in your building. The Swedish Union of Tenants (Hyresgästföreningen) is a membership organisation that can assist you if you have any questions regarding your rights as a tenant.

The Swedish Union of Tenants

Buying a home
A flat that you buy in Sweden is called a bostadsrätt, which literally means that you purchase the right to live in the flat, similar to the concept of a leasehold in some other countries. You actually buy a share in the building, which includes access and joint decision rights concerning the building’s courtyards and common facilities. It also means that you must ask your building’s housing board for permission if you want to sublet your flat to others.

In addition to the price paid for the apartment itself, you will also pay a monthly fee that covers building maintenance, renovation and other costs.

If you purchase a house in Sweden, you will have full ownership of the house and its property.

As in many other countries, real estate agents (mäklare) in Sweden assist individuals in locating and purchasing houses or flats. There are real estate agents that specialise in specific areas, cities or types of housing.

A good starting point is the websites hemnet.se and booli.se, where you can browse homes for sale throughout the country and get an idea of the offerings and prices in different areas.

Welcome services
Many of Sweden’s regions and municipalities offer welcome services for new immigrants, called invandrarservice. Staff at these centres can often help you with finding a flat. To find out if your municipality offers this type of service, either contact them directly or do a web search for invandrarservice + your town.

About childcare/schooling support services

  • Identification of areas, schools, facilities that suit your family’s needs
  • Information to help you register with the school and childcare facilty 

 

School system in Sweden
The Swedish school system offers comprehensive education for children from age 6 up to university, all entirely free of charge. If your children are under the age of 6, extensive preschool/day care services are also available at a heavily subsidised cost.

School and preschool are the responsibility of each municipality. Once you know where you will be living, contact your municipality to be put in touch with the appropriate school for your child.

Preschool from ages 1 to 5

Preschool (förskola), also called day care or dagis in Swedish, allows you as a parent to work during the day while providing a safe and stimulating environment for your child. Your child can be at preschool from 6:30 to 18:30 every weekday except certain public holidays.

Fees are based on your household income as well as the number of children you currently have enrolled. The maximum monthly cost for your first child is SEK 1,260; a successively lower cost then applies per additional child. Every child is guaranteed a place in a preschool after turning 1, subject to certain regulations. To find out more about preschools in your area and enrol your child, contact your municipality.

Read more:
sweden.se: Preschool in Sweden
Swedish National Agency for Education: the Swedish school system

School from ages 6 to 19
From the age of 6, all schooling (skola) in Sweden is free of charge and includes a hot lunch. School hours vary by age and municipality; after-school care is available for children whose parents work longer hours.

The year your child turns 6, he or she can participate in a non-compulsory preschool year (sexårsverksamhet) designed to help children meet future classmates and prepare for primary school without the stress of heavy studies or homework.

From the ages of 7 to 16, all children in Sweden are then required to attend primary school (grundskola), with instruction in a core group of basic subjects. From 16 to 19, most teens attend non-compulsory upper secondary school (gymnasieskola), often with a subject-specific specialisation like business, fine arts or a trade.

In addition to public schools, you can also choose to enrol your child in an independent school, often with a specialisation related to teaching methods, language (e.g., international schools) or religion. For an extensive overview of the different types of schools available to your child, please visit theSwedish National Agency for Education’s website.

To find out more about schools in your area and enrol your child, contact your municipality.

Read more:
sweden.se: Basic education
sweden.se: Education in Sweden
Swedish National Agency for Education: the Swedish school system

 

Transferring
To ensure that your children can move between different countries and school systems with relative ease, the Swedish National Agency for Education provides schools with support and guidance for evaluating the marks of previous studies of incoming children. Your school should be able to help you transfer your child’s marks; contact the Swedish National Agency for Education if you need assistance or have any queries.

Read more:
Swedish National Agency for Education: the Swedish marking scale

Language of instruction and first language instruction
The majority of teaching at Swedish schools takes place in Swedish, but all schools offer assistance to children who are learning Swedish as a second language. Your child also has the right to some instruction in his or her first language, regardless of where you are from.

First language instruction is normally provided for one to two hours per week, in addition to the student’s usual courses. This instruction is intended to help children preserve their existing language skills. Contact your municipality to enrol your child in first language instruction.

Read more:
More information about first language instruction
Contact your municipality

Children with special needs
If your child has special needs, such as a learning disability or a physical or mental disability, he or she will be offered appropriate school or care at no extra cost to your family. Extensive support is available based on your child’s specific disability, including in-school support, special schools, and free-time activities. Contact your municipality to receive assistance with finding the right support for your child.

Read more:
National Board of Health and Welfare: the Swedish Disability Policy
Contact your municipality

Higher education
Universities (universitet), university colleges (högskolor) and trade certification courses (kvalificerade yrkesutbildningar) are all free of charge for Swedish residents, allowing all people in Sweden the same opportunity to enter the career of their choosing. Students can also receive study grants and loans to finance their living costs during their studies.

Note that for citizens of non-EU countries who come to Sweden specifically for studies, tuition fees for higher education apply. See University Admissions for extensive guidelines.

Read more:
studyinsweden.se: Higher education in Sweden

Photo by: Miriam Preis/imagebank.sweden.se
Photo by: Lena Granefelt/imagebank.sweden.se
Top photo by: Miriam Preis/imagebank.sweden.se
Bottom photo by: Lena Granefelt/imagebank.sweden.se
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