Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Tips and Guide for Linkoping, Sweden– part 2

This part continues from my earlier post on Tips and Guide for Linkoping part 1. In due course of time from last year, we (I and my wife) come to know about other information and things which one may be willing to know about. I am continuing this post from the last point of my earlier post.

17. Jobs:

As mentioned earlier this could be one of the hardest part being in Sweden as you need to speak, understand and write Swedish language to get yourself qualified for any open job opportunity. Joining SFI course to learn language Swedish will help you to get acquainted with the language but still it is not something which will lead you to speak, understand and write this language in six months.
Swedish government has established an employment agency named as Arbetsformedlingen. As they say, this agency helps you to find the job in Sweden and they have a very good database of job openings as by law employers have to have post job opening on So, what you have to do is to visit the Arbetsformedlingen office at Storgatan 6 (across the big Hemkop) in downtown and register yourself there.
Once you get registered there you will be assigned to an employment officer/case officer who will help you in following ways:-

1. Plan activities for you.

2. They will ask you to verify your educational certificates through UHR ( more details in the next point) and prepares an activity plan for you.

3. They will ask you to search and apply for the suitable jobs through their website and also to submit your activity report for each month.

4. If you have already joined SFI then they may enrol you for additional Swedish classes (sprak praktik) where you will learn other aspects of Swedish language apart from your SFI classes. The social insurance agency Forsakringkassan pays you some stipend for going to Sprak praktik.

5. They may also enroll you for a job praktik in which you will learn technical Swedish related to your job. Finding a job praktik is as tricky as finding a job but still chances to get a job praktik are higher as compared to job. Forsakringkassan pays you the same stipend for the job praktik as well.

Job praktik is a three months training program in which candidate go to a company of his field, do work for them and learn the work culture and technical aspect of Swedish language. The deal here is that Companies don’t have to pay anything to the trainee from their account, its the Arbetsformedlingen/Social Insurance agency who pays the stipend. If company feels satisfied with your work and performance then they may hire you as an employee but in most of the cases they hire a new trainee for next three months and like this way they get their job done without paying anything.

Note: Once you get registered at Arbetsformedlingen it is required for you to login to your account frequently to have your account active. Also, try to be in touch with your case officer (handlagare) over the email or ask them to schedule a meeting with you.

18. Getting your documents verified through UHR:

UHR is a Swedish government agency which works to verify the foreign educational qualifications of the candidates and also assess the level of foreign education as per the Swedish education level. Employment agency asks you to get your educational qualifications verified from them so that employer can know about your educational qualifications and equivalent Swedish education level.

Getting your documents verified through them can take up to 4 months to 6 months as they will send verification of your documents to the country from where you obtained your degree.

All you need to do is to follow this page "Application form for Recognition of Foreign Qualifications".

19. Sending documents or post in cheapest way:

The cheapest way is to use Swepost ( For first 20 gms only 12 SEK is charged and then 2 SEK/gm is charged, this rate is without tracking. If you ask them to add tracking then it may cost you additional 50-60 SEK. So, its only 12 kr for sending a 20 gm post in any part of the world.
When I sent my package to India it got delivered with in one week.

20. EU Health card from Forsakringkassan:

With the European Health Insurance Card, you can get compensation for necessary care if you get sick or have an accident when you travel within the EU/EEA and Switzerland.

The European Health Insurance Card gives you the right to necessary care at a hospital or doctor's office that is affiliated with that country's national health care system. It is the care provider that determines what is considered to be necessary care. You pay the patient fees that the country's own residents pay. In some countries, you must first pay the entire care cost yourself and then request compensation from that country's equivalent of Försäkringskassan.

Immediately present the card together with your ID to the care provider. Everyone in the family, including children regardless of age, must have their own health insurance card. The card is free of charge.

The European Health Insurance Card is valid in:
Belgium, Bulgaria, Cypress, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Croatia, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, the UK and Northern Ireland, Switzerland, Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Austria.

You can apply for this card from this link. You just have to enter your personal number on the website, the card is sent to the address that is registered in Försäkringskassan's customer register. The card is valid for three years.

For more information visit this link.

21. Free course for people in Sweden:

Ostergotland county provides a social orientation course for people who have recently arrived in Sweden. This course is about your right and obligations, Swedish democracy and how the society is organised. This course provides the important information to ensure a good start in Sweden.

Cost of the course: Free, no charge.

How to register: Send an e-mail to with your personal number, name, address, telephone number and with the copy of your resident permit from Migration board.

Visit and for more information.

You can also find more details of this course in below pictures.

22. Studying, training, extra curricular activities in Linkoping:

There are many things to do in Linkoping once you arrive here. For example: You can join a basic swimming course or become a professional swimmer by joining the swimming school (Sim skola) or you can join a photography course on a minimal fees.

You can find more details on below mentioned websites for many things:-

1. Website for events, training and new courses related to water sports.

2. You can find higher education in Sweden and abroad. Each training presents the most important information you need to compare different programs with each other such as eligibility requirements, admission points, housing situation, possible costs, etc. Once you find a course you can easily get in touch with the school and ask questions by leaving an interest.

3. Folkuniversitetet is an adult educational association that offers a wide range of adult education all over Sweden.Folkuniversitetet runs numerous internationally oriented activities such as language courses, courses abroad and projects with an international emphasis.

Their brochure in English is available here.

4. Its Linkoping Municpality website on which you can find information about various things.

5. This link contains details about free and paid Swedish e-courses.

23. Finding an apartment in Linkoping:

This is a tricky part, finding an apartment here in Linkoping is a bit of hassle especially if you need it in the vicinity of downtown.

1. The best way is to register yourself on the website which I mentioned in part 1 of my blog (available here)as soon as you get your papers to come to Sweden so that you earn some queue points.

2. Other way is to ask your employer/University or concerned person for help.

3. Check with Sky hotel apartments, Sky Hotel apartments provides two type of accomodation, one is the Hotel and the other one is an apartment in the town. There are some apartments in town from Sky which you can rent for 1 month from the rent of 7000 - 10000 SEK/month.

Hotel apartments:

These are the furnished apartments with most of the basic facilities like kitchen, bed etc provided.

Check out their page for more information:

Town apartments:

Minimum rental period one month, Fully Furnished

Check out their page for more information:

4. There is a article from LiU (Linkoping University) on "101 ways to find accommodation" which is available here

24. Remitting money to India or abroad:

There are many money remitting websites available in the market for this purpose and also you can send your money through your Swedish bank, but, generally sending money through bank will cost you more as bank charge their own fee for wire transfer and they have different conversion rate as compared to these money remitting websites. I know/used about following websites for this purpose :-

1. They provide mid market conversion rate and also gives you the option to fix your conversion rate,so, you may get good conversion rate during the rate fluctuations.

2. They have a bit low charges as compared to Transferwise but not good forex rates.

3. This service is provided by ICIC Bank and I believe you don't want to go with this option as they don't provide complete Power transfer (Online transfer) option. You  have to do half online and half offline transfer i.e. you need to generate the remittance request and transaction reference number from the website and then they will provide you a wire transfer form. You have to wire transfer your money according to the details mentioned in the wire transfer form.

If you have bank account with Nordea bank then you can remit money very easily through it.


25. Find the right health care:

You are new in Linkoping and unfortunately you fall ill, what you should do to find the right health care is explained here.


PS: I will keep updating this page with more information which I get in due course of time. I will also appreciate any correction or any new thing which you may want here or should you find any.

Monday, March 10, 2014

I am a vegetarian… but you are not vegetarian.

If in India you say that you are vegetarian then any one can understand what do you mean by it but it is difficult to stick to the vegetarian’s Indian definition once you go out of India. You have to change the term.

In my Swedish office I am the only one who is Vegetarian but actually I am not. Why? Because I consume dairy products. It was hard for me to explain our vegetarian definition in which we include dairy products by default (as all Indians love dairy products) and exclude any kind of animal flesh.

Once in my office we were having cake with ice-cream and there were two variants of ice-cream, lactose free and with lactose, I scooped the regular one on my cake and one of my colleague intervened to make me aware that I have taken the wrong one.

He asked me: “you are vegetarian right ?”

I said: “Yes”.

He: “You have taken the wrong ice-cream, its the one made from dairy products, you must take the lactose free.”

Me: “No, its fine with me. I love dairy products so I have the right one.

He: “What!!! but you said you are Vegetarian ?

Me: “Yes, I am a vegetarian,  I just don’t eat animal products.

He: “In that case, you are not Vegetarian. If you consume dairy products then you are not vegetarian because dairy products are also animal products.”

Me: “Okay!! Look, by animal products I meant to say any kind of animal flesh but I consume dairy products. In India, if somebody is saying that he is a vegetarian then this term includes consumption of dairy product with out any kind of animal flesh.

He: “That’s strange!! You guys are fooling the world by saying that you are vegetarian while you are not.

Me: “No, we are not. The type of diet you are talking about is a vegan or strict vegetarian which excludes all animal products and animal flesh  including eggs, dairy, honey etc. We are or I should say I am lacto-vegetarian or Ovo-lacto-vegetarian. It’s just like we don’t feel to say Ovo-lacto-vegetarian or lacto-vegetarian every time.

He: “Hmm! What is Ovo-lacto-vegetarian ?

Me: “Ovo-lacto-vegetarian diet includes eggs and dairy products.

He: “Oh!! this is damn confusing. How one can survive with out eating meat ? What do you eat in your Vegetarian meal ? Do you eat salad all the time ?

Me: “It’s confusing for you because you are totally  non-vegetarian and we can survive in the same manner as you are surviving with our eating vegetarian food. We don’t eat salad all the time, there are many things to eat in vegetarian food, come to my home sometime for dinner or lunch if in case you want to have vegetarian food sometime.

He: “I must say, you have a very typical of diet.

Me: “I know, I am not alone in the world having such diet.

So, this actually turned out in a discussion. Now, I have to specifically say that I am a Ovo-lacto-vegetarian. Btw, being here , for the first time I see a separate section of lactose free products and soya milk in the stores. I never saw such things in India.

Women in my life.

I am late by one day  to write on Women's day but still better late then never.
I  believe that there is always a special role of a woman in everyone’s life. The first woman comes in the role of mother and the other comes in the role of sister, girlfriend or wife. There can be other roles of woman as well but one is attached more closely to these two.
I have two women in my life, one is my mother and the other one is my wife. When I opened my eyes in this world it was her from the beginning, she was my very first friend who played with me, who took care of me, who carried me all the time, who taught me to stand on my own and who also scolded me for my all the wrong actions and shaitanis. Being the elder son out of two I remember that she was the only women in my life for the first 28 years of my life (well, I can not count my infatuations, crushes and attractions in that, right!) with whom I have such an emotional rapport where I felt so comfortable in sharing things with her or sometimes making her understand the things about life from the younger generation perspective. She was/is always there for me and was/is ready to be in a role in which I want/ed her to be. Being it in a role of sister where I used to tease her and bully her all the time or being in a role of friend who gets angry with you and wait for you to console her or say sorry to her.
I feel that every men's inner child comes out in front of the women with whom he is very emotionally attached. This women can be a mother, a girl friend or a wife. I think we men need them more for ourselves as they need us for their selves.
You might have read about the joke where a girl complains to her mother-in-law that she is living with a child not a grown up man and that child is yours. Well, I second that, most of the time I behave like that small kid and keep bullying my wife with all my pranks which generally happens between brother and sister. I know  it is not supposed to be like this but I can’t help it. This is may be due to the fact that I don’t have a real sister and now the girl I have who is my wife I find a friend and lover in her who gets annoyed and sometimes angry on all of these my nick nacks. She often says to me that sometimes I act like a elder brother where I show her that elder brother bossy nature and sometimes I act like a child which leds her to get angry or pasture me with her love.
We often think that women are dependent on the man of the house but I think its us who becomes dependent on them whenever they are around not always but most of the time.
I wish Happy Women’s day to the two women of my life.
PS: Waise, ye Men’s day kab he ?  :)
PSS: Came back after a long time. (Finally, got in some mood to write down something).