Moving to Skellefteå and Sweden

Conception of life and society

In Sweden there is a word called lagom, it is good to know. We use it often and it means roughly the same thing as in-between, but usually with a positive foundation. It can be "lagom" warm (not too cold or too hot) or "lagom" far from your home to your workplace. It is probably often how we Swedes see ourselves, as quite "lagom", but there are things that stand out from other countries, were we are completely unique.

Right of public access

Thanks to the Right of Public Access we can move freely in Swedish nature. The Right of Public Access works if everyone takes responsibility for assessing what is appropriate by reading the landscape and assessing the situation. Different activities, places and times determine what you can do or not. Together, it is our common responsibility to use this old custom with care. Therefore, it is important to have knowledge about which rights and obligations that are included in the Right of Public Access.

Picnic in the forrest
The King of Sweden visits Skellefteå

Sweden is a democratic monarchy

The country is governed by a popularly elected parliament (which in turn appoints the government). The royal house has no part in the governance of the country, but functions as a representative for Sweden and contributes to the country's position as a trade, export and tourist nation.

Freedom of speech and religion is law

This means that we are allowed to believe, think and express what we want as long as what you express does not conflict with any other law. This also means that you can get involved in a political organization or religious community without it having any impact when you, for example, are looking for work.

Alcohol och tobacco

In Sweden, the age limit for buying alcohol in store is 20 (18 at bars and restaurantes). The state has given exclusive rights to sell alcohol to Systembolaget and it is the parliament that sets the store's opening hours. This politic is based on the World Health Organizations (WHO) recommendations to limit the price, availability and marketing of alcohol to reduce the harm it causes in society. Thanks in part to this policy, Sweden has a lower alcohol consumption than the European average.

Tobacco, cigarettes and snuff are sold in shops but have an age limit of 18. Smoking indoors is prohibited in bars, restaurants and workplaces and also in some public outdoor spaces.

People sitting down at a local restaurant
Nurse giving care to a patient

Pharmacies and medicines

Prescription medicines are picked up at the pharmacy. Pharmacies are often found in close proximity to grocery stores, and if your doctor has prescribed a medicine, you can pick it up at any pharmacy.

As a Swedish citizen or a person from another EU/EEA country and Switzerland, you are covered by the high-cost cover for open health care (you need to present a certificate that entitles you to care in Sweden). This means that you pay full price up to SEK 2,400 and after that your treatment or medicine is free.

Through life: wedding, divorce and funeral

When you meet the love of your life, or discovers that that person no longer is the love of your life, or you lose someone dear you are going to want some help. Weddings (and funurals) can be arranged in your church of choice or civilly. If the marriage does not work, you can apply for a divorce alone or together with your partner.

Child marriage and polygamy are prohibited in Sweden. You must be 18 to get married and it is a criminal offense for a guardian to consent to a marriage before the age of 18. Marriage between more than two people is also prohibited - even if the marriage was entered into in another country and before the persons came to Sweden.

Two hands letting go of eachother
Girl waving the pride flag at the pridefestival in Skellefteå

Equal rights for everyone

Everyone in Sweden must have equal rights and opportunities regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. The Swedish LGBTQ rights are today regarded as some of the more progressive in Europe and in the world. Discrimination based on sexual orientation has been prohibited since 1987. Since 2009, discrimination based on gender identity and expression has been prohibited.

RFSL has a support service for LGBTQI people and can also counsel in asylum related issues.

Joining the union

Being a member of the union is above all a security for you as an employee. Should a situation arise where you end up in some type of conflict with your employer, the union can be the ones to help you with both advice and representation. You can join a union both as a student and as an employee.

Add a membership to the unemployment fund (a-kassa) to ensure your financial security in the event of termination.

Two men welding on a tractor

Get to know Skellefteå

Moving from one place to another can mean a big change. Through the web course Insight Skellefteå, you get a simple introduction to Skellefteå and what you can expect here. You take the course via mobile, tablet or computer and at the place and time that suits you.


Senast uppdaterad:
10 October 2022