Sweden Working Holiday
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Sweden History Culture and the Present Day
Sweden is a Scandinavian country, along with Norway and Denmark. It is a long thin country. At its south, it is just above Denmark. To the East there is the Baltic Sea. There is a very long boarder with Norway to the West. Norway and Finland arch over the Swedish boarder in the very far North.
The very far North of Sweden is also in the Arctic Circle, making this part of the land “of the Midnight Sun”. There is a long high mountain chain to the West of Sweden, along the Norwegian boarder. There are flat plains along the eastern side of Sweden, next to the Baltic Sea.
Most of the country has a mild temperate climate, but in the very far north and in the mountains, temperatures fall way below 0 centigrade, during the long cold winter.
Most of us have an image of Swedish people being tall and very blond, being the descendants of the Vikings. This is broadly true. To the very far north you have the Sami people, herders of Reindeer. They are the indigenous people of the far north and are also called Laps. They have herded their Reindeer across Norway, Sweden, Finland and North Western Russia for centuries, and continue to do so. They have a distinct language and culture of their own. Think Father Christmas and his Reindeer.
The Swedish language, is a Nordic language and is part of the same group as Denmark and Norway. You hear the odd Nordic word in Scottish English as well, like the word Kirk for Church. Not to worry, educational standards in Sweden are very high. English is widely spoken to a high standard. So you wont have to learn Swedish for your Swedish Working Holiday.
Of course it is the Vikings that most people associate with Swedish History. They took off in their long boats during the “dark ages”. They came to Northern England, Scotland and Ireland. They settled in the northern islands off of Scotland. They settled in the Faroe islands, Iceland and Greenland across the wild North Atlantic. Scandinavians even reached North America, long before Christopher Columbus.
What is less well known is the Swedish Empire. This had control over much of Finland and the Baltic states from 1560 to 1816.
Modern Sweden has a royal family. It is a member of the European Union, but it has kept its own currency the Krona.
One unique feature of the Nordic and Baltic people are their saunas. Try these out bit by bit. You will sit down with a towel over your private parts , or may be not if your are Swedish. These can either be wet heat or dry heat saunas. Dry uses a “dry heat with out steam. A wet sauna uses steam. You sit with other people on wooden pine slats.
There are fine buildings from the period of the Swedish Empire, but what Sweden is known for is timber buildings and pine furniture. Because of its climate, Pine is the main timber . Again, also every one has heard of IKEA, with its flat back furniture. But they keep their best stuff in Sweden. Swedish design is admired world wide. It is clean, spacious, neat and simple. You will see for yourself if you visit a Swedish home.
For music, you may think Abba, the super Pop group of the 1970s. For movies the classic, stark beauty of Ingmar Bergman’s films such as Persona, The Silence and Cries and Whispers.
Now how to get to Sweden to start a Swedish Working Holiday?
First of all you need to fulfill the visa requirements:
- You must be between the ages of 18-30 to apply.
- You can not bring along any children that are dependents along with you.
- You are mainly going to Sweden for a holiday.
- You must have a valid up to date passport. This must cover the period you intend to stay in Sweden.
- You must have a return ticket, or have enough money with you to buy one.
- You must have enough money and funds to cover at least the first three months of the period you will stay in Sweden.
- You can stay in Sweden for up to two years.
- You must have full medical insurance to cover your stay in Sweden.
For more details on these requirements, please visit this official Swedish web site:
Young people from the following countries are eligible for the Swedish working holiday visa.
- South Korea
- New Zealand
As with every country there is a choice to made between working in the country side or working in a major town or city.
In Sweden, there are three major cities. Stockholm, Malmo and Gotenborg. Also along the coast, between these major centres, there is also a lot of work in the holiday resorts next to the Baltic Sea during the Summer months.
There are two main areas where you can always find employment:
Sweden, like other Nordic countries are very advanced in gender equality. So do not be surprised if you find the father taking an equal role with the mother. Duties could include basic cleaning around the house, as well as looking after the needs of young children. You may be asked to take the children to kindergarten, to their primary schools or to play in the local park. They pay may not be good, but it should be.
If you are looking for causal agricultural work, there are a lot of opportunities with seasonal crop and fruit picking
By looking carefully on line , you will find there is a range of work available in either summer or winter holiday resorts. Specialized jobs, can also be found in any of the major cities.
Sweden is a country well worth visiting for a working holiday.