Interview with Andreas
Hello Andreas, please introduce yourself to the readers.
Hello Marco, thanks for the invitation 😊
Who am I?
Andreas 41 years old, married, 2 children, 2 cats, 1 dog, qualified engineer, German Swede.
When did you have the idea to migrate and why Sweden?
During our studies, my wife and I were in the USA for 6 months. That was an exciting experience, we met a lot of new people and saw life from a different side.
If you work in a country, the “vacation abroad” is not that expensive, and at the same time you get a deeper insight into real life and the culture of the country.
After our return to Germany it was clear that we had to do it again!
After completing my studies, I applied specifically to international companies in order to keep an “international ticket” open.
Where exactly did you go and why exactly there?
Sweden was more of a coincidence… my boss knew that I was looking for a promotion abroad and one day he came and asked, “I have a job for you. What do you think of Sweden? ”. A call home: “Do we want to move to Sweden?” “Yes, why not?” “Ok then we do that”. 3 months later we were in Malmö, Sweden.
Did you have any intercultural difficulties with the Swedes at the beginning?
Probably the most important experience from our time in the USA was “All countries and cultures have their own solution for everyday life – perhaps a different solution than one as a German thinks to be correct – but all have survived with their solution so far”. It is important to keep this in mind when you come to a new country so that you can approach the new culture with humility.
Because we moved with work, I had culture training at the beginning, which took some surprises out of the game 😊
I think the Swedish decision-making process has been the most difficult for me.
In Germany you come to a customer meeting and you know WHO will make the decision in the end. This is not the case in Sweden. Everything is a group decision, the managers are very careful to get a majority decision. A customer once said to me “Don’t look at me, I’m not making the final decision”. This decision-making process can take a long time, at the beginning I had often sorted out offers under lost when the call for the order came three months later.
- 12-year-olds walk around the city at 2 a.m. in the summer (German curfew at 10 p.m. for under 16s)
- A neighbor drives his motorcross quad without a damper through the settlement at 11:30 p.m. and wakes everyone up (there is no sleep)
- … or in the corona crisis, where the government first had to change the law to get the right to close schools …
What do you like most about Sweden?
The nature, of course!
Allemansrätt – everyone’s right, a positive example of “under-regulation” 😊
In Germany you always have the feeling that you are not alone or that you are not “the first” in a place, in Sweden you can really feel like the first in a place (even if that is not the case).
You are a hunter, can you tell us more about it?
As a kid and teenager, I found hunters stupid, unnecessary, and strange. However, I’ve always been interested in nature, conservation and fishing.
When we came to Sweden, I thought, “What is typically Swedish? How can you become more Swedish? ”For me it was
- Sommarstuga (holiday home)
- Boat (motor or sailing boat)
- Moose hunting
a) and b) were too expensive back then, at the same time we wanted to live more ecologically. We tried vegetarian food, but couldn’t really stick it out. Organic food is very expensive in Sweden (even more expensive than food already is), an organic 1.5kg chicken for 21 €.
Where can you get biologically pure meat with the lowest carbon footprint?
c) The elk hunt😊
Was it difficult to get a hunting license?
No, even if the Swedish hunting license is considered equivalent in Germany, the Swedish hunting license is felt 2-3 times easier.
The biggest obstacle is that the exam is in Swedish (there are also English exams, but rarely). Learning all the bird names in Swedish again was a challenge. There are some birds of which I still can’t get the German name …
Was muss ein deutscher Jäger, der in Schweden jagen will beachten?
- German hunting license
- Swedish annual hunting license (300kr)
- Hunting invitation from a local host
- Import permit from the Swedish police (750kr)
- Registration before import / after export at Swedish customs
There will soon be a more detailed description on my blog (link at the end of the article)
Vegan is currently in vogue, hunting is almost a criminal offense in some communities, what do you think about that?
Good point! In my opinion, hunting is timely, ecological, and ethical.
Vegan food is unfortunately completely out of the question for me. I want to eat healthily and with a low carbon footprint. Soy products from the other side of the world that are chemically flavored do not fall into this category for me.
“Why do you have to kill animals? There’s enough meat in the supermarket, ”a much quoted laugh among hunters. I also had this discussion with my daughter, “You have 3 options: vegetarian, supermarket or hunting” Since she likes meat, vegetarians quickly fell out, and after discussing factory farming, she decided to go hunting.
At work in conversation with three colleagues “I think it’s terrible that you kill animals”, “Are you a vegetarian?”, “No, no, yes”, “Ok the vegetarian is the only one in this discussion who is allowed to say that”.
Why? I take responsibility for my food, with all the consequences. I choose the animal, I take responsibility for the good quick killing shot, I dismantle the animal and convert a dead animal into a high-quality luxury food (far beyond organic).
The animal had a good free life in nature, had sex, had good food and often did not even hear me or the shot when it fell unconscious into the grass.
Meat is not thrown away at home, I worked an average of 1.5 hours for 1kg of meat (12h raised hide, 5h from the forest to packaged venison, 15kg meat). I can remember every animal that was shot, my appreciation for the animal and its life is so much higher than a fast-food burger can ever achieve.
For me, meat is not just a food, but a gift from nature.
What advise would you give other expats who are moving to Sweden?
- Learn Swedish! 😊 Unfortunately, English works way too well in Sweden. If you really want to understand Sweden (country and people), you should learn Swedish as quickly as possible.
- Do the homework before you move! When you move the company, everything is so much easier, you have a job and an apartment. If you emigrate on your own, you should have a lot of things thought out beforehand. Unfortunately, I have seen other expats who ended up in chaos. Personal number, house purchase, Swedish law, pension payments abroad, financial buffers, etc. all of this should be made clear in advance.
Where can people find out more about you and follow your Expat life in Sweden?
You can find me online on my
Thank you for reading! If you would like to read another Blog Post – Klick here – Topic: Stockholm Winter Walk – Staying active during the cold days
Visit my son and me on Instagram =)