“I was lucky to join the Kick-Start Program, I think that was a life changing moment for me. It’s not only about knowledge and networking. For me it’s more about the constant support and empowerment from coordinators. The hub has a really welcoming and positive atmosphere. That’s the place where I can always get advice and guidance. I’m grateful to the people that run this project, warmly and deeply appreciate their kindness and professionalism.”
Four years ago, we arrived to Sweden and settled down in Malmö. I realize how it sounds but we just moved for a warmer place.
My hometown is St. Petersburg, in Russia and sometimes winters are harsh there. Furthermore before moving to Malmö, we had been living in Reykjavik, Iceland for three years.
No need to say that Iceland is an amazing and beautiful country with wonderful people. Icelandic people have this peculiar black humor that we highly appreciated. On the other hand living there demands you to be one of the characters from "Game of Thrones". In this way moving to Malmö seemed a logical step for us.
My husband got a job at a game development company, as far as local business scene is bursting with offers for programmers and developers. Future colleagues helped us a lot with moving, documents and were truly patient answering all our questions. I remember myself asking: "Is is true that there are no washing machines in apartments and you always have to use public ones?" By the way it is still a thing for me, I'm somewhere between bargaining and acceptance from the five stages of grief.
We've got a comfy apartment where we could live for couple of months until we find a permanent place. Searching for accommodation was a challenging task. The demand in Malmö is high and there are not so many offers on the market. Every morning before brushing my teeth I was checking websites with renting listings and chasing apartment offering like crazy. After two months of this exercise we finally got a place we wanted.
Our daughter got a place in the municipal förskola. However she was not very happy there, so we decided to wait for a private one. We were standing in the queue for two years, and we were rewarded for patience. The teachers in this förskola are competent and enjoy working with kids.
Nevertheless first six months were quite difficult for our daughter. She had to learn Swedish from the zero level. We were lucky to get a lot of support and empowerment from the teachers.
All this time I had been working remotely as a digital marketing manager. When everything was settled with apartment and forskola, I started to search for offline job in Sweden. It was a demanding project as well. It took me about 5 months, 12 interviews, more then 300 CVs and 2 job offers to get a job.
Right now, I’m working as Online Analytics Manager in an industrial company. I adore my international team, I love my colleagues, the way we support and help each other. We work really hard, but we don’t forget to have fun at the same time.
One day I got acquainted with my husband’s colleague on the event about job hunting in Sweden. She told me about International Citizen Hub Lund and a Kick-Start Program that helps newcomers to navigate the Swedish life. I was lucky to join the Program, I think that was a life changing moment for me. It’s not only about knowledge and networking. For me it’s more about the constant support and empowerment from coordinators. The hub has a really welcoming and positive atmosphere. That’s the place where I can always get advice and guidance. I’m grateful to the people that run this project, warmly and deeply appreciate their kindness and professionalism. I can highly recommend the Kick-Start Program to anyone who found Sweden as a second home.
/ Julia Sergeeva