"...I love Swedish weather and enjoy the rains and dark days. The cold breeze with sometimes foggy mornings are really beautiful for me. I enjoy the colors in spring and sunshine in summer equally. As a photographer & artist all of this provides me the best opportunities to play with light and shadows. I love the calm and peaceful life, where you can live in a city yet be very close to nature."
My name is Vidhi Sharma and I am from India. I live in Lund, Sweden, with my husband and 5 year old daughter.
I moved to Sweden in 2014 with my husband as he got a long term assignment here. We moved to Malmo from Bangalore in India. The natural beauty of this country impressed me a lot and most of my time was spent hiking or roaming in the woods. The cute little towns of Sweden, “fika” culture, parks and weather were very novel and amazing experiences for me. Contrary to populist opinion, I love Swedish weather and enjoy the rains and dark days. The cold breeze with sometimes foggy mornings are really beautiful for me. I enjoy the colors in spring and sunshine in summer equally.
As a photographer & artist all of this provides me the best opportunities to play with light and shadows. I love the calm and peaceful life, where you can live in a city yet be very close to nature. Work-life balance is quite good in Sweden and now after all these years, it feels like our second home.
Quitting my job in India and moving to Sweden was a difficult decision, but I am glad that I made that choice. Although I have had around 8+ years of professional experience in different jobs in India, finding something similar and suitable for me was tough. Language was also a big barrier as English speaking jobs were very far and few.
I have always been a very creative and social person and have a keen interest in photography. I was pursuing it as a hobby for a long time, but one day I gathered the courage to follow my heart and decided to start my own photography business. This was a step in the direction to secure financial independence while doing something which I really loved.
There is certainly a lot of support which you get from the government and authorities here, when you start something on your own. There is a lot of flexibility and you can always start something part time.
It gives a lot of exposure to different processes and regulations and help understand the ways of working in Sweden.
As it's famous in Sweden, it’s really hard to make new friends here and that also made it a bit difficult to find clients. However, Networking is the key. Meeting like minded people, attending business and social events, helps opening new doors. It may be difficult to get the conversation started in Sweden, but once they get to know you and trust you, you are warmly welcomed.
Learning svenska makes it easier to become part of the society and social groups. I have joined SFI and have basic understanding of Svenska, however, it is still a challenge to promote my work locally and also with the tax & admin work, which is predominantly in svenska. So, learning Swedish is definitely going to help anyone who wants to start his/her own venture in Sweden.
For me attending the Kick-Start Program of International Citizen Hub Lund provided me an exposure to the like-minded people who were also going through similar difficulties in their ventures. I got to meet a lot of people from different cultures and with so many good ideas. This is no doubt a useful platform to learn and help each other to understand the Swedish ways of working.
/ Vidhi Sharma