Finding Home in Sweden

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When I first noticed that the slogan of IKEA, the Swedish-originate-Dutch-based home furnitures, kitchen appliances specialist, is: “Home is the most important place in the world,” I started to think that it’s indeed the best way to describe how house is generally perceived in Sweden (and also a smart persuasive message for the customer of course!).

With its not-so-long summer and harsh winter, living in a homy house is indeed essential in Sweden. A house here is not just an asset, it should be a cozy place to spend days and nights as well. This is why Sweden is the heaven for Scandinavian designs (which is characterised by its simplicity, minimalism and functionality), everyday life hacks and anything related to home accessories.

Sadly, it is not that easy to get a house/apartment in Sweden, especially for a family and in a long term. The queue time takes so long and the price is not cheap either. For your information, the accommodation system in Sweden relies on subscription, which means, you have to sign up in the accommodation providers to get a queue number. This costs you no fee but please be aware of the terms and conditions. For example, some providers might require personnumer (Swedish Identity Number) while the others might need student ID.

Then, once you’ve signed up, you will need to wait until you’re the first person in the queue or if there’s a place available for you depending on your housing criteria. And this takes ages. In my experience, we signed up in several housing companies since 2016 but even until now, we haven’t reached number 1 yet.

There are actually several housing providers in Lund, such as Lunds Kommuns Fastighets AB or LKF (the public housing company in Lund), AF Bostäder (the housing company for students), and also private housing companies like Kanslihuset or HSB and many more. But, the demand is higher than the supply so it is still a nightmare, sometimes, to get a place in Lund.

Thus, most people decide to go with sublet or second hand contract (renting from a renter not an owner) and try to find house, apartment or even room in marketplaces like BlocketBoPoolen, and some groups in Facebook. It seems like a perfect solution but the problem with second hand contract is there’s a maximum one year lease that cannot be extended. As a result, I’ve been moved to three different places in a year and half. And if you thought my situation was bad, a friend of mine had to move to 5 different places in 6 months, so I was bit luckier :D.

Finding a place to live in Sweden, even for temporary, is quite an experience honestly. It’s harder than in Indonesia or even Australia in my opinion. And after several moving in and out, I started to value house more than before. I was this kind of person who thought that house is simply a place to sleep at night, a shelter to rest, nothing more. But now, I see home differently. I found it’s necessary to decorate the house, to put some flowers on the window sills, to buy candles and other Swedish things, to make it as homy as possible.

Because, even though there’s no place as homy as Jogja and I still call Australia home, it is in Sweden that I finally realise, home is indeed the most important place in the world 🙂

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Metha says:

    Mbak saya adalah seorang ibu yg ingin sekli melanjutkan study ke luar negeri. Salah satu hal yg sangat krusial di dalam pemikiran sy adalah ttg menyekolahkan anak sy di primary school. Saya sempat membaca artikel mbak yg menceritakan ttg LIS. Yg ingin sy tnyakan mengingat biaya hidup yg tinggi di swedia, apakah LIS itu benar2 gratis? Tidk dikenakan fee apapun pra, sedang berlangsung, dan setelhnya? Karena kalo sy baca ada privat school yg hrs membyrkn sejumah uang. Dan jumlah uang tersebut tidaklah sedikit. Terima kasih

    1. Hayu Hamemayu says:

      Halo mbak Metha, salam kenal. Maaf baru sempat merespon. Saya sedang tidak enak badan.

      Pada prinsipnya, primary school di Swedia umur 7-16 itu ada 3 jenis: public, private dan internasional.

      Kalau publik pasti gratis tapi bhs pengantarnya bhs Swedia.
      Untuk privat, tergantung kebijakan di kommun (muncipality/kecamatan) masing-masing. Untuk Lunds kommun tempat kami tinggal, karena alokasi biaya pendidikan dari pajak tinggi sekali maka selama anak tinggal di Lunds Kommun dan orang tuanya membayar pajak penghasilan (35%), maka tidak ada biaya apapun kecuali kalau anak ikut after school program (semacam penitipan). Itupun besarnya biaya disesuaikan dgn penghasilan orang tua jadi tidak akan memberatkan.
      Hal yg sama juga berlaku untuk sekolah internasional. Tapi sekolah ini memang diperuntukkan untuk mereka2 yg tinggal di Swedia dalam jangka waktu tertentu (tidak selamanya). Karena suami saya di sini terikat kontrak maka anak saya berhak ke sekolah internasional dengan pengantar bhs Inggris. Ada juga sekolah internasional yg pengantarnya bhs Prancis. Jadi kalau dibilang gratis tis ya enggak karena biayanya diambilkan dari pajak yg kita bayarkan. Tapi di luar itu, untuk kasus anak saya, tidak ada biaya apa-apa lagi. Begitu mbak. Semoga cukup jelas.

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