Sweden is a country in Scandinavia that is bordered by Norway and Finland. It has a moderate climate and some of the most untouched landscapes in the world, especially in the north.
Au pairs may find themselves exploring the picturesque streets of Stockholm, drinking coffee in the charming city of Gothenburg, or hanging out in the up and coming social scene of Malmö. Sweden is also in close proximity to many other Scandinavian countries, making it a great destination for those who wish to travel to multiple destinations.
Au pairs will find Sweden a wonderful destination if they’re interested in vibrant and cultural cities, learning the Swedish language, and living in a safe and welcoming country.
Au pairs can apply for work anytime of the year, as applications are generally open year round. It's often best to look for a certified agency that can assist au pairs with finding placements with appropriate families.
Many families are interested in hiring au pairs that can teach English to members of their household. Whether this would manifest in more structured lessons with the children or simply by speaking English at the dinner table, this is a great chance to facilitate a language exchange.
Au pairs should keep in mind that parts of Sweden can get very cold, especially during the winter months. Au pairs should pick a city where they will feel most comfortable living in year round.
In order to au pair in Sweden, workers must apply for a working and residence visa no matter the duration they wish to work. Those who have a permit to work as an au pair are not permitted to work full time as a housemaid or as a nanny.
Furthermore, keep in mind that au pairs may not be permitted to continue their work in Sweden if they have recently au paired long-term in another country prior to their Swedish application. This is sometimes taken as a sign of working as a full-time nanny or housemaid, which is prohibited.
Applicants must be between 18-30 years old, have a passport and written invitation from a host family, amongst several other requirements. Applicants can apply at a Swedish embassy. Learn more by visiting the Scandinavian au-pair center website.
Au pairs receive a minimum of $400 USD and live with a host family for the duration of their job. Some of their wages are deducted because of tax and housing. Au pairs are generally granted a one year permit for the duration of their stay.
Au pairs will live with their host families in a separate bedroom. Housing and meals are typically deducted from their hourly pay, which is advantageous in areas where cost of living is high. By living with their host family, they will be able to learn the local language and engage in local traditions and customs, thus immersing themselves into the Swedish culture.
Even though Sweden is very north, the Gulf Stream creates a much milder climate than other countries located that far north. In the summer months, mostly July, temperatures range from 13 to 17 degrees Celsius. In the winter, mostly February, temperatures can drop to -22 to 3 degrees Celsius. Winter comes sooner in the north than in the south.
Au pairs should prepare for cool weather year-round by packing clothing that can be layered. Necessities include a parka, thick pants, long sleeved shirts, gloves, a scarf, hat, and boots. They should also pack a light jacket for the summer months and cooler evenings.
Au pairs should always dress respectfully and modestly since they are living with a host family and working for them.
Sweden is quite expensive to live and travel in; however, au pairs will be living with a host family, so their meals and housing will be covered during working hours. For all other extra expenses outside of working hours, au pairs should budget themselves on $20-30 USD a day.
A meal at a restaurant can cost around $11, a water bottle can cost around $2, and a coffee is around $3.50. Au pairs must keep in mind that any extra expenses, like medical expenses, supplies, and toiletries, will set them back in their budget.
Stockholm is the capital of Sweden, and considered one of the most picturesque cities in the world. It’s bike-friendly, clean with many different parks and green areas, and considered very safe.
Gothenburg is a charming, quaint city and is home to Sweden’s biggest botanical garden. There’s a large outdoor café culture, delicious food, and a wide variety of museums.
Malmö is very close to Copenhagen in Denmark. This distinctive city boasts some beautiful architecture, social cafes, and a vibrant, young energy that’s unique only to Malmö.
Skåne is a lesser-traveled city in Sweden and experiences long summer days and beautiful landscapes that stretch for miles. Nature lovers will love this city, surrounded by forests and flower fields.
Visby is a port city that also boasts a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a wealth of medieval history. Foodies flock to Visby for some of the best restaurants in Sweden, trying the fresh and delicious food that can’t be found anywhere else.
Contributed by Monica Gray
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