Living and working in the Göteborg Region.

Living and working in
the Göteborg Region.
Business Region Göteborg AB
Norra Hamngatan 14
411 14 Göteborg, Sweden
Tel: +46 31 61 24 02
Fax: +46 31 61 24 01
[email protected]
Welcome to the Göteborg Region
Close to home
Living in the region
Working in the region
There is more to life than work
Everyday life in Swedish society
Growing up in the region
Further education
We will help you
More information
What to do in
the Göteborg Region
when you have a
few months or years
to spend.
We are delighted to learn that you are interested in life on the west coast of Sweden,
where Göteborg, Sweden's second city, has always been the natural gateway to the
west. This is a city with international style, local creativity and a natural, relaxed charm,
able to combine big city excitement, shopping and cultural facilities with stunning scenery and coastline. In fact, one of Europe's finest island archipelagos is no more than a
tram ride away from the city centre.
On the following pages you will find an introduction to living conditions in the kingdom of Sweden and specifically, what it's like to live and work in the city of Göteborg
and its surrounding areas.
The Göteborg Region
The Göteborg Region represents 13
municipalities. You can drive from the
north to the south within an hour and
on the way, you will see the landscape
change from deepest forest to open
fields and sea inlets.
The heart of Scandinavia is waiting for you.
Thanks to the location and excellent communications of
nental flights are only one stop away. You can also fly from
the Göteborg Region, it is easy to get around within
Göteborg City Airport, which is only a 10 minute drive
Göteborg – home
Sweden and abroad. And for anyone flying here, it is easy
from the city centre.
Approx. flight times
to get home again, regardless of where you come from.
Flying to and from Göteborg is cheap. Many of the low
West Sweden’s international airport, Landvetter Airport, is
price airlines operate from the region and there are direct
just 20 minutes drive from the city, and handles over four
ferry links to Denmark, Germany and the UK from the
million passengers every year. There are daily direct flights
Göteborg Harbour. Major cities, such as Oslo and Copen-
to all major European cities (we have direct links to 31
hagen are within 300 kilometers of Göteborg, and
destinations in Europe at this time) and most interconti-
Stockholm is only 500 kilometers away.
Göteborg – Amsterdam
1 h 30 min
Göteborg – London
1 h 40 min
Göteborg – Munich
1 h 45 min
Göteborg – Paris
Göteborg – Riga
3 h 40 min
Göteborg – Rome
3 h 20 min
Göteborg – Vienna
2 h 40 min
A great city with a small town feel.
Take a slice of London, mix it with a bit of Amsterdam and add a touch
of San Francisco and you will end up with something like Göteborg.
Except perhaps that this is a city on a slightly smaller scale. You can bike
through the city centre in less than 10 minutes, whilst a bus or tram
tour will do it in around 15. This is a place where ‘local’ means anything
within 10 minutes walk and yet the people are just as cosmopolitan as
in any big city in the world. And that’s the way it has been for as long as
we can remember, ever since the 1600s when Swedes and Germans
built our houses and market squares, the Dutch built our canals and the
British made us one of the most thriving merchant ports in Europe. At
that time, Göteborg was a typical port, with three official languages.
Nowadays of course, there are many more languages spoken here and
Göteborg has grown into a multicultural city.
There are 860,000 residents in the Göteborg Region (the entire
Western Sweden is reckoned to have 1.5 million) and we have lots of
good reasons to thrive here. For example, the cost of living here is much
lower than in many other large urban regions as can quickly be seen at
the supermarket checkout.
In the new area of Eriksberg,
there are spacious apartments
with a view of the harbour.
Looks like a place
you could call home?
The Göteborg Region has a lot to offer, especially
when it comes to places to live. Just think of it – you
can live by the sea, in the forest, or in the heart of a
bustling city. And there’s a lot of different types of
accommodation to choose from – spacious apartments, charming wooden houses and modern homes
with the clean simplicity of Scandinavian architecture.
The city’s location, with its beautiful natural harbour,
stunning coastline and rugged hills and forests, is one
of its biggest assets.
The majority of all Swedes own the house they live in.
Monday mornings are great
when you don’t have to face
them so early.
Living and working in Göteborg is of course different than
living in another European city in many ways. For example,
you don’t have to get up so early to get to work on time.
Göteborg is a small big city, and you can get just about anywhere within a few minutes. Within 20 kilometers are many
of the Göteborg Region’s biggest businesses. If you choose
to drive to work, you’ll quickly notice that the traffic queues
are much shorter than elsewhere in Europe. If you prefer
the bus, tram or train, there are lots to choose from as our
public transport system is very extensive and runs smoothly
to the benefit of city residents and commuters. Students in
Göteborg are even better off – colleges and the university
are in the city centre.
Business in the Göteborg Region.
International trade and shipping have been the lifeblood
of Göteborg since the city was founded in 1621.
Working with Swedes.
Göteborg was even the centre of the world shipbuilding
In Sweden, cooperation is a fundamental philosophy. This
industry for many years. The automotive industry has
is a country in which the workplace is governed by
grown and flourished here since the 1920s, thanks to the
democracy and taking responsibility. Swedish managers
world’s safest vehicles - Volvo and Saab.
have gained a reputation abroad for their committed
Renowned and global enterprises in the Göteborg Region.
But since then, a lot has changed! Göteborg remains a
views on leadership, a way of working that is based on the
major commercial and shipping city with the biggest port
conviction that everyone is aware that they are a part of
Volvo Group is one of the world's
Nobel Biocare is the world leader in
in Scandinavia for instance, but a host of new and exciting
the whole and can make a contribution, which results in
leading suppliers of transport solu-
innovative esthetic dental solutions. It
industries have also taken root here. Sweden is ranked as
more satisfied employees. Swedes are non-hierarchical by
tions for commercial use. Volvo offers
is dental implant system based on an
the world leader in IT and in the Göteborg Region alone
nature and address each other on first name terms. In-
a broad range of trucks, construction
invention from Göteborg. Production
equipment, buses, pleasure- and wor-
takes place at four sites in Sweden and
there are as many as 3,500 businesses engaged in the IT
cluding the boss.
king boats. The larger part of Volvo's
the USA. The company has its own sales
production and its headquarters are
organisations in 29 countries with ope-
located in Göteborg.
rational headquarters in Göteborg.
sector in some way. A good example of one of the major
Another difference about working with Swedes is that
skills fields is telematics, led by the Telematics Valley. But
you will find there are more gainfully employed women
we are also very strong within biomedicine, with leading
here. We have a way to go yet before we have a truly equal
research and development within such fields as metabolic
society, but we do believe that we are one of the countries
diseases, biomaterials and cell therapy. Proof of this is the
in the world that is working hardest to achieve it.
Mölnlycke Health Care is one of the
AstraZeneca offers a full range of
world's leading manufacturers of single-
products in six therapeutic areas which
Nobel Prize-winner Arvid Carlsson, who was the winner
Punctuality is essential in the Swedish workplace where
use surgical products. The group is also
treat conditions and diseases ranging
in 2000 for his discoveries of new drugs for the treatment
9 a.m. means just that, and not a quarter past. This is a
prominent in the professional wound
from asthma to heart disease. Astra
of such ailments as schizophrenia.
simple system which we find works extremely well. Also
care sector with a wide range of pro-
Zeneca is one of the world’s leading
The region is home to a wide range of large corpora-
worth mentioning are our famous coffee breaks, which
ducts for the treatment of surgical
pharmaceutical companies and one of
wounds, chronic wounds and burns.
have become a short but lively rallying point during a
its largest research centres with approx-
tions within traditional industry and smaller ones within
The headquarters of Mölnlycke Health
imately 3,450 people (including Astra
new sectors. This is great for business life in the region
long working day.
Care are located in Göteborg.
Tech) is located in Göteborg.
and is one of the reasons for our success as one of the fastest growing commercial regions in northern Europe.
Saab started making military aircraft
SKF was founded in 1907 and is now
in 1937. Today Saab Automobile is
the leading global supplier of pro-
represented in more than 50 countries
ducts, customer solutions and services
all over the world and is a member
in the rolling bearing, seals- and related
of the GM Group. The sales and mar-
businesses. SKF has some 80 manufac-
keting department, GM Europe's
turing sites distributed all over the
advanced design centre and produc-
world. SKF headquarters are located in
tion of manual gearboxes are all
located in Göteborg.
Ericsson is shaping the future of mobile
Volvo Cars became a member of the
and broadband internet communi-
Ford Motor Company in 1999. Today
cations through its continuous tech-
more than five million car owners
nology leadership. Providing innovative
drive a Volvo and the sales- and service
solutions in more than 140 countries,
network covers around 120 countries.
Ericsson is helping to create the most
The Volvo Car headquarters and major
powerful communication companies in
manufacturing elements are located in
the world. One of Ericsson's main R&D
centers are located in Gothenburg.
The Ten Largest Companies in the Göteborg Region Volvo Car Corporation AB, Volvo Trucks AB, AstraZeneca AB, Ericsson AB, SKF Sverige AB,
Ericsson Microwave Systems AB, Volvo Information Technology AB, SCA Hygiene Products AB, Manpower AB and Skanska AB.
1. An average of 100 productions are
mounted every year at Göteborg’s theatre
centre. 2. Göteborg is home to the largest
But there’s more to life than work.
That's why Göteborg has such an abundance of places where you can enjoy the
relaxation you deserve after a hard day’s work. At the last count, there were 562
amusement park in Scandinavia, with
the only wooden roller coaster in Europe.
3. The annual Göteborg Horse Show is
rated as one of the best indoor events.
4. Göteborg is a green city, with over 30
parks. 5. Ullevi is Scandinavia’s leading
outdoors arena with top class international
restaurants, 25 theatres, 159 cafés, about 30 golf courses and one Opera House
sport and music events. 6. Marstrands
in the city centre. Not bad for a city this size - not bad for a city double this size in
summer, and is only about an hour from
Fästning is a favourite playground in the
the city centre.
fact! High on the list of places to go is Avenyn (you can't miss it, it is Göteborg’s
biggest entertainment area) and for a more varied and informal mix - the Haga- and
Linné areas in the older parts of town are where you will find plenty of cafés,
pubs, clubs and bars. Opening hours vary, but most nightclubs close at five a.m.
Cultural life is also rich and varied. We have an art museum renowned for its fine
selection of Nordic art and a concert hall which is home to Sweden's National
Orchestra. But the city centre is only a part of life after work in the region. Outside
the city limits are a range of leisure pursuits, facilities, places to go and things to do.
But there’s more
to life
than work
7. Göteborg has over 560 restaurants. Fresh
design, shops are within walking distance of
be had here during the winter. 17. A 20
fish and sea food are a speciality at many of
each other. 12. Avenyn is Göteborg’s pro-
minute tram ride brings you right out to the
them. 8. There are lots of nightclubs, most
menade, lined with restaurants, cafés and
spectacular coastline. 18. Don’t miss the
of which don’t close before 5 a.m. 9. The
bars. 13. People in Göteborg love to socialise,
illuminations in Alingsås, just 47 km from
"Chef of the Year" prize has been won by a
there are 159 cafés to choose from. 14.
Göteborg. 19. Every August, we celebrate
regional chef six times in recent years. 10.
Sweden’s biggest shopping centre is very
the ‘Göteborgskalas’, two weeks of music,
Take the tram to see sharks and tropical rain
central. 15. Feskekyrkan (the fish church)
eating and entertainment. 20. The biggest
forest at Universeum, just a five minute ride
has been the place to buy fresh sea food
amusement park in Scandinavia puts on
from the city centre. 11. Göteborg is big on
since 1874. 16. There’s just as much fun to
Christmas festivities.
A great place to try a new water
sport. Or write your first poem.
The place for action and adventure, or a picture of tranquility.
Having the great outdoors on the doorstep gives those with active
leisure pursuits a lot to choose from. Naturally, many of us spend
our spare time on the water, where sailing, motor cruising,
powerboating, water-skiing, windsurfing and fishing are extremely
popular. In the summer, we have guests from all over the world
come to spend their boating holiday on our magnificent coastline.
If you prefer the greener pleasures of golf, there are four big
courses within Göteborg’s boundaries and many more in the
region. Riding is another favourite pastime for Swedes, and
Göteborg is particularly well served with a host of riding schools
and trails. The Scandinavian winters bring excellent skiing on the
hills just a few miles away.
Everyday life in Swedish society.
Life in modern day Sweden cannot of course be fully described in a brochure. But to give
you some idea, we can say that Sweden consistently ranks high in quality of life surveys.
This covers education, healthcare, career opportunities, the environment and many other
aspects of life. Our welfare state is precious to us and internationally renowned.
Yes, we speak English
Healthcare in Sweden and Göteborg
Children begin to learn English at school when they are
Primary care is administered by the regional authorities
seven years old – and in some instances, even earlier.
and organised in health centres and there are a number of
Consequently, most Swedes can speak and write English
private physicians to choose from. There are four large
without a second thought. Many TV programmes and
hospitals in Göteborg: Sahlgrenska Sjukhuset, Östra Sjuk-
films are in English, which means the language is part of
huset, Mölndals Sjukhus, Frölunda Sjukhus and Carlander-
daily life here.
ska (private). There is also a range of health centres and
hospitals specialising in one form of treatment or another.
Swedish social security
Everyone resident in Sweden is entitled to the social secu-
The meaning of ‘Allemansrätten’.
rity system from the age of 16. The system covers social
Swedes are a nature-loving people, as can be seen by the
benefits such as healthcare, pensions, child allowance and
fact that Sweden is the one of the few countries in the
so on. More information is available from the Social
world with a law entitling everyone to free access to land,
Insurance Office (Försäkringskassan).
anywhere in the country. This unique ‘right to roam’ is
known as ‘Allemansrätten’ (literally: every man’s right) and
Support for families with children
allows everyone the right to hike, ski, pick wild berries or
Swedish families receive a relativly high level of support
simply walk anywhere you like (except private property such
compared to many other countries and if you have a resi-
as gardens).
dent’s permit with the intention of living here for at least
12 months, you will qualify for benefits such as child care,
maintenance support, handicap benefit and others.
Growing up in the Göteborg Region.
Relocating to a new country and/or city raises a lot of issues even for a single person.
Moving with your family raises many more: what will it be like for my children in a place
like Göteborg? How does the school system differ from ours? What kind of education
will they be offered? How does daycare work? Choice of education is a particularly
important issue, so a short resumé of what Göteborg has to offer follows here.
International schools.
years. Group-oriented work is a dominant philosophy in
In addition to Sweden's public school system, the Göteborg
the Swedish school system in an effort to create stability,
Region has several international schools catering mostly
security and build cooperation, conformity and consensus
for the children of foreign businesspeople, diplomats, sci-
among group members - key aspects of the Swedish busi-
entists and native Swedes who prefer an international
ness culture.
education. There are tuition fees to attend such schools,
which vary according to the student's residential status. In
the Göteborg Region there are nine international schools.
The English School in Göteborg has 300 students, offering education at a preschool level as well as from the 1st to 9th grade. The
school follows the British curriculum although the courses in Swedish
and social science follow the Swedish curriculum. The majority of the
school's teachers are from Great Britain or have been educated there.
Sweden has many well-equipped daycare centres for children with working parents. Your child must be between 1
and 5 years of age and have been allocated a Swedish state
The Deutsche Schule has 400 students, offering education at a preschool level as well as from the 1st to 9th grade. The school follows the
Swedish curriculum complemented by a strong German profile, inclu-
social security number to attend daycare. There are also
ding German language courses beginning in 1st grade. Several German
numerous "after school" child centres (we call them "fri-
cultural events are planned throughout the year. 70% of the teachers
tids") for children of school age (7 to 12 years of age) and
are Swedish, 30% are German.
there are four international nursery schools for children
between 1 and 6 years of age.
The International School of the Gothenburg Region (ISGR) offers
education from primary (kindergarten) to 12th grade. The school has
approximately 560 students from 35 different nations and offers three
What is different about Swedish schools?
high school programs taught in English: a natural science program, a
For one thing, each school day is different. This way more
social science program, and a high school diploma program.
subjects can be studied simultaneously. This type of curriculum differs from other school systems where each day
is generally the same from first to sixth grade, with the
same subjects being taught at the same time of the day,
Other International schools in Göteborg
• The French School
• The Swedish-Finnish School
every day of the week. In accordance with fostering stabili-
• The Japanese School
• Göteborg Högre Samskola
ty and security, the same teacher usually stays with his or
• The German School
• Hvitfeldtska Gymnasiet
her class for a period of three consecutive years and the
same class remains together for all six elementary school
Lindholmen Science Park is a
facility housing a number of enterprises within commerce, public
bodies and academia. The IT University is based here for instance,
with around 900 students, scientists and lecturers.
Göteborg University is the most
popular in Sweden when it comes
to student choice. It is also the
biggest in the country, with around
50,000 students.
Göteborg University
– Sweden´s largest.
Göteborg is a popular city for studying; so popular in fact, that the
University has become first choice for higher studies amongst many
School of Economics and Commercial Law offers bachelor degree courses and specialist subjects
within such fields as business
finances, and social work. The
school has world-class researchers
on its staff, many of whom are
ranked as the best in their field.
young people in Sweden. Göteborg University and Chalmers University
of Technology are the best-known higher education institutions in
the area, they are of the highest international standard and offer a
broad spectrum of professional disciplines such as; medicine, dentistry,
science, education, arts, economics, law, nautical programs, international business, marketing and much, much more. There is also a
Chalmers Technical University
awards around 300 doctorates
and licentiates every year, along
with 760 degrees to Masters of
Engineering and architects. As far
new IT University here that focuses on three main areas: telematics,
as the latter two disciplines are
mobile internet and edutainment.
the proud record of training
concerned, Chalmers actually has
about 40% of the total engineer
population in Sweden.
Did you know you have friends here?
This introduction to life in Göteborg has been put together by Business Region
Göteborg. We represent 13 local municipalities in the region and our job is to promote and develop trade and industry here. This includes making it easier for people such as yourself to find information about our region and to help you find
whatever help you may need when moving to Göteborg.
This is what we do:
We deal with the practical aspects of setting up a business.
We simplify contacts with local authorities and other organisations
for companies establishing in the region.
We identify available land and premises.
If you have any questions, please contact us.
We identify the support that is available for business development.
We establish business contacts both in Sweden and further afield.
Additionally, we have a wide network of contacts concerning issues
such as international schools, housing, work and residence permits,
spouse-support programs, cross-cultural training, etc.
Petra Sedelius, Relocation Advisor.
tel. +46(0)31-61 24 22,
e-mail: [email protected]
For further information regarding living, working and studying in
the Göteborg Region, please visit our homepage:
Roger Strömberg, Relocation Manager.
tel. +46(0)31-61 24 12,
e-mail: [email protected]
Business Region Göteborg is a neutral partner and our aim is to contribute to business evolution, new
investments, the setting up of businesses and a positive business climate. More and more companies choose
Maria Derner, PR Manager.
the Göteborg Region as the base for their Northern European operations, and most of these companies are
establishing their presence in the region with our assistance. There currently more than 1700 foreign owned
companies in the Göteborg Region.
tel. +46(0)31-61 24 15,
e-mail: [email protected]
But there is so much more we would
like to tell you about Göteborg.
Please visit:
Facts about Sweden.
Facts about the Göteborg
Business in Göteborg.
Healthcare in Göteborg.
Schools and further
What´s up in Göteborg?
Now it’s up to you.
When you have a big decision to make, nothing beats making a list of pros and cons.
Good luck and hope to see you soon!
Permits and visas.
Business and taxes.
Swedish word list.
The practicalities of working in Sweden.
non-EU/EEA citizen you must have a work permit
If you are a EU/EEA citizen, you are entitled to free-
to work in Sweden. If you will be employed in
dom of movement and work within the EU/EFTA
Sweden for longer than 3 months, you must also
member states. This entitles you to the right to
obtain a residence permit and in some cases an
work in Sweden without having to obtain a work
entry visa.
permit. However, if you are going to live in Sweden
for a continuous period of more than 3 months,
Want to know more?
you must have a residence permit. If you are going
Examples of books about Sweden: Sweden’s
to work in Sweden longer than 3 months, but are
Secret Files by Colin Moon, Culture Shock!
domiciled in another EU/EFTA country which you
Successful Living Abroad by Robin Pascoe, Journey
will return to at least once a week, you do not
through Sweden by Max Galli.
require a Swedish residence permit. If you are a
Photo: Anders Andarve, Aorta, Göran Assner, Eric Audras/PhotoAlto, Claes Axstål, Niklas Bernstone, Anna Bloom, Åsa
Dahlgren, Pål Hermansen, James Holm, Kjell Holmner, Anna Jolfors, Gerhard Jörén, Stig Kälvelid, Bosse Lind, Jan Olander,
Göran Olofsson, Robert Persson, Per Magnus Persson/Johner, Magnus Rietz/Johner, Peter Svenson, Jorma Valkonen, Sören Vilks,
Jan-Olof Yxell Information from 2004. Business Region Göteborg cannot be held liable for changes to figures or statistics.