Why you need to know what a personnumber is…and other bureaucracy issues

One of the things I found the most difficult when living abroad is to understand the bureaucracy in a foreign country and usually this is one of those things that you need to understand because it very much affects your live in different ways. There are some mandatory procedures that you cannot ignore, such as a resident permit. For some countries you need to have everything set before you come to Sweden. For others, Brazilians for example, you just receive beforehand an certification of visa and you need to go to the Migration agency once you arrive here (you have to make an appointment). There the collect you photo and fingerprints and in one week you have you resident permit card.

This card looks like a ID card but it does not work like one. You cannot use it to prove your identity (only to show you can reside in the country, for example when you travel and want to come back) so you still need to walk around with your passport. After you visa is regularized you can apply for a personnumber at the Tax Agency of you town.

A personnumber it is something like your civic registration in Sweden. To have a personnumber is the best thing, it is like you have your existence acknowledge in the country, many types of services ask for this number and you have much more possibilities once you have it. You can still do must things without one, but it is much easier with it. To have one you need to go to the Tax Agency and bring your passport, your resident permit card and a certification that you are a student at the university (which it is easy to get from the LiU’s student system). And that’s it. After you apply, in one week you have your personnumber. Students staying for less than one year don’t get a personnumber, but you will be fine once is a shorter period.

After you have a personnumber, another thing you can apply for is a Swedish ID. This is a good idea because, obviously, you’ll have a card that works like an ID and things like open a back account or using the health system becomes easier. It is at the same Tax Agency but for that you need to make an appointment in their website. Then, you take you resident permit, your passport and your personnumber there and in one week you have your ID. You also need to pay a fee of 400Kr, but I think it is worth it given how things will get simpler.

Resultado de imagem para migration agency

Resultado de imagem para tax agency sweden

Photos by: Svenska Dagbladet and Google images

Swedish classes: why you should go for it

Today I started level A2 of Swedish in the university after completing A1 there last semester. You might be wondering if you should take Swedish classes once you come here and in my opinion is a cool thing to do and here are some reasons for that:

  1.       Feel more integrated
  2.       Get better oriented with your surroundings
  3.       Learn a bit more about Swedish society and culture
  4.       Have a different activity besides your regular classes

I don’t know if i will continue in Sweden after finishing my masters, everything can happen! Either way, the experience of living in a country changes completely when you understand, even if just a little, its language. I believe the language, more than just communicating, talks about the way people perceive the world around them. To learn Swedish is to learn about Sweden and its inhabitants as well, and I can tell you, it as great sensation when you can read a sign in the street or just pick up a random word in a random conversation between two Swedes.

About the course, it is not too demanding. You will have classes of about 3 hours once a week, some writing and oral assignments and a final exam. I’m excited to moving forward with Swedish and feel even more inside Swedish society. And you? Are you considering learning Swedish?

 

Happy Chinese New Year!

Yesterday I got to, for the first time, celebrate the Chinese New Year’s Eve and it was really fun. My class is made of people from different places around the world and two of my Chinese friends invited all of us for a party with lots of their traditional food.

According to the Chinese calendar, 2019 starts today – 5th of February – and is the Pig year, the year of good luck regarding money, let’s keep our fingers crossed. Besides the meanings surrounding this day, we got to experience different dishes from noodles to dumplings and desserts with a wide range of flavors, many very new to my mouth. It was specially fun to see the face of everyone tasting all those different things. In the end we even did a video with each one of us saying “happy new year” in our own language, there was 10 different languages among us!!!

Such a night tells how enriching can be to study in another country and have moments (and food) so out of your comfort zone. I’m glad my Chinese friends wanted to share this day with us and celebrate their culture together with people from other cultures, such diversity is one of the best parts about studying abroad!