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Milka Vukelic
Categories: Your life in Stockholm

'It’s so easy to be a parent here'

Publish date: 23 February 2017

Milka Vukelic recently moved to Eskilstuna from Croatia and works as an anaesthetist in an international environment at Mälarsjukhuset. 60 % of her colleagues are expats and come from Greece, Armenia, Iraq, Iran and Norway.

Q: What have you learned during the months that you’ve worked here?

It’s important to try out the Swedish way of working, even though you’re used to working in a different way. It can be really beneficial.

Q: What was most surprising to you when you started working here?

Everyone was very friendly and welcoming when I started working here. The colleagues were so accepting about my not-so-good Swedish when I started here. Even the patients were patient.

Q: Describe your office culture

The organisation is super structured and good. All my bosses are very supportive and ask me how I am and how things are going. When we first came here we didn’t have a place to stay. So my boss and the rest of my colleagues did everything they could to help us find somewhere to live. That was very nice.

Q: Do you have any tip for people moving here?

Get your social security number as quickly as possible. It’s really useful from day one!

Q: Is it different being a doctor here as a woman?

Yes, when I had my daughter in Croatia it was hard to stay home to be with her. Here it is much easier since you get subsidies to take care of your child.

Q: What is the weirdest word or expression you know in Swedish?

Fika, haha! I really love fika.

Q: What was the first thing you adapted to when it comes to Swedish culture?

In Croatia we eat breakfast and dinner, we usually don’t stop working for lunch. Here everything stops when people eat.

Q: What other things do you like about Sweden?

The first thing I come to think of is that everything is so organized here. I think the best thing about living here, is that I get more free time to spend with my family. I find the Swedish society to be very human even though there are many routines.

Also, I used to spend more than 30 minutes in traffic. Here I can take my bike to work.

Q: How is it to be a parent in Sweden?

In Croatia I could work an entire week without coming home to see my family, and the salary would stay the same. Here I work 40 hours per week, and that’s it.

I have a daughter who is eight years old. She really enjoys going to school here since she doesn’t get as stressed as she did in Croatia. Swedish education focuses on learning, while letting the kids be kids. I like that.

In Croatia my mum usually had to take care of my daughter after school, but here there is ”fritis” which is fantastic. It’s so easy to be a parent here. Also your workplace understands when you are home with a sick kid. They respect it. 

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