Research day #1

How do you emigrate….? Any ideas?

Today I want to start my research. I fell in love with Sweden as soon as the sun rose there. I have felt a little “out of the loop,” in the UK for a long time, and now I kind of understand why. But Sweden…

I’m sure that I am currently living in the honeymoon period of the place, but there are so many things that I loved about it. The lifestyle, the people, the sights…. Maybe not the cost of living… but hey. The wages are higher, and the standard is higher.

I’m going to have a go at this. I’ve applied for the Swedish Universities of my choice, and looked into a few more courses. And it seems that I can live, work and study there relatively easily. Certainly within the next two years, before Theresa May and her friends at westminster make things slightly more tricky.

So let’s have a look at where I stand today.

EU citizens have a basic right to travel, work, study and live within the EU. In Sweden education is free, waiving the tuition fees of 210,000 SEK for all Swedish or EU citizens. That is roughly the same as the tuition costs in the UK I guess. Obviously, there are books to purchase, and general living requirements, but a part time job in a bar, in a shop or picking up litter in the street (although there isn’t any on the streets of Malmö) should cover that.

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To study in Sweden, you first need to be accepted into a program. Once you have that letter of acceptance, you then apply for a resident permit. As a student, you can gain these relatively easily. It is like a study visa. Like you would have to apply for to study in Australia or the USA. I am hoping that it is valid for the three years of the course, rather than one that needs to be updated on a yearly basis. But we will see.

After you receive that resident permit, you can then begin the search for employment. I already have my sights set on some of the Irish/English bars around the city. That way I can study in the daytime, and work during the evening. Money will be tight. Erika will also be studying for a degree.

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During the last few months, both of us have realised how lazy we have been in life. Accepting our fate early, and doing just enough to get by. Our jobs are ok. The money is ok. But neither of us fulfilled our potential and took steps to live our dreams.

I’m sure that there are so many people out there in the world who are in the same position. Life and choice is wasted on the young.

The truth is that at the age of 16, I didn’t know what life had in store for me. I didn’t realise the importance of the decisions, I was about to make. The careers advisor at school tried to help me. He suggested jobs that I would be good at, would enjoy, would succeed in. But I was young, dumb and full of the joys of life. I wanted to listen to music. I wanted to drink beer. I wanted to throw my youth away on the frivolity of parties and ignorance.

Unlike most other people in the world… I never really stopped doing that.

Don’t get me wrong, the parties were fun, the beer was good and life has gifted me a plethora of memories that I would not change for the world. But I’m 36 now. Fast approaching the big four O. And it may well be time to refocus.

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Some of the most interesting people that I have ever met, had no idea what they were doing in life until their “mid life crisis.” I’m beginning to think that I am the same.

There are three main cycles in life. Youth, Adult and Old. (Someone else can find better names for them.) I have managed to stretch youth out as far as it will go.

Now I will start again. With Erika, who inspires me. She is my muse. She is my rock. She is the one who tells me to stand up straight and make this count.

Change is a good thing. Progression is a good thing.

Above all else… I’m not dead yet.

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