Christian, Radiologist from Romania working in Sweden
CHRISTIAN and his wife studied Swedish in Calafell, Spain, and brought with them their little daughter, who was about three months at the time. The family lives in Karlskrona, Sweden. Christian has become the chief physician at the radiology department and his wife has found a job at the district court.
The first contact with MediCarrera was at a job fair. After that, it was a short way from thought to action. After about one month he received a mail where he was asked to submit an updated CV. After two-three weeks he received an enquiry regarding whether he was interested in travelling to Sweden for an interview trip. Just a couple of days later he was on his way to Sweden for the first contact with his potential new workplace.
Christian thought the interview trip was well organised and he and his wife got a good impression of the workplace and the town. They were able to see day-care centres and schools and saw that there was a very good environment for children. This was a decisive reason for his accepting the offer when he was offered a job a couple of weeks later. “We began at home with a preparative language course, which was internet based. This course lasted three months and then in mid-September we travelled with the whole family to Calafell in Spain in order to continue with intensive training”, Christian remembers.
The language training itself worked well and provided sufficient knowledge in order to be able to handle the job. The literature was up to date and of good quality and the course also included watching movies, in order to be able to catch the pronunciation and daily language. “When I went to the interview, two of my future bosses talked in Swedish among themselves in front of me, and I wondered how I would ever be able to learn that language! I know several other languages, for example, German, but this was totally different. But it did turn out alright”, Christian laughs.
He speaks Swedish with all his colleagues at work. Many of them come from other countries and they use Swedish as their common language. The daily language training is important, Christian feels.
CALAFELL, which is a nice place by the beach, worked well as a study centre and the programme was flexible enough that it was possible to bring a small child. When the parents went to class, their daughter Ingrid slept in a room next door and Christian’s wife had contact with her through a “baby intercom” in order to know if she woke up. Her mother, Christian’s mother in law, also came to Calafell in order to help take care of Ingrid.
During the time the course lasted, MediCarrera helped taking care of all the practicalities before the move to Sweden. “We got all the help we needed from MediCarrera; with the paperwork, with organising transportation, finding a house, signing up for day-care and so forth, Christian tells us. We arrived in Sweden by plane at approximately the same time as our belongings arrived with the truck, so that was well timed. The apartment had been booked two months ago, so we could move straight in.”
Christian’s wife, who has worked as a legal expert in the real estate market in Romania, kept studying Swedish upon arrival in Sweden in order to be able to find a job within her area. The language training received from MediCarrera was important to her in order to have a good grasp of the basics. Now she has landed a job covering a temporary vacancy at the district court and hopes that it will turn into a steady job.
““We got all the help we needed from MediCarrera; with the paperwork, with organising transportation, finding a house, signing up for day-care and so forth.”
Their daughter Ingrid attends Swedish day-care and is very content. She speaks a mix of Romanian and Swedish, has made friends and feels at home in the new environment.
For Christian, the first time at the workplace was a positive experience, although it was obviously quite an exhausting process getting situated in the new environment and learning the new routines. He had an introductory period of two-three weeks and from then on gradually became an integral part of the team. After a couple of weeks, he got his first patients for picture analysis and the first time he was able to explore a patient and have direct contact in person was after a couple of months. He didn’t have any problems with the language and the patients generally met him with a positive attitude. They are used to meeting foreign doctors.
There is a big difference between the health systems in Sweden and Romania. It’s much better in Sweden, Christian thinks. One example is the working hours, limited to the time between 7am and 4pm. You also have more resources, for example in the form of materials, and the salary is a lot better. Besides, the working environment is very nice.
The family is very happy in Sweden and the best part of moving has been that they can now live a calmer life and that their daughter Ingrid now has a brighter and safer future. Christian finishes with some words of encouragement to colleagues that are considering taking the step of moving to Sweden: “You don’t have to worry about the salary. It’s perfectly sufficient, although the cost of living is higher. The language training is decisive for being able to handle the job and it’s important that your partner also follows the language course. This increases her or his possibilities of finding a job and adapting to the new living situation.”