Interview with Laurynas, a Lithuanian pediatrician who has relocated to Sweden
Interview with Laurynas, a Lithuanian pediatrician who has relocated to Sweden.
In 2019, the Lithuanian pediatrician Laurynas and his wife Kornelija, who’s a GP, relocated to Sweden after both of them were offered positions in Swedish health care. They had with them their two children, at that time, 1 and 3 years old. Before moving, the family participated in a language course in Calafell. We spoke to Laurynas about his experience of MediCarrera and the journey he, his wife, and his children started a few years ago. We also asked him how they live with his children in the small Swedish town of Värnamo.
Thoughts on Our Recruitment Process and the Language Course
Laurynas thinks that MediCarrera’s recruitment process was very good. He said everything went smoothly, and the family got lots of help. He explains that he has a friend who recently got a job in another Scandinavian country, Norway. The friend had a different experience because he did it independently and without help.
The language course also went very well. Laurynas says his family got a huge opportunity to learn a lot and that there was enough time to understand Swedish communication. The fact that they could leave their children at kindergarten allowed them to focus on their studies without stressing.
Sometimes Laurynas still feels a little language barrier, even though the family has lived in Sweden for almost four years. In his mother tongue, from just listening to someone saying two sentences, he says he can get information about where that person comes from, his education, and lots of other information just by the way they speak. In Sweden, he can perceive if someone comes from a general area, Skåne, for instance, but he feels he can’t perceive much more. He says it’s tricky when you meet multiple people, and they speak a little bit differently; he tries to understand the difference without getting it. Laurynas isn’t sure that he will ever reach that level of Swedish, but at the same time, he says it might come with time.
The relocation to Värnamo
The relocation was exciting and interesting for the couple’s children. Laurynas admits it was a bit more stressful for him and his wife. At the same time, they knew that everything would turn out well in the end, so they were happy. The family initially got a lot of help with finding the right flat, the kindergarten and moving.
Life in Värnamo
Värnamo is a small town surrounded by forests and lots oflakes. The family likes hiking, fishing, and being out in nature overall. Laurynas says that for people like him and his family, who have an interest in nature, Värnamo is an awesome place. He thinks it might not be the best place for young people who want a busy social life, to do many different things and meet many people. But of course, it depends from person to person. For Laurynas and his family, Värnamo is perfect!
He sees many advantages to living in a small town like Värnamo. First of all, he mentions the kindergartens. He’s grateful that there are many different options in Värnamo, which are of high quality. Vilnius, where the family comes from, is a bigger city where it was difficult to get a place in a good kindergarten and also very expensive.
In the mornings, Laurynas rides his bike, and he can easily swing by the kindergarten or school on his way to work to leave the children, which he appreciates, he adds.
First experience in Sweden
Living in Sweden is slightly different compared to Lithuania. However, he thinks that when you are getting a bit older and have a family, it can be trickier to find and make new friends, especially close ones.
However, it has been manageable for the family, and they don’t socialise much. Also, they still have some good friends from Lithuania that they occasionally meet, and some live in Sweden. The family is still in contact with some people from the language course in Calafell, too. Some live close to Värnamo, just around 30 kilometres away, so they also meet now and then. Many doctors from abroad live and work in Värnamo. Laurynas’s experience is that they are looking to connect more than Swedes. Aside from the social standpoint, life in Värnamo is good for their family and less stressful.
In the end, Laurynas can’t say he experiences Swedes to be that different from people in other countries. He thinks the culture might be slightly different, but at the same time, Sweden is not far away from his home country. He thinks Swedish people are friendly. When talking about Swedish culture, Laurynas thinks life is slower in Sweden. He gives an example:
If we need to make some decision, then we first have to meet like five or six times and ask everyone if they agree, and we don’t decide until everyone agrees. It could be because of the hierarchy structure. In Lithuania, you get instructions from somewhere upward, but in Sweden, everyone is counted in the decision-making, so it’s slower.
If he would change something in their life situation, it’s seeing his Lithuanian family more often. Unfortunately, Laurynas, his wife, and their children don’t have the opportunity to go there to visit them as much as they want.
Working as a pediatrician in Sweden
Laurynas thinks there’s a big difference between his pediatrician work in Sweden and Lithuania. Where he works in Värnamo, he has way more responsibility and has to do many things by himself. He describes his job as challenging and, at the same time, rewarding. Every day he learns something new. Laurynas thinks that with a bigger responsibility, a great feeling comes when you achieve something and manage to do so well.
When we asked him the best thing about working as a pediatrician in Sweden, Laurynas found it hard to choose only one good thing.
Everything is very good: My colleagues and the moment we sit down every day and have a snack together (fika). It’s very refreshing when everyone is in one place, and we can talk to each other, so fika is the best thing, he says, laughing.
Laurynas also sees some differences between working as a pediatrician in Sweden and working in Lithuania. According to him, the main difference is the hierarchy. Where he comes from, the hierarchy is always tangible. He experiences the structure in his new working place to be more horizontal. Laurynas says he can talk to anyone or give someone “above” him a phone call whenever to ask for something, without feeling like he’s a stupid person. He can always ask whatever he wants and get help without feeling stressed before calling a colleague, which is very good.
Laurynas thinks the balance between work and free time is way better in Sweden. Life is not always easy in Värnamo either, but he senses the difference. Today, he usually works from 8 am to 5-3.30 pm, and when he’s done for the day, he can go home without feeling compelled to stay somewhere.
Even if you have to work overtime, you’re being paid for it. In Lithuania, no one cares, and it doesn’t matter. You have to stay and do your work, he says.
Tu sum up, Laurynas says life is good in Värnamo and that the family is very happy to be living close to nature, and that they changed their careers and personal lives. “It works well for us, especially for the children.”
We’re very thankful that Laurynas wanted to participate in this interview. We’re happy that he and his family like their new life in Värnamo and are well installed after four years. We wish them all the best in their continued journey!
If you or someone you know are interested in relocating to Scandinavia to work as a medical specialist, just like Laurynas and Kornelija did, don’t hesitate to contact us. We support you throughout the whole process. If you want to know more about our available positions for medical specialists in Sweden, you can find them here.