Madeline Robson is a 30-year-old Canadian who has been living in Malmö, Sweden, for over two years.
Because Madeline is in marketing, she knew a lot about TikTok's algorithm and its reach potential. So she started experimenting with videos — and they quickly gained the attention of millions of people:
As she shared in the video above, some of the culture shocks she has experienced living in Sweden include only eating candy on Saturday, parental leave being eight months long, having to book the laundry machine weeks in advance, and needing a permit to dance in public.
Some pleasant perks of living in Sweden include getting paid extra for vacation days, having school loan interest rates well below 1%, and choosing your high school based on the hobbies you like (for example, horseback riding).
Madeline said she has been most surprised by all the parental benefits that Swedes have. "Childcare is incredibly cheap, parents enjoy 480 days of paid parental leave (that is shared between both parents), you get paid to stay home from work when your kids are sick, and parents are often encouraged to take four to six weeks off every summer to spend time with their families," she said.
In addition, Madeline's work-life balance has improved immensely. "I have 30 days of vacation, and my personal time is respected. Culturally, Swedes seem to have a perspective that every job is considered important to a functioning society. And, as a result, people aren't as defined by their jobs," she explained.
"In Canada, one of the first questions you would ask someone is, 'What do you do for work?' ... And I'm rarely asked that here. As someone who has traditionally been very defined by my career, this has allowed me more time to focus on my hobbies and interests...and my TikTok account!"
If you're moving to a new city or country, Madeline's advice is to just be patient, and things will start to feel normal with time. "Don't put too much pressure to fit in right away, and lean on the immigrant community because there's a pretty good chance you're not the only one feeling overwhelmed or homesick for what you're most familiar with."