California Woman Who Moved To Sweden Opens Up About the Advantages of Moving Abroad

Tess Meyer had been working 50 hours a week at a corporate job in Burbank, Calif., before moving to Malmo, Sweden. The 30-year-old discovered copious amounts of research that suggested that Scandinavian countries are ranked among the happiest across the globe, and after 5 years of living abroad, she agrees. Her husband Nick, who is also American, works in the video game industry and was able to secure a job in Sweden almost immediately. Tess, however, opted to apply for a one-year master’s program at a local university, a program that would have cost her in the neighborhood of $13,000 in the U.S. but is free in Sweden. After completing her master’s program, she secured a job with a consulting firm and has been there for two years now. Tess says that while her job in Sweden pays less than the job she had in the U.S., the benefits of her current job far outweigh the dip in salary. She rarely works overtime, she gets 6 weeks paid vacation a year, and parental leave is a whopping 480 days. The couple lives in an 800-square-foot, 2-bedroom apartment for which they pay $1,000 a month. They don’t own a car because of the extensive public transportation system, and healthcare is basically free, with outpatient visit costs capped at $125 a year and prescription drug costs capped at $246 a year. Tess and her husband plan on applying for Swedish citizenship and aren’t sure if they will ever return to the U.S.