Has the thought ever crossed your mind, to try your luck where the people adore coffee, meatballs and hygge? Do you want to spice up your days by watching the Aurora Borealis or by strolling among Geysirs? Or maybe you've always wanted to live in Iceland for a period of time? Maybe you want to trade Danish smörrebröd to swedish meatballs for one summer?
If your answer was yes to any of these questions, you should continue reading! This is what you need to know, and why you should consider interning in the Nordic countries.
Which are the Nordic countries?
The Nordics is a term sometimes used when referring to Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, and the islands surrounding these countries i.e. the Aland Islands, the Faroe Islands, Greenland and the Saami regions. In other words, it’s the most Nordic region in Europe. Scandinavia is a part of the Nordics. These countries share common systems to some extent and the culture is somewhat similar. A characteristic of people coming from the Nordic countries is that they make fun of other Nordic countries, while still recognizing somebody coming from another Nordic country as an ally.
No need to worry about the cost of education or health care in the nordic countries. In fact, some benefits are free of charge in for example Sweden and Finland. The general thought is that it should be possible to stay home from work and take care of yourself when you are sick. Generally speaking, the only thing you might have to worry about is the prices in the supermarkets.
Your skillset might not be fitting for one of the Nordic countries, but in that case you can easily be highly sought after in another Nordic country. In Finland, you might get really lucky if you study engineering or if you are within the technology field. In Iceland on the other hand, you can score a job within tourism. You can easily find out online which country that would be the perfect fit for you.
Non-discrimination legislation has been put in place in the Nordic countries to ensure that things are done to minimize discrimination based on ethnicity, sex, age, sexual orientation, religion and disabilities. The concern for these questions is high, and the work done against discrimination is an ongoing process. Did you know, that Finland was one of the first countries to give women the right to vote?
Generally, this is somewhat noticed in the culture. There are regulations for how long you can work, and then there’s Fredagsmys, or “Cosy Friday” and Fika. It is completely normal to have coffee breaks, in fact they are somewhat holy in some of the Nordic countries (read specially Finland and Sweden). There is also a period, normally in February, where some people are free and goes skiing. This vacation period lasts a week, and is meant to encourage people to be active. Some people end up on the beach though.
Where to find out more?
Online you can find an answer to most of your questions, by going to a state-run website of the country you are interested in. Sometimes you might come across a good internship- or work opportunity on a global, or European job-portal. If you want to work in a Nordic country for a specific period of time, and if you want help, you can sign up and upload your CV to nordjobb.org. Nordjobb connects you to potential employers, based on your skills and preferences, and you can also chose in which Nordic country you want to work. This is a great way of trying something new for a period of time.