The Nordic countries are popular destinations for expats. They continue to attract foreigners with outstanding education, childcare, and healthcare. Moreover, the highly satisfying work-life balance supports family life and allows foreign residents to enjoy a more laid-back lifestyle.
That’s the part everyone knows. Family friendly with great physical and social infrastructure paid for by high(ish) taxes. Here’s the downside.
Norway, Denmark, and Sweden take up the bottom 3 places for finding friends. More than six in ten expats find it hard to build friendships with the distant local residents: ”As in most Nordic countries, people are quite private, closed, and…not that open to conversations with new people,” said one British expat living in Sweden.
I would say our experience of living in Sweden for 6 years now would generally speaking back that up.
In Finland, surprisingly it seems they’re friendlier but the language will take you twice as long to learn making it an intimidating choice.
Either way, it takes a certain persistent friendliness to make headway here but there are a lot of people yearning for true community which should be a strong suit for the church.