As a new arrival in Sweden your social network is probably quite limited, but there are lots of opportunities to meet new people. Here you will find a list of websites, social networking groups, religious congregations and sports clubs where you can start building your social life.
Where to start?
The American Women's Club of Gothenburg
A Gothenburg based group that arranges activities such as talks, meetups and playgroups.
Mirrabooka Club in Gothenburg
A Facebook group for Australians and New Zealanders and their friends and fans.
The International Women's Club of Gothenburg
A club for international women that organises a wide range of activities for its members.
Anglo Swedish Society Göteborg
A group that welcomes people of all nationalities. It arranges, among other things, group visits to English language theatre, guided walks and an English language book club.
The British Club
A social club for Brits living in West Sweden.
Les français / francophones de Göteborg
A Facebook group for French people living in the Gothenburg region.
An active Facebook group for expats in Gothenburg who want to meet new people. They regularly organise get-togethers and nights out.
Expats in Gothenburg
A Facebook group for both expats and Swedes in Gothenburg.
Global expats network with monthly get-together events and activities in Gothenburg.
A community for Indians, Swedes and other expats with an interest in Indian culture and food.
Meetup is a website where you can both find and organise local meetup events.
A global expat network where you can get in touch with other internationals in Gothenburg.
Hosts a range of social events, from straight forward meetups to speed dating and secret dinner parties.
Good to know
Search the various social networking sites, such as Facebook, to find many more groups that you may find of interest.
Clubs and associations
Sweden has many different clubs and associations (föreningar) that arrange events and activities. They are a great way to meet people with similar interests.
West Sweden is highly multicultural with over 130 nationalities among its residents. Despite Sweden being highly secularised, many religions are represented here.
The Church of Sweden, which is Lutheran, is the largest Christian church in Sweden and it has churches in most major towns and cities. The Catholic Church and other Christian denominations are also common. Islam is widespread in Sweden and there are mosques in Gothenburg, Trollhättan and Skövde. Judaism and Buddhism are also well established.
Here is a list of some of the churches offering services in English:
St Andrew's Church (Anglican)
Hvitfeldtsplatsen 2, Gothenburg
Fishers Creek International Christian Church
Önnereds Byvägen 84, Västra Frölunda
Smyrna International Church
Haga Kyrkogata 2, Gothenburg
Sports clubs and gyms
Sports clubs are another great way to meet new people. Football, handball, floorball (bandy), badminton, athletics, climbing, horse riding and basketball are just a few of the many sports played here. You can search for local clubs through a web search or your municipality. Another option is Korpen, a national organisation for amateur sport.
Here is a list of some of the international sports clubs in West Sweden:
Göteborg Cricket Club
Padel Center (in Swedish, but has English-language groups)
Taking classes is a great way to learn new skills and meet new people while you are at it. Two good options are Folkuniversitetet and Medborgarskolan, which have schools in most major towns and cities, including Gothenburg, Borås and Trollhättan. They both offer a wide range of courses, some of which are in English.
Libraries and other meeting places
Some municipalities arrange activities which are designed to bring people together. These are often held at local libraries and include things such as book clubs, homework assistance, exhibitions, seminars and courses. A popular activity for internationals is språkcafé (language cafe) where you can practice talking Swedish. Contact your local library or municipality for more information.
Good to know
In Gothenburg, there is also an actual cafe called Språkcafeet - the language coffee shop. It has language themed evenings where you can meet new people and practice your conversational skills in various languages, including Swedish.
Do you have young children?
Many municipalities have something called öppna förskolor (open preschools). These are an excellent opportunity for you and your child to meet new people. Open preschools are generally free of charge and you and your child can visit them when it suits you. They are designed for babies and young children up to about five or six years old.