Zhang Ying

Take every opportunity as a positive force

Ying is from Shanghai, China. Before she moved to Sweden, she had 18 years’ work experience in several areas: automotive, international trade and global marketing. When her husband decided to take an international assignment with Volvo Penta in Gothenburg, she decided to follow him and take care of their family. She has been living in Gothenburg with her husband and their 13 year-old daughter for 3 years. Ying has a number of hobbies, including dancing, cooking, Chinese calligraphy. She also spends her free time volunteering at her daughter’s international school.

How did your move to Gothenburg come about?

My husband has been working for Volvo Penta for more than 15 years. At that time, he applied for an internal position at Gothenburg. Eventually, he got the offer so we had decided to move. 


When did you move to Gothenburg?

We moved to Gothenburg in 2014.


Why did you decide to move too?

I’ve always thought about living abroad since I was a student, but I didn’t get the chance when I was studying. However, when my husband told me that we might have to move to Sweden, I was just excited about this idea.

What was it like in the beginning?

The relocation company helped us to find the housing so it wasn’t difficult in the beginning. The most difficult part was the language, in the beginning I didn’t even speak too much English, I got limited information and it made me feel insecure.


How did you settle down and build up your network?

I joined a lot of social activities that I could find online. I felt that I’m a part of Sweden when I attended these social activities with Swedes and other internationals. I actively participated at many of the school events as well. ISGR (International School of Gothenburg Region) is a good platform for you to have connections with other families.


Do you feel settled in Gothenburg now?

Not enough. I think language still plays an important role in daily life. Therefore, I’ve made up my mind that I want to study Swedish and recently I applied for the SFI course. For me, the first year in Gothenburg was full of excitement with everything, the second year I started to have home sick feelings. The third year, I have decided to plan my life in Gothenburg with concrete ideas.

How did the career programme help you make a decision about your future plans?

The biggest benefit was that the programme helped me to build up self-confidence toward to my career. 


How long do you plan to stay?

Maybe 1 more year or longer, it depends on my husband’s work.


What do you love about Gothenburg?

Although Gothenburg is not a huge city compared to Shanghai, where I’m from. But it has everything you need.