Moving with your family? This was my case

Two years ago, when applied for first time to KI, I was placed in number 15 of waiting list for both programmes I chose. At that moment I decided to look for job or clients in my consulting activities because I was clear that it was very difficult to get accepted. I was right; I finally got number 5 and 6 in waiting list for each program after the final selection round.

But one year later, one year ago, the outlook was completely different. I was accepted, it was my dream life goal and my wife and I needed to decide if we were moving to this adventure in Sweden. I chose the option to apply to universities in Sweden because she had been working for a Swedish company for several years, so it was possible, although not sure, to get a transfer or a new job here. I discarded, for instance, to apply to Johns Hopkins Public Health School as she had not the chance to get a job there, Boston, with the same company.

Moving with your family is a bet made by a group. If one of the members does not gain with that bet the result is “losses for everyone”. The gains, utility in economic terms, are different for each one but the marginal utility must worth the costs. Moving to somewhere else is costly, not only in financial but mainly in social and emotional terms and you should be willing to pay a lot. So the benefits for every family member should be duly weighted in advance.

I started the residence permit application process as soon as I could as well as requesting the financial support (from many sources). But I always kept in mind that if my wife was not coming I was not traveling either. But at one moment you have to take the decision with the best information you have, sometimes very few. For us, that moment was the day I paid the first tuition fee. This was the not returning point although we were not clear that she was getting one of the jobs she applied for. That caused that our residence permits were requested separately as I did not know how long would it take to get mine and we didn’t know either when she would be able to arrive to Sweden. I could have applied for a change in my status when she applied for her permit but we did not even think on that. Now I am requesting that change and it can take up to 15 months.

Coming with your family means that you need somebody in your country of origin that handles your local duties. I mean taxes, loans, banks and many other things. When balancing the costs do not forget to include the burden and the stress of managing part of your life remotely. Depends on your ties with your country of origin it could be cumbersome.

Having your family here, in the other side, gives you the support you need in the difficult moments. For sure you will face them and having somebody hugging you will reduce the chances of running away because of darkness, nostalgia, loneliness or other causes. I do not know any of my mates that have run away but some were having troubles and needed to travel some days looking for family support.

Of course, you are dealing with uncertainty and you will find the unexpected in your new place. Both costs and utilities. But being with your partner or even your kids will allow you to see them in a completely different way. Good luck if you decide to bring your family! You will have an unforgettable and very nice time.

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