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News article12 October 2017European Labour Authority, Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion

Estonian environment specialist enjoys new life in Gothenburg

Merit Kaal from Estonia is broadening her horizons with a new job in Sweden – and encourages other jobseekers to give working abroad a try, too.

Estonian environment specialist enjoys new life in Gothenburg
Chalmers technical University - Gothenburg

For the past six months, Merit has been working as a junior environmental consultant and project manager for a company in Gothenburg. Having already secured the position, she approached EURES to find out how they could support her, and the local advisers helped her with the documentation she needed for a smooth transition to a new country.

“It’s been easy for me to start working and living in Sweden,” says the 24-year-old, “because a year ago I was an exchange student at Chalmers technical university in Gothenburg. After that I wrote my master’s thesis at the same company where I’m now working.”

Despite this familiarity with the country, there have still been obstacles along the way. “The biggest challenges have been the language, and finding a place to live,” she says. “Since consultation requires a lot of contact with clients, it’s pretty important to know the language and to be able to work in the local language. However, I think compared with other countries in Europe, people in Sweden speak very good English and in most cases I can have some help if I don’t understand.”

Merit is enjoying the experience of starting life in a new country. “In the environmental field, there are so many interesting projects and a lot to learn and do,” she says. “I think it’s one of the best countries in Europe to come and put my education into use. And I like the fact that my new hometown, Gothenburg, is developing really quickly right now. All the people are so friendly and the countryside is just wonderful.”

What would she say to someone looking for a job abroad? Go for it! “You can always go back if something goes wrong or doesn’t work out, but going abroad even for six months will give you so much and will really broaden your horizons.”

National EURES Co-ordinator for Estonia Marta Traks has supported Merit in making the move.

“Working abroad is not an obvious choice for everyone, but it can be very interesting, both personally and professionally,” she says. “Taking the decision to go abroad will open your mind. Immersing yourself in a foreign environment requires flexibility and determination: it might not be easy at the beginning but it’s a great life lesson.”


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