Creatives & Changemakers

The hub gives an international feeling of home

Caroline Wendt
May 17, 2022

Next to the city library, you will find the beautiful half-timbered house, known as Ekska Huset, the home to International Citizen Hub Lund. This is a unique place that has been started to support the university and many companies that attract labor from other countries to the region. The hub is designed to help the family of international talents settle in so that Swedish society becomes a positive experience for the whole family.

The city of Lund is an attractive place for international talent to work and often the whole family moves with them. Therefore, the Municipality of Lund established International Citizen Hub Lund (ICHL) in 2015, with the aim to help the spouse navigate how they can find a job, apply for school, establish themselves in Swedish society, start their own business and manage things like submitting a Swedish income tax return and even how to buy a house or get a Swedish driver's license. There is also a close collaboration with Region Skåne and the city of Malmö, which makes it possible for more international people in the region to benefit from the services.

Those who visit International Citizen Hub Lund often register to the hub during their first years in Sweden. As they have already followed the social media activities from their home countries, the very first step for these internationals is to visit the hub’s drop-in service which many do upon their first week of arrival.

For those who want to enter the Swedish labor market, there is also a specially designed Kick-Start program that provides valuable tips and tools for finding jobs. The program prioritizes spouses and partners of international employees recruited by companies as well as universities and research facilities in the region.

- We hope that International Citizen Hub Lund can also be of support for the Scanian companies, by already being able to inform during the job interview process that the accompanying spouse or partner will be taken care of, says Maria Petit at ICHL.

International Citizen Hub Lund is located at Ekska huset on Sankt Petri Kyrkogata.

Of course, the international talent pool is also an opportunity for Lund's businesses to recruit staff with special skills. The participants in International Citizen Hub Lund's job program are often highly educated with work experience from several countries and motivated to enter the Swedish labor market.

- The talent pool is an effect of the Kick-Start program in which several companies have opened their eyes to hiring "our" internationals, says Martina Åkerlund at ICHL. For example, several companies have found talent that enrich their international profile and add specialized competence to their operations.

In the spring of 2022, International Citizen Hub Lund in collaboration with Region Skåne, started the International Entrepreneurs Network to gather international entrepreneurs from several Scanian municipalities; with the purpose of sharing experiences and networking in order to run their own businesses in Sweden.

- Another initiative within ICHL is the Ambassador Network, with the goal of welcoming new internationals to the region and helping them establish themselves in Swedish society. Lund and Skåne should be a destination where talents and their companions thrive and want to stay. We indirectly contribute to the employers in the region, by creating conditions for a strong community where you support and pep each other. In turn people stay and the employer can more easily find the skills they need, says Susanne Roosen-Runge

In the photo: Martina Åkerlund, Maria Petit, Lisa Andersson and Susanne Roosen-Runge at the International Citizen Hub i Lund.


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