Johannes, originally from Germany, pursued his interest in paper-based biosensors and landed in Norrköping, Sweden after being accepted into the Marie Curie network. He speaks highly of the program and notes that the universities in Sweden are top-notch with well-equipped facilities.

However, when arriving in Sweden, he noticed challenges among his peers, particularly with obtaining a personal identity number and finding housing. Johannes mentions that even a single mistake in the paperwork could delay things for a very long time, and there were many scams on Facebook related to apartment hunting. But there were also good experiences.

“Sweden is a very high-tech country, if you come from academia you have very good chances”, he said.  

He emphasizes the importance of networking and connecting with others in the field, highlighting the value of having a group of supportive colleagues and friends.

“When people don’t get included it’s harder for them. We should be asked,” how can we improve this process for you?” People will figure it out from their colleagues, it’s very important to have nice friends around you.”

When asked about his interest in working for companies in Sweden, Johannes expresses his curiosity about diverse tasks and collaborative approaches with different institutions. He shares that life science and green technologies companies interest him.

Not long ago, Johannes landed a job at a company in Helsingborg through the Vinnova call “Attract, integrate and retain international excellence” with the matchmaking activity hosted by Linköping Science Park.  He notes that the competition for the grant might be less than others, as it was specific to the Marie Curie Fellows in Sweden. He recommends such smaller grants as he believes there might be less paperwork.

“Also the idea of a company onboarding/ exchange grant is really good actually,” he says.

In terms of barriers for international academic talent to work in Swedish companies, Johannes highlights the lack of exposure to companies and the unfamiliarity of the job market.

“In your home country, you know how things work, you have a network and you are familiar with the companies around you. Here, we don’t even know what to look for. There are small companies that you don’t know exist that might be relevant to you.”

He suggests more connections and excursions to companies, as well as alumni sharing their experiences working in the industry. He also emphasizes the importance of developing and discovering transferable skills for those looking to transition from academia to industry. Here, making connections with companies can really help.

Despite the challenges, Johannes Gladisch remains positive about his experience in Sweden, noting the good social life and supportive academic community. He recommends that other international students take advantage of the opportunities available and connect with others in their field!


The MSCA matchmaking event is an activity from Switch to Sweden, a project funded by Vinnova to facilitate the recruitment of international talent in Swedish companies.