I write about European news and culture, with a focus on Sweden and Italy, for The Local and other international publications.

 

This has included interviewing government ministers, ambassadors, actors and authors, and dozens of members of Sweden's inspiring international community. My favourite things to write about are travel, language and how we use it (for example in The Local's Swedish Word of the Day series), and the issues facing people who have made their lives outside their home countries, from work permit regulations to long distance relationships.

 You can find out more about my writing experience including translation and editing here, or by getting in touch. You'll find a selection of my recent articles below.

When Aniel Bhaga told his parents he had received a deportation order from Sweden, their reaction wasn't exactly what he expected.

"They were like, 'You're coming home? Great!'" the Australian laughs. 

As the Swedish government and police grapple with how to deal with a growing use of explosives by gangs, The Local spoke to experts to find out how criminal violence is changing in Sweden.

If you've ever felt like you spend an increasing amount of your working life sitting in meeting after meeting (and then scheduling a follow-up meeting to discuss the meetings), you're not just imagining it.

Political instability is nothing new to Italy, which has seen 13 prime ministers and 20 different governments over the last 30 years alone. After Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte's resignation this week, it's highly likely that another will soon join the list.

The Swedish language is no stranger to new words, whether they're foreign language imports ('najs') or neologisms created to refer to new or topical concepts ('flygskam'). These are sometimes dismissed as unnecessary or even un-Swedish. But one three-letter word has stirred up more controversy than most, and that's 'hen'.

Multilingualism might come with plenty of benefits, but it also causes its fair share of confusion - especially when you realize your native language no longer comes as naturally to you as it used to.

One year ago, Sweden introduced a law change that meant sex without explicit consent was considered as rape, including when the victim did not actively say 'no'. The Local spoke to experts to find out the impact this has had on court cases and within Swedish society.

Have you ever found yourself wishing you could swap your daily bryggkaffe for a foamy cappuccino, and replace Swedish kebabpizza with, well, normal pizza? The good news is that there's a huge amount of Italian food, events, and more to be found across the country.

Sweden's government wants to look into introducing language tests for would-be citizens. So we spoke to international residents to find out how they feel about whether Swedish skills should be compulsory in order to gain citizenship.

How do you know when you've adapted to a new country? It's more about an accumulation of little things than any list of criteria or 'breakthrough' moment, writes The Local's Catherine Edwards.

So, you want to learn Swedish? To help you make sure you know what you're getting into, we've looked into some of the most pernicious myths about the language (with help from The Local's readers), from exactly how difficult it is to master to the confusion over a certain Muppet.

Six destinations across Sweden that are at their best in the spring.

11 ways to optimize your search for a job in Sweden, even if you're overseas

Dreaming of a move to Sweden, but not sure how to start the job-hunt from overseas? It can be daunting to look for a job from abroad, but it's not an insurmountable obstacle: here are 11 tips for improving your chances.

Kiruna, Sweden's most northerly town, is being relocated eastwards building by building in order to ensure its survival. But when you move an entire town, what happens to the remains of its dead?

Reader voices: What's it REALLY like working in Sweden?

Sweden has been relying on foreign workers to plug its skills shortage for years, and the country is known both for an enviable work-life balance and for bureaucracy that can complicate work permit applications. The Local asked our readers about their experiences as international workers in Sweden: the good, the bad, and what the country can do to improve.

Sweden 'cannot guarantee Brits' future in no-deal Brexit', EU minister tells The Local

EXCLUSIVE: In an interview with The Local, Sweden's EU minister said he was currently unable to guarantee what the status of Brits in Sweden would be one year after a no-deal Brexit, but said he was confident that "any problems will be sorted out".

Opinion: In defence of spaghetti bolognese

If you want to start an argument in Italy, just raise the subject of spaghetti bolognese.

How can Stockholm's culture scene be more open to internationals?

"Life needs to be about something more than just going to work, buying your groceries, doing the laundry," says Jonas Naddebo, Stockholm's Vice Mayor for Culture and Urban Environment. "We need culture to find meaning and find yourself in a complex world."

The history behind Sweden's town and city names

Delving into the linguistic history of ten spots around Sweden.

Five great day trips to do from Gothenburg

Gothenburg has a lively culture scene, plenty of green spaces and food and drink in abundance, but sometimes you just need to escape the city. The West Coast and nearby towns provide plenty of opportunities for a memorable day trip from Sweden's second city: here are five of our favourite destinations complete with insider tips.

An interview with Australian coffee entrepreneur Steve Moloney, who has three times been named Sweden's best barista and has set up a successful business in his six years in the country, but now may have to leave the country due to work permit laws.

Eight ways in which your English will become Swedified after living in Sweden, and an explanation of why exactly this happens.

Year in review: The biggest stories from Sweden in 2018

A look back over ten stories that shaped 2018 in Sweden, from the summer's wildfires to crime trends to that sword in a lake.

"I live here, I have lived here for years, and I want to make a difference," says 64-year-old Fatma Ipek, a mum of seven who spends her weekend evenings patrolling her neighbourhood with an all-female group. Their goal is to strengthen community bonds and over time, reduce the crime rate in the area.

Reflections on my first two years living in Sweden.

"I meet so many new people all the time in Sweden, and I'm genuinely interested in learning about everyone I meet," says Nuraan Arnold. "I love to find out what makes them tick, learn about their peculiarities - I love peculiarities!"

An interview with the Italian actor starring in one of Sweden's most successful ever drama series.

A long-read exploring how Sweden ended up in political deadlock more than 2 months after its general election.

A new father has been ordered to leave Sweden – and his baby son – after 16 years in the country because of a minor mistake made by his employer relating to holiday pay.

An interview with Safete Binaku, who fled war in Kosovo to move to Sweden as a teenager and now runs a non-profit providing books and reading help to children in her home country.

My interview with eight-year-old Saga was the first English language coverage of her incredible find, cited by media around the world.

Sweden has come so far in recycling and environmental policy that the country has actually run out of trash, headlines across the world claim. But this doesn't tell the full story of Sweden's waste management.

An interview with Sweden's ambassador to Germany.

Thousands of islands – some boasting towns of picture-perfect wooden cottages, others emptier and more remote – are scattered through the Baltic Sea. Our in-depth guide will help you travel like a true Stockholmer, with tips on where to go and what to do there.

Picture a Swedish home. If you’ve spent time in one of the country’s big cities, you’re probably visualizing an apartment: white walls, Ikea furniture, tasteful minimalism… and a single occupant. People in Sweden are more likely to live alone than in any other country, with four out of ten households home to just one person. But what does this actually tell us about the Swedes? Perhaps not the things you'd expect.

Why did you move to Sweden? It's the question immigrants find themselves asking and answering time and time again, and often the reply is 'for love'.

Sweden has one of Europe's highest voter turnouts, but foreign-born residents are less likely than native Swedes to have their say. As part of The Local's Sweden in Focus series, I explored why that's the case and what's being done to break the trend.

Sweden's green soul: why forests are vital to the Swedish culture and economy

Forests are a huge part of Swedish culture on both the national and individual level.

Sweden is home to some of the world's most liberal abortion legislation, but the right for women to choose what happens to their bodies is not something to take for granted. 

An in depth look at why multiple reports show Swedish schools are more unequal than ever, and what's being done to try to fix the problem.

I spoke to 15-year-old Greta Thunberg, who describes herself as a "climate radical" and protested outside Sweden's parliament every day until the election, refusing to attend school and calling on politicians to take climate issues seriously.

'Distracted boyfriend meme' is sexist, rules Swedish advertising watchdog

This article was picked up and reported around the world, including by the Guardian and Quartz.

All those buzzy Scandinavian trends are really all about learning to appreciate the simple stuff.

The unusual way some northern Swedes say 'yes' often surprises those unfamiliar with the dialect: a cross between a gasp and a slurp, it's a curious linguistic phenomenon.