"I think women should be independent in their lives"

Binish Khalid is used to taking on new challenges, and even landing in Skellefteå in the middle of winter was an easily conquered one.

”My mindset is that nothing’s impossible in life. It’s hard but not impossible.”

”My mindset is that nothing’s impossible in life. It’s hard but not impossible.”

Foto: Marie Lindström

Skellefteå2023-08-01 14:22

– I moved here on the 30th of December 2022. It was really dark. One of my friends came with me. She was so worried. Wondering how I will survive.

But it only took a week and a half before she was settled in thanks to some relatives of a friend who showed her around and made her feel welcome.

Binish grew up in rural Pakistan and come from a culture where it is unusual for women to work, and her success in life might have been impossible for her had it not been for the support from her family.

Next thing on the agenda is to learn Swedish and get a driver’s licence.

– I was always the first girl. The first to go to university, to go abroad. I think women should be independent in their lives. Because in Pakistan this culture is not common, the majority of women are financially dependent. But things are changing.

After having studied architectural engineering in her home country she was looking to go abroad to do a master in urban and regional planning.

– I wanted to do something in sustainability, building green architecture. When I started to look for a university course it had to be economical because I had to pay the fees for my course. The process in Sweden was quite easy and there were no problems getting a visa either, even in the middle of the pandemic.

Binish ended up in Linköping in 2020 and spent two and half years there. With her masters completed it was time to look for a job.

Binish hasn’t been back to her home country for three years but is planning to go in September.

– I applied for a lot of jobs, it was a very stressful situation when you’re applying and getting rejected. But still, my friends told me that there is a great working culture here in Sweden and that I should try to get a job and I said, of course, I will try. 

When a six-month internship at Northvolt opened up Binish did not really hesitate to give it a try. 

– My first impression was that it was dark and cold, but I soon came to love it. If you have good clothes and know how to keep warm it’s no problem. It’s really beautiful here.

She soon made new friends and have tried some winter sports such as curling and sledging and got to see the northern lights from her window. There are also social events together with her colleagues.

– There are ten of us in my team, all from different countries, and we have cooked together. I got to try so many different dishes.

Binish is singing the praises of everything about her experience here so far. Are there no negatives? 

– The public transport is not so developed. You have to wait quite a long time for the bus but it will become better as the town grows.

Even though she makes it seem easy, it has been a long journey to get to where she is today.

Skellefteå offers an easy and simple lifestyle.

– I’ve never given up. I’ve had to pay my way through university. I was doing part-time jobs to afford it, but my mindset is that nothing’s impossible in life. It’s hard but not impossible.

Binish’s internship has now come to an end, and she has been offered a full-time permanent position at Northvolt where she is excited to stay.

– I’ve settled down here. I got my job here. I want to stay here for life.

Binish's tips

  • If you’re new here, feel stressed and want to meet friends – go to a språkcafé. You will learn Swedish and meet new people.
  • Lanthandeln at Nordanå is a lovely café in an old traditional Swedish building. It has good cakes and is very atmospheric.
Binish Khalid is enjoying her time in Skellefteå so far.
Binish Khalid is enjoying her time in Skellefteå so far.