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Tips for Learning Swedish

Diana Cristina Culincu -

My Andersson -

You made it! You’re in Sweden! And now that you’re here, you’d like to learn more about the culture and language. But starting is never easy, especially while being surrounded by so many other internationals in a new country you’re just getting the hang of. Below are some suggestions on helping you get started on your Swedish immersion journey.

Can KTH help? KTH has a number of resources for helping students start learning Swedish. The Language and communication department offers language classes to international and exchange students all year round: “Introduction to Swedish Language and Culture” is a non-credit non-fee class starting every autumn semester. Other different level credit-bearing “Swedish courses for international students” are also available for enrollment every semester.

Are you a person who learns better through dialogue rather than through traditional learning methods, or are you already familiar with the basics but need more practice? If so, those already familiar with the basics can benefit from attending a language café to improve their conversational and comprehension skills. For this purpose, KTH Library organizes KTH’s very own Language Café, every day during lunch hours. This year, Wednesdays are all about Swedish, but the full schedule is available on their web page.

The Tandem Language Partner initiative from KTH is also an excellent way of meeting people and exchanging knowledge and cultural experiences. How does it work? The initiative encourages and pairs up people who are interested in learning or practicing each other’s respective native tongues. The upside is that once paired up, all the details regarding meetings are up to the partners, so everybody can convene at their own leisure.

What about resources outside of KTH? If you already have a personal number, SFI is also a good choice. Swedish for Immigrants (or Svenskundervisning för invandrare in Swedish) is the national free-of-charge Swedish language course, organized by each municipality. The program is structured into 3 tiers, based on the learner’s educational background. New students can apply by visiting the Adult Education Center located at Rosenlundsgatan 52 in Södermalm, for Stockholm-based residents, or other respective centers for each district.

Similar to SFI, SIFA is also a free Swedish language class organized by the municipality, oriented more towards professional Swedish in different areas or intensive language learning. Applications are handled by Vuxenutbildningscentrum and are subject to availability.

For more customizable learning options, Folkuniversitet offers paid Swedish language classes. There is an array of options to pick from, from the time of the day and study intensity to tailor-made classes for specific language skills.

What about informal learning methods? Learning a language through immersion in the culture is always the best option. There is plenty of Swedish media accessible and easy to understand even for newcomers, from special radio stations and news outlets, like SVT’s “Nyheter på lätt svenska”, to music and Youtube.

If you want to meet people from outside of the academic world, there are plenty of groups doing just that. The Meetup group “Prata svenska med svenskar (Internationella Bekantskaper)” organizes conversational meetings every Monday evening at amazing museums around the city, where everybody tries to speak in Swedish, no matter the level, and there are plenty of Swedish people to practice with who are joining as well.

No matter which method you pick, you already made the most important step: moving to Sweden. Välkommen och lycka till!

Publicerad: 2023-03-10

Ansvarig utgivare: Raquel Frescia
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