We cannot always prepare ourselves very well for emigration. Sometimes such plans are realized quite spontaneously and then you have to deal with it. Among other things, with learning the local language. Today I will write about methods to learn Swedish and what are your options after moving to Sweden.
SFI – Svenska för invandrare
It is a state-run, free immigrant program that you can be enrolled in in a variety of ways (depending on the city, some options may not be available). You can study daily, evening or distance studies (remotely) on one of three levels (1, 2, 3) and four courses – A, B, C and D. You do not need a personnummer to enroll if you are a citizen of the European Union (with what you may encounter difficulties while trying to enroll, because not everyone knows or remembers about it – just be stubborn :D).
SFI has several paths, depending on what your prior education was like. The fact that you don’t speak a word of Swedish does not mean that you will start with course A. Level 1 consists of courses A, B, C and D – it is designed for people with very short educational experience in their country of origin, especially for people who use a different alphabet and cannot read and write in their native language. Level 2 from courses B, C, D – here come people who read and write in their native language, who don’t speak Swedish, but have a short period of teaching foreign languages. Level 3 includes only C and D courses – this is where people with higher education and a good or very good command of English go most often.
After completing SFI, you can continue learning at SAS, Grundläggande Svenska level, and after completing this stage, there are also Svenska som andraspråk courses 1, 2 and 3. The student has one year to complete each stage, but can try to complete each stage faster. For language learning at a level higher than SFI, you can receive a scholarship from the CSN program (in different amounts, depending on the number of hours and family and material situation).
To check SFI syllabus in English, click here.
Learn Swedish at Folkuniversitet courses
This is a paid option (and quite a lot), but it is definitely effective and very intense. Courses can be carried out at various levels (you can take a placement test before you start learning) and in various ways (daytime, extramural, remote).
Folkuniversitet facilities are usually located in larger cities, but thanks to the option of remote courses, learning can be carried out from anywhere in the world (because anyone can enroll in the course, there are no nationality or place of residence requirements).
Folkuniveristet also organizes its own free SFI classes. For details check their website (in English).
Learn Swedish at university
At some universities (such as Malmö Universitet) you can enroll in Swedish language courses. They are free and for attending them you are also entitled to receive benefits from the CSN program (as usual, its amount depends on the mode of classes, number of hours and family and material situation). To be admitted to the courses, certain requirements must be met, which may differ from country to country.
First of all, for courses conducted in English, it’s necessary to prove the knowledge of the English language at a level corresponding to “English 6” in the Swedish education system (for example, for Poland it is enough to pass an extended matura exam in English). It is the only formal requirement for language courses.
Learn Swedish privately or in language schools
This will probably be the most expensive option (although it may be similar to the courses at Folkuniversitet, depending on what mode and how many hours of study you choose). You can look for a tutor / teacher on site or contact one of the online language schools that conduct lessons remotely.
Among the schools I know, the best opinions I have heard about Dalarna and Mester, while in the latter you have the opportunity to learn not only Swedish, but also other Scandinavian languages. An undoubted advantage is the ability to adapt the subject matter of classes to your current language needs. For example, concentration on the vocabulary that you will need in your profession.
Learn Swedish on your own
For many, this is perhaps the most difficult method. It requires self-discipline and a lot of motivation, but on the other hand it saves your budget. Personally, I gave up self-study as the only method in favor of the SvA Grund course (which I just finished last week) – but the contact with a live language and the need for constant communication was invaluable (especially important in my 100% remote work).
This method is familiar to me and I have some helpful materials up my sleeve. Let me know in the comment if you would like to know them – I will be happy to prepare a post for you on this topic.
There are many methods of learning the Swedish language after moving to Sweden. I leave the choice of the right one to you. Don’t be discouraged by initial difficulties, and remember that moments of doubt are there but pass. Good luck on your Swedish language journey! And if you’re looking for nice places to visit in Sweden, check my entry about Jönköping.