Home Education Swedish Language Courses

Just moved to Sweden? Feeling like a fish out of water? There’s no need! Let the Global Expat Centre in Stockholm be your home away from home!

Named Best Practice in Talent Support by the EU’s BSR Project in 2013, the Global Expat Centre offers language training, cross-cultural services and job support, along with a wide range of social activities that will swiftly help you settle into your new life.

The centre was singled out for their exemplary work, being cited for their ‘total solution’ approach in covering the needs of international families and workers. At the Global Expat Centre, they don’t just teach you the language, they offer members a variety of activities to get you out and participating in the life and language of Sweden.

 

Language Courses: Swedish for Internationals

Learning the language is of course an important first step when arriving in a foreign country. Being able to communicate with people around you on a daily basis, whether it’s to order a meal or simply ask for directions, can’t be overrated. But when it comes to language training – what suits one, might not suit another – and that’s why the Global Expat Centre offers both group- and individual classes – tailored to the needs of expatriates and internationals.

All the teachers have experience of expat life themselves and can therefore provide students with the practical language knowledge necessary to make their time in Sweden more productive and enjoyable, both professionally and socially.

Lessons are built around day-to-day experiences, allowing newcomers to swiftly feel comfortable in everyday life situations.

Group lessons are kept small (8-10 students), giving students the benefits of individual coaching while not losing the opportunity to meet new people and make new friends. However, private lessons are also available and can be booked at the time and place most convenient to the student, whether at the centre, in the student’s home or place of work. Intensive courses, tailored to the specific needs of the student, are also available throughout the year.

To secure your spot or to find out more, contact the centre HEREall group lessons start Week 6  (3rd – 7th February) 2014.

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The Global Expat Centre is located in Vasastan, close to Odenplan Metro Station

 

Cross-Cultural Training: Solving the cultural puzzle

Anyone who has relocated to another country knows that a new language must be put into context, and GEC therefore provides coaching in Swedish culture and social code. These go a long way in helping you avoid sometimes hugely embarrassing social or work faux pas.

You don’t want to be the one guest who shows up at a dinner party with flowers still in their paper, or waltzing into the living room with your shoes still on your feet!  

The Cross-cultural workshop Welcome to Sweden, Focus on Stockholm, helps answer questions and to introduce newcomers to the quirks (and irks) of daily life in a foreign city. If you have ever asked yourself questions like “Why do Swedes always remove their shoes indoors?” and “Why does no one want to chat to me on the bus?”– this is the course for you! The workshop is free of charge for Global Expat Centre members but is also open to paying non-members.

Whatever your particular needs – the Global Expat Centre provides its students with the tools to make the most of their stay in the city. To make your Stockholm experience one that will stay with you for a lifetime – HERE is where you join! For more information or to book an appointment contact Global Expat Centre Stockholm.

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Activities and get-togethers are all part of the learning experience

Full Disclosure: This article is sponsored by Global Expat Centre Stockholm.  At Your Living City, we only choose to work with partners that we feel would help our readers; these select few are chosen for our sponsored articles. 

You pratar lite svenska, you wear skinny jeans and drink coffee from 7-Eleven. Why do you still feel like the protagonist in Where’s Wally? YLC’s Kirsten Smart has one answer on how to get into the beanie-covered heads of the Swedes.

 mikko_nikkinen-ski_cap_-2157Mikko Nikkinen/imagebank.sweden.se

So you’ve decided to learn Swedish. Hurra! The next step is deciding whether you’ll go for private, one-on-one lessons or a public, group setting like SFI, both of which have their costs and benefits. Private is more expensive and it may be difficult to find a good, reliable teacher who can cater to your specific needs. Government-funded programmes are generally free, but the classes are often large, meaning there isn’t the one-on-one attention and everyone needs to march at the same pace, regardless of whether they are faster or slower learners.

Many jump straight into SFI because it’s free (private lessons can be very pricey), incentivized, challenging and effective.

But if you’re fresh off the boat and still looking at the metro map upside down, SFI can be somewhat daunting.

“I felt as though I was chucked into the deep end at SFI. Everyone in my class was speaking pretty fluent Swedish when I arrived and I felt like I was bringing the class down. I wanted to quit, but I didn’t. I’m so glad I stayed as I caught up quickly, but still, it was a somewhat brutal experience at first!” Australian, Vicky, tells YLC.

Moving to a new place where you don’t know the language is hard. It’s like starting high school all over again; you so badly want to fit in, make friends, know how things work and be fluent in the local slang.

You ultimately want to feel comfortable in your new surroundings; which is why schools have orientations, fun days and mentor programmes.

Wouldn’t it be nice if someone did all this for you when relocating to Sweden? They would teach you the language, show you where to buy groceries and let you in on inexplicable inside mysteries, like why cheese seems only to be sold in bulk and how “oj” can be used as an apology. They would provide a helping hand and a sympathetic ear, making your transition to Sweden as seamless as it could possibly be.

Enter Nina Mumm.

 

Mumm’s the word.

Nina  offers language lessons (one-on-one or group both in person and over Skype), cultural training (in which she provides insight into everyday life in Sweden and covers Swedish values, attitudes and business culture) as well organises free, Monday morning fika sessions for expats to meet, mingle and munch. Additionally, she organizes cooking events, day trips, museum visits and girls’ nights out.  She has studied Psychology, Languages, Linguistics and Bilingualism and uses her entire skill-set in providing the ultimate package for expats.

Of course, you don’t have to do the whole shebang. You can pick and choose what you’d like to sign up for and if you want to join in on the fika sessions, there is absolutely no obligation to take Nina up on any of her services.

In my opinion, the amazing thing about Nina is that she cares about you. She may not know you from Henrik, but she actually wants you to be happy and settled.

When I tried out one of her private language lessons (she offers a free lesson to anyone interested in learning with her) I felt as though I was sitting down with a friend who was extremely well-versed in all things Swedish. Not only did she give me a relaxed and informative lesson that she had catered to my level (which is somewhere between confused hamster and Swedish toddler), but she also asked me about my family and interests and doled out sage advice.

In fact, she even provided insights into Swedish quirks that irk (why in the heck do so few Swedes own a microwave?).

Nina explains that Swedes…just do life a little differently. Many foreigners enter a Swedish work environment and become frustrated with meetings that seem to go nowhere, lunches that last hours and whole summer months where business is put on the back burner. However, Nina encourages expats to rather go with the flow than try and change the system. Because, let’s face it, the system works; things still get done.

According to Nina, the key to integration is “patience, curiosity and an open mind. Having a positive attitude and building a new social network also helps.” This is the kind of inside information that sets Nina apart from regular private language tutors and overwhelmed public ones. She prides herself on giving her students her undivided time, attention and expertise in a non-judgmental, helpful way.

Truthfully, there are plenty of viable, economically conservative options available to aid you in the quest of becoming a Swedish language master (some of which may even have you nattering like a native within a matter of months), but if you’re looking for a gentler, more rounded experience, Nina has got to be the best of the best.

Now aren’t you glad I didn’t stay Mumm?

 

**If you have any queries, you can contact Nina by phone on +46707368127, or email at info@ninamumm.se. For more information, visit her website or Facebook group.

 

Kirsten Smart

Kirsten blindly followed her husband from South Africa to the land of snow and snus in 2011 and proceeded to procreate. When she isn’t discovering the 101st use of the humble wet wipe, she can be found writing adjective-laden articles for YLC.

me1 1 e1381346897680 YLC Guide: Swedish November Traditions

 

Follow Kirsten and Your Living City on Twitter!

 

 

 

There are four little letters that put together mean a great deal to the Swedes. It’s a noun, it’s a verb and it’s synonymous with friendship, companionship, sharing and nourishment. That’s right, we’re talking about fika. Want to join us?

coffee-love-nina-mumm

Did you know that, according to the International Coffee Organization, the Swedes come in second in the world (after Finland) for the most coffee consumed per person? This, in my opinion, is directly correlated to the deliciously ingrained ritual that is fika; where friends, family and/or colleagues get together every day to share a cuppa and something sweet (generally termed fikabröd).

In fact, research indicates that taking a short pause from work makes employees more productive. Not only this, but in Sweden, where fika often a mandatory break in any company, a great many executive discussions take place over a steaming pot of bryggkaffe.

 

“At my husband’s work, a lot of major decisions are made over fika.” Canadian expat, Katie, explains to YLC.

 

And one can see why; workers feel more relaxed, less pressured and oftentimes more creative in an informal setting, surrounded by caffeinated beverages and yummy buns. It’s almost as if fika is the Swedish equivalent of the water cooler. Except it has more of a ritual aspect to it. It’s a soul-enriching timeout from the hustle and bustle, where a small chunk of the day is set aside for some quality bonding time; making this tradition equally warming for the heart and stomach.

But for expats wandering into a cafe alone at 15:00, it can often be a time where we are reminded that we are not natives. The fact that we may not have someone to share fika with can make us feel even more alienated from the Swedish tribesmen. Let’s face it, if anyone needs to bond over a zillion cups of stomach-cramp-inducingly strong coffee, it’s us.

The feeling of belonging is right up there on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs; this need is all the more piquant when you’ve relocated to a different country (or continent). We need to feel connected to others through the sharing of experiences, exchanging of ideas and offering (and receiving) of advice.

 

Sometimes we just want to lament that the Systembolaget makes you feel like you’re in a prison commissary and that smoked moose meat and lettuce slapped onto a bun does not a breakfast make.

 

And sometimes, just sometimes, we just want to speak English without feeling guilty for not speaking Swedish. That’s where Nina Mumm comes in.

Nina is a highly trained Swedish language teacher who hosts an informal weekly English-speaking coffee morning from 9:00 – 11:00 every Monday morning. Although she is a native, she’s had her fair share of the expat experience, having herself lived and worked in Switzerland, Canada and Norway. She is therefore perfectly positioned to dish out advice on how to balance work with family life while living in a foreign country as well as offer an inside view onto the Swedish way of life.

There is usually a small group of around six expats at the Monday morning fika, but it’s a relatively new venture and it’s been growing steadily in popularity. How Nina has accumulated such a consistently lovely and helpful group of people is beyond me, but when I attended I felt like I had just been hugged by Santa Claus. Of course, we all nattered about living in Sweden and the trials, tribulations and frustrations that go hand-in-hand with being an expat, but the mood was unequivocally positive. All of us were of different ages and backgrounds, yet we all found commonality in our present experience. We were also all similar in that instead of sitting alone on our couches watching the sun set at 4pm, we were actively out seeking companionship… and coffee.

So if you’re looking to meet some genuinely good people to share your expatriate emotions (and perhaps your kanelbulle) with, I strongly urge you to pop in to Vete-Katten and join Nina and the crew. I can’t think of a better way to start a Monday morning, can you?

*If you want to join Nina and her group of drop-dead lovely expats, pop into Vete-Katten, Kungsgatan 55, on a Monday morning between 9am and 11am. It’s free (except if you want some coffee/tea or nibbles) and there’s no invitation needed! Anyone can join in and there are absolutely no obligations to attend every week.

**If you have any queries, you can contact Nina by phone on +46707368127, or email at info@ninamumm.se. For more information, visit her website or Facebook group.

 

Kirsten Smart

Kirsten blindly followed her husband from South Africa to the land of snow and snus in 2011 and proceeded to procreate. When she isn’t discovering the 101st use of the humble wet wipe, she can be found writing adjective-laden articles for YLC.

me1 1 e1381346897680 YLC Guide: Five Swedish October Traditions

 

Follow Kirsten and Your Living City on Twitter!

 

 

Finding it hard to get to grips with the language? Want to be able to speak like a native? Check out YLC’s Amy Johansson’s top tips to get ahead in Swedish –  the non-SFI way!

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I knew I had started speaking really good Swedish when people stopped telling me that I spoke good Swedish and instead started saying “Hur kan du så bra engelska?” (How do you speak English so well?) when they overheard me speaking English with my children. Admittedly, I do have an interest in languages and linguistics, but I worked hard to attain fluency and accurately mimic the tones and pitch of this language in under 2 years. You can too. It does take effort and time, but I am happy to share my tricks with YLC readers. In Plain English of course!

 

Here’s what to do:

 

1) Immersion

I live in a part of the country (Småland in the southeast) where English is not a de facto second language. Many people where I live are resolutely monolingual. Even if they understand English, or studied English at school, or listen to English on television, many here are too shy to speak it. This has its downsides of course, but it is a huge advantage when learning the language. Immersion is frustrating. It is lonely. But it works. There have been many times at the beginning of my language learning that I sat silent at my husband’s family’s dinner table listening and unable to participate. If you cannot find willing peers to practice with, go where you have no choice. Find small rural communities. Find the elderly. Talk to children. You might feel silly at first, but if you have no other choice, you will learn.

 

2) Don’t worry: Swedish is not a grammatically difficult language

Have you heard Finnish? Impermeable! Thai? The tones Oh my! Russian?! Wow, the cases! Navajo?! Swedish is a relative of English and there are many cognates. Also, you do not have to conjugate verb tenses – it is thankfully the same verb whether you are speaking about yourself, to another person and to multiple people. The most difficult obstacle I’ve encountered learning Swedish is that in some places people are extremely fluent in English and want to speak English so it is easy (depending where you live and where you work) to avoid using Swedish. Have no fears.

 

3) SFI Akademiker

Swedish for Immigrants is a much-debated, often maligned program. It is actually a generous program, if perhaps not well-executed sometimes. However, there IS sometimes an alternative to traditional SFI and that is SFI Academic. If you have a university degree from your home country, you are eligible for this faster-paced, more rigorous program. I enrolled in this program in my municipality and enjoyed both having great  teachers and the diverse group of accomplished fellow students.

 

4) Idiomatic Language

Watch TV, LISTEN (the best linguists are the ones who are good listeners too) to how Swedes speak to one another, listen to Håkan Hellström music, Kent, Evert Taube. This is how people really speak. If you are using quaint, overly polite, overly formal language, some Swedes might lose patience with you and switch to English. Speak like them. Make it easier for them to meet you halfway.

 

5) Accent Bootcamp  

If you totally alter the sound of the language, it can make you difficult to understand. Or if you have a thick accent that betrays you as a native English speaker, many Swedes will want to practice their English with you. Lose that Swenglish sound. Here’s how: Talk to native speakers and watch their mouths move. Try writing words out phonetically. Practice in front of a mirror. Peter, a linguist friend of mine in New York (and fluent in 4 languages) advised me wisely once:

“Socially you are more believable if you sound the part, even if you make grammar mistakes”.

He is right, native speakers of English don’t always speak English with correct grammar, but we recognize native speakers by how they SOUND. When I first came to Sweden, I sounded American when I spoke Swedish. I realized this and whilst working hard on morphing my accent, I also told people who tried to speak to me in English that I actually was Spanish speaking and didn’t speak English.

Gradually and with lots of practice and the patience of a Jedi, I lost my American accent in Swedish and gained a proper local Swedish dialect, which incidentally gets made fun of when I am in other parts of Sweden! At that point, I often switch to English and say in my best native Tri-State American accent “What’s up with THAT, yo?!”

 

Good luck to you in learning Swedish, YLC readers!

 

Amy Johansson

Amy moved to Sweden from Brooklyn, USA in July 2011 with 1 child, 1 Swedish husband, 2 large suitcases and no idea what she was getting herself into. Two years and two more children later, she speaks fluent Småländska and still does not “get” the appeal of salty licorice. 

You can find out more about her experiences at www.expatmompreneur.com.amy-johansson

 

 

We published this article last year, but we have been in touch with the Red Cross and they now have a list of their classes for this year. So here is our new article, updated and 2013 ready.

List of Swedish Classes with the Red Cross

Learning the local language is the key to feeling at home in a new culture. However, not all expats in Sweden have the opportunity to go to one of Stockholm’s government funded language classes nor do they have the extra cash to pay for private lessons. If you fall into one of those two categories, why not check out the Red Cross Swedish language learning activities. They are run by a group of dedicated volunteers, are free and host activities for many Swedish language levels.

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or check out the YLC Swedish Language Courses Section!

The Red Cross local branches runs language learning activities at different places in Stockholm. You can google “Röda Korset” and “part of the city where you live”; for example “Skärholmen, Kista or Ulriksdal”. When you have found the right homepage, click on “vårt arbete” and “träna svenska” and you will find information about where and when the activity take place.

Shephali Sardesai, a newcomer to Stockholm tested the Red Cross Swedish activity last year. Read her tale below.

As anyone will tell you, living in a different country with a new language and a new culture to grasp, can be exciting but equally as daunting. Communication is key to fitting into any society as quickly as possible.

I knew that learning the language was essential to immersing myself within the culture here in Stockholm. Even though English, being my first language, probably decreases some obstacles, (most Swedish people speak English so well and are delighted to practice with you!), I knew that learning Swedish would open up many more opportunities, helping the essential parts of living here, such as employment and making new friends. Also, I am in Sweden so I should really speak the language I might add!

However, unable to join the SFI classes (as I was awaiting my personal identification number) and finding it impossible to teach myself, how was I going to reach my goal of communicating within the environment I live in?

Well, when I came across the yourlivingcity.com website, I read about the Red Cross Swedish language learning activities. It offers a great free service to many people from all walks of life and great opportunity to integrate as quickly as possible through talking Swedish. The activities take place every weekday at the Red Cross Refugee Centre, 55 Lundagatan, Södermalm, but there are a number of other groups and activities around Stockholm on different days and times. People go there to learn from the volunteers, who in fact call themselves ‘colloquial leaders’. Many volunteers provide their services once a week, making a crucial difference to peoples’ lives. Activities take place in two hour sessions, with a short fika break in between! You can take as many activities as you want and see fit.

My first activity was a real confidence booster! I hadn’t realised how much I knew already from just trying to teach myself with the available tools, such as studying online, reading subtitles on television, radio, and listening to people around me. The volunteers speak mostly in Swedish, to encourage understanding and the real world, so it really pushes you to listen, watch and concentrate throughout. Each activity is as different as the volunteers are. This keeps it fresh, and if you find that certain words, phrases or subjects are covered, and it only refreshes what you know…the saying ‘practice makes perfect’ applies! Although everybody is at different stages, the class structure seems to work well.

Grammar and conversational phrases are covered every day, and the alphabet including the extra jaw muscle tester letters such as ä, å, ö! I find the volunteers’ cover just as much as our attention spans can take, which was longer than I thought! Beginner activities take place every day, with a separate group for the advanced level. There is no need to sign up prior to classes; it is essentially a drop-in centre. That’s why the Red Cross classes really work for me, as I can pick and choose any day to go, and never feel lost or behind.

 

One of the Volunteers kindly gave me an insight behind his personal reasons of helping the Red Cross. Meet Jonas Joelson, 32 years old, Stockholm.

A friend told me about it. I was concerned with some political factors at the time and felt it was a good way to give back to the community. Even doing something small makes a difference. Two hours a week of my time helps others more in need.

Are you a teacher by profession?

No, I am a Copywriter.

Do you have a particular teaching method?

By improvising you keep things fresh.

What do you find most rewarding?

When I can make people who are low or depressed smile, that makes me happy.

Does one need to have any particular qualifications in order to volunteer?

No, you just need engagement and being prepared to give something.

Why would you encourage somebody to give their time to the Red Cross activity or attend the classes as a learner?

Language is a part of integration. I am always impressed by those who want to learn a new language.

 

Our guest contributor, Gemma, is a geologist, gamer, mother, crafter and dedicated Swedish language learner, all of which she records on her blog, www.emybloom.com. Having researched the courses available and passed SFI, she takes time from ‘svenska som andraspråk’ to give us the low-down on the choices available for learning Swedish.

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As an English speaker, learning Swedish isn’t always first on your mind, especially in a city as multicultural as Stockholm. Certain phrases are quickly picked up, but it can feel really hard to dive in and learn Swedish. There are several options though when it comes to learning the language – whatever your desired pace.

The free option: Svenska för invandrare (SFI)

If you’re registered as living in Sweden (and have the infamous personnummer), then you can register for taking SFI (Svenska för invandrare or Swedish for Immigrants) through the Stockholm county site. Often, they have courses running local to where you live, and with varied pace from every day to distance or evening courses. You will usually be given a placement test before starting, but don’t worry – it’s nothing to be afraid of!

Swedish for Immigrants is split into levels ranging from A to D depending upon your education in your homeland and desired study pace, with semi-formal exams to complete each stage.  Once you have completed SfI D (with an exam called nationella prov D), then you can move onto svenska som andraspråk (known as SvA or SAS), which is split into 4 levels: Grund, 1, 2 and 3 (formerly A and B).  Alternatively, Stockholm Uni’s svenska som främmande språk levels 2 & 3 are also a great post-Sfi courses if you want something more academic than komvux. This takes a year full-time, but you can also apply for study allowance.

If you want to study at university level in Sweden, then completing SvA 3, is one of the requirements to show competency in Swedish (or you can alternatively pay to take the TISUS test). You can again study SvA at your own pace, either in the classroom, or as a distance or evening course.

These courses can offer a great way to meet other Swedish learners, and it can be easier to speak Swedish without any restrictions, or at least, with less fears than with native friends and family. The courses can vary a great deal, so if you aren’t satisfied then it’s always worthwhile to speak with the kommun (the county council) and try to change groups.

Paid choices – Folkuniversitetet, Medborgarskolan,Berlitz….

Another option is to take privately run courses from schools in the Stockholm region such as MedborgarskolanFolkuniversitetet,  or Berlitz to name but a few.

These schools offer courses based upon the Common European Framework of References for Languages (CEFR) levels (A1 through to C2). The courses vary from intensive courses which run 4 hours every day for two weeks to courses that run once a week.  Folkuniversitetet sometimes even offers courses for those on maternity leave where you can take your baby along with you.

These courses are ideal (though can be costly) if you are looking for a more formal learning environment. You can then formally show your proficiency in Swedish by taking the Swedex exam (to show A2, B1 or B2 level in Swedish), or the TISUS test if you are intending on studying in Sweden.

To go it alone or be social: that is the question

You can of course choose to learn Swedish yourself through a program such as Rosetta Stone or free on-line resources.  Your local library should have a wide selection of books to help, including lätt läs books, simpler versions of Swedish books designed for new-comers to the language.

Whichever way you choose, there are also meet-up groups such as the Red Cross Swedish Classes or Language Exchange – Stockholm, which offer a chance to practice (and learn) in Swedish and even other languages.

 

Article: Gemma Helen Safikhani Kashkooli

Photo Credit: almccon

Want to put your Swedish skills to use in a fun social setting? Join Language Exchange – STOCKHOLM to practise your svenska and meet new people in a casual, friendly environment.

 

Here at Your Living City we are all too familiar with the process of learning Swedish and the variety of courses available in Stockholm. In previous articles we provide you with information on Swedish language programs that are conducted in a more structured classroom setting.

However, we know that in order to really improve your language skills, you will need to put what you’re learning into practice outside of the classroom. That’s why we highly recommend you check out the Language Exchange – STOCKHOLM Meetup Group, where more than once a week you can meet new people and hold friendly conversations in Swedish in a cozy café atmosphere.

The Stockholm Language Exchange has sent us a video of one of their groups.

Check it out here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YcNSV3hu_OY

Some reasons why the Stockholm Language Exchange might be right for you:

  • You are learning Swedish by attending SFI or another Swedish course or using online programs and tools.
  • You and your Swedish partner/friend/family member practise the language at home as much as you can, but it just doesn’t feel natural yet.
  • Your Swedish partner wants to learn or improve on your native language too (English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Chinese, Portuguese, etc), but has nobody to practice with here in Stockholm.
  • You want to maintain other languages you have learned in the past.
  • Despite taking SFI and other Swedish courses, you still lack confidence when approaching Swedes in their native tongue.

 

About the Stockholm Language Exchange:

The Stockholm Language Exchange is organized and run by Andy Foster and co-organised by Jonas Rognon along with his great team of volunteers from different backgrounds who help with the different languages.

 

“We call it ‘Language Exchange’ as we are a bunch of volunteers who love languages and we exchange our time helping others with languages in return for help practising those languages we wish to improve” -Andy Foster (Organizer)

 

A leader is assigned to each table to support and guide the group discussion; each group will have no more than 6-8 people, so everyone gets a chance to interact and most importantly talk!

The group has weekly scheduled meetings and meet Up dates are announced on the Language Exchange – STOCKHOLM Meetup page. Each event lasts 90 minutes and is held in the same place, downstairs in a cozy alcove of a cafe in Gamla Stan, with great coffee, food and friendly staff.

Previously there was a small admin charge but now it is completely free.

 

The benefits:

  • Improves your spoken language level, ability and confidence.
  • It’s not just Swedish language that’s offered! Spanish, French, German, English, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, and Russian groups are regularly held.
  • You meet like-minded people who want to practise what they know and learn new conversational phrases.
  • It’s a great way to make friends who are new to the city!

 

How to join the Language Exchange group:

Join the Language Exchange – STOCKHOLM Meetup groupJoin an event and RSVP before the deadline to attend. If an event is full, put yourself on the waiting list; there could be a cancellation. There will be events every week, so don’t be disappointed if there are no places the first time.

You can also find language partners in their active Facebook group. https://www.facebook.com/groups/cafemultilingua/

 

Language exchanges offered by the group:

  • Swedish (3 levels) Basic, Intermediate and Advanced
  • English Intermediate to Advanced
  • Spanish, German, French, Italian, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic and Russian

 

 

 

Link to website: http://www.meetup.com/intercambio/

Link to the Facebook  page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/cafemultilingua/

Article: Shephali Sardesai and Andy Foster

Photos curtesy of Language Exchange Stockholm

Great news for those searching for free Swedish courses in Stockholm. Folkuniversitet now offers free SFI Swedish classes on their campus.

SFI at Folkuniversitetet

For most newcomers in Stockholm learning Swedish is a top priority. However, this can be difficult if you have a tight schedule or a tight budget. For this reason many people enroll in free Swedish classes through SFI, which is a service offered to foreigners through the Swedish government. SFI courses are held in various locations throughout the city, but for people who prefer to learn in a more academic environment there is some great news. Stockholm’s Folkuniversitet now offers SFI courses! That means you can take advantage of the free SFI service and also learn Swedish on a campus surrounded by Swedes and international students.

Folkuniversitetet offers both SFI and non-SFI language courses as well as upper secondary studies and many other types of courses in the arts. The classes are held in a beautiful building near Odenplan where the learning environment is characterised by an international, open and creative atmosphere and many different languages can be heard in the hallways.

Here you are welcome to meet our experienced and well educated teachers. We help you to achieve your goals based on your experience, abilities and needs. We start where you are. –Brochure for Folkuniversitet

Swedish Courses Time Table

Level Rate Time Days Courses Start
2B Full-time 08:30 to 12:00 Mon-Fri Wednesday 10/8
2B Part-time 18:00 to 20:45 Tue+Thu Tuesday  23/8
2C Full-time 13:00 to 16:30 Mon-Fri Wednesday  10/8
2C Part-time 18:00 to 20:45 Mon+Wed Monday  22/8
3C Full-time 08:30 to 12:00 Mon-Fri Wednesday  10/8
3C Part-time 18:00 to 20:45 Mon+Wed Monday  22/8
3C Part-time 10:00 to 14:45 Sat Saturday  27/8
3D Full-time 13:00 to 16:30 Mon-Fri Wednesday  10/8
3D Part-time 18:00 to 20:45 Tue+Thu Tuesday  23/8

*Admission for new students every other week.

What the SFI courses will provide

  • They work with all language skills – speaking, reading, listening and writing.
  • Instruction is in Swedish from the start
  • Small groups are an important part of teaching for maximal use of the language
  • A Language Lab where you can practice and do extra exercises
  • Vocational language training

In addition

  • Introduction of various study techniques
  • Social science
  • The Swedish labour market
  • Coaching towards placement with language skills practice
  • Coaching towards work placement and employment

Staff

Qualified teachers, guidance counselors, coaches and special education teachers.

To sign up

The training is for those who are in need of Swedish. To begin, you must first contact your local SFI-unit in the municipality you live in. The municipalities that we work with are Stockholm, Danderyd, Täby, Vallentuna, Vaxholm, Nacka and Sollentuna (Solna, starting January 1, 2012).

Information

Folkuniversitetet, Kungstensgatan 45 in Stockholm

T-bana: Odenplan or Rådmansgatan

Customer Service Telephone: 08-789 42 00

E-mail: direkt@folkuniversitetet.se

www.folkuniversitetet.se/stockholm

Did you know you can get paid for completing Swedish language studies at SFI?

The Sfi Bonus means that you can get paid for completing some of the Swedish for immigrants language courses. The aim is for those of you who have just arrived in Sweden to learn Swedish more quickly, so it will be easier for you to get a job.

How the SFI bonus works:

  • You must have been registered in a municipality for the first time on 1 July 2010 or later.
  • You have to be between the ages of 18 and 64 years old.
  • You must have gained at least a Pass (Godkänt) grade on the course 1B, 2C or 3D.
  • You must have gained at least a Pass (Godkänt) grade at the latest twelve months after you started the course.
  • You must have gained at least a Pass (Godkänt) grade at the latest fifteen months after you were registered in a municipality for the first time.
  • You must send in an application for the sfi Bonus to the municipality where you live at the latest three months after you have successfully completed the course.

Funding amounts and requirements:

  • You have to gain at least the Pass (Godkänt) grade on the course 1B, 2C or 3D.
  • You must have completed the course within twelve months of starting it.
  • If you get at least Pass (Godkänt) for course 1B you may be paid SEK 6 000.
  • If you get at least Pass (Godkänt) for course 2C you may be paid SEK 8 000.
  • If you get at least Pass (Godkänt) for course 3D you may be paid SEK 12 000.
  • It is not possible to be paid more than SEK 12 000 altogether.
  • If you are entitled to Bonus money for a new course, the Bonus payment you have already received will be deducted.
  • You do not need to pay tax on your Bonus payment.

For more information, check out: http://www.skolverket.se/content/1/c6/02/08/95/Engelska.pdf

As our article, Free Swedish Language Classes: Part 1 – SFI, states Sweden has free language courses for residents. SFI has a long history dating back to the 60s and has been a huge success story for this country. However, SFI is not necessarily the right choice for everyone. One of SFI’s greatest perks is that it is flexible. For some this flexibility is the essential requirement that they need to succeed at Swedish. They have the freedom to live in the way that works best for them and, if they have one, their family. However, for others, this flexible style of learning is not right for them. If I had a kronor for each time a person gave me reasons why SFI was not right for them…

No doubt you are wondering, who are these non-flexible people? Am I one of these people who don’t like a flexible style of learning? This is a question I can not answer. I will however share a bit of wisdom a friend gave me. That said if you are the kind of person who just wants to get on with it, follow a set and rigorous schedule and don’t mind paying for it, then maybe SFI is not right for you.

Whatever the case, don’t worry because there are many private Swedish courses available. Whatever you choose, we at Your Living City, wish you the best of luck with your Swedish journey.

Schools that Provide Swedish Language Courses:

Folkuniversitet

www.folkuniversitet.se

+46 (8) 789 41 00

Medborgarskolan

www.medborgarskolan.se

+46 (8) 457 57 00

Stockholm University

www.su.se

+46 (8) 16 20 00

Studieframjandet

www.studieframjandet.se

+46 (8) 555 352 00

If you are in Stockholm primarily for business or work, check out these language platforms:

Accept Cross Culture AB

www.acceptcrossculture.se

+46 (8) 566 10 700

All- International  Language School

www.all-international.se

+46 (8) 753 66 00

Berlitz

www.Berlitznordic.com

+46 (8) 412 13 00

GMS Language Services

www.GMSgroup.se

+46 (8) 798 71 65

Interverbum / AAC Global

www.interverbum.se

+46 (8) 457 88 00

Richard Lewis Communications

www.crossculture.com

+46 (8) 753 22 22

Other Resources

www.si.se – Swedish Language Studies & Information

www.studyinsweden.se – Swedish Language Studies

www.linguanet-europa.org – Online Learning