Välkommen (“Welcome”) to this very new edition of the Stockholm Business School Student Blog. As you may have noticed we – 5 students – will be blogging each week. This is the first blog I am writing for the SBS blog so I’m really excited!
Exactly two months ago I arrived in Sweden for the first time and a new period in my life had started. A new studies, new country, new city, new people, new everything! The only words I knew in Swedish were Hej (“Hello”) and Tack (“Thank you”) and actually that was enough for my first day because – surprisingly – almost everyone speaks English, even when you ask a middle-aged bus driver they are willing and able to answer you in proper English. This must be a paradise; you do not necessarily need to learn the Swedish language. But as I am planning to live here for two years it would be better to adapt to the culture, integrate and learn Swedish.
Some tips to learn Swedish:
- SBS is part of Stockholm University that offers you many opportunities to study Swedish (for free). This year they offered the beginner’s course, lasting one month, in three groups: two starting in September and one starting in October. If you pass the exam of the September groups then you are able to continue in a more advanced group in October and become even more fluent in Swedish. I started my Swedish language course last week and even though I only had two classes yet I really like! The teacher is awesome, he is a good entertainer, he plays the guitar and we sing along, that is how we learn Swedish.
- Another suggestion to learn Swedish through the SFI (Svenska för invandrare – Swedish for immigrants), which is a Swedish language institution provided by the government. If you have received your Swedish personnummer you are able to join these classes for free. They offer various courses for 6 hours per week to an intensive course lasting 2 months for 15-20 hours week, which is recommended in order to learn Swedish in a short amount of time, however as it is intense, it will be hard to combine it with your studies.
- Another fun opportunity to practice Swedish – if you’re more advanced – and you want to practice it with real Swedish speakers in an informal setting when drinking coffee: Join the Swedish language café! Our own Språkstudion at Stockholm University organizes different language cafes every week, they have Italian, French, Russian, Swedish and many more! Check it out here.
As you see, there are many opportunities to learn the Swedish language, the only thing you need is motivation! But, if you want to make your experience even better, I truly recommend you to learn the language! It is fun, a way to meet new people and it good for integration with the Swedes! Even though you know only the basics, it will be more than my “Hej” and “Tack” in the beginning. I will definitely keep you posted on my experience in the Swedish language course soon so check out the blog regularly!