Maybe some of you, who are moving or planning to move to Sweden, have done some research about Sweden and are familiar with the Swedish Personal Number or personnummer. These numbers are like your sacred, precious numbers, which can “unlock” various generous facilities that the country can provide. One of them is SFI. A place where we can have a Swedish language course for free. My dream place. Sigh… well, life moves on…
Just a brief background about myself before I move on. I’m from a non-EU country, and I moved to Stockholm since last Summer as my husband decided to take his master at KTH. We’ve been living here for 6 months or so. Our residence permit lasts only for 10 months, thus we don’t get personnummer. And as a non-EU country citizen, we can’t also get a coordination number (a substitution of personnummer for people from EU countries). So for those who have similar situation as we do, welcome on board! I feel your pain. I really do… 😂
OK. If you really want to study Swedish and can’t join SFI, here’s the least you can do:
– Join a Language Café: there are some communities that offer language exchange. You will have more privileges if you are fluent in more than 2 languages or if you’re a native speaker of a “popular language”. In Sweden, I found that Chinese and Japanese are two most popular Asian languages, while Spanish is one of the most popular European languages. If your native is English or you’re at least a near native English speaker, you can also get more advantages when it comes to language exchange. Though most of everyone here speak English very well, I still found several people here who aren’t fluent in English, and are interested to learn the language.
– Join IFFI (for Stockholm only): it’s a place, where you can have a Swedish class in a very affordable price. You only have to pay for 300 kr per year to be a member. Other than Swedish course, you can also have other fun courses like sewing and painting. The best part is, you don’t have to pay more for those courses. I’m not sure if you can find IFFI or something similar in other cities, but if you’re in Stockholm, I think it’s really worth it if you want to study Swedish language.
– Folkuniversitetet (for Stockholm, Göteborg, Lund, Uppsala, and Umeå): if you don’t mind spending more money for Swedish course, this is the best place you can go. You can visit their website for more information. Other than Swedish, they also offer other language courses, such as Spanish, Japanese, and English (and maybe more). It’s also a good place to meet friends from different countries 😉
– Self-study: I found that Rivstart textbook & workbook help me a lot in learning Swedish (Folkuniversitetet is also using Rivstart for their teaching material). You can buy them in most of bookstores or online (www.bokus.com or www.adlibris.com). They cost around 650 kr in total. And the secondhands should cost even less.
So far I found that these four options are the easiest ways to learn Swedish for beginners. I have been learning the language for around 4 months, and it’s still hard for me to understand when they talk in their normal pace – means, really really fast. And when I give up (give up most of the times), I start to speak in English. Lol.