I’m Finally Studying Swedish!

The best place to learn a foreign language is a foreign country, as it provides the opportunity to practice speaking with local people. One of the reasons I chose to study in Sweden was because I wanted to improve my skills in the language. At the beginning, I tried to learn outside of school, but in the long run it didn’t really work out. Although my classmates were a big help, they couldn’t explain me the grammar, since for the native speakers it’s somewhat obvious and they don’t need to think about the rules, they just speak. And even though I was able to read and understand more and more, I still wasn’t happy with my writing and speaking abilities and wanted to improve them. I probably went through all the options available for Swedish classes here in Umeå, before finding the right course. It was a long process, but worth it. Here are the places I looked into, I hope this helps others who wish to study Swedish in Sweden.

Umeå University

The first option I looked into was the course catalogue of my university. Unfortunately they were only offering courses A1 and and A2, which are the two basic level courses. The Swedish courses at Umeå University are part-time and it would have been easy 15 credits for my elective studies. Although some people who have previously studied Swedish go back to the basics, I didn’t want to do that.


Someone at school told me I could take courses at Folkuniversitetet, which is an adult education association that offers all kinds of courses throughout Sweden. They have Swedish courses on all levels that are constantly running, but they cost about 3000 kr. I thought of it for a while and if I hadn’t found anything else I probably would have chosen this option, as I’ve heard that the courses they have are really good. However, I wanted to save money and looked into other alternatives.


I heard about SFI skolan from one of us digital ambassadors, Dena. SFI stands for Svenska För Invandrare (Swedish for immigrants), it is a school where immigrants can study Swedish for free. There are SFI schools all around Sweden and there is one in Umeå as well. Their website was only in Swedish, but I was able to read enough to understand what I needed to do. I had to call them and make an appointment in order to register for a course.

Since I had studied Swedish before, I had to take a language level test in order to see, which course I could take. The test consisted of speaking and writing. The speaking test was a simple interview with a teacher, I talked about my education, my hobbies and other topics related to everyday life.  After the speaking part I was told that I could take one of the courses on their highest levels. The writing part of the test was a simple essay and it was fairly easy for me. The next day I received an email, saying that my level was too high for studying at SFI and I should find a course at Komvux instead. I knew I write better than I speak but hadn’t realized the difference was that big.

Experiences of SFI from our other digital ambassadors:

SFI without a personal number!

So easy! Applied to Swedish for Immigrants (SFI) class

Studying Swedish and finishing SFI (Swedish For Immigrants)

First ‘Swedish’ Test!


So I went to Komvux, (Kommunal vuxenutbildning / municipal adult education) which is a school that offers courses at high school level on various subjects. I was told I’d have to take another language level test to see which was the right level. The test was on reading, listening and writing and I got the results the same evening. My level was Swedish as a second language 1. I chose an online course as I wanted to keep my days free for my university studies.

The course started three weeks ago with some basic grammar, reading and writing. We will have an oral exam at the end of the course, but until then the interaction with the teacher will be via the internet. We have assignments throughout the course with deadlines on every two weeks, and for the next assignment I have to read two books in Swedish in total of about 800 pages. So at least my reading is getting better! I also applied for a summer course to continue my studies.

I’m still struggling with speaking Swedish and switch to English too easily. In a way it’s great that in Sweden you can survive with English everywhere, but on the other hand it makes learning the local language more difficult, however, if you really want to learn, you will find the way. 🙂

Leonilla avatar


  • Humzz • 5 Jul 2017 at 8.24 pm Reply

    Dear All,
    I have few questions hopefully you guys can help, My wife she got acceptance letter from folkuniversitetet/ISU programs
    course name is (Swedish Language & Culture) which is 1 year program, Anyone knows which form i should fill for my permit of residence kindly send me the url of the form, Is there is any way to apply for my husband and baby daughter for residence permit if yes please send me the form please thank you…

    • Leonilla
      Leonilla • 5 Jul 2017 at 8.40 pm Reply

      Hej! Sounds like a great programme! Unfortunately I don’t know which is the right form, so maybe you can check the website of Migrationsverket: https://www.migrationsverket.se/English/Startpage.html if it’s unclear you can contact them and ask, I’m sure they can help you! ☺️


      • Humzz • 5 Jul 2017 at 9.53 pm Reply

        Dear Leonilla,
        Thanks for your quick response i went to this website many times and i tried alot to find the ways but i couldn’t there is direct online form for main applicant for folkuniversitetet student but for co applicant and baby daughter form i didn’t find do you know some one who has applied in folkuniversitetet/ISU

  • Azadeh • 22 Apr 2016 at 9.34 pm Reply

    To Rohit,
    At SFI they recommend http://www.digitalasparet.se

    • Leonilla
      Leonilla • 22 Apr 2016 at 9.40 pm Reply

      Thanks for the tip! 🙂

      • Kayden • 6 Oct 2016 at 12.33 pm Reply

        Hauallejlh! I needed this-you’re my savior.

        • Leonilla
          Leonilla • 7 Oct 2016 at 10.18 am Reply

          Hej, I’m glad it was helpful! 🙂

  • wajahat • 10 Apr 2016 at 11.49 am Reply

    i’m also thinking to settle in sweden because lot of friends and relatives of mine suggested me to go there. but i think it will be very coslty for me because i have to earn from my country where the inflation is at top and to spend at sweden.

  • Rohit Bailey • 8 Apr 2016 at 1.00 pm Reply

    Hello Leonilla,
    I read ur blog & u have rightly mentioned that classmates will be a big help in learning the local language as it will b easy and fun to learn with them . Meanwhile I wanted to know whether you can advice me about some sort of online Swedish language classes for beginners that I could start with right away as I have been admitted to chalmers for winter intake and I will be landing there by mid of August . So it would be better if I start to learn Swedish and become little fluent with the language before my college starts .

    • Leonilla
      Leonilla • 10 Apr 2016 at 7.00 pm Reply

      Hej Rohit,

      I’m glad to hear you’ll be studying in Sweden! There’s a list of websites for learning Swedish here: https://studyinsweden.se/study-information/learn-swedish/distance-learning/ I don’t have personal experience on them, as I’ve only studied Swedish back in Finland and now here at Komvux, so I can’t give a more specific recommendation, but I hope you find something interesting from there. 🙂

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