Do I need to know Swedish to study in Sweden? The simple answer is: you don’t! Almost everyone understands English in Sweden, so feel safe if you want to come study at Lund but you are not really interested in learning a new language.
However, for those of you who do want to dive right into Swedish language and culture, here are five free ways to get started:
If you are just starting up on Swedish, you might want to do it with Duolingo, this free app will provide you with the vocabulary you need to get familiar with the sounds, spelling and sentence structure of Swedish. The lessons are structured by topic areas and provide a lot of practice so that you can learn by repetition!
I used this app during my first five months here and it helped me so much!
Another option to start learning, even before you arrive to Sweden, is the webpage https://learningswedish.se.
This page, created by Study in Sweden, is an online learning platform specially designed for international students. You will find grammar lessons, listening exercises and tests! And the best part? All of it will be based on the international student experience!
3. Swedish for Immigrants (SFI)
Once you arrive in Sweden and if you are staying here for more than a year, you can ask for a “personnumber”, the Swedish equivalent to a “Social Security Number”. Once you get it, you can enrol to free Swedish lessons at your municipality. These lessons are called “Swedish for Immigrants” or SFI and are a great opportunity to learn Swedish directly from a teacher! Large municipalities like Lund and Malmö have evening and sometimes weekend classes for students to join.
4. Radio Sweden på lätt Svenska
Any language is hard to learn if you don’t listen to it often, that is why Radio Sweden på lätt Svenska (Radio Sweden in Easy Swedish) is a very useful tool to get used to the pronunciation and spelling as well as to learn new vocabulary. The radio host will read out the news articles every day in a slow voice and you can follow the text to make sure you don’t miss a thing.
The best part? You get to learn about the what’s happening in Sweden and the world at the same time that you learn Swedish!
Who doesn’t like TV? SVT is the streaming site of Sveriges Television and it offers viewers free access to several TV shows and movies. When you feel ready to step into the world of fast-spoken Swedish, choose a show at SVT and relax!