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Studying in English or Swedish

Attending a college or university in Sweden implies that you will be able to take your courses in Swedish or in English. Obviously, should you not fully grasp the Swedish language; you will want to take your classes in English instead. You can learn the Swedish language while taking your classes and many people will take many or all of their courses in Swedish in order to speak and understand it better. If you are someone that is considering learning Swedish while you are in the country, this could be a great way for you to immerse yourself in it. On the other hand, it could cause you a lot of unneeded stress. It all depends on what you are looking for out of your experience in Sweden.

Considering that you will find a lot of overseas individuals joining universities and colleges in Sweden, you can actually find classes in English.  Now, this is not to say that there are not a number of benefits for those who choose to take their classes in Swedish, but there is also nothing wrong with taking the classes in English. Either way, you will get the full cultural experience while you are there.

Another reason that the choice is simple is because almost everyone who lives in Sweden is required to learn both Swedish and English during their primary and secondary education. This means that every student is learning two languages as they grow up, and in many cases, they will learn more (German and French are common). So, it’s really not a big deal if you decide that you want to take your classes in English, because some native Swedes will do it to help improve their own English skills for when they go into the workplace.

If you are looking to learn your way around the country, and if you want to meet others and create friendships, utilizing Swedish language courses is the best option for you to consider. You can meet a number of new people from around the world if you decide to take Swedish courses; it will also make ‘fitting in’ a much easier process for you as you adapt to your student life in Sweden. You will need to be devoted to learning and using Swedish on a regular basis in order to get a full grasp on the language. Keep in mind, however, that you should be worried about your university education first and foremost when studying in Sweden, so don’t do anything that may make your experience more difficult or more stressful.

As with any country you go to, you will have opportunities to get a more comfortable hold on the language that is primarily spoken there, in this case, Swedish. If you are staying with those who speak Swedish, whether through a homestay program or with roommates, the immersion will play a role in helping you to learn Swedish better. You can even ask them to help you out and teach you words and phrases. If they are native Swedes, they will likely be excited that you want to learn the native language of their country, and will be completely willing to teach you how to speak better.

Here are some resources that you can use while trying to learn Swedish:
  • The official Sweden website has some resources on their webpage about learning how to speak Swedish. They have some interesting stories about learning Swedish as well.
  • Mid Sweden University has a nice list of resources available for people who are seeking to learn English, both at the university and in the country in general. This is the most comprehensive list that we could find about the subject.
  • The Swedish Institute has a number of summer courses that you can take while learning Swedish. They only offer advanced classes, so you want to look elsewhere if you are just starting to learn the language.

Like with any language, learning to speak Swedish takes time, and you will have to really consider whether or not you want to take your classes in Swedish or English. If you have questions about the whole thing, contact your university. They can help you determine the best course of action so that you can succeed in your studies and so that you can learn Swedish and interact with those around you.


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