Du kan Svenska!

Posted in: Learning experience, Living in Sweden, Student life on 10 January, 2020 by Hela

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Hej hej allihopa!

I started my classes this year with a new Swedish course. For those who are interested in learning Swedish quickly, I have a couple tips and experiences to share so you can make the most of your time while you study.

There are different options to study Swedish but most of the effort is on your own.

These are the most popular options to study Swedish:

1. SFI

This is the Swedish course for immigrants and most of the people that come to Sweden with a long-time residency can take it. I studied there for 5 months but I must say that it wasn’t the best experience. If you are good at studying by yourself and have a good grammatical and linguistic foundation, you could go through the SFI at a fast pace. Nevertheless, this is only the A level so it is faster to go through the A1 and A2 to courses in other institutions and most students can take over a year to finish it.

2. Folkuniversitet

There is a paying-fee to study at this school. There are several options to study at all the Swedish levels until C1 and C2. I studied there for a month and I could say that it is a good option if you are studying a full-time program or working. Nevertheless, if you want to learn faster is better to consider an intense course that allows you to practice every day.

3. Private courses online

There are several institutions public and private that offer distance courses. My recommendation here is to double-check the prices and try to verify the quality of the education and the final results after taking the course. However, this could be a good option to start learning Swedish before arriving in Sweden.

4. University courses online

LiU has online Swedish courses for beginners. I took the A1 and A2 courses and I can say that I am very satisfied. The instructions are very easy to follow and I feel that I could really understand the language and start speaking after taking the first course. I really made a huge improvement and really like how the course is structured and all the extra resources that they give you to practice. All the material is online and used to study 3 or 4 hours per week. These courses are 25% percent of the time, so it is a bit slow to finish the A level but I think is worth it.

5. Qualifying course in Swedish for one year LiU

This is the course that I started and I can tell you most of my fellow students recommend it. It is a one year course that teaches all the language. So you don’t have to register for new courses!

From the A to the C level all in one year. It is an intensive course so you study every day for at least 2 – 3 hours and you talk a lot which is a perfect opportunity to work on the fluency and spoken language.

I really have high expectations for this course that I just started and for the first week, I could say that so far has been very good.

The books you need in most of the courses

From the SFI, Folkuniversitet, distance courses and the Qualifying course in LiU you are going to need these books.

 

Rivstart A1 + A2 (2nd edition)

Books to study Swedish

Online training:

There is also an extra material option to train what you have learned online on https://digital.nok.se. Just create an account, order the books and start training and keeping track of your advancement.

My new class!

New classmates

It is nice to be able to meet new people and train with them. Learning a new language at a proficient level in the short term requires good motivation and company. So it great to be able to share this new endeavor with my new classmates.  Plus the course is fast but quite friendly, so it is a joy to go daily.

Final recommendations

  • Try to practice every day listening to the radio or watching TV.
  • Practice at the café, restaurant or any place that you can have small interactions every day.
  • If you feel that you are getting tired, rest. It is very easy to feel overwhelmed while you learn the language. So I had a couple breaks because it can be become very frustrating not to understand the language at 100% while you live in Sweden.
  • It is necessary to learn Swedish. So yes, you could have a normal life just with English, but if you really want to integrate into Swedish society and understand the culture and be updated with what happens around you, it is vital to learn Swedish or at least give it a try.
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January in Norrköping

Posted in: Living in Sweden on 4 January, 2020 by Hela

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It hasn’t been truly cold in the city. Currently, we are at 4 degrees Celcius every day and the sun is coming up every day. It is quite peaceful to spend the first weeks of the year in the winter days where there is sunlight and a cold feeling in the environment, but it is not extremely cold. Today I want to share with you some pictures taken by my brother, he came to visit a couple weeks ago and this is a walk that he made around the city. I like to share these images from his perspective, this was his first winter in Sweden.

 

Enjoy!

 

 

 

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God Jul: Christmas Eve in Sweden

Posted in: Living in Sweden, Student life on 27 December, 2019 by Hela

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How to enjoy Christmas time in Sweden

Most of the students return home to spend time with their families during the Christmas break. In my case, it is easier to stay in Sweden than go way back to Colombia for 3 weeks. Instead, I spent a really nice traditional Christmas dinner.

Here are some recommendations on what to look for and where to find a nice Christmas evening:

 

  • 1. Search for “Julbord” on Google to find all the places that serve the traditional Christmas dinner.

    Traditional Swedish Julbord

     

     

Christmas table decoration

 

 

  • 2. Find a couple friends that are in town to go and explore the Swedish Christmas tradition.

 

  • 3. Get one or two gifts to exchange.

    We made muffins as Christmas gifts.

     

  • 4. Go out and see the night lights around Linköping or Norrköping.

    Norrköping Christmas decoration

     

  • 5. Have an extra toast!

    If you want to have an extra toast, make sure to go to Systembolaget, (the only stores that you can buy alcohol in Sweden), like 3 days before to make sure that you can be ready to celebrate.

 

That’s all guys! Just relax and enjoy your Christmas break and don’t forget to surround yourself with a lot of lights in your rooms to light up your holidays in the Swedish winter.

 

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How to manage the final exams before Christmas break

Posted in: Learning experience, Student life on 18 December, 2019 by Hela

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Study essentials to make it in the final exams of the semester.

 

Basic essentials, plus lots of coffee!

 

For the last weeks, things have been a bit intense. A lot of teamwork and meetings, a lot of reading and research about business cases. And of course, almost no time to do everything with a full night of sleep.

I am also studying Swedish, so things get busy. Had a final written and oral test plus getting ready for the final presentation of the Master.

The key here is: simplify.

Know exactly what is required of you. Set the study hours with enough time to have some rest in between, and just focus 100% in your studies. With a very specific and simple routine, I managed to do all the exams with enough time. Make sure your computer, charger and everything else is working properly otherwise it cut turn into a disaster.

I had an issue with an online exam because of lack of intenert connection so the teacher couldn’t hear me. If something like this happens, is good to know that almost every time in any exam you have a second chance. Try it one more time and you will succeed!

 

So now, I am more than ready for my Christmas break, examination period is quite intense, so is good to know that. Get your study essentials, focus and you will make it!

 

 

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Let it snow!

Posted in: Living in Sweden, Student life on 9 December, 2019 by Hela

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Linköping area

The first days of snow are always amazing to experience. Somehow everything becomes more beautiful and the freezing days turn into a fun experience. Studying in the middle of ice and snow all over the place is part of the Swedish learning experience. Especially for all the students that are not used to be busy and running around under 0 degrees.

Winter landscape from a train view

 

I think that by experiencing winter times, you can understand even better Scandinavian culture. When you learn how to love the quietness of the environment and just appreciate the little changes in nature, you will be able to enjoy the Swedish winter season. This allows you to focus just before the final exams at the end of the year. The semester finishes in the third week of December so then you will be able to enjoy three amazing weeks of holidays.

 

Snow leaves!

 

All you need is a good winter jack and shoes. Then style your look with some nice gloves and a hat to be ready to enjoy the colder months of the year. Just remember to keep with you warm coffee and a smile everywhere you go! You will see how it is possible to get used to the cold and snow in no time.

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Hela Galvis

Hela
Hello guys! My name is Hela and I come from the tropical paradise of Colombia.
I want to share with you my stories and experience of studying Business Administration for International Organizations at Linköping University and show you all the beauty of Sweden.
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