An update about my Swedish…

Posted in: Learning Swedish on 14 September, 2017 by Sacha

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I have now been living in Sweden for about a year, and I started studying Swedish by myself almost two years before I moved here (although not that intensively). In this post, I will discuss how my Swedish has developed over the past year, what I have done to improve it and what I will be doing the coming year to get even better.


When I came to Sweden a year ago, I already knew some basic Swedish. In stores and most daily interactions I could get by quite well. Of course, there were still some awkward situations where I didn’t understand what was being asked of me. One of the first times I went to IKEA in Linköping, I bought a plant for my room, and the guy at the cash register asked me whether I wanted a bag for the plant. I just never expected that question so then I was quite confused for a while. But slowly, those instances have decreased, and by now I understand almost everything in these kind of situations.

Reasons to use self check-out at IKEA: no awkward misunderstandings with cashiers 😉 Credit: Simon Paulin/


But my Swedish has certainly improved a lot more, and it is not just basic daily interactions that I can manage quite well. As I wrote about previously, I took two courses at the university during the past year: Swedish for foreign students B1:1 and B1:2. By completing both of these courses, I should now be at a B1 level in my Swedish (following the CEFR Framework). I think that is pretty accurate. I can have basic conversations and I can definitely talk to Swedish people, but I have not yet reached the level of comfort and the range of vocabulary that would be seen as fluent.

Credit: Simon Paulin/


So what is the next step? I will be honest – I am not sure yet. Sadly, the university does not offer any courses beyond the B1:2 level. While this is understandable – most foreign students stay maximum two years, and there are four courses in total if you start from the A1 level – it is quite a shame, as it means I will have to look for options outside of the university if I want to continue. However, because the Swedish education system is amazing and wonderful, there is a pretty good option available – going to Komvux, which is the name for adult education, especially on the primary and secondary education levels. There, I could start Svenska som andraspråk (Swedish as a second language). I am currently not certain yet if I will do that this semester, however, simply because it will cost a lot of time and is more intensive than the courses that I took at the university. However, it is great that the option is there, and I am definitely considering it, as it would be very important if I would want to stay in Sweden after my studies.

Credit: Sofia Sabel/


If you have any questions about learning Swedish, the Swedish courses at the university or Komvux, you are very welcome to ask, and I will try to help you if I can (Komvux is still pretty confusing to me, too!).


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Sacha Bogaers

Sacha Bogaers
Hello everybody!
My name is Sacha, I am from the Netherlands and I recently came to Linköping to study gender studies.
I am looking forward to sharing my experiences in Linköping and Sweden. I hope that living here will give me the opportunity to see more of this beautiful country!

MSSc Gender Studies - Intersectionality and Change

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