Start learning Swedish
Swedes are renowned for their strong English language skills, and you can get by only knowing English. At the same time, learning Swedish will greatly improve your career prospects and help you get more out of life in Sweden.
Once you’ve got a personal identification number, you can sign up for one of the various Swedish for Immigrants courses, often referred to as SFI. These are offered by the government and are free of charge.
In Gothenburg, you can enrol in an SFI course by visiting the City of Gothenburg’s (Göteborg Stad) Studievägledningen för komvux, sfi och lärvux office at Rosenlundsplatsen 2 (Tel: +46 (0)31-368 30 00; email: firstname.lastname@example.org). You need to take along your passport or another valid form of ID.
If you live outside of Gothenburg, contact your municipality (kommun) for more information on courses in your area.
A number of private companies such as BBi Communication, Berlitz, Folkuniversitetet, Lorensbergs, Medborgarskolan, SweTeach and Wållgren also offer Swedish language courses.
Another option is learning online. The Swedish Institute has a free course for beginners called Learning Swedish. Many private organisations also offer paid distance learning courses. You can find more information on the Study in Sweden website.
Good to know
Swedish language skills may be required to pracitice certain professions in Sweden. The European Council's self assessment grid can be used to understand the various levels required. For example, to be able to work as a doctor in Sweden you need to have a Swedish medical licence and have high-level Swedish language skills (at least C1 on the assessment grid).
Some local libraries have something called Språkcafé (the language cafe), where you can practice talking Swedish. Ask your local library for details. In Gothenburg, there is also an actual cafe called Språkcaféet - the language coffee shop. It has language themed evenings where you can practice your conversational skills in various languages, including Swedish.
Språkcaféet - the language coffee shop
Språkvän (language buddy)
Many municipalities have buddy/mentor programmes that can help you establish contacts with Swedish people. In Gothenburg, for example, the Flyktingguide/Språkvän programme matches you up with a local buddy who can help you practice your Swedish. The programme also arranges study circles as well as group meetups and activities to help you integrate into society. On the Språkvän website you can see if there are any programmes where you live.
Another initiative where you can "meet a new Fika friend and practice Swedish" is Kompisbyrån.
www.tyda.se - Swedish-English dictionary
www.ord.se - Swedish-English dictionary