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The SFI (Svenska för Invandrare) language course

Details on the format of the course

post 5.Jul.2009, 10:34 AM
Post #1
Joined: 5.May.2009

Hey guys. I'm moving to Stockholm with my Swedish girlfriend as of the end of this month. My first focus when I arrive will be a crash-course in learning the language to the best of my ability. I know a little through some practice with my girlfriend.

I'll also be looking for work whilst I'm there (judging from the messages on this forum, not an easy thing..). The main thing I really want to know is the format of the SFI course. Is it a full-time thing 9-5, evening classes or just a few hours one day per week?

I'm interested to know how it would impact the working hours I can offer to any prospective employer. If there is a full-time option that wont be an issue as I will have ample savings to keep me going, I just would like to know the options available.

I tried the search function on the forum but didn't find much of interest, so sorry if this has been brought up elsewhere.

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post 5.Jul.2009, 12:35 PM
Post #2
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 12.Nov.2007

If it's SFI (rather than an intensive course in Swedish) you're looking for your options vary depending on what council you will be living in. Täby and Danderyd (councils in the northern part of greater Stockholm, for example, allow you to sign up for a distance learning course in Swedish through hermods.se
That wouldn't affect a possible employer much.
The time you'll have to wait also depends on what council you're in.
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post 5.Jul.2009, 12:46 PM
Post #3
Joined: 5.May.2009

You're proving very helpful today Sofia, it's appreciated! tongue.gif The apartment we've bought is in Östermalm, so it would be whichever council presides over that area I guess. In honesty I think my employment prospects are slim to none to begin with, my profession is very specialised (video games industry) and not knowing the language will be a big setback. I think some kind of full-time course to make use of my dead time whilst looking for a job in the most productive way may be best.

I think I have to wait until I'm in Sweden and have my ID number etc before I can apply, so I guess I'll have to check my options then. I just wanted to know from some off the other folks here how their course was conducted.
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post 5.Jul.2009, 12:50 PM
Post #4
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 12.Nov.2007

Here's the link... they offer a Translate version through Google Translate
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post 5.Jul.2009, 01:15 PM
Post #5
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 20.Mar.2009

I'm only a few months ahead of you - I am living in Stockholm and went to the SFI office on Hornsgatan in late June to sign-up for the next course beginning in early August. I was offered a choice of locations as well as times - in my case, classes will start at 0800 and go for either four or five hours, if I understood correctly. There was another time slot starting at 1300 hours as well as an evening course, or perhaps it was late afternoon to early evening. I will be attending classes at Hermods, a long-established school on Kungsholmen.

Of course, it varies by location within Sweden. I was chatting with a recent SFI graduate at a July 4th picnic yesterday and he said that in his evening class (Stockholm) that there were 25 students, which seems a lot to me. He thought that most of his fellow students were quite motivated as they were all working during the day. Some posters have indicated that this is not always the case, that some students are not necessarily keen on learning the language in the shortest time.

Lycka till!
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post 5.Jul.2009, 01:19 PM
Post #6
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 20.Mar.2009

And here's a version in English:

SFI - Swedish for immigrants

Sfi stands for swedish for immigrants (svenska för invandrare) and is a language course which also includes field trips and some cultural and social education.

Those who are over 16 years of age, registered in Stockholm and who need to
learn Swedish have the right to study Sfi in Stockholm. Teaching and course
literature are free of charge.

Through the course you receive basic knowledge in the Swedish language and about the Swedish society.


If you are registered in the municipality of Stockholm you are to register at “Vuxenutbildning Stockholm” (contact details below). There you will get to test your previous knowledge in Swedish and decide where you want to study.
Bring a copy of your birth certificate and identification card (passport).
Courses start throughout the entire year and there are courses on several levels.
Which level you are to begin at is determined after your previous knowledge is tested. The duration of the education also varies depending on your previous knowledge.
Visit the website of Skolverket for the course plan in several languages.

Contact Vuxenutbildning Stockholm

Telephone: +46 8 508 33 200

Telephone hours: Monday - Thursday 09.00 am - 11.00 am

Visiting hours:
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 12.00 pm - 16.00 pm
Wednesday 12.00 pm - 18.30 am

Level tests: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 12.00 pm - 14.00 pm
Wednesday 12.00 pm - 16.00 pm

Visiting address: Hornsgatan 124

Vuxenutbildning Stockholm
Box 22049
104 22 Stockholm

E-mail: vux@​utbildning.stockholm.se
Fax: +46 8 508 33 217
Fax to sfi: +46 8 508 33 460
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post 5.Jul.2009, 01:19 PM
Post #7
Joined: 5.May.2009

Thanks for the info! smile.gif It's looks then that I may just miss the start of one of the courses (Early august) which is a shame. I'll be in Jönköping visiting my girlfriend's family until 10th approximately, and of course the application process for my personnummer and then to the SFI will all take some time. I guess they must start these courses regularly though.
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post 5.Jul.2009, 01:27 PM
Post #8
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 20.Mar.2009

Not sure about the timing of courses - the recent grad mentioned that new students seemed to be joining his evening class "all the time".
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post 6.Jul.2009, 08:04 AM
Post #9
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 14.Nov.2007

QUOTE (Corvinus @ 5.Jul.2009, 01:46 PM) *
... In honesty I think my employment prospects are slim to none to begin with, my profession is very specialised (video games industry) and not knowing the language will be a ... (show full quote)

Hi Corvinus, it depends what your speciality in the video games industry is. For instance DICE (subsidiary of EA and makers of battlefield amongst others) have their offices at Slussen and are looking for experienced modellers/artists, coders, and level designers. If you have good experience and show your work I’m sure they'd be interested... one plus for you is English is the company language. See their jobs here: www.dice.se

Another note, if you are an EU citizen I’d advise you to apply to migrationsverket and get an 'approval' letter to say that you can stay in Sweden... not a necessity as you would be an EU member but to cut some of the bureaucratic crap I would do it. They can deliver the letter to any address in Sweden (maybe you have friends or girlfriends family that could receive it?) anyway see more info here: http://www.migrationsverket.se/english.jsp

It really sped up the process of getting my personal number so I feel it was worth it.

Good luck with the move!
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post 6.Jul.2009, 08:59 AM
Post #10
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 4.Jun.2009

Not sure what part of the Gaming industry your involved in, but I recommend you visit the BWIN website. They seem to be a great company, and have a really nice office in central Stockholm.

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post 6.Jul.2009, 09:36 AM
Post #11
Joined: 5.May.2009

Hey eddy, thanks for the comments. I have indeed checked at DICE, In fact I'd give my left kidney to work there tongue.gif Unfortunately I'm not so much into the programming/design elements and they are the only open positions currently, I'll keep checking! hehe

As for getting my letter to allow residence etc, that is one off my priorities, I want to cut through as much red tape as humanely possible! smile.gif

Edit- To clarify for Luckystrike, it's actually video-games I've been working with (currently working at Blizzard Entertainment in Paris) as opposed to the gambling kind of gaming. Thanks though!
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post 6.Jul.2009, 12:15 PM
Post #12
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 4.Jun.2009

Blizzard Entertainment in Paris

Ah..Cool, a WOW veteran then ha!? wink.gif
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post 6.Jul.2009, 02:58 PM
Post #13
Joined: 20.Apr.2009

Just a heads up.

The main games companies in Stockholm are having a bit of dire straits at the moment and are either on a hiring freeze or have/are firing a lot of people. I know of about 20 people who have lost their jobs in the past month from the big studios.

- EA/Dice are the biggest but have a hiring freeze. That said I've heard horror stories about the workload/overtime you're expected to work there.

- Grin just laid of a bunch of people and are currently licking their wounds after their last title didn't do so well. They've had to close their Barcelona and Gothenburg offices recently and are downsizing Stockholm and forcing mandatory vacation on everyone.

- Avalanche are fast going down hill and I've heard a number of them have jumped ship and starting their own studio/project.

- Paradox Interactive might be worth a look at if you've worked at Blizzard. That said I've heard they often recruit from their user base/communities rather than outsiders.

- Starbreeze I've heard is pretty stable and looking for people you'll have to be prepared to commute to Uppsala.

There's a few others around in Sweden but those are the main ones in Stockholm. Big issue at the moment is there's a ton of college courses here offering game design/develop type course but there are no jobs for the people leaving. Those that really want to work in the industry are moving abroad.

Also with the tax relief Canada is offering a lot of companies are pulling US and European resources to Canada and Britian is offering tax relief/incentives for development in the UK. So unless the Swedish government does something similar the Swedish video game industry doesn't look particularly promising in the coming years.

Sorry to be Mr Negative - I just want you to know what you're letting yourself in for.

That said, if you can side-step into mobile/flash/casual game development stuff there's a reasonable market in that.

- DD
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post 15.Jul.2009, 03:54 PM
Post #14
Joined: 13.Jun.2009


I don't know how SFI is organised in your kommun, but be aware that it can be a very slow, drawn out and somewhat painful process.

SFI is good for learning Swedish grammar and it is good for the certificate you get at the end of if. BUT having said that if you want to learn to speak Swedish and you want to learn Swedish as soon as possible I would skip SFI and try another course, for instance, www.folkuniversitet.se I have heard many good things about their courses, but sadly they are not free.

Myself, I took an intensive beginners course at vuxenskola (vuxenskola are in every big city/town in Sweden) in my nearest big town (Malmö). It was really, really good and I cannot recommend it highly enough. Within 3 months I had enough swedish knowledge that I could take part in conversations and make myself understood in Sweden, as well as understand others. It cost 2000 SEK, for 3 months and 36 hours of lessons, which was pretty good.

Unfortunately after that course stopped I went to SFI in my home town (Ystad) and it was not a great experience. Extremely slow paced, montonous, baaaaad teachers, VERY little speaking Swedish and all the focus on grammar. I went to my lessons everyday for 4 hours and sat in the class listening to my teachers speaking at me and my class mates. It was awful, we read really bad patronising literature (books written from the presepctive of kids with songs in them like insey wincey spider climbed up the water spout - written in god awful Swedish) and were treated like small children - not allowed to use phones, talk amongst ourselves or start up interesting discussions. The books you get to learn Swedish from are pretty bad too, very basic. They start you off on the alphabet for example.

I have heard very few good things about SFI. I only stuck it out for the certificate...but it has sort of destroyed my motivation to learn and I won't be going back to take grundskola. I'd rather teach myself or find a better course.

Hope you have good luck with finding a great course and that if you stick with SFI it turns out to be one of the better schools.

Amanda :0)
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post 16.Jul.2009, 02:24 AM
Post #15
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 14.Jul.2009

I started SFI last June, and so far my experience has been great.
I am at the C Level at the school located in Radmansgatan (have heard this school is the best one in Sthlm), and I think ur experience at SFI will depend on which level u r. I haven't had alphabet lessons, and about the numbers, I was mixing up english and swedish and my teacher just gave me a private lesson during the break to clear my mind about the numbers. I spoke swedish a lot in my first week, even got to write a little conversation.
I feel encouraged to study Swedish at there, and I had thought of going to a private school to learn swedish, but decided to go through SFI because at SFI I commit myself to 3,5 hours of swedish daily. Since my boyfriend speaks and wants to learn more about my language - and laugh a lot when I speak swedish -, it is not a good idea to speak at home.
There are few people with the pace lower than mine to learn spoken swedish but they are great at reading and writing... To get to another level you have to study on your own, not freak out to develop ur skills at the same pace as the rest of the class.
So far I have no complains about SFI.
And I do recommen Radmansgatan school.
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