Jag heter Stefan, hur mar du?
I´ve been to SFI (Swedish for Immigrants) 3 days in a row now and have to say I enjoy it a lot. Learning Swedish proves to be more fun than I thought it would. That may be due to the teachers there being really nice or just because of the rewarding experience once you can form a super simple, and likely wrong, sentence like “Jag skriva min blog” 😀 But I don´t care. I think after 3 or 4 weeks I can start having simple conversations with people and annoy them with my wrong pronunciation, grammar mistakes and phrases which don´t work like I think they do.
Pretty much the same has happened to me when learning French back in school or English. It is interesting to see how many different nations we have in our class. There is a big family from Kongo in Africa, refugees from Syria, a Frenchie, 2 girls from the Philippines, a couple from Brazil, people from Ukranine, Thailand and a sound guy who insists being from London (not England), tzehehehehe. Overall we are nearly 30 students in the class. One of our teachers is from Moldavia and told us that since she is married to an Afghan they speak 3 languages at home, all mixed around. Pretty impressive if you ask me, given that their children are on native level in 3 languages plus English as a “second” language.
All are really nice and we converse in English, sometimes using our hands and feet helping to make the other party understand what one means. But that only goes for private chit chat because the lessons themselves are strictly in Swedish. Full stop. You may ask in English but the answer will be Swedish. Tough luck, especially for the guys from Kongo and Syria and Asia whose languages have nothing in common with Swedish. But they´re managing and that is what counts. Just get into the habit of asking all the questions you have. Chances are, even if you think that the questions are dumb there are several people in the class who want to know the same thing but are to shy to ask.
I can only recommend to everyone who moves to Sweden to take SFI up on their offer and join the course. The one I am in is 6 weeks long and after that it will be decided if you are fit to join the next level or have to stay on level 1. I of course hope to get through all levels quickly and depending on how I get on I may even take some additional lessons on the side to progress faster. My goal now is to speak Swedish well enough to get by in everyday life by the 1st of January. That is a huge goal and it will require a lot of work. But I have to keep in mind that my overall plan of becoming a fitness coach and personal trainer will stand and fall with me speaking the language.
The same goes for a side job. Since I visit SFI 5 times a week I cannot work fulltime at the moment. So I´ll look for a part time job in a month and just do whatever peasant work I can find to save up money for Trainer school. If I take on a full time job now I will not learn Swedish quick enough and eventually fail my goal. Hence I´ll live off my savings for now and get the foundation for the next years in place because as with everything else I do I either do it 100% or not at all.