a VirtualTourist member from Sundsvall
My fiancee and I just moved here from the states. I was wondering if anyone knew where i could learn swedish and where I might be able to find a job. We live in sundsvall and I do not know any swedish
Hi there, I'm french and moved to Stockholm a couple of years ago. Here, it's quite easy to learn swedish (I suppose it's the same in Sundsvall); as an immigrant you can attend the swedish courses of SFI (svenska för invandrare) FOR FREE. Ask your immigration board, they will give you all information you need. If you are a bit more picky for the quality of the courses, the best is to attend one of the many "adult-universities" (like FolkUniversitätet or Comvux), but then you have to pay. I don't know what the work situation is in Sundsvall.. in Stockholm it's not too hard to find a job if you don't speak swedish, there are some international companies here who only require english. Might be a bit harder up north though :) tips: check the national job agency (www.platsbanken.se), all the job offers are there. Lycka till! :)
HM well, it's not that easy to find jobs even in international companies. There is an ongoing debate in Swedish media about how we discriminate against English speakers even though everyone speaks English at a company. The companies simply want people to understand some Swedish too for staff reasons. But yes, companies exist and especially in Stockholm. The rest of Sweden is harder since it's not that international with the exception of Skåne in the far south. I can only agree with the previous suggestions. SFI is run by your local town council so it's them you want to ask. My husband (English) found them absolutely awful and they have been critisised in media during the last election when one party said Swedish should be compulsory to learn if you want to stay here. That led to a long debate on the standard of the free Swedish lessons. BUT you could be lucky and live in a town where SFI is great - it's varying quality. Folkuniversitetet (People's University) has a good reputation and my husband is happy. Courses are usually linked to the nearest local universities even if you study in your home town. My husband pays 2500 SEK for a four week course. There is also TBV - Sweden is a land of "evening classes" and TBV was founded for office workers but today accept anyone who wants to study something. Most courses are "hobby courses" in languages, music, photo, navigation or whatever, but they also do longer ones in Swedish in major cities.
...my post was too long: Komvux is also run by your local council - it is a setup for adults who want to improve their college education or get one if they never went to college. You can study just a few subjects you've missed out too if you need them to gain entry to a university. Some cities offer Swedish for foreigners as a means for them to get into universities or get jobs. You could be eligible for study support for this one but I'm not sure if that's just for EU citizens. Check with your local CSN office(students financing agency). The job centre (Arbetsförmedlingen) can also give you advice on finances but again, I'm not sure how helpful they would be to non EU citizens. Pioupiou has already given you the link to the job centre ads but I would say just as many jobs today are found by just sending your CV to companies yourself and by looking at private sites like www.stepstone.se or contacting a temping office like Manpower, Proffice or similar which should all exist in Sundsvall. What's your profession? Restaurant jobs are the easiest to find without Swedish I'd say. English pubs who want to be "cool" often use English speaking bar staff... Good luck!
Hej there, I just wanted to comment on what you said, about discrimination.. it's quite true, I worked two years in a swedish company and I didn't speak swedish at all in the beginning.. even though the company language was english (officially), and there were many of us not speaking swedish, I must admit I felt A LOT more included in the decisions and important things from the moment I started speaking swedish. And also, our salaries (us foreigners) was a tad lower than the swedes'. But then again, it wasn't that much of a trauma, considering that I was quite amazing to find a job at all (I'm french, I know what I mean... try to get a job in France without speaking the language :) )
Yes but then again French is a world language :-))) - it's more amazing that little Sweden can afford that sort of behaviour! But don't get me wrong - as a Swedish speaker, of course I want to preserve my "minority language" and think people should learn it. That's what these discussions are about. Personally, I just mean that I would employ English speakers too if they could do the job. What is worse is when people learn Swedish and still get no job because they have a foreign job - and not just when you are called something exotic! My husband is English and even that is too much for some! Even worse is that I know a Swede with an international first name, married to a Spaniard and so she looked "Spanish" on paper and was never called for interviews! But don't let that stop you!!! I know of loads of Brits working in Sweden. Not just headhunted ones at Volvo (who NEVER bother to speak Swedish!) but people who have bothered to learn more about us but even early on was offered interesting jobs with Swedish lessons on paid working hours.
I guess it's all about making an effort to be integrated.. and not just coming there with your language and your culture and not even trying to adapt to the country you come too.. But that's what traveling is all about, right :) For the rest (discrimination), I do not think there is more in Sweden than in any other countries I lived. It's just in human nature to discriminate a bit, sad but true I guess. Hur är vädret i Sverige? Hälningar från solig Frankrike :)