One of the responsibilities of each Kommun (roughly municipality) in Sweden is to provide, free of charge, Swedish language training to those whose native language is not Swedish. The national program is known as Svenska för invandrare (Swedish for immigrants) or SFI for short and has a standardized curriculum, but the actual application of the curriculum differs from Kommun to Kommun. Since I’m officially an immigrant I’m eligible for this course. In Gävle, the process is to first fill out this form which is all in Swedish. Remember this whole course is for those that don’t speak the language – I don’t expect all government bureaucracy to be available in the language of my choice, but in this case it might be appropriate. Heck, even the local library web site has information in 8 foreign languages.
Anyway with a little help from Google Translate (which has been a lifesaver for us) I filled out the form and mailed it off. A couple weeks later I received a reply in the mail (again all in Swedish) telling me to come in for an interview to assess my background and learn more. I went in for the interview today and was placed in the “advanced” track. Which pretty much just means I can read/write in my mother tongue and have completed a high school education. I had to do a reading test and the tester was surprised that I could already pronounce the vowel sounds – so I guess I have learned something in our few lessons so far!
The interviewer wanted me to do the 3.5 hours each weekday option, but I opted for the 3hrs one evening per week. If I were planning to staying in Sweden long term I’d have gone for the every day option, but I’m treating this more as a fun learning adventure than something I need to be able to get a job. Plus it keeps my time free to do more work if it’s available; plus the start time is 08:30 which would mean a shorter workout each day which would also be a negative!
The course starts in January; I’m sure there will be plenty to write about then.