Language courses for people moving to Sweden

Mand læser bog i tog
Yadid Levy /
Taking a course in Swedish can be a wise decision if you are planning to live or work in Sweden and wish to make yourself understood. Read about tuition in Swedish, and courses in Danish, Finnish, Icelandic, or Norwegian offered in Sweden.

Everybody moving to Sweden is entitled to free tuition in Swedish. This is called Tuition in Swedish for Immigrants (utbildning i svenska för invandrare), SFI. It is important to have a basic knowledge of Swedish to reduce misunderstandings and to enable you to function in everyday Swedish life.

There can be many reasons why you need to learn to speak and write Swedish or another Nordic language.

You can take a municipal adult education course (komvux) in Swedish for Immigrants if you need basic knowledge in Swedish. You can learn Swedish so that you can communicate verbally and in writing in your everyday life, in your social life, and in working life.

Note that, in Sweden, proficiency in Danish and Norwegian is equivalent to basic proficiency in the Swedish language. Danish and Norwegian citizens are therefore not entitled to SFI tuition, as the linguistic similarities mean that this is not regarded as important. A Swedish language course is not a prerequisite to working, studying, or enjoying everyday life in Sweden.

SFI tuition in Sweden

If you move to Sweden, you are entitled to study Swedish for Immigrants (Svenska för invandrare,  SFI), if you

  • are registered in a municipality in Sweden.
  • are at least 16.
  • lack basic proficiency in the Swedish language.

SFI courses are divided into several levels. The level at which you should study is determined by your educational background and a test.

  • Study option 1: Course A-B is for you if you have no or incomplete education from your home country.
  • Study option 2: Course B-C is for you if you can study at slow or normal speed.
  • Study option 3: Course C-D is for you if you can study quickly, and have very good study skills and the ability to work independently.

You can be given grades after courses A, B, C and D. If you do not attain a pass grade (godkänt), a certificate is issued showing how much you know in relation to the course goals.

Swedish for Immigrants gives you basic proficiency in the Swedish language and knowledge about Swedish society.

You can apply for an SFI course in the municipality in which you are registered. Visit the municipality and apply in person.

If you live in Finland and work in Sweden

If you are a Finnish citizen and live in Finland, but work in Sweden and lack basic proficiency in Swedish, you are entitled to Swedish tuition in the municipality in which you work.

You are entitled to this from the second half of the year in which you turn 16.

Contact your municipality for further information about what courses are available.

Courses in Nordic languages

If you want to study Swedish or Danish, Finnish, Norwegian and Icelandic in Sweden, you can contact any of the ten adult education organisations, any of Sweden’s universities and folk high schools, private education providers, or your municipality for more detailed information about what courses they offer.

Many places offer courses in both general Swedish and special courses for those who need the language at work, for example in the healthcare system. You can also choose between courses in conversation, pronunciation, or grammar, studying at a speed that suits you.

Some adult education organisations also offer Swedish courses aimed at people who can speak fluent Danish or Norwegian.

Mother tongue teaching and Swedish courses for children in Sweden

The regulations regarding mother tongue tuition in Sweden vary, depending on whether it is a national minority language or another mother tongue.

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Info Norden is the information service of the Nordic Council of Ministers. Here you can find info and tips if you wish to move, work, study, seek support or start a business in the Nordic region.