Something Swedish

Teaching English in Sweden


2013-04-03 08.31.44This month I was hired by Folkuniversitetet to teach an English class. Folkuniveritetet (The Peoples University) is an adult education foundation with over 100 locations all throughout Sweden. They offer tons of classes ranging from psychology to photography, but are probably best known for their language courses. The classes aren’t free like most education in Sweden, but they are more convenient. It’s specifically a great place to learn Swedish if you don’t have a personnummer and aren’t qualified to go to SFI.

I applied to Folkuniversitetet a few months ago, and while they were interested in having me onboard, my classes didn’t get any student sign ups. This time around they had a class with no teacher and called me. I was offered two other classes, but neither worked out for other reasons, but its nice to have my foot in the door and be requested.

My class is a 90 minute conversational English class three times a week and it has been a blast! I love helping people improve their English and seeing my students build confidence. It’s fun creating lesson plans and coming up with fun and interactive ways to use the English language. It’s very different teaching adults, but I am enjoying it just as much as teaching kids.

2013-04-03 08.46.24

I’ve decided to take my TESOLS certificate class this year and continue my education towards a pedagogy degree in January, which means a lot more Swedish studies this year so that I am on a High School level. Right now, it feels great to be teaching and putting my English degree to use. Hopefully I will get more classes, or even a job at a school eventually.

Another part of me is torn. It feels a bit like cheating to be working in English instead of Swedish. I want to use my Swedish skills and continue to improve them. Right now I appreciate the balance between teaching English, having a language internship at a restaurant, and substituting at a preschool all in Swedish.

All this temp work is coming to an end soon though, so we will see where life takes me! All I can say is moving to a new country means starting over again, being sent back to a 5th grade learning level, working hard to prove yourself, being busy studying your way up to an understandable level, trying new things, never turning down an opportunity, not being over qualified for anything, needing to make a lot of connections, enjoying new experiences, and going with the flow. Oh, and holding your thumbs. (Swedish way of saying crossing your fingers)

13 thoughts on “Teaching English in Sweden

  1. Your Aunt and I are very happy and proud of you Love ya
    Uncle Mickey

  2. Awesome! That’s exciting. I’m glad you are enjoying teaching so much- it’s been a really rewarding experience for me too.

  3. I think you are finding your own path! 🙂 Don’t feel bad. I now live in France and work as an English teacher. I barely speak my mother tongue in my own country! Go and figure! 🙂

  4. Meg, great for you! Yeah, I think these classes are more fun for me than the students (though they enjoy them too). The people you meet are motivated to keep learning and growing so you meet some really great folks. Hope to see you at the utstallning in May.

  5. meg dear! it’s great seeing the enthusiasm is still flowing all over and around you . . . my life has been extremely hectic and transitional — full of ups and downs — but never has it wavered in its interest and caring for you, or its faith in your eventual success, no matter what that may be!!! Love and kisses to my niece and a great big hug to Essbee!! Aunty Ree

  6. That’s fantastic! I worked in the cafe of one in Uddevalla–many, many years ago.

  7. Hi Meg, It sounds like you are finding your path. Teaching is such a rewarding career — I hope you will love it as much as I do!

    Let me know if you any help with lesson plans : ) So proud of you!

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  9. Hi there,

    I’m looking to move to Sweden by the end of the year, and would love to hear how you went about getting the job teaching English!

    I too have an English degree which is going to no use, so it would be brilliant to be able to do something with it in the country I want to live in.

    My e-mail is if you’d like to maybe chat and help me out a bit? It would be maaaassively appreciated.

    Hope all is well.


    • Hi Lee, please feel free to private message me on the Something Swedish facebook page, it’s a much better medium for me. I can say though, the number one thing to getting any of the jobs, including teaching English, was being very upfront, persistent, polite, and making contacts with people. A foot in the door is priority in Sweden (at least in my town) especially if you don’t know the language very well. But I was sufficient in Swedish by the time I landed any job, so don’t get ahead of yourself, it’s a big asset, even if you are working with English. Good luck!!

  10. wow, you are deff an inspiration… 2 years here, my swedish sucks or the lack of it does, still a “stay-at-home” gf which makes it terribly hard to even meet people, probably the reason why i feel like im going nuts :D. thanks again for sharing your experiences, it is making me reassess how little effort i have made to actually integrate and hopefully it will inspire me to get off my bum and do something about it.

    hey meg, i dont know if this is too forward hahaha 😀 but any chance you would like to chat sometime? it would be absolutely great to have a little chat with someone in the same town, going thru some of the same stuff… little bit about me, 27 year old girl, moved here from NYC too, left a corporate job for looooove 😀 now a stay at home gf, living in sondrum, not much of a nutjub. @travelingtym on instagram,

    keep the inspiration coming 😀


    • Hey Ty, I completely understand how hard it is to meet people in a new(ish) country, you’re not alone! It’s especially hard with the language barrier, but you do start to feel better once you find a group of friends. The effort is worth it, even if it is hard and scary! I’ve emailed you so hopefully I can help you with some of it!!

  11. Hey Meg!
    Thoroughly enjoying your blog, and I quite agree with you when you say that Lagom is the best Swedish word to know!

    I`m writing this comment because I didn`t know how else to be in contact with you. You see, I too am with a Swedish man, and I too am hoping to teach English!

    I`m curious how you got your foot in the door / what sort of training you had before you started, and any other tips you may be willing to share with me!

    Really hoping to hear from you and all the best!

    – Ashley

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