Both of my brothers attended UISS between the years 2015 and 2019. As a result, my expectations were very high. I had heard nothing but good things from them, and I thought secretly that it must have been an exaggeration. Especially having done other Swedish courses online, I thought to myself that this one can’t be any different. I attended UISS 2022 for 6 weeks for sessions two and three, and I was wrong. I am beyond happy to say that my experience at UISS 2022 exceeded all expectations. I thought it would be great, I found that it was absolutely phenomenal.
The daily schedule offered students quality time for Swedish language during morning classes, but also practical, cultural, and social skills during afternoon classes. I learned all morning and learned more all afternoon. As overwhelming as that sounds, it was truly a pleasure. My morning classes were so helpful to the development of my Swedish language. I developed a confidence that I didn’t have before, and I suddenly found myself capable of having conversations both inside and outside the classroom. UISS has mastered the art of teaching the Swedish language. As for afternoon classes, Nordic Noir and Pop Music, I cannot recommend them enough. Both Benjamin and Malin were incredible teachers. Learning more about Swedish society, culture, literature etc is truly helpful to foster an appreciation for the land you study on and the language you are learning. I found it to be unique and incredibly beneficial.
As for the social aspect of things, Uppsala is a wonderful place to make lifelong friends. As I write this, I am still in contact with all of my friends from UISS. It is truly a beautiful way to meet as everybody has something in common: wanting to learn the Swedish language. Uppsala’s nations were the hub for all UISS students, and we all really enjoyed each other’s company in the evenings (when we weren’t doing homework) at the nations.
Overall, I cannot recommend UISS enough. I will be back for years to come, I can guarantee that. A special thank you to Henrik, Annika, Anastasia, Ruud and Nelleke. My experience would not be the same without the love and care you all put into the programme, and you all have no idea how much you impact the lives of people who attend this course.
Arriving at UISS I did not know what I would find. However, I was pleasantly surprised to discover a group of extremely welcoming individuals and a fantastic Swedish learning and cultural experience.
The classroom teaching combined with the cultural immersion make an ideal combination to help you learn the language as efficiently and naturally as possible. The Friday excursions to museums in Stockholm, visits to a moose park and classic Swedish slott give you a well-rounded experience of the history and culture of Sweden.
I thoroughly recommend UISS for those who are both inexperienced in the language or those of a more advanced level, as all are catered to.
UISS was an oasis for me after missing Sweden and the Swedish language so much for 4 years. After my Erasmus experience at Uppsala University in Spring 2018, I was just looking for a way to come back and experience more of Sweden and Swedish. I was not aiming specifically at Uppsala in my lookout for a language course but was very happy to find one there by sheer luck. I didn’t know then that I encountered the best option possible.
Although I had to wait for another 2 years because of the pandemic to reunite with my dear Uppsala and be a participant of UISS, I can definitely say that it was worth it! Honestly, I had lowered my expectations before coming here and kept saying to myself “Okay, maybe you won’t make any friends but at least you will learn a lot about Swedish and improve yourself”. I thought so because 3 weeks seemed so short a duration to establish strong bonds with anyone. 3 weeks still seem far from enough but just because I miss being with all those wonderful people so much. I literally could not get enough of the programme. The second part of what I had said to myself got real; I could genuinely watch myself progress in Swedish. However, as early as the end of the second day, I was persuaded that language would only be one part of a pleasant journey. It was amazing to see how many people from different backgrounds and ages, and with peculiar interests could connect so easily, in the blink of an eye, through Swedish. Both the participants and staff were so inclusive that I immediately felt like this was somewhere I belonged. This, of course, is not just important for personal comfort but also supports the language development in such an essential way. Day by day, I could observe my Swedish build up through morning classes full of instructive and guiding information and afternoon classes full of music, songs and dance. A little tip: although my level was a lower one, I tried to use primarily Swedish in all my time in those classes. It definitely helped! But that is no miracle, as you can imagine. Everyone was so supportive of each other in terms of practising Swedish that it was no surprise that by the time we parted, I could hear many of my friends speak faster and with a more elaborated grammar.
To cut it (relatively) short, I am sincerely grateful for my time in UISS. We have lived through wonderful adventures together in such a little time and had so much fun thanks to both the instructive part of the program and the social part of it which allowed us to mingle, discover different places in the neighborhood, share our talents with dear people and learn how to celebrate life the Swedish style.
Thirteen years back, we did the first UISS and basically never forgot it. In the mean time, we did other Swedish courses in our home country, the Netherlands and during the years we kept a basic level of Swedish (but forgot a lot of the grammar).
Ten months ago, we permanently moved to Sweden and needed to improve our rusty Swedish. We immediately thought of UISS and were saying to each other: ”Does it still exist?”.
And it does indeed! We had again a memorable time in Uppsala with the first session after COVID-19! We also both did a wonderful cultural program in the afternoon. We completely refreshed our grammar and did very well in the end test.
We were happy to meet the director and the assistant again, who created a very professional program. Very good quality but also lots of fun, meeting wonderful people.
Again, we will not forget this session!
Diny & John
UISS is definitely where I began my journey to learn Swedish. I would say the language lessons are intensive and I love it. We were so immersed in the Swedish environment that we practiced Swedish all the time, and even during the fika (coffee break in Swedish).
And I got to know a lot about Sweden during the afternoon class from the perspectives of music, film, culture and drama.
I am so grateful that UISS is back. Being a returner for the third time, I believe that it’s kind of showing how much I learnt from UISS and how deeply I believe in this program. And I will be at UISS for sure next year. Vi ses!
I moved to Sweden in 2015, and I wanted to learn Swedish. So, I did some courses here and there, besides self-learning. However, I was only able to take my Swedish to the next level after 9 weeks at UISS 2022!
It was not just a wonderful learning experience, but also so much fun! The Swedish morning classes were led by competent teachers who were able to keep the lessons exciting, taking into account the diverse learning styles of students. As for the afternoon class, I did ”Förbättra din svenska med hjälp av drama /musik /improvisation” which was excellent for practising my speaking and pronunciation in a super fun way!
In addition to the classes, I really loved the social activities, which were well thought of, and combined a mixture of socializing and learning about the Swedish culture. I made many friends and many nice memories during UISS – a truly unforgettable experience.
I can strongly recommend UISS, and I can confidently say that it’s been the best way to learn Swedish for me. And yes, I do plan to come back!
At the beginning of 2022 I decided on a whim that I wanted to learn Swedish.Typical me searched up ‘Swedish language course summer’, clicked on my first result, liked the look of it, and booked it. I thought the summer course was going to be a very informative and effective Swedish learning course and had no other expectations.
It was so much more.
It was the most open and accepting place I have ever been to. Inside of the UISS institute the staff where the most considerate and assuring people. Throughout my stay I witnessed the course goers as well as the staff and teachers treating one another with the upmost respect in regards to gender, sexuality, race, religion, age, education and so much more. We where all people with one common understanding, we where there for our love of Sweden and that so clearly bound us beyond social constraints.
Outside of the institute, Uppsala was such a student friendly and comfortable place to be.
I made lifelong friends of many different ages and backgrounds. It was the most surreal experience meeting and connecting with people from all over the world and from all walks of life.
The teaching was phenomenal. I give special thanks to my A2 Swedish teacher, Henrik. He incorporated music into the learning of a new language. We sung his vowel song first thing every morning (which can be found on YouTube!), this not only helped learn the Swedish vowels, but helped everyone come out of our shells and feel comfortable. I found speaking the Swedish language anxiety inducing as I didn’t want to get anything wrong and be laughed at, but the classroom was made to be a safe space where laughing at one another was not even considered. The passion for teaching the Swedish language was tangible, and as a result, infectious.
Every afternoon from 1.45 to 4.30pm, everyone had lessons in regards to the culture of Sweden. I chose Gender and Sexuality with Benjamin. It was so informative and it brought light to issues I had never previously thought of. They opened the classroom space to be a discussion on the lesson topics, or a discussion on our lives and personal experiences. Wherever the conversation veered to, everything was listened and personally responded to by Benjamin.
There were also cultural excursions the Friday of every week which I recommend everyone to take part in. They where well organised trips to see the surrounding areas of Sweden. I attended the trip to Skokloster and Sigtuna. In the morning was Skokloster where we got to see a preserved Count and Countesses manor. After, we got taken to see the oldest town in Sweden called Sigtuna and then after touring, we swam. These trips where the perfect opportunity to practice our Swedish when ordering food and drinks or having small conversations.
Other mid week activities consisted of a pub crawl, a movie night, a crayfish party, a musical evening and finally the farewell dinner. Every single activity was authentically Swedish and the perfect opportunity to bond with peers and students.
Before attending UISS, I had never performed in front of an audience. Even thinking about singing in front of people would make me panic. I made it a goal to sing at UISS and that’s what I did. The environment created by everyone allowed me to overcome my most debilitating fear. Words can’t describe how great full I am for that experience.
In summary, UISS was an experience that will stay with me for the rest of my life. I couldn’t recommend it more in regards to the quality of education, the kindness of the staff and teachers, and most importantly the experience from the friendships created.
I thank the UISS team for fighting to keep the course running after the hardships of COVID. I also thank the UISS team for how fantastic my 3 weeks where! Unforgettable.
Tack allihopa och vi ses snart igen.
I started learning Swedish at my university about 9 months earlier because I was hoping to continue my education in Sweden and wanted to be able to speak the language. I got obsessed with studying Swedish and started searching for ways to really put my obtained level to test before actually moving to Sweden. That’s how I found UISS, which for me is the most prominent and well-balanced Swedish summer school out there.
I am happy that I chose to try it out and no regrets from my side. Although, we had 30 degrees outside for almost two weeks, I still have no regrets that I spent four mornings in each week in a Swedish class. Fellow students and my teacher were just amazing and there were no days where we did not have a laugh in class or during our breaks. Interesting conversations under the sun during fika just add to that.
During the time that I was at UISS, I met many people around the world. I can say that having so diverse group is one of the best parts of the programme. It gave an opportunity to speak with very many different people, no matter the age, nationality or level of Swedish. In situations like these, it is easy to switch to speaking in English but I recommend that, even if you are a beginner in Swedish, try to use it even outside of class as much as possible.
Secondly, UISS offers a lots of ways to discover Uppsala and other parts of Sweden. There are several events that encourage to move around in Uppsala and weekends offer a perfect chance to look around and spend time with your new friends. I would personally recommend visiting Gamla Uppsala and watching a Uppsala Sirius match. Lappland trip is also a must. I had never been in Sapmi region or on any longer hike and I really enjoyed it. It is an experience I will not easily forget. But as a caution it should be mentioned that it is no walk in the forest, the terrain is mountainous and mosquitos will not leave you alone. You don’t have to be an experienced hiker, but make sure that you have the energy and positive mindset to enjoy your trip.
If you take all of this into consideration, you will have one of the greatest summers of your life. Trust me when I say that it is hard to leave Uppsala and Sweden after such an eventful session.
I started learning Swedish with Duolingo and other online resources, and after a while my progress plateaued. I could read simple text and understand slowly spoken Swedish, but I couldn’t say much myself and I had never really tried writing anything. I decided that I needed to visit Sweden and have some face-to-face teaching from native speakers. Out of the residential programmes I found online, UISS looked the most interesting and seemed to have a great history, so I booked my place in February 2020. The pandemic meant it was two more years before I could actually come to Sweden, and because of the long build-up, I did feel a little pressure of anticipation. But I needn’t have worried, as the course was absolutely worth waiting for.
We had Swedish lessons for four hours, including breaks, on four mornings each week. My teacher was fantastic. On the first day, she asked us what we wanted to achieve in the 3-week block and then she made sure the lessons worked towards those goals. We had plenty of time to practice speaking to each other, we read and discussed an interesting short story, and we did a number of short writing exercises. The atmosphere was relaxed and questions were always warmly welcomed. I enjoyed the classes so much and I believe I made huge progress with my Swedish.
My afternoon lessons taught us about the Swedish welfare system and really helped me understand more about Swedes’ attitudes to life and society. We went on some great field trips and had talks from a municipal councilor and two trade union officials. It was really cool that they were happy to speak with us about their work when we were just visitors to the country.
In the evenings and on Fridays there were several social events that introduced us to Swedish culture. These were a lot of fun (how many other chances will you get to experience a real Swedish Midsommar?) and helped us all get to know each other. It was cool meeting people from all around the world, and I was really happy to be able to explore Uppsala with such great people. It’s a beautiful and friendly city, full of character and history, and I can’t wait to go back.
I am sad that I didn’t sign up for a longer course, and leaving my friends and Uppsala was genuinely painful. But I think going to UISS was one of the best experiences of my life and I’m so glad I found the programme. If I have the opportunity to go another year, I won’t even hesitate.
No testimonial is going to be enough to describe our experience at UISS. Being part of UISS has been our best summer experience so far. We came to improve our Swedish but we got to be part of way more than that.
At UISS you have the opportunity to learn, improve and practice Swedish in Sweden. During the morning classes we studied grammar, writing, talking and listening. Our teacher was really kind and helpful and the atmosphere was really nice.
Our afternoon class (improve your Swedish through drama, songs and improvisation) was something we really enjoyed. Apart from improving pronunciation and vocabulary, you get the chance to express yourself. We were always singing, laughing and experimenting with art. Also, our class was taught by professional artists.
We got the chance to meet people from all over the world. The staff and the students were amazing and we got to create some strong friendships + the coffee from fika at school was the best.
It is not just learning Swedish, there were also lots of other activities like visiting the ABBA museum, Stockholm, a moose safari and lots of other wonderful museums. Uppsala is a very beautiful city, and I would recommend everyone to visit it. There is no wasted time at UISS, there is always something nice to do. It is the perfect balance for learning-socializing- traveling-partying and so on.
We would recommend everyone to be part of this program. Not only for the Swedish language, but also for the experience. So, even if you are not interested in Swedish language, choose the A1 level and go for it, just for the experience, it is totally worth it! You will not regret it. You will get to live like a Swede for at least three weeks. Bonus tip: the price is really affordable for everything that they offer there.
Mimi and Rafail Tase
Since I’ve self-taught myself Swedish, I knew that I needed to spend some time in the country in order to improve my speaking skills and fluency, since that’s not something you can do on your own. That’s how I found the UISS course and it has certainly exceeded my expectations. The language lessons during the morning helped me expand my vocabulary and I had the chance to speak a lot, since the groups were small and we all had the chance to participate. I had two great teachers who helped with any question we had and we were constantly training the different skills needed to master a language. We always got constructive feedback and it helped me with correcting those tiny mistakes that I made when speaking or writing in Swedish. I also really liked the afternoon lessons because it was a way to socialise and improve my Swedish skills while having fun. The trips on Friday were a good way to get to know the country and culture better and we even had the opportunity to practice our Swedish thanks to the guided tours. When it comes to meeting new people, I felt that it was quite easy to find others who had something in common thanks to the activities organised by UISS (and thanks to the nations, too). The UISS staff has been kind and helpful with any kind of problem that arose.
I would certainly recommend the program to anybody who wants an immersive experience where you can improve your language skills but also deepen your knowledge about Swedish culture.
I’ve had a connection with Sweden at different times in my life, but it’s been years since I’ve spoken Swedish in any capacity. When I found out about UISS, while looking for a summer program, I thought it would be a great idea to revive my Swedish again.
What drew me to UISS, to begin with, is the fact that you can have everything included, such as a room to stay in, lunch during school days, lots of social gatherings and whole-day class trips. I decided to join for the last 3 weeks of the session.
I was placed in the A2+ class and had a great teacher who really adapted the teaching material to the level of the whole class. We did loads of different kinds of exercises that helped us with reading and listening comprehension, speaking and grammar. I had picked an afternoon class that sadly got canceled, but was able to pick another one that was similar. Singing helps a lot with pronunciations and it’s super fun so I recommend that wholeheartedly!
I met amazing people in this course. I’ve had so much fun going to gatherings and the Friday school trips. My favorite was probably going to Skokloster and Sigtuna. Uppsala is a very beautiful city that has loads of calm areas to sit and study. On a good weather day, you can even dip your toes into the river to cool down. I really recommend this program to anyone who wants to learn Swedish in any capacity!