At the start of 2016 I made it my New Year’s resolution to learn a new language and out of all the options I could have picked I chose Swedish. I have no Swedish ancestry, nor do I have family living in Sweden, but for some reason the language attracted me. Fast forward to two years later and I had not made that much progress, so after talking with my parents I managed to get the opportunity to attend UISS. I knew that if I wanted to learn a language I needed to be proactive about it and UISS could not have been a better fit.
I was not only impressed by the staff and teachers commitment to the students, but also their willingness to engage outside the classroom (something that I have not quite found here in the US). I began Session 1 in an A2A class and took Svensk folkmusik in the afternoons which added a level of real world application I would not be able to replicate at home. At the end of three weeks I was sad to leave the class, but I entered level A2B and Swedish Pop Music and Musical Theater with much excitement and had a blast.
On top of it all the day trips were fun and informational, I now have a fondness for Carl Larsson’s paintings after seeing his house and the Midsummer fest was quite the experience. I hope to be able to do it all again next year and I could not stress enough that if you are looking for a quality Swedish learning program UISS is the best there is.Misa Gonzalez
What makes the Uppsala International Summer Session an excellent program is first and foremost the quality of the Swedish language teaching. After studying a variety of languages for many years, I have demanding standards for language instruction. When I first enrolled in the Uppsala International Summer Session, I had high hopes that my time and money would be well spent and that’d I come home at the end of the summer with as strong a command of Swedish as possible. After two summers in the program, I am pleased to say I couldn’t be more impressed.
The teachers at UISS are dedicated, highly trained, creative, and supportive. They know how to make four hours of classroom time a day speed by with interesting, challenging activities, and they understand how to encourage students engaged in the difficult task of learning a new language. Every day in my Swedish class, I felt my ability to speak and understand Swedish improve. When I returned to take classes at home, my teachers were amazed at the level of skill I had attained in so short a period of time.
Supporting the program is a team of UISS staff members who are not only professional but just plain nice people who go out of their way to help students. The friendly, caring atmosphere at UISS makes students feel valued and allows for a relaxed, pleasant experience.
UISS offers so much in addition to the language classes and supportive staff: interesting afternoon cultural classes, cultural excursions, and fun social activities all contribute to an unforgettable experience. I will always treasure the time I have spent at UISS. In fact, I can hardly wait to return next summer.Jill Jepson
UISS was an amazing introduction into living in Sweden, and throughout the program I learned much more than I expected about not only the language, but the culture as well.
My dad grew up in Sweden, so I fell into the ’utlandssvenka ungdomar’ category. I grew up speaking Swedish at home at least part time, but until UISS I had no formal education in Swedish, and knew very little about grammatical rules and how to compose texts in Swedish. My teachers were fabulous and worked with me to fill in the gaps in my Swedish, all the while allowing me to learn in a natural, organic manner that fit with how I had learned Swedish as a child. The classroom hours were intense, but totally doable thanks to the Fika break! I chose to take afternoon classes in Swedish, and was very impressed with how much of the language I picked up while learning about culture in ’Det moderna svenska samhället’, and having fun and joking around in ’Förbättra din svenska med hjälp av drama/musik/gestaltning’.
I made so many friends from all over the world, and some of these friendships I expect to last a lifetime! After the course I elected to stay in Sweden, and am now in my first year studying Biomedicine at the Högskolan i Skövde. It is an international program given in English, but many of the program students and my friends are Swedish, and thanks to UISS I’m comfortable having conversations with them, and because of my Swedish skills, many are very surprised to hear that I just moved here during the past summer. Overall I highly recommend the program, from beginners in the language to those who are more advanced. It is well worth it and so much fun!Anna Nordin
I decided to attend UISS this year as I was planning on moving to Sweden and I wanted to get a head start with the language. It was the perfect choice for me.
From a teaching perspective, the program combines strong foundations in grammar and vocabulary with very interesting cultural afternoon classes which also teach you so much. I took the Swedish Pop Music and Musical Theatre afternoon class. It helped my pronunciation so much – and gave me a lot of useful vocabulary that I have remembered. It was also just a lot of fun! The classes were small to help keep students engaged, and everyone in class was motivated, making it a very positive learning environment.
The staff put their hearts into the program, creating a warm and supportive environment which is also impeccably organised. I have been to many events, and this really was one of the best organised I’ve ever been to. I was truly impressed.
Of course, you get to meet lots of open and friendly people from all over the world and share a wonderful experience together.
I felt myself improving every single day which was really satisfying. At the start of the program, I barely understood anything when people spoke Swedish. By the end, I could understand much of what was happening. I was also able to speak to people in simple Swedish in a range of contexts! Since leaving, I have received many compliments on what I learnt thanks to UISS. It felt amazing to have made this progress in three weeks and it is a credit to the staff. If you want to learn a lot whilst having a wonderful experience, I highly recommend UISS!Sasha Quahe
For me the program in Uppsala was like a huge field trip that lasted 9 weeks. I have been to Sweden plenty of times before, but with UISS it was a whole new experience. You get the chance to live in Sweden and not just visit it as a tourist. The best thing is that all students are motivated to learn Swedish and have a good time, that’s why we were all pushing and helping each others to achieve our personal goal in the end. After class I had many options to spend my free time. No matter if it was going out and meet locals, doing homework and studying together or exploring the area around Uppsala and Stockholm. There is a big variety to have a good time and you can always find someone to join you if you want.
Just in case you think about traveling the world to get to know new people, new cultures and make friends around the world, hold on, start with UISS in Uppsala and the nationalities, cultures and new friends are coming to you.
And finally, I really have to point out the great work of the assistants and the staff. They were always supporting us, super kind and helpful in any situation. They had so much energy that I wanted to go to class every single day.
By the winter of 2018 I had learned Swedish up to a certain level with distance courses and my own efforts, as I plan to work in Sweden as a medical specialist. I also knew that the best way to learn a language was to spend time in the country where the language was spoken. With that in mind I became aware of UISS through a friend, while looking for a course in Sweden. Before joining the 9 week course I thought I would attend a simple, boring and classic language course. How did I even know that I would spend the most interesting, most instructive, most productive, and most entertaining time of my life?
Unlike a classical language course, UISS opens Sweden to you every step of the way. It’s like you are a citizen in Sweden for a short time. The ability to transmit Swedish language and culture in such a short period of time is a sign of the result and success of a truly great sacrifice. It is a great honor to know the UISS team and teachers who love and love their work. They do their job very well.
Thanks to all the team and participants for giving me many new values and experiences! A perfect course to learn Swedish language and culture. See you again in the coming years!Emrah Seyhoglu
UISS, there are simply no words to express how amazing this experience was to me and I believe to everyone around me during the program.
I must start with that the staff of the UISS is absolutely wonderful and sweet, always there to answer any question you got. You can feel like part of a big family that we become every time, in every session of the UISS, I just love it and i think everybody else does!
I did not only have the chance to improve my Swedish, which was the main reason for attending to this program, but I also got the chance to experience how amazing, fun and wonderful Sweden is and to see in real life what I have only seen by pictures back home and practice my Swedish everyday with native speakers. Going to the weekend trips organised by the UISS was a great chance to learn and see the past and the present of Swedish culture, history and society, and I was left speechless by the beauty of this country that stole a piece of my heart .
The teachers in UISS are absolutely amazing, always cheering us up to practice until we get the right pronunciation, always willing to give us advice to improve and achieve our very best. Their guide during the whole course made me improve my Swedish, level by level, and also my confidence in my speech.
The afternoon classes were so fun, and made learning Swedish even more interactive and enjoyable. Making Swedish become a part of my everyday life through my hobbies like singing or dancing. It’s said that the best way to learn is by enjoying it and I think is true, cause I got all of that during my time in the UISS . I was part of the Svenska film class and Swedish Pop Music & Musical Theater and i highly recommend them for everyone who love movies and music.
In the UISS, you not only have the chance to learn about the culture, but also to meet people interested in Sweden too and people from other cultures and traditions. I personally had the chance to meet wonderful friends, not only from my same major, but also from other majors, cultures and beliefs about life and politics .
I think you would never regret coming to the UISS, is one of the best experiences I have ever had in my life and I am so thankful to have come here. This experience is priceless and a chance of a lifetime, and I am definitely coming back to improve my Swedish even more and enjoy a wonderful summer again.Cindy Estefanía Vásquez
UISS is one of the best summer programs I have attended. The program includes both classes as well as social activities. I found every class and social event so much fun! I was surprised to find I had learned more Swedish in the little time I was there. I also recommend going for every social event you can because they give you a chance to bond with the other people there as well as learn about Swedish culture. The worst thing about the program was leaving and having to say goodbye to everyone I had made friends with.Sanna Vasu
My summers in Sweden were not like a study abroad or another trip. It was discovering a new place that felt everyday more and more like home. I have made stronger friendships than even at my home college. Every day is a lot of work but a unique experience. Everyone is so welcoming to learners from all levels and every night I spoke Swedish at bars, restaurants and with friends, all without judgement. The classes you take will prepare you to excel in Swedish and anything else you want to learn about Sweden. The music classes are the best and I think everyday about the people I met from all around the world that wanted to learn about me as well as Sweden. This is so much more than a language school. Every day is a life-changing experience.Timothy Crane
The UISS summer session was a great experience. It was my second time taking a Swedish course and found the classes to be very beneficial to me, most likely due to the ability of my teachers as well as the amount of time spent per week. The drama class was especially enjoyable because it incorporated Swedish theater and music within the curriculum. The teachers really care about those they are teaching and were friends as well as instructors. The course was a great mix of structured classes and social events and it seemed like there was always something to do. I would love to return next summer for another great experience and to learn more Swedish. The picture shows me and my sister who also attended the program.Don O’Boyle
Summing up my love for UISS in a few paragraphs is almost impossible, but I will try my very best! Simply put, it has given me two amazing summers, many wonderful friends from around the world, and memories to last a life time!
After telling myself for years that I would learn Swedish so that I could speak more with my Mum’s family, I finally decided to get on with it in the summer of 2016. After a bit of research, I came across UISS, and Nelleke answered all my many questions, as well as pointing me to Duolingo so that I could prepare for my A2 course in the summer.
I only spent three weeks in Uppsala in 2017, but they were the highlight of my year! Not only were they a perfect escape from a stressful degree, but I was surprised at how well the course encouraged global friendships, tolerance and most of all fun! Whether I came back in 2018 didn’t feel like a question and I booked on as soon as I could.
This summer I’ve been shocked at how much my Swedish has improved over just six weeks. I was in two groups with very different teachers, and students, but both became such supportive environments in such a short space of time, which made learning a language so much more fun! Not only did I learn more of the language, but I was able to learn more about Swedish culture as well, which was such a treat!
I would thoroughly recommend UISS to anyone wanting to learn Swedish, whether you’re a hard core linguist, a half-swede like me, or just someone who needs an escape from daily life into a wonderful global community of friendships, singing, dancing, and so much more!!!Rebecca Jackson
Jag kan inte tänka mig ett bättre sätt att tillbringa sommaren. Hos UISS kan man förbättra sin språkkunskap och njuta av den svenska sommaren samtidigt. Lärarna och personalen gör allt som är möjligt för att skapa en fantastisk upplevelse för varje elev. Utanför lektionerna finns det många aktiviteter för alla—filmkvällar, museumbesök, och resor runt hela Sverige och även andra länder.
UISS-elever har chansen att lära känna människor från hela världen som har samma intressen för svensk kultur och språk. Naturligtvis måste lektionerna vara intensiva med ett så kort program, men jag känner att jag har lärt mig motsvarande ett år av svenska, även om jag var där i bara tre veckor, eftersom lärandet inte är begränsat till klassrummet.
Tack för den här sommaren, UISS! Hoppas verkligen att vi träffas i framtiden.Shawn Simmons
I discovered UISS by pure chance in 2017 and decided to take a 6-week summer course. UISS surprised me by offering students an opportunity of scholarship and, more so, by offering afternoon classes — I’ve taken a lot of similar courses in Italy, France, and Germany, but this is the first (and perhaps only) summer course that offers stuff on the history and culture of the country. I also appreciate the Friday trips and other activities during the week; UISS does a wonderful job in arranging those and always has its mind on student participation: they are encouraged to show their talent and given a chance to perform in front of a loving, cheering audience. This year I was given the opportunity to give an evening lecture on Old Norse myth; it was great fun and good practice for me.
Apart from the programme, Uppsala is a charming place to be during the summer. Being the old capital of Sweden, it’s also a centre rich of history and culture. To get to Stockholm and other parts of Sweden is easy — I’ve had opportunities to explore a bit, which certainly made my trip to Sweden more memorable than it already is.
A few words on housing — the student housing is just wonderful. All rooms are en-suite. Some have well-equipped kitchenettes where you can cook proper food, or you can just use the big kitchen downstairs. Washing machines and gym are free to use. I must say that housing is one of the reasons I return to UISS this year. I’ve compared other similar programmes but UISS — with housing, weekday meals, Friday trips and all else — beats them all in terms of value of money.Minjie Su
The UISS is one of the most incredible experiences I have ever had, and so much more than a language course. I was expecting to go there and learn a bit of Swedish, but I came away with new friends, amazing memories, and most of all – enough Swedish to convince shop assistants that I am a local (and so much more, of course)!
I attended the three week course, and it went by in a flash. The morning language class was perfectly suited to my learning style, we worked hard but we also had a lot of fun. My afternoon class was the Swedish Pop Music & Musical Theatre class. This was not only an extremely fun few hours, but we were also working on pronunciation through song lyrics, meaning that the å ä ö’s made perfect sense!
Let’s not forget the social aspect of the course! Expect a lot of socialising; both organised by the course and by the students. You’ll come away with life long friends and, with the huge range of ethnicities and backgrounds attending the UISS, you’ll also gain a new appreciation and insight into the peoples of the world.
I can’t wait to attend again, next time for longer, and be back in the amazing setting of Uppsala, learning an amazing language, with the most amazing people. Thanks UISS!Lars Quickfall
UISS gives you the opportunity to not only improve your Swedish skills, but to gain an insight of a new perspective of life that comes with having an open mind. This happens when you’re put in a situation that involves 40 different nationalities from all over the world. Language attainment is one of the pillars that this great program strides in providing its students, but the greatest pillar is the bonds that are forged from the experience.
Apart from the intensive language classes in the morning, the program provides a plethora of classes in the afternoon that cater to the Swedish experience. Whether you’re interested in politics, arts, music, etc. UISS provides classes that will cater to what you may want to learn about Sweden in general.
Will absolutely come back for my 3rd time next year!Miguel Radilla
UISS är perfekt för dig som vill bo i Sverige på riktigt och inte bara vara turist. Du kommer att lära dig så mycket om landet och kulturen och se många olika ställen på fredagsutflykterna. Det är mycket lättare att förbättra din svenska när du vistas i själva landet – du hör, talar och läser ju svenska hela dagen. Dessutom kommer du att träffa många intressanta och snälla människor från hela världen.
UISS har väldigt trevliga lärare som förbereder omväxlande och spännande lektioner och hjälper dig att lära dig så mycket svenska som möjligt. Dessutom följer de ofta med på pubrundan, deltar i knytkalaset eller uppträder på musikalkvällen.
På UISS finns det mycket musik, inte minst på eftermiddagskurserna. Efter en hel förmiddag av svensklektioner känns det härligt att få sjunga, spela teater och slippa tänka för mycket. Jag rekommenderar ”Förbättra din svenska med hjälp av drama/musik/gestaltning” och ”Cornelis Vreeswijk. Ett liv i sånger och texter”, även om du aldrig har sjungit eller spelat teater. Lärarna är mycket skickliga på att skaffa en bra och trygg atmosfär så att alla har det roligt och har nytta av kursen. För dig som är mer intresserad av kultur, samhället eller historia finns det förstås också passande kurser.
Kom till Uppsala, du kommer inte att ångra dig!
Tiden rinner bort i UISS, det finns alltid något att göra. Mellan lektioner och aktiviteter hinner man inte längta till hemlandet. Efter sex veckor kände jag mig som jag hade varit där bara tre. Jag började sakna Uppsala redan på avskedsfesten.
Jag vill framförallt berätta om hur mycket jag uppskattade lärarna. De anpassar kursen till elever med olika färdigheter, intressen, åldrar, yrken, och lyckas att utmana oss så att vi kunde överträffa våra förmågor. Vi alla lärde oss något från varandra och delade det vi är bäst i. Resultatet var en varm och trevlig gemenskap, där vi hade mycket roligt och trivdes bra.
Jag träffade lysande människor som inspirerade mig. Jag vill vara så stark och beslutsam när jag når deras ålder. Missa inte chansen att prata med alla!! Ni kommer att hitta värdiga föredömen.
UISS personalen har allt planerat. De är mycket professionella och villiga att hjälpa till när som helst. Tack för allt!!Gwenn Huesca
It is great to be in Uppsala. First of all, you meet people from all over the world. You talk, laugh, eat, learn and work very hard together. It is learning and having fun together, learning from each others cultures, all in Swedish which makes the three weeks in Uppsala very special. Being there is the chance of a lifetime to discover Sweden, a country, with its unique culture and history and language, from within. I took drama (förbättra din svenska), Swedish history en Modern Swedish Literature in the afternoon. I enjoyed and learned a lot. Now I can understand and speak Swedish and I can even read Swedish poetry! I celebrated midsummer, I danced, I learned to sing a lot of songs and it all ended with a great party and new friends. Each year my first thought after leaving Uppsala was ”when can I come back?” So I hope to do so next year again. I can hardly wait to hear the teachers say: ”Hej Marga”.Marga Wiegand
The two sessions of Swedish at the UISS belong to the greatest experiences in my life. I didn’t only learn Swedish, I learned as well about what and how life in Sweden can be.
It’s not just about learning the language in a classroom. The perfect combination of morning classes and afternoon classes, as well as the different field excursions and social evenings allow you to meet the people and discover the country.
When I came back the second time to Uppsala it was like coming home. The staff is so welcoming, caring and helpful as they can be. The organization is on the top, from the beginning to the end. They help you to find the courses that fit you the best and encourage you to try something new. The teachers try to adapt the courses to the students’ needs, so that everyone can follow.
I’m rather shy and I need some time to warm up and I never thought I could sing or act in Swedish. But I was able to overcome my inhibitions. Due to the exercises in the drama class and the helpful tips of the teacher, I now dare to talk Swedish more easily than before. And we all had so much fun by playing, singing and acting…
That’s what it is about at UISS! Learning Swedish and having fun. Meeting people from different cultures and respect one another as you are. No matter where you come from, how old you are, which sexual orientation you have, what you do in live… Just be yourself and learn Swedish in a fun, varied and interesting way.Albert Barth
I came to UISS very grateful for the opportunity to study the language intensively for 6 weeks thanks to a generous scholarship, but with reserves regarding whether I’d be able to, in such a short period of time, improve linguistic skills which seemed to have stagnated. I am happy to say that, not only did I recover and improve those skills, but had an awesome time while doing so. The teachers at UISS are genuinely committed to their job, enjoy it and listen to the students’ needs and do their best to meet them, both individually and collectively. They plan and deliver their lessons in trying to meet everyone at their level and challenging us to improve, doing so always in a gentle, positively reinforcing way. They also foster a good environment in the classroom, encouraging everyone to participate, planning meaningful exercises that promote mastering of the language as well as camaraderie. I can say that, during my stay, such camaraderie extended beyond the classroom, aided by UISS-planned field trips and activities that allowed me to get to know people of all ages, from all walks of life and different countries (and even continents!), which made the experience all the better. To top it all off, Uppsala is a beautiful city with good museums, downtown area and nature to offer its visitors, not to mention its magnificent cathedral, whose ringing bells woke me up every morning as I contemplated the summer skies from my bedroom at the student housing; certainly a good destination to spend one’s summer.
I definitely walked out of UISS not only a more competent speaker of Swedish but a richer person, having made new friends and memories to treasure for many years to come.
Hej! Jag heter Karina och jag kommer från USA.
I first came to UISS in 2016 for the 9 week course (Level A2 with very little knowledge of the Swedish language). I knew before I had left that I wanted to come back. So here I am again this summer 2018, for the 3 week course in Level B1.
My initial motivation to come to UISS was to learn about the Swedish language and culture and to come on a bit of an adventure. I leave once again with the glow of having made many warm memories and the shot of energy that comes with a good challenge.
UISS is nothing short of an excellent program. The staff are capable and friendly, the teachers are knowledgable and motivated and the director is a wonderfully passionate woman who is dedicated to creating a culture of tolerance, adventure and freedom.
Classes: Level B1 was quite challenging, but I came away feeling excited about how much I was able to learn. In the afternoon I took the Cornelis Vreeswijk class with Anna and Roel. I was very happy with my decision to take this class. The teachers were very energetic and passionate and it was a nice change of pace from the more sedentary morning classes. Take the Cornelis Vreeswijk class if you want to have fun and be inspired, all while learning about and singing songs from an influential Swedish singer/songwriter. This course is also very effective at improving pronunciation.
Finally, my recommendation for anyone interested in coming to this program is this: Remember that you are going to be learning Swedish in Sweden! It is going to be really cool if you choose to engage in what the program and town has to offer. I would highly suggest going on the field trips, walking around Uppsala (Domkyrka and Pelle Svanslös lekplats are a couple of my favorite places), or taking a visit to Stockholm. If you want to liven things up you can visit a student nation for some drinks and dancing. If you feel like you need to slow things down, you can do as the Swedes do and relax at a lake. The opportunities to engage in the Swedish language and culture at UISS are endless! I highly recommend this program!Karina McLeod
I was about to learn Swedish and chose UISS at a friend’s recommendation. At UISS I experienced not only great teaching of Swedish language and culture by a huge variety of means (elaborated classes, nice and motivated teachers, singing to excercise pronounciation, field trips and typical swedish how-tos like fika, dinners and holidays). Those summers also were filled with a warm and heartly atmosphere in the program, created by both staff and fellow students.
The experience of total strangers becoming a temporary family is really moving! I was meeting people from all over the world and building up intense relations with them. I found a spirit of tolerance and curiosity resulting in an immense intercultural understanding of people I would not have got the chance – or the impulse – to get in touch with.
Yeah, well… so I went home with a backpack full of swedish-knowledge and life-changing impressions. How awesome is that!? Thanks everybody!Jörn Berker
For me personally, UISS was the start to my new life here in Sweden.
It is not easy to come to a different country, stay here and try to build your career and life from scratch. UISS was everything I had when coming to Sweden and I can honestly say it was just the inevitable thing I needed to do. Who knows what else I would be doing without this experience, than sitting in local coffee shop here in Uppsala, writing this testimonial and sip my favourite coffee.
Making life-long friends, studying Swedish and fika (having coffee and a cake) a few times a day is just like owning a Nutella company. Constant happiness you could say. I witnessed happiness as I imagine it, new love stories, people talking fluently Swedish after just a few weeks of the course, but most importantly human qualities as understanding and accepting, which is something just beautiful to witness. And that is exactly what UISS is all about. That feeling when you come back home, sit down, eat food your mom cooked and just say to yourself: Yes, it was worth it!Pavel Coufal
I am not one to typically write bubbly and sappy endorsements. If asked to write an honest review about my 4 years at college, I would have plenty of criticism to go along with the praise. But my six weeks at UISS were genuinely some of the best weeks of my life. I was taken by surprise with how much I fell in love with the
My brother and I decided to enroll in UISS after our respective college graduations. The decision was as much about learning Swedish as it was about postponing our entrance into the working world. Our mom’s side of the family lives in Uppsala, so our goal was to finally have real Swedish conversations with them (apart from exchanging pleasantries and asking to pass the butter). But what we got out of the program was so, so much more than a scholastic exercise in conversation and grammar.
UISS is, in short, an exceptionally happy and welcoming place. People of all ages, backgrounds and creeds come together to forge lifelong friendships, sing, laugh, learn, love, and above all, be themselves. The atmosphere created by the entirety of the UISS community is so uniquely welcoming and kind; I have never before been in an environment where so many different types of people are so comfortable being honest with each other, being goofy around one another, and being themselves. There is such a high bar of mutual respect and kindness that at the end of the program we couldn’t all help but think, “man, if only the rest of the world could treat each other this way.”
A rapid-fire list of highlights and tips:
- The staff is so much fun! Spend time with them, talk with them at Fika, bug them in the office about the daily riddles, and get to know them.
- Go to the UISS events. All of them. The potluck dinners, the social evenings, the musical evenings. It’s not corny orientation icebreaker bullshit. It’s just a bunch of people making new friends and having a great time together.
- Lapland and Finland are absolutely highlights. Each was a fantastic and unforgettable experience for very, very different reasons. Seriously, go if you can.
- Morning courses are kind of long, honestly. I got through 5 years of undergrad avoiding caffeine, but it was UISS that finally got me addicted to coffee. My Swedish improved a lot though, and the teachers were awesome (shoutout to Anna and Anki).
- Speaking of long morning courses, try something out of your comfort zone in the afternoon! I am an engineer who had never sang or performed in any way, shape or form before UISS. But I took a drama/music course (Förbättra din svenska med hjälp av drama/musik/gestaltning) and then a music course (Cornelis Vreeswijk, ett liv i sånger och texter) for my two afternoon courses. I would say these two classes defined the program for me. It was so different from anything I’ve done before, and so much fun. When you’re not singing, you’re laughing and joking with classmates. And the teachers are some of the most talented, friendly, and charismatic people I’ve ever had the pleasure to learn from. My brother and I even wrote and performed our own songs for the farewell dinner (I have no plans to quit my day job, though).
- Farewell dinners are bittersweet, memorable, and hilarious.
- Be social, be yourself, meet people, speak Swedish outside of the classroom as much as possible, smile, and try to appreciate the finite time you have in Uppsala. I miss it already.
Man skulle kunna tro att man som redan ganska bra svensktalande utlandssvensk inte skulle kunna lära sig så mycket under en vistelse på UISS, men det är absolut fel. För min del hade jag som mål att lära svensk grammatik och stavning (vilket jag aldrig gjort förut) och uppleva den svenska vardagen och kulturen – och detta mål har jag i alla fall uppnått.
Men UISS erbjuder så mycket mer än bara en språkskola! Man får den enastående möjligheten att lära känna människor från hela världen och alla åldersgrupper. I och med att alla har liknande intressen att komma till UISS, så spelar det ingen en roll var du kommer ifrån eller hur gammal du är.
Programmet erbjuder många aktiviteter, som inte är obligatoriska, utanför undervisningen och det finns alltid något roligt och intressant att göra på fritiden. Och så bidrar de trevliga lärarna och det underhållande staff mycket till att vi hade det trevligt och trivdes.
Det har varit ett otroligt givande uppehåll på UISS!Valérie Itty
Since all stories have usually a start, I am going to begin from there.
I have tried learning Swedish unsuccessfully with some of those apps and online courses that teach you mainly close to meaningless sentences as ‘the dog loves cornflakes’ or ‘grandma is running’.
It was useful for perhaps learning some words and detach a little from the ground level, but as we all know, the real deal is to be in loco and get accustomed to a language while living and interact with real people.
So I decided to look around on the internet for possible solutions to be squeezed into my holidays.
9 weeks was exactly what I was pointing to, in order to maximize the results.
ACCOMMODATION SOLUTIONS IN SWEDEN
Sweden is an expensive country and on one hand rather bureaucratically hostile when it comes to accommodations for people without a person-number (their sort of ID and tax all-in-one number) and also very expensive, especially when it comes to temporary private accommodation solutions.
As a matter of fact, the formula ‘all inclusive’ was indeed what took my attention first, and I believe everyone should be after that.
Doing the math, considering hours of teaching, previous reviews, accommodation etcetera, it looked like a very honest price for Sweden and the only course with this length and options which could make it worth to take such a step. But looking around, there are actually very few alternatives.
I sent my application and decided to invest in that course during my summer vacations.
The whole organization is super efficient, flexible and impossible for anyone to get into trouble. Before and after the start of the course all inquiries are processed and problems solved. The director of the course is a catalyst for problems and her experience makes them dissolve even before bothering to find a solution.
PRIOR TO ARRIVAL
Before arrival, the entire main logistical info is sent in due time by e-mail. Given the fact that I had a particularly difficult situation with payments to foreign banks, I had plenty of email exchanges with the staff before admission and I did receive answers promptly, once even 3 minutes after my inquiry. And I am being serious.
The accommodation was the first thing I came in touch with. It is located in a perfect central area with a building fully equipped with everything. It was so well equipped I didn’t even use all the stuff I could have used.
My room was just what I wanted and needed, equipped with also a tv I never used + a dvd player, an in-room kitchen used 5 – 6 times which was just spot on in case for a day or two one doesn’t feel like cooking in the common kitchen.
All students are provided with prefixed student cards that will allow them to enter the local student unions.
Uppsala is a mid-size city (in Sweden it could be considered a big one) that hosts one of the oldest and most famous universities in Europe. In summer it has a calm and very cute atmosphere, ideal for the students and it is surrounded by a classic Swedish environment: a lot of nature, flowers, forests and lakes. A cute little river passes through the city, giving a peaceful sensation that delights the day and the evening’s walk.
But the real surprise was the staff. The director, Nelleke, is a person that has this job in the DNA, and therefore for her, it does not even feel like an occupation. She knew more student names of my mates than I did even at the end of the period and was indeed the most cordial, motivated, easy going, hard working and reliable person I ever met on a duty. Not rare spotting her in the morning at the office at seven and finding her around with the staff in the evenings.
I thought, like many others, she was Swedish; it turned out she is Dutch.
Perhaps it could be a detail that matters, cause who could handle the matter of teaching a foreign language to someone if not a person who has learned it herself first?
It all made sense.
The assistants are of a superb professionalism and at the same time, it feels from the first day you have known them since high school time. All the teaching can be described in the same way, everyone has a different and unique background oriented to fit the level of the language one is going through.
CLASSES AND TEACHING STAFF
The classes are super organized prior any arrival and the division in groups and levels is foolproof and easily assimilated on the first day. The teaching staff is super very professional and experienced, all of them are professional teachers all year round, and all –obviously- have Swedish as their mother tongue.
There is no lack of activities in the afternoons and even weekends are covered, so hyperactive people don’t have to be afraid to be bored.
To study together with a very diverse group with different ages and cultural backgrounds revealed being another strength of the program, as it helps to support each other, grow personally, open your mind and change how you think. This is fertile ground for learning.
Last thing to add to the afternoon classes and extra activities: They are CRUCIAL for a 360% integration and understanding of the Swedish way of life.
This is a Session and not just a course. Part of the Swedish language classes is getting knowledge about Swedish way of life. Learning Swedish while at the same time being able to put it into the context of Swedish society, is a more physiological and spontaneous process, it works very well; this is not a detail, as I found out later myself.
The school is a very much a mirror of the Swedish society. The things students see and learn are taught in the entertaining and constructional way and this is preparing the students for encounters with the real Swedish everyday life. This applies to everything planned, songs, dinners, cultural classes and even the grammar courses.
I believe I have said it all. If not, I just want to point it out that with this kind of staff the only problem is that the session does not last longer.
Last but not least, I was able to sit for 3 job interviews in Swedish before the end of the course, and so did other students of the course.
My experience could not be more positive!
Lycka till!Mario Villani
Att komma tillbaka till Uppsala känns alltid som att återse en gammal vän. Det är huvudsakligen därför jag har tillbringat mina tre senaste somrar där.
Jag har studerat språk på många olika platser i världen, men i Uppsala finns en speciel atmosfär. Det är en unik blandning av klassisk språkundervisning, kreativa och roliga eftermiddagskurser, där man viker sig dubbel av skratt! Mottot «ett gott skratt förlänger livet» stämmer verkligen väl. Men det är inte det enda som förenar fler än 300 personer från över 40 nationer.
Hela UISS:s-lag organiserar och leder sociala aktiviteter, så att studenter lär sig hur ett typiskt liv i Sverige är. De ordnar traditionella kalas så att man kan få insikt i svensk låt- och sångkultur. Man kan nog gissa sig till att det alltid finns någonting som händer och att det finns någonting för alla och envar. Ett annat stort plus för mig är att alla åker på utflykt varje fredag. Så har man möjligheten att se och besöka viktiga historiska platser och fantastiska landskap.
Personligen vet jag inte vad mer man kan önska från ett språkläger än att lärä känna trevliga människor från hela världen och skaffa sig upplevelser, många karaktärsskapande erfarenheter, resa runt landet och naturligtvis förbättra sina kunskaper i språket.
Avslutningsvis vill jag bara säga: Uppsala vi ses nästa år!Fabienne Kümmerli
UISS is an excellent program. The language instruction alone makes it worth the trip. The classes are rigorous and fast-paced. It is easy to see improvement in speaking and comprehension after just one week. I remember loving the program and learning a lot twenty years ago, but this time I really experienced the specialness of the program.
There is a warm, generous, open feeling in the air that starts with Nelleke, the director, and goes through the staff and all the students. There is a real sense of togetherness that is helped in large part to having fika (coffee break with snacks) and lunch together every day as well as the many evening and weekend get togethers. There are people of all ages from all over the world and everyone mixes quite well.
I especially got a lot out of my afternoon class (Improving your Swedish through Theater and Music). It was very active with lots of theater games and songs and it was actually the most challenging thing I did. Most people in that class were at I higher level than I was but our teacher was excellent at making the class a place where you could take risks and push past your comfort zone. There is lots of singing the entire time at UISS and it is great because everyone participates with great enthusiasm. I’m not one to jump into group singing in the United States, but at UISS, the enthusiasm is really catching and I found myself participating with great gusto. I really did not want to leave at the end. I’m already trying to figure out when I can come back!Rob Melrose
I could not think of a better way of spending my summer. Both of my brothers had attended UISS in the early 2000s and I had always wanted to come since they both loved it so much but I had never had the chance until this year. I knew this summer would be awesome, but it was even better than I imagined it.
I started at A1 level, I only knew a few random words in Swedish but I could not even have a basic conversation. After 6 weeks in the program, I was able to converse with both my dad and my uncle and understand them pretty well. I was so impressed with my progress! I enjoyed it so much that I want to continue my studies and become fully fluent in Swedish.
I loved both the morning classes and the afternoon classes. Even though they may seem long at first they pass by so quickly because they were so intense. You get to learn so much in one day! I loved the Swedish Pop Music afternoon class so much because you get to learn a lot of Swedish through the plays that we had to write and the games that we had to play. I also practiced and learned a lot in Svensk Folkmusik because you don’t only learn about the culture and traditional Swedish music but you get to understand the lyrics of what you are singing. Both classes were so much fun! And what is even better, you get to perform at the Musical Evenings and the Farewell Dinners!
But the best part was to get to know all the amazing people from the program. I made great friends that came from completely different backgrounds but we all became so close to each other. Thanks to Uppsala we were always making plans around the city, from going to the Nations in the afternoons to spending a whole day at the lake, swimming, jumping on the trampoline and preparing food by the fire. It was just so magical! By the end of the summer session, you feel like you have been living in a dream that you don’t want to wake up to, it’s so hard to say good bye to all the new friends and the awesome things that you do at Uppsala every day but on the other side, I felt so happy and grateful for the experience, I wouldn’t have changed it for anything.Karissa Tysklind
The UISS was one of the best experiences of my life. I can simply exclaim that it is the epitome of intercultural dialogue while being immersed in the beautiful language and land of Sweden.
I would probably start with the application. Unlike other summer schools I have attended, the UISS offered an additional feature of calling on WhatsApp, which made communication very smooth and convenient. Not only this, but the mails sent were replied promptly which included all clarifications I had sought.
The class sizes in the UISS are small which ensured that my learning of the Swedish language at my level was apt. I wholeheartedly enjoyed my classes. My teacher of Level A2 – Ms. Elisabeth Olsson was excellent. She helped me in all ways possible to help me learn Swedish.
Travelling all the way from India to Sweden, I was quite nervous from the beginning. This brings to my last and the most important point. The director of the UISS, Drs. Nelleke is a superb director and a great person. She perfectly balanced the fun of the programme and maintained the decorum of the UISS’s functioning. But what I would like to express it that, she ensured that each and every one of us was comfortable at the UISS and in Sweden. This personal touch and a personal connect with the director, as well as with the teachers and the UISS staff is what I feel makes the UISS one of the best programmes to attend.Orko Biswas
I came across UISS when I was looking for a language course to complement my self-studies of Swedish so I signed up to be a ”9-weeker” during Summer 2017 and it turned out to be much more than just a language course. Whoever you are, this program is for you. I mean if you don’t mind improving your language abilities in every aspect, learning a lot about Swedish music, history, society and more, experiencing the much fun student life in Uppsala, making a ton of friends and doing all that together with more than a couple hundreds of people from all over the world in a warm and welcoming international atmosphere that’s ensured by UISS’ incredibly friendly and competent staff. However be warned: a 3-week stay is too short.
Uppsala is such a beautiful city and I felt home from the first day to the last. I was able to study Swedish, music, drama and Swedish society with highly experienced and skilled teachers and meet a lot of nice people. Many thanks to the lovely staff and participants who made it possible.Caner Erbay
The worst thing about UISS is the agony you feel when you have to say goodbye again. In just six weeks in Uppsala I really lost my heart to the Swedish language, the Swedish nature and most of all to the wonderful people in UISS.
Not only is it very easy to improve your Swedish with the morning- and afternoonclasses, but it is so much fun, too! I would really recommend taking one of the singing and acting classes, even if you are not comfortable with singing and acting. Besides having an amazing time, you will also improve your pronunciation a lot.
What I loved most about UISS are the people I met. Before I came to Sweden I was very nervous. But as soon as I got there I started feeling comfortable and welcomed, thanks to the wonderful staff and my fellow students. Everyone is so nice and it’s so easy to meet new people from all over the world.Johanna Rose
I highly position the UISS experience as one of the best experiences of my life so far. Not only because it’s in Sweden, which is breathtakingly beautiful, but also because the UISS team knows how to conduct a summer school very well (given they have been running the programme for many years now).
Apart from Uppsala being a very pretty venue for a study programme, they also expose you to the beautiful Swedish culture. You won’t realise exactly when you will have spent your time there because apart from studies, you could be celebrating mid-summer, dancing, watching movies, having dinner with others or playing some games.
As soon as I reached there, there was something I registered; the UISS staff is extremely friendly. They know how to treat you well and also bring a smile on your face. And the very first day that I was there, I was already laughing and enjoying. This is the only school I have experienced where the director danced and performed for every one and later also danced with the students. While it is not normal for me to go abroad, and yes I was nervous in my expectations, but it turned out to be way better than anything I could wish for.
When you go there, make sure you visit all the “NATIONS”. This term had just the regular meaning for me before I went there, but as I was leaving, it had become one of the best things any town can offer you. Go there and experience it yourself.
Well, most importantly, I was there to learn Swedish and it was extremely structured. My teacher specifically played guitar and taught us our pronunciations. I still pronounce well whatever I had learnt in the song (hahaha). At the end of just three weeks, I was able to order my food at a restaurant or look for groceries at a market. This brings me to another point that Swedes are the sweetest people. You will be amazed at how well they receive you on every occasion.Vivek Bhardwaj
When my sister returned home from UISS (2014) and talked about her fantastic time in Uppsala overwhelmed with joy I knew this would be the perfect place for me to study Swedish when I decided to apply for an Erasmus exchange in Sweden. I couldn’t be more grateful for the experiences I made with UISS. It was great to have such motivated teachers and although it was intense we laughed a lot. The learning curve is very steep and you make a lot of progress every day, especially by having conversations in small groups in class. The afternoon classes give you the opportunity to improve your Swedish in a more amusing and relaxing way. It was a delight seeing performances of the Cornelis Vreeswijk afternoon class where students sung with great passion while improving their pronunciation. My class about the Swedish society gave me a perfect insight in Swedish traditions as well as how different organizations such as the insurance system work.
It is wonderful to meet people from all over the world and have such a fun time together right from the start. The excellent staff makes sure to involve a lot of Swedish traditions which include a lot of singing and everyone seemed to really enjoy it.
Thank you for the amazing time! I warmly recommend studying Swedish with UISS!!Lisa Müller
You will learn language and culture, the best part is you will do that with fully motivated people. As you might expect, the course is really intense. This is not a ”tourist language course” (as Nelleke can agree). They are really good at what they do, after this course du kan prata svenska!
The afternoon classes give you the opportunity to improve your Swedish. You can choose a conversation & grammar class to do more practice as I did. Don’t forget to get some fun with your new friends after the lessons.
I highly recommend the UISS summer session to whoever wants to learn Swedish with a great cultural experience! UISS is one of the best language courses that you can imagine.Mert Günay
This was my second time in the UISS, and the fact that I came back, shows that I really liked the program.
It is an unique opportunity to meet people from all over the world, with the same purpose, which is learning Swedish. The course is very intensive and in my case, helps me to build confidence, and shows me that I can really speak and understand Swedish.
The whole package makes this program a success! From the housing arrangements to the extra class activities, everything is tailored to meet your expectations!
I certainly recommend the UISS summer session to whoever wants to improve their Swedish and have a great cultural experience!
It was the story of my immigrant ancestors that inspired me to consider learning Swedish; it was good fortune that led me to UISS.
During the three weeks that I was in Uppsala at UISS I was immersed in the language and culture of my Swedish great-grandparents. I am gratified by the innumerable memories and lasting friendships that were formed. Equally fascinating to me was the opportunity to study with so many other students from various nationalities, backgrounds and ages. The diversity of cultures and the span of age made for a rich experience. One of my classes had no less than 7 different nationalities represented between the ages of 18 and 55+.
I found the classes to be equally challenging and rewarding. The instructors where eager to see students succeed and they provided structured class time that was academically challenging and inspiring. The afternoon sessions on Grammar and Conversation were great compliments to the morning lessons. The instructors were not only knowledgable, skillful teachers, but they were engaged in our whole experience.
There were many opportunities provided for socializing and for learning about the culture. A highlight for my summer was celebrating my first Midsommar, complete with countryside picnic, yard games, singing and dancing around the May pole. Bonds were always being formed among students and staff from the opening reception to final student dinner.
My only regret was my time at UISS was too short! I hope next summer will see me once again backtracking my ancestral journey to Sweden. I will once again strengthen my Swedish roots while engaging new friends and multiple cultures. I can hardly wait and hope you might be a part of this enlightening experience!
PS I returned to UISS in 2018!Richmond L. Schmidt
I had a wonderful time at UISS and I couldn’t have chosen a better program to study Swedish. They provide the perfect mixture of intense study of grammar, conversation, vocabulary and pronounciation but also a lot of fun, socialising and exploring all the different aspects of swedish culture.
Besides the great progress I made language wise, I felt very much at home at UISS. The staff is very warm and welcoming. The program is not anonymous at all, you get to know each other real quick (through the many amazingly organised fun events, like musical evenings or potluck dinners, they have at UISS). After a while UISS starts to feel almost like a big family abroad. Also the students are all amazing and it is great to get to study in such a diverse environment with almost 50 nationalities among the students.
I would recommend UISS to everyone who is not only looking for excellent swedish classes but also wants to experience all the sides of swedish culture while having a lot of fun and meeting wonderful people.Sophie Schneider
After the great experience in 2015, I came back to UISS in 2016 and again this year. The learning curve is extremely steep. I never experience such a quick improvement. In my first I started with absolutely no knowledge of Swedish. After three weeks I was impressed: I was able to understand quite a lot.
And in last year’s session I really experienced a quantum leap in my understanding and expression ability. The afternoon classes complete the program. You can choose among grammar and conversation classes, or other themes, related to arts, history or contemporary Swedish society. You can really feel the dedication of the teachers doing their job. I think that they had fun teaching us, which in return means that we had fun as well. Sharing the apartment with Swedes is a unique experience. I’ve got to know some lovely people and had fun with them. Furthermore, trying to talk to them in Swedish and realize that they understand you and you understand them is a huge motivational boost!
Uppsala is a nice town where you can enjoy the long Nordic evenings. Having a drink and still enjoy the sunshine at 10 PM is just priceless. And if you need some distraction from this perfect world, you can join the extra activities on Friday or the weekend trips. Stockholm is a classic one. I’ve already been several times there, but it’s always beautiful! So… yes, it’s a language school, and a very intense one, but it is also an extremely enjoyable time. So enjoyable that it has become my summer vacation. If you are still reading, it’s because you are thinking about applying. Stop thinking about it, do it! You won’t regret it!Enrico Pargaetzi
It’s the second time I do the 3 weeks session and I’am already looking forward for a third summer in Uppsala. UISS gives the possibility to emerge itself in the Swedish culture by for instance celebrating Midsummer or by learning how to eat crayfish the right way!
The program gives also the chance to it’s students to visit local museums and to go on trips somewhere « lost » in the Swedish nature. Furthermore, the school doesn’t’t only show the students how to act like Swedes but also how to speak like Swedes! For example, in the different classes the students are taught how to pronounce the « ä, ö, u, e, i, y, … » correctly. Due to the two summers I have spent in Uppsala, I have been able to improve my Swedish so much that I can now speak and understand my Swedish grandfather without any problems.
In addition, Uppsala is a beautiful student city where you can have a lot of fun the Swedish way. For example Uppsala has really nice parks to spend time with other students after classes – if the homework allows it.Sandra Wihlborg
A very positive and well-rounded Swedish immersion experience that everyone should try at least once!
It is very hard to describe in a short paragraph such an experience. Everybody was having a lot of fun learning Swedish, getting to know more about the Swedish culture and making tons of friends along the way. At its core, UISS has specifically impressed me with its high caliber teachers, the evening activities, the weekend trips and the extremely friendly staff. All these points made it an unforgettable experience. Finally, one must mention how everything was really well organized, which ultimately resulted in a smooth 3-week period. UISS, thank you!Wassim Alexan
When I chose the six-week session, I though it would be a little bit too long. I was definitely wrong! I started the Swedish courses with UISS, I only knew five words in Swedish. Now I can handle a conversation with swedes! You will be impressed by the progress you make every day!
The morning Swedish courses taught me the grammar, the pronunciation and expanded my vocabulary. On the other side, I learned more about the Swedish history and put the language in a context, during the afternoon classes also to discover the nyckelharpa. Moreover during the second period the musical-theater class helped a lot to pronounce the different Swedish sounds and it was so much fun!
But the UISS experience is not only about he courses. It is also about meeting people of 40 different nationalities and making new friends. You will never be bored because the amazing staff will keep you entertained with events such as musical evenings, film evenings, guest speakers and also awesome parties like a memorable crayfish one!
In conclusion my only regret is that I couldn’t attend for a nine-week session. I hope to come back next year.Gauthier Montaud
Everyone at UISS makes you feel so at home and welcomed. Being a part of it for three weeks was honestly the best thing that I have ever done for myself. You grow as a person and experience so many wonderful things, such as a completely different culture. I loved it and I really recommend participating in a UISS course.Victoria Persson
Det var ingen tillfällighet att jag har deltagit i programmet flera gånger, det var ett medvetet beslut, ett av de bästa besluten i mitt liv och jag vill gärna upprepa upplevelsen igen.
Anledningen till att jag började lära mig svenska var att jag verkligen skulle vilja lägga till svenska till min språkkombination om ett eller två år, vilket kan hjälpa mig i mitt arbete. Jag har fått möjligheten att träffa många underbara människor genom UISS, som jag skulle vilja hålla kontakt med.
Kursen erbjuder ett mycket balanserat program: på morgonen lektioner i det svenska språket med fokus på grammatik och uttal, på eftermiddagen lektioner som är snarare fokuserade på olika aspekter av det svenska samhället. Det är en mycket bra kombination av utomhusaktiviteter, klasser, aktiviteter, studiebesök och sociala träff. I programmet har jag även fått tillfälle att träffa en av de viktigaste personerna i mitt liv.
Oavsett vad din nivå är, så finns det en klass för dig och genom undervisning på rätt nivå kommer du att få det förtroendet du behöver för att tala svenska autentiskt utanför klassrummet. UISS erbjuder intensiva och krävande kurser, men det är också en plats där människor med olika bakgrunder, berättelser, åldrar, yrken och språk möts på grund av ett gemensamt intresse.
Jag, liksom hundratals andra studenter, rekommenderar UISS gärna. Så tveka inte och anmäl dig till programmet så snart som möjligt!Althay Ramallo Fuentes
The UISS was a fantastic experience for me. The staff and teachers really invest a lot of thought into how students will make the most of their time in Uppsala. The morning classes were set at a high level, and from the beginning we spoke only Swedish. Initially this seemed daunting, but it rapidly improved our conversational skills. The afternoon arts and performances classes balanced out the grammar from the morning, and it was a fun way to practice Swedish in a relaxed environment. Of course, there were many social events for us to mingle, including a crayfish party with Swedish songs. All in all, I believe UISS helped me to feel more confident in communicating in Swedish, and I’ve met some amazing students along the way.Kevin Tan
Studying Swedish at university, I was already aware of Swedish culture and history and so I felt very excited to start the program at UISS. But coming here was even better than I expected: from the first day I immersed myself not only in the language, but also in the lifestyle of the Swedes. Both the morning and the afternoon classes were really useful and fun; the teachers and the staff are experienced and friendly.
Uppsala is a very nice place to live and study, so close to Stockholm and others interesting destinations. The characteristic ”nations” are a good opportunity to meet other students and get to know some Swedish traditions. I enjoyed very much meeting new people coming from all over the world and share such a great experience.I really suggest doing this program, you will fall in love with Sweden!Micol Zanaga
UISS to me was like a perfect mixture of learning, exploring, socializing and most of all: enjoying. The Swedish lessons are, as everyone keeps saying, intense.
The fact that you are in Sweden the whole time makes it even better, because you are literally practicing all day. If you get the chance to take the Swedish history class, then I can very much recommend you take that. You get to learn a lot about Sweden and why it is what it is today. We also got to see a lot of Sweden, which we normally would not see. The teachers at UISS are very kind and helpful. To me, the best part of it all was the amazing people I met from all over the world. During the time that I was at UISS, there were over 40 different nationalities: from the United States to Serbia to India and South Korea. They were all there. The time we had will be among the greatest I’ve ever had. When I finally had to go back, I couldn’t wrap my head around leaving all that was so beautiful. When you are going back home, trust me, you are bringing something with you that is better than a souvenir, and that is the actual language of the country.Bob Smeets
Alla pratar Svenska efter UISS
Everyone interested in Swedish language, culture or society should apply to this course. It is a great opportunity to meet Sweden in all aspects. In the morning classes you will learn the language through interesting exercises. As for afternoon classes, from my own experience I can tell that ”Sweden from the cradle to grave” is a very good course if you want to know more about Swedish society, politics, job opportunities, education and health care. Also I would recommend ”Swedish pop music and theater” which is not only a really interesting relaxing course, but also helps you with improving your pronunciation.
Beautiful Uppsala is waiting for you to have a great time!Branka Alempic
I must admit that this 3-week program is very intense, but at the same time it is the most meaningful and fruitful experience that I have ever had.
First, the language courses were just perfect. I was in the A2+ course in the morning, and I joined the grammar and conversation course in the afternoon. In the morning, our teacher Elisabeth taught us in a systematic way that is very easy to follow and understand. She spent a lot of time listening to our discussions and helped us equip ourselves with necessary vocabularies. In the afternoon, Henrik and Nils taught in such a fun and interactive way, which enabled me to improve my speaking skills through different role-play scenarios and tackle all the difficulties about specific grammatical topics. I felt myself improving every single day.
Second, our dear staff: Emma, Ruud, Angelica and Jonas, have organized so many activities for us to get to know each other as well as to know the Swedish culture. I had so much fun learning all the drinking songs, the midsummer traditions and how to toast on the dining table!
Third, I also joined the Lapland trip before I left. I was never a sporty person and the trip was so demanding for me. However, I felt I have accomplished something impossible when I arrived at the top of the mountain, and I am so glad that I actually completed the challenge!
Last but not least, here is a place not only for learning Swedish and Swedish culture, you can get a lot more beyond that by communicating with all the classmates that come from all over the world. Despite all the differences, we learned to understand each other and be open-minded, and I have made so many true friends! Believe me, this will be a wonderful life experience. Come to Uppsala, learn, have fun, and break all the boundaries!
FayFaye Lam (Lam Mat)
I decided to apply for the 3 weeks program here at UISS because I am studying Swedish at university in Venice, Italy, I really wanted to improve my skills and I was incredibly attracted by this beautiful country. The experience at UISS was really good: the staff was so friendly and helpful; the courses were very intensive, with a lot of different choices for the afternoon classes. The trips organized during the weekends were very interesting and enjoyable and they gave me the chance to be both in the nature of the countryside and in the modern life of wonderful cities such as Uppsala and Stockholm.
I wish you a great time at UISS and in Uppsala!Anna Meneghin
Uppsala International Summer Session is an excellent place to study the Swedish language and culture. The immersive experience allows for you to practice the language in a fun and supportive school environment and you can explore the beauty of Sweden through the field trips and evening activities. The intense nature of the program means you move through the language at a fast pace, but the professors and staff encourage the students to do as well as possible.Saniya Lee Ghanoui
My wife and I recently relocated to Sweden within an international company. We took an intensive three-weeks course in July 2016 with the main objective to refresh our knowledge of Swedish grammar and practice conversational language. We should admit that the course was quite demanding. Tuition was organized not only during mornings and early afternoons, but also during evenings, when it was mixed with social activities.
With no doubt we would like to recommend this program. This course has value not only from a language learning perspective. It also allows to get aquainted with new cultures as many people from all over the world come here.Artiom Kravchenko
UISS has been a very intense Swedish experience. The program is a wonderful place to meet people from all over the world and take intense Swedish courses. The morning Swedish courses have helped me improve my grammar, conversation, and pronunciation. The afternoon classes have helped me become more comfortable with expressing myself in Swedish. Uppsala itself is a beautiful city and a great place to spend the summer studying. There are an endless number of opportunities that the program and the city offer.Aida Wolf
When you are 34, the idea to leave the comfort of your home and a regular job to go back to school always sounds crazy and outrageous! But when you want change and need to re-discover yourself, you have to be bold and do the unusual.
I came across Uppsala International Summer Session while searching for an opportunity to study in Europe, and the structure of this program instantly captured my attention. 3 weeks packed with literature, fun and traveling endeavors, everything is unique about the program.
UISS gives opportunity for people from different countries and backgrounds to collaborate together and learn the Swedish/Swede’s way – the language, the music, the history and the culture, all in a very inclusive fashion. The classes are intense but the teachers are driven and dedicated, you will be surprised at the speed you will progress week by week. From morning classes to evenings at student places, the so called ”nations” in Uppsala, to the weekend trips to Finland, these 3 weeks are like an investment in knowledge that pays the best interest!
UISS gives you memories to cherish, new friends to keep for life, it would take me more than just a few words to list all the hidden incentives behind all that learning. Whether you are in just for those extra credits or looking for a new direction like me, UISS has plenty in-store for you.Saurabh Wadhawan
I extended my program from 6 weeks to 9 weeks because it was über fun. Started the course with almost zero knowledge of Swedish to being able to construct sentences and write short paragraphs. That is how intensive the course is. At the same time, there are also many evening activities organized by UISS to let us learn about the Swedish culture. Therefore one needs to be prepared to work hard and be disciplined to attend classes and do the homework, while still attending those activities.
I made lots of friends from all over the world – e.g Jordan, Switzerland, Poland, Russia, USA, UK, Holland, Germany, Belgium and so on… A quote from my new close friend Rebecca while toasting at our group dinner ”To good friends who quickly became true friends”. Being together for a period of time allows initial strangers to bond quickly and strongly as friends.
The assistants were always helpful and friendly. One can at any time depend on them for help or advice. Thanks to Emma, Ruud, Niki, Felix and Angelica for making my stay in UISS a wonderful experience. And to Henrik for the beautiful songs that you taught us to help with our pronunciation, to Adam for your patience in explaining the grammar and the fun ways to let us remember our vocabulary and to Malin for the interesting teaching methods (listening to songs and playing games). And not forgetting the teachers of my afternoon classes: Johan for widening my view on the Arts History (paintings, murals, architecture etc), André for the fun plays and singing and lastly to Urika for the wonderful games and all of them improved my Swedish at the same time.
To sum it all up: I enjoyed myself so much that I will be back again in 2016… UISS, vanta på mig. Jag kommer tillbaka nästa år. UISS är en jätterolig kurs. Alskar dig.Adeline Soon
Uppsala Summer Institute is a first-rate language and cultural immersion experience. They have top-notch professional staff and faculty who are dedicated to giving their best. There are many reasons why the program has thrived for 50 years. It is intense, but quite enjoyable. The variety of courses, cultural excursions and afterhours activities are especially worthwhile.Josiah Baker
Jag valde UISS eftersom kursen verkade passa en utlandssvensk som jag så bra. I höst ska jag nämligen flytta tillbaka till Sverige för att påbörja mina studier vid Uppsala Universitet. Jag placerades i en grupp med härliga människor som verkligen ville lära sig svenska vilket gjorde det mycket roligt att plugga även om det var sommarlov.
Min lärare Kalle anpassade sig till alla våra olika behov. Jag fick till exempel extra grammatikläxor eftersom det var det jag behövde fokusera mig mest på.
Det var inte bara lektionerna som gjorde UISS toppen, nej det var alltihopa: eftermiddagskurserna, utflykterna till Mariefred och Värmland, kubbkvällarna, pub-rundorna på studentnationerna, kräftskivan och studentgasken. Man fick verkligen prova på studentlivet i Uppsala, vilket var helt perfekt för mig! Man blir oerhört sugen på att bo i Uppsala och de flesta av mina kompisar var oerhört avundsjuka på mig när det fick reda på att jag skulle stanna kvar i Uppsala. Jag har även fått underbara vänner som jag planerar att hålla kontakt med! Jag är oerhört glad för att jag bestämde mig att delta i UISS och jag rekommenderar det till alla!Selina Tyrefors
Well where to start what UISS represents? It is not simple, because there are so many things to describe… But let’s start from the beginning. The decision to go or not to go wasn’t easy for me, because if you work under standard conditions you have 5 weeks of vacation and 3 weeks seemed to be quite a lot of time to spend at a school, but I don’t regret any second of it. I am happy that I decided to be student one more time.
Morning classes are full of studying but you don’t feel that you have to do it. You study and prepare yourself because you want to. The methods of learning Swedish have a great variation – studying from the book, listening to speeches and conversations, working in the group with your classmates, playing games and son. This all depends on which teacher you have and your level. For example we were in the library, visited the court, watched a TV show and a movie and all that made the class more interesting. You will choose the afternoon class based on which topic you are interested in and you can improve your Swedish in many different ways in one of the afternoon classes as well. I attended the class “The Swedish Film”. It wasn’t only about watching movies. After every movie there was discussion about where in the movie you could see ‘Swedishness’ and which impact it had on Swedish society. We got a chance to visit one of the most beautiful cinemas I have ever seen, Slottbiografen, and watched Smulltronstället directed by Ingmar Bergman there.
If you are scared that you will be alone after your classes, trust me, you will not. The UISS staff is well prepared and they organize activities such as social evenings, a crayfish party, a musical evening, etc. … and it is up to you and your mood if you want to be part of those activities or if you want to explore Uppsala and Sweden on our own. But in the end UISS is not only about studying and improving your Swedish. You will have an opportunity to see Sweden from many spectacular views due to activities and trips, and you will also meet many new people from all over the world and that makes UISS special.
It is one of the experiences you’ll have to try in your life!Lucie Kokrdová
I can´t tell you how much I miss the UISS and Uppsala. When I signed up for the program I thought 3 weeks would be way too long. But afterwards I wish I would have stayed longer, that´s almost how everybody felt before leaving. My motivation was that I was going to work in Sweden as a hockey coach and in order to do that I had to improve my Swedish.
Beginning with the grammar and conversation courses at my appropriate level to the drama and rhetoric class in the afternoon, I felt that I was making progress every day. The drama and rhetoric class (Förbättra din svenska) gave me a lot of confidence in speaking the language, so I can take my coaching to a better level as well. But the best thing about the program is that you make friends for a lifetime. My colleague students became much more than just classmates. What a great time we had. Now, looking back, I have to thank the UISS for preparing me for my job and help me improve my Swedish the way they did and most of all for a great time in my life!
Tack för allt och kör hårt!! ☺Phil Horsky
Returning to Uppsala for the second summer in a row was a fantastic decision. I had such a wonderful experience my first summer here that I needed to come back. I can honestly say now that I feel comfortable speaking Swedish with Swedes on a daily basis.
My mother was born in Sweden, but she never spoke Swedish to me as I grew up, so I have made it my mission to learn the language. I spent six weeks with UISS in 2014 and three weeks in 2015, and during that time I completed three levels of Swedish language class, a course in Swedish art history and architecture, and two courses in Swedish pop music and musical theater. This combination of courses really helped me to increase my grasp of Swedish grammar, vocabulary, reading, conversation, pronunciation, and culture.
In addition to coursework, I have also had opportunities to participate in such events as Midsummer, Crayfish Party, farewell dinners (always tons of fun), and trips to Stockholm, Dalarna, Värmland, Helsinki, Mariefred, and Sigtuna. There are also tons of evening activities throughout the program, such as a pub crawl, which introduces participants to the nations of Uppsala University, social evenings, movie evenings, musical evenings, and guest lectures. This program has made me fall in love with Sweden, and I intend to live here in the future.
The staff is also quite a delight. I can honestly say that they spread so much fun and love among the participants that it’s hard to believe how much work they put in to keep everything running as smoothly as it does. Over my nine weeks with UISS, I have become friends with all of the staff, and I have such a profound appreciation for all they have done to create such a wonderful environment for a combination of education and fun. I give UISS the highest of recommendations.Jonathan Lassman
Going to UISS to improve my Swedish was one of my best decisions. In fact, I liked it so much that I returned the following year (summer 2015). In only 6 weeks, I learned as much as in 3 years at home.
UISS is far more than a language course; not only will you get regular language training in the mornings but also a vast culture program in the afternoons. Just to name a few: Swedish culture, svenska visor & folksmusik, literature, film or “förbättra ditt uttal”.
Uppsala is just around 20 min by train from Stockholm airport (Arlanda) and one of the nicest cities in Sweden. By far smaller than Stockholm, so you won’t get lost. However, if you like to spend an evening in the capital, it is very easy to do so.
The teachers and the staff are truly amazing and will do everything they can to make sure your stay will be comfortable and rewarding. You will meet people from all around the world. The courses are available for all levels and ages. If you’d like to learn Swedish as fast as possible, with great teachers, truly motivated staff and amazing classmates, then UISS is the place for you. You have to work hard but you won’t regret it – I promise 🙂Monika Zemp
Coming for the first time to Sweden and with absolutely no knowledge of the language I was naturally apprehensive before starting the program at UISS. I should not have worried because it turned out to be such a wonderful experience.
From the beginning we got immersed in everything Swedish and I had every opportunity to learn about and experience life in Sweden. With the different courses and trips we had I got to know most of the things that make Sweden such a unique country. I would not have believed it before I came here but I now have a good grasp of the Swedish language. And I had so much fun learning it and sharing the experiences with all the new friends I found here. I will definitely be clearing my next-year summer schedule for another course with UISS.Dilyana Ducheva
UISS has without a doubt been an experience of a lifetime. I came here with one year of Swedish under my belt, and when I left I felt like I had gained three more years of Swedish. The teachers are phenomenal, the staff is so capable, and the students are lovely beyond words. I might actually have left a piece of my heart behind in Uppsala.Titus Ting
UISS lived up to my expectations. The course was excellent. The students were followed up personally. This is only possible because the number of students in a class is limited.
There were only 8 students in my class. My teacher knew exactly what I knew and what not. So Icould make more exercises to help me improve my weak points. The results are splendid. It is hardly to believe the progress I made in only three weeks. If I take course next year for another three weeks I shall be able to guide in Swedish in Volvo cars factory in Gent. And this is my purpose. On my way back to Belgium, Swedish passengers on the flight asked me: “Where have you learned Swedish? ” You speak it so fluently.
The organization of the course was also splendid. Not only study. Also entertainment (organized almost each evening) was well chosen. A film evening, a music evening, all in Swedish. The weekends were wonderful with excursions among others to Stockholm, a silver mine, always with Swedish guides. The staff was remarkable. They can sing, play music, they act. Fun was always there! I think I was the oldest man of the 115 students. I can assure you I felt as if I was young. Worth considering!
Note: Eric returned to the UISS in 2015, 2016 and 2017Eric Verhenne