Basic Swedish – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Table of contents:

Who arranges the courses?

The courses are held by the Department of Scandinavian Languages.

What levels are offered in Basic Swedish?

Basic Swedish courses are offered on four levels: Basic Swedish 1, 2, 3 and 4.

How many credits do I get if I pass?

7.5 Swedish credits, which equals 25% of a full time semester. Fee-paying students can attend the course without paying any fee, but will not get credits for the course

Do I get grades?

Only the Swedish grades Pass (= godkänd) and Fail (= underkänd) are given. The courses cannot be graded according to any other university system.

Does the Swedish course cost anything?

The course is free of charge, but you must purchase course material. The material for Basic Swedish 1 costs appr. SEK 150, for Basic Swedish 2, 3 and 4 appr. SEK 350. Fee-paying students can attend the course without paying any fee, but will not get credits for the course

Who can apply to Basic Swedish?

All applicants must be registered at a department at Uppsala University before they can apply to the language courses.

What is the "Swedish personal identity number" or "temporary personal identity number" that is asked for in the application form?

When you get admitted to a Bachelor's or Master's programme, or to exchange studies, at Uppsala University, you will be given a temporary personal identity number (consisting of your birth date followed by the letter T and three digits: YYMMDD-TXXX). We need this for admission and registration. Bachelor's and Master's students will find it in their account on Exchange students will find it in their letter of admissions. If you have a Swedish personal identity number (YYMMDD-XXXX), apply with that. If you have problems finding your (temporary) personal identity number, you can apply with your birth date, and e-mail your personal identity number to once you have got it.

How do you decide if a student is accepted to the course?

Exchange students and master students at Uppsala University have priority to the courses. Other foreign students are accepted if there are vacant places.

Why do exchange students have priority?

Exchange students come within a formal exchange programme. Also, exchange students usually do not have a permanent Swedish p-number with four digits, while master students and other foreign students have. With this p-number, these categories of students also have the right to apply to Uppsala city language courses.

Can I just sit-in, if I’m not accepted to the course?

Unfortunately we do not have the resources to accommodate non-admitted students.

Am I guaranteed a place in a group if I apply before deadline?

Unfortunately not. The number of places is limited and priority is given to new exchange students. Master students and other foreign students are accepted if there are vacant places.

Do you have a reserve list, if students drop the course?

Yes, new students can be accepted if there are vacant places during the first two weeks of the course.

Can I continue to take a class the second semester I am here?

In principle, this is not possible. Students are only offered one course but if there are vacant places, “old” students who have passed the first course can apply to these places. However, the chances of getting accepted are very small.

Can I continue to take a class the second semester I am here, if I have seminars in Swedish in my main subject and need the language?

Students who apply for a second course can verify their academic need of more Swedish if their main department/coordinator writes a letter of recommendation stating that they have to study in Swedish and will not succeed without a second course.

Is there an entrance test for new students and what is it like?

There is an entrance test for new students with previous knowledge of Swedish. The test consists of a number of different parts: text with blanks, grammar, reading comprehension and two short essays. Beginners are not tested, and students who have already passed a Basic Swedish course do not attend this test if they apply for a second course.

How do I apply?

Exchange students: the course must be added in the application for admissions.

Master students: For Intensive Basic Swedish (in August), you will be given instructions on how to apply from Uppsala University once you have been admitted to the Master's programme. For Basic Swedish during the semesters, you apply on our homepage. Please note that the application only is open during certain times before the course starts.

When do the courses begin and end?

In the autumn, courses usually begin during the second week of September. They run for appr. 12 weeks and have their final exams early in December with a retake two weeks later. In the spring semester, the courses begin in the second week of February. They have their final exam in the end of May with a retake during the first week of June.

What happens if I do not show up during the first lessons?

If you do not show up when the course starts, you will lose your place in the course and it will be offered to another student. If you have timetable clashes, excursions etc during the first week of the course but still want to keep your place, contact the Basic Swedish coordinator and explain this in order to keep your place.

How many lessons are there?

A Basic Swedish course during the autumn and spring semester as well as the intensive course in August consists of 46 lessons.

How often are classes given?

The groups meet twice a week with 2 lessons each time. Groups meet either Monday + Wednesday or Tuesday + Thursday. The intensive course in August runs for four weeks, with three lessons a day, five days a week.

Is the attendance obligatory?

A student must attend at least 75% of the classes if he/she wants to get academic credits for the course. If you have been absent more than 25%, you can still attend the course until it finishes and take the exam, but you will not get any credits.

What can I do if I can’t attend the required time?

Sometimes students have timetable clashes, excursions etc. Talk to your teacher and find out if you can join another group, at another day and hour, if this happens to you. But this must be done in connection with your absence from your regular group. You can not make up for all your absence during the last week!

Whom should I inform if I have to be absent during the course?

Contact your teacher by mail, if you have an unplanned absence. If there is a planned absence, e.g. excursions, tell your teacher in advance when you have a lesson.

Can I switch groups?

If you want to switch group already before course start, you have to find a student in another group to switch with. You then inform both teachers involved. If you want to switch after some weeks, you ask your teacher to find out if there are vacant places in another group or if there is a student who would like to switch with you.

What are the exams like?

Basic Swedish 1: a written exam with vocabulary exercises, grammar and reading comprehension plus a listening exam in the language laboratory. Oral examination during lesson, i.e. students must use the language in oral exercises.

Basic Swedish 2, 3 and 4: a written exam with vocabulary exercises, grammar and reading comprehension, a longer essay plus a listening exam in the language laboratory. Oral examination takes place during lessons, i.e.students must use the language in oral exercises and presentations. Also, students have compulsory assignments during the course.

What scores do I need to pass?

For all three levels, students must score at least 65% in all the exams.

Can I have my exam papers?

Unfortunately not, but you always have the right to see your exams and go through them with your teacher. The exams are stored at the department for two years.

What happens if I do not pass the exam?

Students always have the possibility to sit exams when they are scheduled. There are always two exams at the end of each semester, plus the two exams for the intensive course in September.

Can I sit the exam at my home university?

Unfortunately not. You can only take the exams in Uppsala.

What information will my home university get?

Students are all registered in the Ladok system, where all results are reported. When you leave Uppsala University, you can take out a transcript of records for your home university. In this transcript, only passed courses are listed. Failed or dropped courses are not listed.

Can I have a special certificate with detailed in formation about my results, passed or failed?

Yes, you can. Ask the Basic Swedish coordinator to issue a special certificate for you. In this, information about how you scored will be included. With this certificate, you can for example show your home university if you passed one exam but failed another. Also, your home university can decide if they want to convert the Swedish results into local grading.

Can I have a certificate issued according to the grading system of my home university?

Unfortunately not.

Can I have a certificate of attendance only?

Yes, ask your teacher.

How can I give my opinion about the course?

During the final lessons, a course evaluation form will be handed out to all students. This evaluation is anonymous and you can freely give your opinions about the course. Also, there is an Internet based evaluation form for students who applied but never started the course, or students who have dropped the course, where they anonymously can give there reasons for not taking the course.

What do I have to do to unregister, if I want to leave the course?

First, tell your teacher and the Basic Swedish administration that you have decided to drop the course. If you drop the course during the first three weeks, you can be unregistered in Ladok. If you drop the course later, you can not be unregistered but it will be registered in Ladok that you have dropped the course.