Free time is very important in the Swedish way of living.. but it can also be a bit boring from time to time. What productive things can you do in your free time? Well, many!
Learn Swedish online
Studying Swedish can be really boring… or really fun! There are many websites on which you can study Swedish and actually enjoy doing it, like Memrise, Duolingo and Quizlet. Especially on Quizlet as you can just fill in your own list and play games with that. You can even make your own “class” and have competitions with the other “classmates”, which you can add yourself. So if you want some competition with other newbies, bring it on!
Make Swedish fika food
This is probably the best way to learn about the Swedish culture and language.. reading recipes in Swedish so you can bake all the delicious food! I’m sure you’ve noticed that fika is a big thing in Sweden (luckily), so you can always just use that as an excuse 😉 You can find many recipes here, or here, or even here, and yes here as well! And many many more. If you’ve baked something, post it on Instagram with the hashtag #newbieinsweden to make us jealous!
Watch Swedish movies
While watching Swedish movies, you’ll notice that you get much better at understanding and reading Swedish (if you turn on the subtitles), even though you’re not doing anything at all! Perfect! I started by watching Disney movies in Swedish, as they’re made for kids so they don’t use difficult words and it’s just relaxing to watch. If you don’t have a Netflix account, you can always browse SVT Play or download the SVT Play app. The famous comedy Kopps is also available on YouTube! If you don’t really want to watch something for that long, you should watch Lucas Simonsson’s videos on youtube or Facebook! 🙂 I recently started watching “Welcome to Sweden” on Netflix, as the episodes are really short it’s great to watch as a quick break, plus it’s about immigrating to Sweden which is perfect!
Visit a museum
If you live near Stockholm, there are many places to visit so you can expand your knowledge about Sweden and its history. Skansen: This is perfect when it’s nice weather! The open air museum shows everything about the history of Sweden, and there is a zoo as well. Vasamuseet: The museum is famous for the Vasa ship, that you can see once you’re in the museum. It’s very overwhelming to see the real ship which had so much influence in Swedish history. Fotografiska: If you’re into art then this museum is definitely a good choice. The museum is much more than just an art exhibition, so check it out! Nordiska museet: You can find all you want to know about the Nordic history and traditions here! Interested in how life used to be in Scandinavia in the old times? Come and visit!
There are many many more museums in and around Stockholm, but these are the most famous ones. If you feel like newbies should definitely visit another museum as well, let me know in the comments!
Walk around the city and write down the words you don’t know
This is really my go-to option when i’m bored and the weather is nice. Get some exercise done while you’re learning more and more Swedish! It doesn’t matter how good you are at Swedish, you’ll probably always see words that you don’t really know the meaning of. Write them down, repeat them, ask yourself how you would use them in a sentence, and keep on walking!
As you’re looking for words on stores, street names, signs etc. you will find many details you would never have seen when you were just walking to work or friends. It’s great to pay a lot of attention, there are so many beautiful buildings and streets out there.
Read a book in Swedish
This might be pretty hard in the beginning, but don’t give up! Read a book you’ve already read before so you kind of know what it’s about if your Swedish isn’t that good yet. By reading you expand your vocabulary a whole lot, and your grammar will get much better.
Sing along to Swedish artists
I’m a terrible singer, but Veronica Maggio’s Jag kommer and Välkommen in were stuck in my head all the time so I couldn’t help but sing them all the time (sorry, people around me..). I noticed that the lyrics were much easier to understand, and remembering sentences is very easy when you sing them. Find an artist you like and look up the lyrics 🙂
There are many more things to do of course, but hopefully you got inspired. If you have other tips on how to improve your Swedish on your day off, I would love to know!
Written by Lydia Hallie
I’m Lydia, a 19-year-old Dutch girl living in Stockholm. I try to write many helpful posts to help younger people who recently moved to Sweden to get to know the country and how everything works here!