Cins Scholarship Spotlight: Learning Swedish

Sep 12, 2022


Prior to the pandemic, University of British Columbia student Olena Poburko received a CINS undergraduate scholarship to a Swedish language institute summer course in Axvall Sweden. After several years of postponements, she was finally able to make her trip and recently sent us an update on her experience:

I fell in love with Sweden and the Swedish language during my semester abroad at Uppsala University. This is why, when I came back, I enrolled in a Swedish language course at UBC right away. After successfully completing all the Swedish courses available there, I started to look for more opportunities to study and practice the language. This eventually led me to the Swedish Institute summer course at Axevalla Folkhögskola, located in the village of Axvall, about 150 km northeast of Gothenburg, which I was able to attend thanks to a generous bursary from CINS. This 3-week immersive course took place from 18 July to 5 August 2022. After having been cancelled for 2 consecutive years due to the COVID pandemic, it now brought together Swedish language learners from 22 countries. In addition to the 3 hours of classes every day, we enjoyed the Swedish culture and lifestyle by having a traditional Midsummer celebration, baking Swedish cinnamon buns, taking a sauna, visiting Lackö castle, Gothenburg, and other smaller towns in the area. Throughout the course, everything from lectures to after-class activities and socializing with other students was conducted in Swedish. Although challenging, this allowed me to dramatically improve my language skills, to a point where I can say without exaggerating that I speak Swedish. I have even finished my first unabridged book in Swedish – a semi-autobiographical exploration of modern dating culture – that I picked up from the bestsellers shelf at the local store. The course reinstalled the passion I had for Sweden and the Swedish language, and I hope to continue learning it in the future!

To learn more about how to apply for an undergraduate scholarship see our scholarships page.