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DeborahFriday 31st of December 2004 10:44:12 PM
Seeking a drastic change of life - Hello...my name is Deborah, I'm 19 years old and live in South Florida. I want to trade all this sunshine for the colder climate of Sweden...desperately!

I've left Sweden 3 days ago, after a 10 day visit with my family. I stayed in Stockholm a few days then flew up to Umeň. I really fell in love with Umeň, and I have family who lives there. My great grandmother was the first and only to immigrate to America, so I'm only a few generations off. Although, my grandmother was sent to live in Obbola and Umeň for a few years during the depression here in America. I suppose I wasn't too far off from being Swedish also, and I sure wish I was...I wouldn't have this hard task of learning the language.

Anyhow, coming back to America has made me become even more depressed than I was before. People in Sweden seem to have better values than Americans, and they have a quality that is near impossible to find here in anyone: KINDNESS! I'm sure Sweden has it's own problems, but at least they aren't at war! And other people don't seem to hate Swedes so much that they...oh, for example, fly planes into their buildings or anything. Also, in Sweden, I never had to worry about someone pulling out a gun at me and no one tried to sell me crack cocaine! I felt safe for the first time in my life.

I graduated highschool in June 2004, and I'm supposed to start college here since I have 4 years of it prepaid. Yet, I refuse to do so, I really hate everything about this state and all the ignorance and hatred it breeds. I've had this dream for a while to move to Europe and live and study there, but now after visiting Sweden, I know exactly where I want to be! However, the change seems very difficult, but change is the only thing that remains consistent in life. So I am seriously thinking it's time to change my life, and for the best!

I have a cousin in Umeň who has offered to let me stay with him, and that really helps my situation a little. I have no clue what I could do for a job, since I don't speak a word of Swedish and have no experience doing anything. Perhaps if I was attending college there I would have a little more financial help from my father, who is being extremely uncooperative with me about it. I don't think he realizes that I am dead serious about this. I have a few thousand dollars saved and will receive a few more after a pending lawsuit is settled (from a car accident because people drive like maniacs here). I will have enough for the plane ticket and living expenses for a while, I suppose. I might have to find a way to play the money market since the dollar is doing so terrible.

I have been researching studying at Umeň University. Although, I am so confused about the cost of it and how to actually go about applying there. I have tried to contact a counselor from there, but have yet heard a reply. Umeň University offers Swedish classes, so if I was able to go there, that would surely help me learn the language. I believe actually being in Sweden would help me a lot in learning the language also. I would be hearing it all the time, and I would have lots of people to practice with. My family there would probably be of great help to teach me things as well. For now, I have found a few websites that teach Swedish, and I have now come across this one.

So now, what I am asking of anyone who reads this is for their opinion on my plan, any help they can provide me with anything, and most importantly, their support.
Feel free to contact me.

Thanks,
Deborah
DeborahSaturday 01st of January 2005 04:57:31 AM
- Thanks for the reply =)
It's quite amazing how my Swedish relatives treated me better than my family in America treats me. I have yet to talk to anyone but my cousin about it (actually, everyone there is my cousin, 3rd and 4th ones mostly), but he wants me to come over and try it. And I want to, I'm just really scared. And it's been very emotional because my boyfriend is upset with the whole idea and so forth. But...I threw away all my friends because they were shitty people and they only people that are even close to being my friends are hippies. They are sort of "my kind of people" as you have said. Yet, I don't even hang out with them anymore.
I have isolated myself from everything, I have no interest in being a part of it. I don't think there are too many hippies in Sweden, but I don't care. I was stuck on Amsterdam for awhile but I really think it would be best to get away from smoking pot. It's like...something every American teenager does.
You hit the nail right on the head when you said everything is so extreme here. It most certainly is. I want a simple life with honest people, and 99% of the people here are liars, cheats, and frauds. This is not life they are living! Money and power are not important things. Material objects are meaningless. You can't bring any of it with you when you die. It's very hard living in a country where those are the values people hold important. It's even harder when the government does stuff that makes the rest of the world hate you because you are American.

But I guess all of that is beside the point. Yes, I hate it here and want to move to where all my ancestors are from. Any idea if learning French is harder than learning Swedish? Or is it subjective? Still introducing myself to the Swedish language, but I am having problems mixing my French up with Swedish. And I'm still very unsure if I can start to study in Sweden without any previous college experience. But I do have a highschool diploma, unlike everyone else I knew who dropped out. I guess I have a lot more research to do, and plans to make. I sort am having a feeling of it not working out, but I want to press on with it. =)
DeborahSaturday 01st of January 2005 10:13:45 AM
- I went to France the day America started the war in Iraq, like 2 years ago with the highschool band. We stayed in...the red light district!! I thought it was really awesome, although I CRIED when I heard how fast they speak French. I was only able to talk to a pet store owner about cats. I was 17 at the so I just said screw speaking French and went and got drunk. But I did talk to some poor English speaking French people who assured me they didn't hate Americans. Just our president. And I couldn't agree more with them.
I was on the phone about an hour ago to my family in Sweden. Of course they were all terribly wasted. Swedes party hard. And ESPECIALLY the day after Christmas Day ( and I know because I was there!).
Oh and as a matter of fact, I read your post on the Finnish discuss before you even replied here. And I took notes because it was a very useful post! Thank you!
I know there are friendly people in the world, but I just don't think too many exist where I live. I have been to lots of other parts of the States and have found them, but in Florida people are just...rude and mean. I wanted to move to San Francisco for the longest time because I had such a great experience with people there. I love people who are total strangers, yet stop to smile and say hello. But now I just seclude myself from the world outside. It helps me learn more about myself and what type of person I am, I suppose.
I'm very much into spirituality and philosophy. Eastern philosophy, that is. I'm not too sure what Swedes are exactly into. I do know that there are tons of Lutheran churches. And I was brought up Lutheran, but I'm not really into all of that. One unexplainable word that moves me deeply: Tao! Perhaps you know what I speak of =) The subtle universal truth. I'm happy you value compassion as much as I do. It is truly what will bring people together.
JadokesaSaturday 01st of January 2005 10:20:58 PM
- I live in Umeň :) Glad to see that you enjoyed it. It is a nice place to live in.

As said, Swedish isn't too different from English. It will be quite easy for you to learn if you are willing to put time into learning it. The main problem you will have is the "rhythm" in the spoken Swedish, which is one of the characteristics of Swedish. But, if you learn the basics of the pronunciation, you will be understood. If you don't get understood, the majority speaks a bit of English.

Can you get a book for self-teaching Swedish where you live? That would help you a lot. The Internet is also a good place for learning languages.

[url=http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Acropolis/1290/index.html]A site for learning Swedish[/url]
[url=http://www-lexikon.nada.kth.se/skolverket/lexin-en.shtml]A Swedish-English dictionary[/url]
[url=http://www.wordtheque.com/owa-wt/new_wordtheque.w6_start.doc?code=4303〈=SV]A book in Swedish (with audio, mp3 format)[/url]

This is a good starting point, if you haven't got any book in self-teaching Swedish. Talk with your family to train even more.
DeborahSunday 02nd of January 2005 02:10:34 AM
- Thanks for the information!

Yes, I fell in love with Umeň. I just wish I could live in the Scandic Plaza all the time!

My grandmother actually has some very very old school books that she learned Swedish from when she lived in Umeň (67 years ago). So I am going to look into that, and perhaps get some sort of book or workbook for Swedish when I get some extra money.

I am really interested in living there and attending the University there, but no one has replied to my email that I sent there yet. Any info on that? I've read tuition is free for residents and foreigners? Not sure if that is true or what. Need price information badly, I suppose. And on the University's website they say I need a previous year of academic experience...I think. And I am confused if that means highschool or college. -sigh- Yeah, any info on college would be much appreciated. If you know anything, is.

Thank you so much for your reply =)

-Deborah
JadokesaMonday 03rd of January 2005 12:24:44 AM
- Yes, we had a lot of changes in Swedish in the 20th century. I think that we had one of the most drastic changes in around 1930, when we removed the plural past tense (I believe it was) and replaced it with the singular.
Old Swedish:
Jag var = I was
Vi voro = We were
Modern Swedish:
Jag var = I was
Vi var = We were

There has been changes in a number of words, too. Recently, you became allowed to use "dom" instead of "de" (they) and "dem" (them), even though it is classified as careless. I fear that soon, you may write "mej", "dej" and "sej" too, instead of "mig", "dig" and "sig". Ugh...

An old book works fine for learning the basic grammar, but Swedish has changed so much that a modern book is needed, I'm afraid.
JadokesaMonday 03rd of January 2005 03:48:32 AM
- I was a bit unclear in my previous post. I meant that you may now write "dom" instead of "de" and "dem". We usually pronounce "de" and "dem" as "dom". There's never confusion about de and det, we usually understand from the context. However, many young Swedes often write "de" instead of "det", which is really confusing sometimes.

I don't like the spellings mej, dej and sej, together with almost all Swedes who are interested in languages. It radiates the fact that the one who wrote the text is either bad on spelling in general or is careless. The day g before eiuń÷ is spelled j is the day when I partly die. Gah!
HoogardTuesday 04th of January 2005 04:37:41 AM
- Hi!
Studying in sweden is free. Though how to apply if you are a foreigner I'm not quite sure of.

You apply to most courses and eduquations in sweden via Verket f÷r h÷gskoleservice, www.vhs.se
Though i couldn't find any english translation of that page. I did find this number for foreigners:
08-545 515 40 (add the country code)
If that doesn't help, you could try info@vhs.se but i think that is just for the page itself. But maybee you can be directed to the right place from there.

Students in sweden get financial aid from the state.
You can read here the terms for having it if you are a foreigner:
http://www.csn.se/english/default.asp
or more precisely
http://www.csn.se/English/ForeignCitizens/IfYouAreForeignCitizen/IfYouAreForeignCitizen.asp?MenyIdnr=1068
check in the "contact us" and try sending them a mail about how to approach this.

Good Luck.
DeborahTuesday 04th of January 2005 07:04:58 AM
- Thanks for the info, I really was confused on that study for free thing because it almost seems too good to be true. I am working and working on getting in contact with Universities but no one seems to want to reply to me.
It's discouraging.
Also, everytime I sit down and try to learn some Swedish I just feel so overwhelmed that I think it is going to be impossible. I am working on pronunciation, and just get so frustrated with it. I need a teacher in a classroom setting I suppose. I am not too sure what I should actually try to learn first on my own...
-Sigh-
I guess I keep going through periods of depression and inspiration between this whole thing.

Perhaps need some time to sort myself out.
My whole plan has seemed to stress me out more than I thought it would.

-Deb
JadokesaTuesday 04th of January 2005 08:07:37 PM
- Skip trying to get the pronounciation perfect in the beginning. I know how you feel - I have a very hard time with getting the two Estonian vowels Ř and § correct, and I just want to train them all the time. I believe that Estonian is the most beautiful language in the world, and I keep getting sad because it is so hard to speak so beautiful.

Just learn the basics of the pronounciation in the beginning. When you have reached a higher stage in vocabulary and grammar, you can continue learning about the pronounciation.

I'm working with Swedish lessons (the same kind you can see in the Russian discuss, for example) in the discuss, but the first lesson you have to do is pronounciation basics, and I am simply terrible on explaining pronounciation. But, as soon as I'm finished with that, I'll post more lessons.
HoogardWednesday 05th of January 2005 02:06:13 AM
- Where is that first lesson? I haven't found it despite all my efforts (okay, all my efforts are a relative thing ok?) =)
JadokesaWednesday 05th of January 2005 02:40:22 AM
- :)

I need to write down information about pronunciation first before I can start with them, and that isn't fun. If you'd like to help with it, I could mail the files over to you.
HoogardWednesday 05th of January 2005 10:23:20 AM
- I could surely try though i doubt my expertise in having it making any sense to english people :)

There are some pronounciation on this site, amongst other things. (chapter 9)
http://web.hhs.se/isa/swedish/