Alumni interviews: Meet Eva

By January 25, 2020Interviews

This is the first interview out of a series of interviews with our alumni, people who have participated in Swedish for Professional’s courses. Today we are meeting Eva, a former student at Stockholm School of Economics (Handelshögskolan i Stockholm). Eva holds a CEMS Master of International Management and is currently working in the FMCG industry.

EvaMariaGattringerMeet Eva

Hej Eva, hur mår du? (How are you?) Please, tell us a little about yourself. Who are you?

My name is Eva, I am 26 and Austrian. During the last few years I have been moving around a lot and have learnt various languages – more or less successfully. 🙂

How come you chose Sweden for your studies?

I chose Sweden because I wanted to live in a country with many opportunities and an equal society. I found a job through being very persistent and showing my willingness to learn and develop.

What was your first impression of the Swedish culture and people?

Very good! The Swedish culture is very open and friendly and people will always assist you if you ask for help!

Has that expression changed over time?

It can be tough to get very close to Swedes – it takes a bit of time to make true friends. But once you found friends, you can count on them.

How do you like it in Sweden so far?

I love it!

What is the best thing about living and working in Sweden?

The equality and the active society. I also love “fika”. 🙂

Do you have any fun or interesting experiences of culture clashes that you would like to share with our readers?

The queuing for everything!

Swedes are known to be good at English. What made you decide on actually learning Swedish?

People always had to switch language for me, and that made me uncomfortable. It is also easier in working life if you speak Swedish.

So, would you say that you use Swedish on a daily basis now?

Yes. I live and work in Swedish.

Do you feel that learning Swedish has been important for understanding the Swedish culture and society?

Definitely! You need to speak the language to understand the culture and society fully. It gives a good picture of attitudes and lifestyle.

How much do you feel that knowing Swedish has helped you to better integrate into society?

Very much. Friends invite me to parties with their friends. There is no more barrier left.

What has been your main challenge with learning the language?

To actually start speaking. It is tough to dare to speak even if most of what you say is grammatically wrong.

Tell us about a break-through moment that you have had.

I started my first day at work and introduced myself in Swedish. I told my colleagues that I only want to talk in Swedish and it stayed that way.

What was the best part of the classes with Swedish for Professionals?

To be able to experiment with talking without any risk

Finally, what are your three best tips for learning Swedish fun, fast and efficiently?

1. Speak 10 minutes Swedish with your Swedish friends every day
2. Listen to Swedish radio
3. Have Swedish subtitles on Netflix

OK, great. Nice talking to you Eva! It was great hearing about your experience and I am sure that our readers gained some new insights and inspiration. Thank you for your time and good luck with your future endeavors!


Name: Eva Maria Gattringer
Born in: Rohrbach, Austria
Languages spoken: German, English, Swedish
Places lived: Austria, Germany, USA, Turkey, Slovakia, Singapore, Australia, Sweden
Years in Sweden: 2.5
Current occupation: Trainee in FMCG industry

5 short answers

Småkakor (cookies) or kanelbulle (cinnamon bun)? Kanelbulle
Coffee or tea? Coffee – definitely!
Top 3 things to see or do in Sweden: LKAB mine in Kiruna, archipelago in Gothenburg, midsommar at the countryside
Favorite Swedish word: toppen
Describe Swedish for Professionals in one word: support

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