Swedish Residential Language Camp | Concordia Language Villages

Swedish Residential Language Village

Välkommen till Sjölunden! Sjölunden is our Swedish language and cultural immersion program. Here, in a small village of traditional svenska stugor (Swedish cottages), resembling a small fishing village, you will be surrounded by the sounds, flavors and customs of Scandinavia’s most populous nation. Learn the language and the culture of the country that is one of the most ‘connected’ countries in the world…is as big as Spain or California…features some of the best northern lights in the world…is the home of popular music, cars, and furniture…serves up scrumptious comfort foods…and has not fought a war in 200 years. Experienced and native speakers will help you live the language of one of the world’s most prosperous and progressive countries, one that just happens to have also been the ancestral home of thousands of Minnesotans.

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Swedish Residential Language Village

Learn Swedish

Click here to see what life is like in our Swedish village, Sjölunden.

Experience Swedish Language and Culture!

Sjölunden villagers emerge from their cabins each morning to find themselves immersed in an authentic slice of contemporary Sweden. From sun up to sun down, and through a daily routine of community and cultural activities, they will listen, speak and eventually even start to think in Swedish, the mother tongue of 10 million Swedes. And they will probably be surprised to discover how many common English words have their origins in Swedish. Hint: you can thank the Vikings for this.



Need-based scholarships are available for Swedish summer youth immersion sessions through the Passport Fund. Scholarships are based on a family’s adjusted gross income, number of dependents, and the length of the session.

Additionally, the Minnesota Office of Higher Education offers a $1,000 stipend for Minnesota students who qualify for free or reduced lunch at school. Additional information is available here.

Language Specific Scholarship Opportunity:

  • Den Norske Torske Klubben: As a longtime friend and partner of Sjölunden the other Scandinavian programs at Concordia Language Villages, this organization provides scholarship and grant opportunities for young people to attend language and cultural camps, seminars, and other educational opportunities celebrating Scandinavian heritage. Learn more.

Authentic Cuisine

<p>Delicious <i>pannkakstårtor </i>(pancake cakes) decorated with <i>svenska flaggor</i> (Swedish flags) await hungry villagers!</p>

Delicious pannkakstårtor (pancake cakes) decorated with svenska flaggor (Swedish flags) await hungry villagers!

Authentic Cuisine

Justly renowned for its nutritious freshness, Swedish food is as good for you as it is to eat. Among the many traditional favorites you will get to smaka (taste) during the course of your time in Sjölunden are köttbullar med lingonsylt (meatballs with lingonberry sauce), pytt i panna (potato hash), västkustsallad (west coast seafood salad) and matsill (pickled herring). And don’t even think about anything other than ärtsoppa och pannkakor (pea soup and pancakes) on Thursdays! Swedes are also citizens of the world and they enjoy food from many different cultures. So don’t be surprised if pizza or pad thai also show up on the menu.


<p>It only takes a little <i>svenska </i>instruction from counselors to learn how to sail a sunfish.</p>

It only takes a little svenska instruction from counselors to learn how to sail a sunfish.


Sweden and northern Minnesota are remarkably similar geographically, and nowhere is that more evident than in the presence of literally thousands of small, forest-girded lakes. That’s why sailing is such a culturally consistent activity at Sjölunden. Several sunfish boats (plus knowledgeable instructors) await villagers’ nautical pleasure at our very own seglingskola (sailing school). Feel the wind in your hair as you plow through the water living the language as you sail. You may even round off the excursion with a quick dip in the bastu (sauna) or the lake.


<p>Villagers using floor looms to weave keepsake rag rugs.</p>

Villagers using floor looms to weave keepsake rag rugs.


Like their counterparts in other large, predominantly rural countries, Swedes have a long tradition of self-sufficiency. Among the most conspicuous manifestations of this are the many traditional handicrafts they engage in to fill those long winter nights. Villagers at Sjölunden have the opportunity to tap into this rich folk heritage by trying their hand at vävning (weaving), dalmålning (folk art painting), täjling (whittling) and ljusstöping (candle dipping), all in our purpose-built crafts studio.


<p><i>Allsång </i>(singing time) in our outdoor dance pavilion.</p>

Allsång (singing time) in our outdoor dance pavilion.


Did you know that Sweden is the third largest music exporter in the world, behind the US and UK? Now that you do, you’ll understand why music is an integral part of the daily routine at Sjölunden. You’ll hear music in your cabin and in the dining hall, and during daily allsång (song time), you’ll be encouraged to echo what you’ve heard. So what do we sing? Well, anything by ABBA, modern hits that topped the US charts (The Hives, Peter Bjorn and John, The Ark) as well as traditional folk songs.


<p>Credit villagers dressed up as <i>Sankta Lucia</i> and her attendants ready to deliver fresh baked <i>lussekatter </i>(Lucia buns) to sleeping villagers and surprise them with songs.</p>

Credit villagers dressed up as Sankta Lucia and her attendants ready to deliver fresh baked lussekatter (Lucia buns) to sleeping villagers and surprise them with songs.


During the course of the summer, villagers at Sjölunden get to celebrate a full year of Swedish holidays, including Christmas and Saint Lucia’s Day (Dec. 13), when midwinter darkness is relieved with candles and sweet buns (lussekatter or Lucia buns). There will also be a påskmarknad (Easter market), and of course, a traditional midsommar celebration, complete with may pole and an amazing feast, during which Swedes revel in the long–and long-awaited—lingering days of summer.


Day Camps

Swedish Family Programs

Unplug and spend quality vacation time relaxing and laughing in another language with your family during a Swedish ​Family Fun Weekend or Family Week!

Meet the Dean

The dean is the on-site director of the Language Village. Emily Kajsa Pyenson is dean of Sjölunden, the Swedish Language Village. She has been on staff at Concordia Language Villages since 2000 and was a villager for seven years. She is fluent in Swedish and has studied Swahili, Polish and German.

Why Learn Swedish?

There are many reasons to learn Swedish! There are more than 10 million speakers of Swedish worldwide. Knowing Swedish helps you connect with Swedes living around the world, as well as with speakers of Norwegian and Danish.