The American Swedish Historical Museum offers a variety of educational programs for all audiences. From school programs, to Swedish language classes to Swedish genealogy, the Museum has something for learners of all ages. 

Education Programs for Adults

Genealogy Sessions

If you have Swedish ancestors that emigrated to North America, our Genealogy Club can help you get started on researching your family history.

Please call 215-389-1776 or email for information on how to make an appointment. This service is offered free for ASHM members.

Language Classes

Learning a new language is a fun and exciting challenge. Whether you are brand new to Swedish or Finnish, have some experience, and want to learn more, or are looking for conversation partners, there is a class option tailored to your level. Classes are held online via Zoom and offered during the 10-week fall and spring semesters. Additional classes may be offered, check the listing below for upcoming opportunities. 

Classes will meet online via Zoom. You will need a free Zoom account and an invitation will be sent to all registered students before the start of the semester. If you have not used Zoom before, it is easy to use. Some questions are answered here and we can also help you get started. You will need a PC, MAC, tablet, or smartphone, paired with a strong and stable internet connection.



Please check back. Registration for the fall semester will open at the end of July. Classes will begin in September. All classes are held virtually over Zoom. 



-Books are not included in the registration fee:

The Finnish Beginners course will use Beginner’s Finnish by Agi Risko, Hippocrene Beginner’s Series (with or without the audio CDs)

Swedish Beginner and Intermediate courses use Complete Swedish Beginner to Intermediate Courseby Anneli Beronius Haake. Teach Yourself, 2nd Edition, 2018, ISBN-13: 978-1444195101. It is available in the American Swedish Historical Museum Gift Shop and book shops.

For the Conversation Swedish level, we will use and discuss authentic language sources, such as short fiction texts, news articles, etc. A good grammar book is recommended, such as Essentials of Swedish Grammar: A Practical Guide to the Mastery of Swedish by Åke Viberg, et. Al, 1993,
ISBN-13: 978-0844285399


Not sure which class is the best fit for you? Please read the section below to ascertain your skill level. If you still aren’t sure which class to register for, feel free to contact the Museum at

-Beginner 1 (Fall) and 2 (Spring)
For students who want to start from the beginning, or who have used a mobile app like DuoLingo and know many words but have not yet practiced speaking Swedish/Finnish or figured out how to put together sentences.

-Intermediate 1 (Fall) and 2 (Spring)
For students who have some prior experience communicating in Swedish. If the statements below are true, this is the level for you:

I can ...

  • ask/answer basic questions.
  • talk a little about myself, my interests, family, and work/studies, etc.
  • handle some courtesy expressions, introductions.
  • read and understand short, basic texts in Swedish (OK to look up words and/or use Google Translate).

I have ... 

  • completed at least two semesters of Swedish language courses or have equivalent experience.
  • an active vocabulary of at least a few hundred words.


-Intermediate 3 (Fall) and 4 (Spring) (Taught in Swedish)
This is a new level for students who have taken the Intermediate courses or the equivalent. We will continue to work on pronunciation, comprehension, and fluency, using the Complete Swedish sourcebook and other (free) materials. If the statements below are true, this is the level for you: 

I can ... 

  • talk about my personal experiences and plans in the present, past, and future.
  • read and understand short, basic texts in Swedish, such as news articles.
  • ask for clarification if I don't understand, or ask a question if I want to know more.
  • understand spoken Swedish, if I am familiar with the topic and/or the pace is not too fast.

I have ...

  • studied Swedish for at least four semesters or have equivalent experience.
  • a fairly extensive vocabulary, including prepositions, pronouns, etc.
  • a basic feel for sentence composition and language structure.


-Conversation (Taught in Swedish)
For students who want to practice conversation, incorporating some practical grammar and language structure when relevant. Our course materials are articles, stories, etc., from handouts and the internet. If the statements below are true, this is the level for you: 

I can ... 

  • tell a story or talk about familiar topics in the present, past, and future.
  • read and understand most texts in Swedish, such as shorter news articles, short stories, etc.
  • engage in a simple, improvised conversation.

I have ...

  • studied Swedish for at least three years or have equivalent experience.
  • an extensive vocabulary, including many of the "little" words, verb phrases, idioms, etc., and a basic feel for word forms, verb tenses, etc.
  • a basic understanding of grammar and language structure.
Book a Speaker

ASHM is happy to send a speaker to your site to give a talk on a variety of topics, from the New Sweden Colony to Swedish cuisine. If you are interested in a specific theme, contact our Education department for more information.

Guided Group Tours

Guided tours are available for groups of 10 or more with advanced booking at the following rates:

New Sweden in Focus guided tour: $18 per person
General Museum guided tour: $18 per person
A $50 non-refundable deposit will be due at the time of booking.
At least 24 hours' notice is required for cancellation.

Contact Lauren Burnham at 215-389-1776 x106 or for reservations and more information on tours.