Living in Finland


Suomen ja ruotsin kielen opiskelu
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Studying Finnish and Swedish

There are a lot of different possibilities to study Finnish or Swedish in Finland. Different kinds of courses are organised for both children and adults.

Another good way to learn one of these languages is to take part in a course involving some other hobby besides language. You can find information about studies for a hobby on the Infopankki web page Studying as a hobby.

Finnish and Swedish lessons for adults

You can find information about language courses, for example at community colleges (kansalaisopisto), adult education centres (työväenopisto), universities (yliopisto) and summer universities (kesäyliopisto). Ask the authorities at your locality’s Department of Education (opetustoimi), the student counsellors (opinto-ohjaaja) of local educational establishments or the guidance services for immigrants for more information.

For some areas, the course information has been collected into one site. For example, information on Finnish courses held in the Helsinki, Tampere and Turku regions is available at the service.

Courses at educational establishments usually begin in August or September and in January. Be sure to enrol in good time before the course begins. Ask at the educational establishment about the enrolment period.

linkkiKansalaisopistojen liitto:
Community colleges in FinlandFinnish | Swedish | English | Russian | Estonian | Somali | Turkish | Chinese | Persian | Arabic | Kurdish | Albanian | Thai | Vietnamese
Finnish and Swedish coursesFinnish | English | Russian

Language studies as part of a study programme

You can also study Finnish as part of labour market training (työvoimakoulutus) and preparatory vocational education (VALMA) or preparatory education for upper secondary school (LUVA).

If you are a customer of the Employment and Economic Development Office (Työ- ja elinkeinotoimisto), you can get to Finnish, Swedish or other language courses through the TE Office. The type of language education you need is assessed at the TE Office in connection to preparing your integration or employment plan. It is possible to receive Finnish or Swedish lessons as labour market training (työvoimakoulutus). Labour market training is mainly intended for unemployed jobseekers and it is free. Ask about Finnish or Swedish courses at your local TE Office. On the Infopankki page Services of the Employment and Economic Development Office, you can find the conditions for becoming a customer of the office.

linkkiMinistry of Economic Affairs and Employment:
TE Offices' contact informationFinnish | Swedish

linkkiMinistry of Economic Affairs and Employment:
Finnish and Swedish language educationFinnish | Swedish | English

Finnish language at the workplace

Some employers organise Finnish language lessons for their employees. Ask your employer if you can study Finnish at your workplace.

Your employer can apply to TE services (työ- ja elinkeinopalvelut) for support for employees’ Finnish and Swedish lessons.

linkkiTE Services:
Finnish at the workplaceFinnish | Swedish | English

Finnish and Swedish lessons for children

Children learn new languages quickly, although it may seem difficult at first. They can be taught Finnish or Swedish at their day-care centre (päiväkoti), preschool (esikoulu) and school (koulu). This tuition is called Finnish or Swedish as a second language (suomi tai ruotsi toisena kielenä -opetus), i.e. S2 teaching (S2 opetus).

If a child or young person cannot speak Finnish or Swedish well enough to take part in ordinary lessons, he/she can receive instruction in preparing for basic education (perusopetukseen valmistava opetus). During this preparatory instruction, they will study Finnish or Swedish and some other subjects. This instruction is intended for children and young persons between 7–16 and usually takes one year. After that the pupil will move on to an ordinary class
Finnish as a second language in basic educationFinnish