Living in Finland

Cities

Koulutus Helsingissä

Education in Helsinki

Day care

Helsinki has numerous city-owned and private day-care centres (päiväkoti). Finnish or Swedish is spoken in city-owned day-care centres. Most day-care centres are Finnish-speaking.

If you are applying for a position in a city-owned day-care centre, submit your application at least four months before the beginning of the care period. You can apply for a day-care placement from the city if your family has an address in Helsinki.

You can apply for a day-care placement online. Finnish online banking credentials are required to use the electronic form. In addition, your child must have a Finnish personal identity code. If you cannot use the electronic form, print the application form from the city website. Take or post the filled form to the day-care provider you are primarily applying for. The contact information for day-care centres is available on the city website.

If you have questions about day care or applying for a day-care placement, you can call the city’s advice helpline for early childhood education services:

tel. 09 310 44986 (service also in English)

There are also private day-care centres in Helsinki where English, Russian, German, French or Spanish is spoken. In Helsinki, there is also an Islamic day-care centre where Arabic is spoken.

If you are applying for a place for your child in a private day-care centre, contact the day-care centre of your choice directly.

Read more: Day care.

linkkiCity of Helsinki:
Day care in HelsinkiFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiCity of Helsinki:
Foreign-language day-care centresFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiCity of Helsinki:
Applying for a day-care positionFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiCity of Helsinki:
Day care feesFinnish | Swedish | English

Pre-school education

In Helsinki, pre-school education (esiopetus) is provided at many day-care centres and schools. The City of Helsinki website features a list of day-care centres and schools that provide pre-school education.

You can apply for pre-school education with an electronic form. Finnish online banking credentials are required to use the electronic form. In addition, your child must have a Finnish personal identity number. If you cannot use the electronic form, print the application form from the city website or obtain a printed form from a city-owned day-care centre. Take or post the completed form to the day-care provider you are primarily applying for.

More information is available on the city website. You can also request more information from the heads of the various day-care centres. Pre-school education begins in August, and the application period is in January.

Read more: Pre-school education

linkkiCity of Helsinki:
Day-care centres that provide pre-school educationFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiCity of Helsinki:
Applying for pre-school educationFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiCity of Helsinki:
Pre-school education in HelsinkiFinnish | Swedish | English

Basic education

There are many comprehensive schools (peruskoulu) in Helsinki. In addition to the city schools, private and state-owned schools are available. Studying in a private school may be subject to a fee.

In city schools, the language of instruction is Finnish or Swedish. In Helsinki, there are also private schools whose language of instruction is, for example, English, German, French or Russian.

Children must be enrolled in comprehensive school at the beginning of a year. You can register your child for school online or visit the school on the registration day. The registration day is specified on the website of the City of Helsinki.

If a pupil’s Finnish language skills are not good enough for comprehensive school studies in a Finnish-speaking school, he/she may be provided with preparatory education. This education prepares the child for studies in a comprehensive school. The preparatory education teaches Finnish language and comprehensive school subjects.

You can ask about basic education and schools in Helsinki at the guidance and service point of the Education Sector. Contact information:

Töysänkatu 2D
Helsinki
Tel. (09) 310 86400

The Helsinki Upper Secondary School for Adults (Helsingin aikuislukio) has a study programme for over 17-year-old immigrants, which enables you to complete the entire comprehensive school curriculum or portions of it. More information is available on the website of the Helsinki Upper Secondary School for Adults.

Other upper secondary schools for adults also provide comprehensive education for adults. The contact information for the upper secondary schools for adults can be found on the City of Helsinki website.

Read more: Basic education.

linkkiCity of Helsinki:
Brochure 'Information on comprehensive schools in Finland'English | Russian | French | Somali | Arabic

linkkiCity of Helsinki:
Contact information for schoolsFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiCity of Helsinki:
Further information about registrationFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiHelsinkiRegion.fi:
International schools in the Helsinki Metropolitan AreaFinnish

linkkiExpatFinland.fi:
International schools in the Helsinki Metropolitan AreaEnglish

linkkiHelsinki Upper Secondary School for Adults:
Basic education for adult immigrantsFinnish

linkkiInstitute of Adult Education in Helsinki:
Basic education for adult immigrantsFinnish | English

Afternoon activities for schoolchildren

The City of Helsinki organises afternoon activities for 1st and 2nd graders at schools and playgrounds after the school day. The afternoon activities are arranged during the school year on weekdays no later than 5 pm. The activities at the playgrounds are free-of-charge and open to all. You can register your child for the afternoon activities at playgrounds with a registration form. Return the form to the playground for which you primarily want to register.

linkkiCity of Helsinki:
Playgrounds and schoolchildren’s afternoon activitiesFinnish | Russian | Somali | Arabic

linkkiCity of Helsinki:
Customer payment instructions for afternoon activitiesFinnish | Russian | Somali | Arabic

Native-language education for immigrants

Children whose native language is not Finnish or Swedish may receive education in their native language. In Helsinki, native-language education is provided for immigrants in over 40 languages. You can ask about native-language education from the guidance and service office of the Education Sector.

Education Sector Guidance and Service Office:

Töysänkatu 2D
Helsinki
Tel. (09) 310 86400

linkkiCity of Helsinki:
Native language educationFinnish | Swedish | English

Vocational training and education

Helsinki Vocational College is the largest vocational institute (ammatillinen oppilaitos) in Finland, where you can study a variety of fields. In addition to this, Helsinki boasts other vocational institutes. Apply for vocational education through the joint application process.

Helsinki Vocational College organises training that prepares immigrants for vocational education. The preparatory education is intended for young people and adults who are interested in vocational studies and wish to improve their Finnish-language skills. The preparatory education lasts for one school term or year. You can ask about the preparatory education from the guidance and service office of the Education Sector or Helsinki Vocational College.

Education Sector Guidance and Service Office:

Töysänkatu 2D
Helsinki
Tel. (09) 310 86400

Read more: Vocational education, Preparatory vocational education.

linkkiStadin ammattiopisto:
Vocational education and trainingFinnish

linkkiCity of Helsinki:
Vocational schoolsFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiCity of Helsinki:
Preparatory education for vocational educationFinnish | Swedish | English

Upper secondary school

There are many upper secondary schools in Helsinki. Helsinki also boasts numerous schools where languages other than Finnish or Swedish are spoken. In addition to the daytime upper secondary school for young people, Helsinki has three upper secondary schools for adults (aikuislukio).

Helsinki organises education for immigrants to prepare them for upper secondary school. The training lasts for one school year and prepares students for upper secondary school studies.Preparatory education is intended for young people and adults who wish to study at an upper secondary school but whose language skills are not good enough for upper secondary school studies. The education is organised at the Vuosaari and Alppila upper secondary schools. Education intended for adults is organised at the Helsinki Upper Secondary School for Adults (Helsingin aikuislukio).

You can ask about preparatory education from the guidance and service office of the Education Department.

Education Department Guidance and Service Office:

Töysänkatu 2D
Helsinki
Tel. (09) 310 86400

Read more: Upper secondary school.

linkkiCity of Helsinki:
Upper secondary schools in HelsinkiFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiCity of Helsinki:
Applying for upper secondary schoolFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiCity of Helsinki:
Preparatory education for upper secondary educationFinnish | English

Support and guidance for young people

Ohjaamo

If you are under 30 years of age, you can get advice and guidance from the Ohjaamo service. If you do not have a job or a study place, the Ohjaamo personnel will help you. You can also ask about other matters, such as housing or personal finances.

Contact information:

Fredrikinkatu 48
tel.: 040 70 46 818
email: ohjaamo(at)hel.fi

linkkiOhjaamo Helsinki:
Support and guidance for young peopleFinnish

Higher education

In Helsinki, you can complete higher education studies in a variety of fields. There are both universities and universities of applied sciences in Helsinki.

The majority of the higher education is provided in Finnish. However, education in English is available in nearly all institutes of higher education. There is one Swedish-language university and one Swedish-language university of applied sciences in Helsinki.

The contact information for the institutes of higher education can be found on the City of Helsinki website. Application instructions and more detailed information on study programmes are available on the websites of the institutes themselves.

Read more: Universities and Universities of applied sciences.

linkkiCity of Helsinki:
Universities of applied sciencesFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiCity of Helsinki:
UniversitiesFinnish | Swedish | English

Other study opportunities

Helsinki boasts a wealth of study opportunities that are available to everyone. These studies are usually subject to a fee.

You can complete higher education studies at the Open University or at the open universities of applied sciences. These studies are open for everyone. The Open University and the open universities of applied sciences offer plenty of courses in English, too.

The City of Helsinki has a Finnish-language adult education centre (työväenopisto) and Swedish-language adult education centre. At the adult education centres, you can study languages, crafts and music, for example. The selection is extremely varied. The majority of the education in adult education centres is provided in Finnish or Swedish. In addition, the adult education centres organise courses in English and Russian.

Read more: Studying as a hobby.

linkkiCity of Helsinki:
Finnish Adult Education CentreFinnish

linkkiHelsingin työväenopisto:
Courses for immigrantsEnglish | Russian

linkkiStudyinfo.fi:
Information on open universitiesFinnish | Swedish

linkkiStudyinfo.fi:
Information on open universities of applied sciencesFinnish | Swedish