Language courses in Finland will allow you to master the language of Santa Claus, fall in love with winter, and grow tired of the famous Finnish saunas for many years to come. Although a student visa is not issued for language courses, you can find good short-term courses at a low cost.

Advantages of language courses in Finland

  • Prices. Language courses are very cheap — their average price is 149 USD/week. You can even find options for 53 USD/course[1].
  • English. You will have no problem communicating in Finland, whether in the capital city of Helsinki or anywhere else in the country. More than 70% of Finns have proficient knowledge of English[2].
  • Synonymous with comfort. Finland is the happiest country according to the 2022 World Happiness Report[3]. It often ranks high in other lists: security, stability, prosperity, freedom of speech, and welfare[4]. It also boasts one of the best educational systems according to the OECD, along with free university education for Finnish speakers.
  • Beautiful country. Untouched northern nature, numerous lakes, and polar lights. Tourists especially love Finland in winter, and even more during New Year’s and Christmas festivities. It is in Lapland where the residences of Santa Claus, Joulupukki, and Father Frost are located.

Disadvantages of language courses in Finland

  • Few courses. You may need a bit of luck in order to find them. There are no more than 10 language schools throughout the country, and courses at universities are available only to students and residence permit holders. There are short-term options available at centers for continuing education, but there are no more than 300 of them.
  • Visa. Finland does not issue student visas for language courses. You can take courses only with a Schengen visa, which lasts no more than 90 days.
  • Cold country. With little sun and long winter nights, weather in Finland is not for the faint-hearted[5].

Cost of language courses in Finland

SchoolProgramNumber of weeksTuition feeCities
Ahjolan kansalaisopistonSummer courses581 USDTampere
Fast courses12101 USD
Finnish at a slower pace1675 USD
HELSINGIN AIKUISOPISTOHappy Finnish4374 USDHelsinki
Elementary Finnish4264 USD
Improve Your Finnish 34210 USD
Intensiivinen YKI-kurssi4234 USD
LärkkullaFinnish Summer courses12468 USD/weekKaris
Basic Finnish2-36149 USD
Continuation Finnish2-36149 USD
YKI-courses4744-904 USD
Home Language InternationalStudy & Live in Your Teacher's Home1+1,313 USD/weekHelsinki, Turku
Enroll in a language course with UniPage

When applying for a language course, a lot of time is spent searching for information and clarifying the nuances of programs and accommodation options in Finland.
UniPage cooperates only with accredited language schools, which, in addition to quality education and comfortable accommodation, provide our clients with discounts on courses. Our experts will tell you in detail what programs are available at Finnish schools and universities, help you fill out an application, and ultimately save your time.

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Types of language courses in Finland

Type of programIntensityGroupMin. language requirementsAvg. course cost
Finnish courses level 1-620-258-20Beginner74-106 USD
SUMMER COURSES20-255-15Beginner74-106 USD
FAST COURSES88-15Beginner74-106 USD
Preparatory course for YKI12-248-15Intermediate77-153 USD
Medical Finnish Language Courses8-208-15Beginner319-670 USD
Study & Live in Your Teacher's Home201Beginner2,126 USD/week

Finnish language proficiency is assessed at six levels (YKI 1-YKI 6), which correspond to the European CERF gradation (A1-C2). In Finland, you can find courses for each of them. The vast majority of options are for Beginner levels.

University courses are available only to enrolled students and university staff. Most courses last up to 1 year, and students receive ECTS upon completion. Pathway or Foundation preparatory courses are not offered in Finland.

For those who do not plan to go to university, there are several alternatives.

Courses at Folk Schools and Summer Universities

Folk Schools (kansalaisopisto) and Summer Universities (kesäyliopisto) are municipal institutions for continuing education. They are very common in Scandinavian countries. They do not provide bachelor's or master's degrees, but short courses can be taken to master any profession or skill (for example, workshops for writing, sewing, and welding). They are the main providers of language courses in Finland.

Everyone can visit these institutions, but there is little variety in them. Also, many are only for immigrants who participate in the integration program. Their main advantage is a low cost.

Finnish courses level 1-6 — general Finnish courses by level. Beginners learn the language up to YKI 2, intermediate students up to YKI 4, and advanced students up to YKI 6. Typically, such courses last 2-3 months.

SUMMER COURSES — general Finnish courses. These are short-term, low-intensity programs (10-15 hours per week) in which students get acquainted with the basic concepts of the language. They usually last no longer than 2 months.

FAST COURSES — evening courses for professionals with a lack of free time. They usually take place twice a week from 17:00 to 19:30. They are more expensive (about 106 USD/course), and last a little longer — from 3 to 4 months.

Preparatory course for YKI — preparation courses for the Finnish state language proficiency exam. Students with a YKI level of 3 (B1) are allowed to attend classes.

Courses at private language schools

There are few language schools in Finland. Not all of them have accreditation, and the cost of courses is high — but they are still worth considering. By all means, groups in them are small (5-10 people), and the enrollment system is more flexible — you can enroll in many courses even a month after the start of classes.

The schools offer the same general Finnish and YKI preparation courses that municipal institutions do, but include other, more unique programs.

Study & Live in Your Teacher's Home — individual Finnish courses with accommodation in a teacher's home. Their main advantage is constant language practice. You interact with a teacher during lunch and excursions, and master grammar, reading, and writing in lessons that last 2-5 hours a day.

Medical Finnish Language Courses — general Finnish language lessons with an emphasis on medical vocabulary. These are designed specifically for foreign workers who want to build a career in Finnish medical institutions.

Features of admission to Finnish language schools

In most countries, you first need to pay for tuition, enroll in a language school, and wait for an invitation letter, which is necessary for obtaining a student visa.

In Finland, it is impossible to obtain a student residence permit for language courses, so it is not necessary to wait for an invitation. You can first get a short-term visa and then pay for the courses already in the country.

For admission to the courses themselves, you only need to pay for them and confirm your language level.

Taking language courses in Finland

Visa Application Centers in Finland do not issue student residence permits for language courses. Therefore, most programs last no more than 3 months. However, students of Finnish universities also have access to longer-term courses at university language centers.

Integration programs are also common. These are courses created for adaptation to the country and language. They are free, but most of them can only be attended by immigrants with a valid residence permit.

Language courses for everyone are offered by municipal institutions — Folk Schools (kansalaisopisto) and Summer Universities (kesäyliopisto). Most of the programs are inexpensive — 74-106 USD/course, and many of them are completely free. You can search for all open language courses in Finland on the official resource. Recruitment for most programs takes place in August, September, and January.

Many programs have a high intensity (from 25 to 30 hours per week). Beginner courses are usually up to 25 hours per week, but there are also evening programs with an intensity of up to 9 hours a week.

There are few private language schools even in large Finnish cities. For example, Helsinki only has about five of them. They are worth considering if you are looking for options with language camps or living in a teacher's home.

Classes are conducted entirely in Finnish. Such a methodology has both disadvantages and advantages. The first lessons will be difficult for you, but soon enough, you will begin to better understand Finnish speech by ear.

Accommodation options in Finland

Accommodation optionsMin. costAvg. cost
Hotel or hostel95 USD/day166 USD/day
Apartment532 USD/month720 USD/month

Additional expenses

ExpenseAvg. cost
Consular embassy fee35 USD
Expedited visa application processing77 USD
Medical insurance16 USD/week
Study materials11 USD
International exams170 USD

UniPage services

Visa for language courses in Finland

A long-term visa is not issued for language courses in Finland. Student residence permits are issued only to those who have enrolled at a university.

Therefore, it is only possible to take language courses with a Schengen visa.

Required documents:

Important
You cannot work in Finland and the EU with a Schengen visa.

Best cities to learn Finnish

Helsinki

Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki
Population658864
Monthly expenses (excluding rent)927 USD
AttractionsSuomenlinna Sea Fortress, Temppeliaukio Church, Seurasaari Island, Helsinki Cathedral, Kamppi Chapel of Silence, Ateneum, Esplanadi Park, National Museum of Finland
  • Green City. More than a third of the city is occupied by parks, and the streets themselves are covered with lush flowers and trees. Helsinki is surrounded by 42 nature reserves that are open to visitors all year round.
  • Architectural utopia. At one time, Helsinki was recognized as the capital of world design. Modernism, functionalism, and neoclassicism are intertwined here. Sophisticated people will find both buildings typical of Scandinavian cities and unique architectural monuments included in the UNESCO list.
  • Sauna capital. Saunas exist in almost every house and even apartment buildings. Thousands of public saunas are scattered throughout the city for every taste — for example, saunas in the deep forest with a view of the northern lights, portable saunas, and even sauna-boats.

Tampere

Tampere, Finland
Tampere
Population244029
Monthly expenses (excluding rent)837 USD
AttractionsVapriikki Museum, Pyynikki Observation Tower, Tampere Cathedral, Kaleva Church, Finnish Hockey Hall of Fame, Sarkanniemi, Nasinneula Tower, Hatanpaa Arboretum
  • Large but not crowded. Though the third largest city in Finland, Tampere has a population of only 200000 people. It has all the amenities of big cities, but without the inherent traffic jams and queues.
  • Beautiful area. Tampere is surrounded by picturesque nature, charming villages, country cottages, and stunning landscapes.
  • Unusual museums. Fans of cultural recreation have something to do in Tampere. It is famous for its quirky museums that you are unlikely to find anywhere else. For example, the espionage museum, which exhibits interactive expositions with real spy gadgets. You can even test your friend on a lie detector.

Turku

Turku, Finland
Turku
Population194244
Monthly expenses (excluding rent)930 USD
AttractionsTurku Castle, Turku Cathedral, Kuralan külämäki, Forum Marinum Maritime Centre, Sibelius Museum, Ruissalo, Flowpark, Väino Aaltonen Museum, Naantali, Fori Ferry
  • City of Naantali. A small town 14 kilometers from Turku is a tourist mecca in Finland. All sorts of festivals and concerts are held here almost non-stop, and the holiday on the streets does not stop even at night. You should also visit Moomintroll World, a theme park based on the famous stories of Tove Jansson.
  • Medieval Features. The city has preserved ancient castles and cathedrals. Turku Castle is located here — an imposing building that is over 700 years old. This is one of the largest monuments of medieval architecture in Scandinavia.
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