Interesting facts about studying in Finland and about Finnish education

Kindergartens in Finland: features, cost, how to choose

Finland has recently become a popular destination not only for recreation, but also in terms of education and career building. However, in order to achieve some success, you will need to master the language of this country. Let's be honest, the Finnish language is very difficult to learn, and although you can try to master it on your own, it is better to pay attention to language courses in Finland. First, this is first-hand knowledge and communication with native speakers; secondly, the courses offer a program tailored to the individual needs and capabilities of the student.

Program types

The choice of program depends on what and how quickly you need to learn the language. The goal can be simple communication, studying at a university, working in a specialty, obtaining citizenship, etc. In all these cases, knowledge of different levels is required.

The main types of curriculum in the study of the Finnish language differ little from the generally accepted categories:

  • General Finnish is a general course that is suitable for beginners and those who already speak conversationally. It takes about 20 hours a week. These can be regular activities or conversation clubs - it all depends on the level of the group. Tuition will cost from € 395 per week. Suitable for those who live in Finland.
  • Finnish for foreigners is a semester or one-year course. Education here is conducted mainly in English, although you can find courses with Russian as the language of instruction. This is also group lessons, with 20-30 lessons per week. Tuition is relatively inexpensive - from € 280. They are more suitable for those who do not even have basic knowledge and are starting to learn the language from scratch.
  • YKI Prep Course is a course aimed at successfully passing the YKI exam. This is a general language test, a certificate of passing which is required to obtain citizenship or official employment for a position in a reputable company. The course provides for 20-24 hours of classes per week for € 120 (and more), however, knowledge of the basics of the language and speaking skills are required.
  • Business Finnish - it is more expensive, as it has a certain specialization: it includes the study of business vocabulary and training in drafting documents. Classes in small groups will cost from € 420 per week with a load of 20-30 hours.
  • Education + accommodation - students (1-3) live in the teacher's family and master the language not only in the classroom, but also in everyday communication. Allows you to combine learning with rest. The intensity of the classes ranges from 10 to 30 hours per week. Together with accommodation, a weekly course will cost € 950 and more. Suitable for learning a language from scratch.
  • Summer camps - means not only children's summer camps with language learning, but also summer schools for adults, which are often held under the auspices of universities and colleges. There are even special summer universities - for example, in Kuopio, in Tampere.

Individual lessons are certainly not excluded. Their cost is from € 75, the level of difficulty, the intensity of the material depends on the student.

Finns organize free courses for expats and inexpensive courses for foreign students. In many companies, the employee qualifications program includes learning English or improving Finnish.

How to get to a language school

If you do not live in Finland and do not study there, but only plan to attend language courses, you need to apply for a Schengen visa. If you choose a short program (up to 3 months), a visa to Finland is issued quickly and without delay.

To obtain it, you need:

  • Passport issued no more than 10 years ago, and its photocopy.
  • Copy of passport and identification code, for children - birth certificate and parents' documents.
  • Visa fee payment receipt.
  • Application form which can be obtained from the Visa Application Center. It is better to fill it in English.
  • Color photograph 36 x 47 mm.
  • Bank statement confirming solvency.
  • Medical insurance.
  • An invitation from the language school (you need to contact it in advance).

The visa is issued in about two weeks, you can speed up the process for a separate fee - € 70.

If you plan to not only study the language, but also earn extra money, you will need a national visa. True, you can work on it no more than 25 hours a week.

Many language schools prepare the necessary documents themselves, but these services are paid for separately. Summer universities do not provide such a service, but they are much cheaper. To study in them, you need to apply for a national visa.

You can choose a decent school for learning languages ​​in Finland on the Internet, after carefully reading the reviews about them. There are two options:

  • international schools for the study of foreign languages ​​with representations in different countries;
  • Finnish educational institutions: Summer University in Helsinki, University Language Center in Helsinki, Evening Gymnasium in Turku. They are cheaper, but you will have to draw up all the documents yourself.

Despite the fact that Finland as an independent state has existed for only 100 years, its educational system is deservedly considered one of the best in the world. This country traditionally ranks first in the educational index of the population, and holders of diplomas from its higher educational institutions are in great demand in all countries of Western Europe. High-quality and, which is very important for young people, free education attracts students from all over the world to Finland. Citizens of Russia are no exception. Studying in Finland is especially popular among residents of the Northwest region, who are subject to a simplified visa issuance system.

Features of Finnish education

The educational system operating in Finland today was formed in the 60s of the last century. It includes 4 steps:

  • preschool education;
  • general education school;
  • secondary educational institutions;
  • higher educational institutions.

At each level, training is conducted in two state languages: Finnish and Swedish. In the northern regions of the country, the language of the indigenous peoples is added to them - Suomi.

Preschool education

Kindergartens in Finland accept children from 9 months to 5 years old. Their main task is caring for children during the day and helping parents in raising a child. Unlike all other stages of education, this stage costs money. Moreover, the amount of payment does not depend on the prestige or better equipment of the kindergarten, but on the size of the income of the child's parents. The maximum payment is 254 euros and the minimum is 23 euros.

There can be from 12 to 21 children in a kindergarten group, depending on their age. The younger the children, the more educators work with them. In large cities, there is often a shortage of places in preschool institutions, therefore the state pays an allowance to those parents who take care of the child on their own.

At the age of 6, preparation for school begins, which lasts one year. Its visit is free and obligatory for all children. Groups for classes are formed in kindergarten or school.

High school

School education in Finland consists of two levels and lasts 9-10 years. Moreover, students do not pass exams even after leaving school. They have no diaries either. Parents can learn about their child's progress from the electronic classroom magazine in the Wilma national system. In addition, once a month, the class curator gives them a report card, where all the student's grades are recorded.

Excerpts from the book about the "Finnish educational miracle" - why quality education is not achieved by increasing the number of lessons.

Finnish citizens are today some of the most educated in the world, and the Finnish secondary education system has remained the world leader over the past decade. But some thirty years ago, the education system in Finland was very mediocre and did not stand out in any way against the general background. In 2001, the public was stunned by the first published results of the PISA International Program for Assessment of Educational Achievement. Finnish schoolchildren without tutors, without an increased study load and any kind of preparation for testing showed high scores in all three studied skills and areas of knowledge - mathematics, science and literacy. And in the next decade, Finland's position in the educational ranking only strengthened.

We provide excerpts from this wonderful book, which cannot even be called a research monograph. Rather, it is the result of reflecting on our own experiences and communicating with thousands of educators around the world. Before starting reading, it is worth warning possible objections of skeptics: they say that Finland is a small country, and it is much easier to manage the system inside it than in Russia or in America. It's not about size: China in this sense is no less different from Japan than America is from Finland, but it also managed to bring its educational system to the world leaders. The fact is that Finland has managed to restructure its views on national identity. Moreover, this northern country continues to work on the amazing results achieved, and after all, maintaining success is no easier business than achieving it.

About 1.2 billion young people aged 15 to 30 will enter the labor market over the next ten years, but the funds at our disposal will only allow about 300 million of them to work. What can we offer these young people of about a billion? I think this is one of the most important challenges we face if we want to achieve peaceful development and want this youth to have something to hope for.

According to the OECD, “Finland is one of the world leaders in the achievement of secondary school students and has remained so over the past decade. In addition, the highest level of educational achievement of schoolchildren turns out to be exceptionally even from school to school. Finnish schools seem to serve all students well, regardless of their background, socioeconomic background or ability. ” The strength of the effectiveness of Finnish schooling lies precisely in the consistently high level of student achievement, the indicators of which are evenly distributed across schools throughout the country.

It's still a long way to the finish line

The launch of the Soviet satellite sparked a powerful movement in the 1960s to renew the teaching of science and mathematics in US schools. In the 1980s and 1990s, the rising sun of Japan and other "Asian tigers" prompted calls for the adoption of Japanese educational methods: higher standards, increased use of standardized tests, and more hours of instruction per school year.

The smoke of competition is the unhealthy breath of modern reforms.

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Over the past decade, the booming economies of India and China have convinced US education commissioners and legislators to promote 21st century skills training, tighten software requirements, develop national standards, further increase testing, encourage competition teachers and schools and seek more strenuous work from all. Nonetheless, over the past quarter-century, the level of accepted norms and achievements of American teachers and schools has fallen steadily relative to international standards.

Pressure, pressure, shame, interference from above, market mechanisms, competition, standardization, testing, facilitating and simplifying access to the teaching profession, closing down poor schools, firing poorly performing teachers and principals, recruiting young teachers, and the opening of new schools - all this, that is, the very approaches of reformers that have shown their extreme ineffectiveness in many Anglo-American countries over the past couple of decades, are being served under a new sauce and are being introduced with more diligence and determination.

Pointless race for the championship

The criticism of this approach is already in full swing. International Education Reform Consultant Michael Fullan predicts that President Barack Obama's “Race to the First” strategy, which aims to improve the state of affairs in the 5,000 underperforming schools in the US and introducing measures such as performance-based pay for teachers that are supposed to improve the quality of their work will fail.

In Finland, free education, excellent teaching, loyalty to foreign students, benefits for housing, meals and travel, interesting public organizations - the combination of these factors annually attracts thousands of students from Russia and Europe.

Free Study Program in Finland

Educational programs are offered in Swedish, English and Finnish. To fully assimilate information and communicate freely with your classmates, you need to know at least two languages.

Universities in Finland are divided into two types: universities and polytechnic institutes (universities of applied sciences). The term of study for a bachelor's degree is 4 years, for a master's degree - another 2 years.

Before the final choice of the institute, applicants are offered to “test” several institutions - to communicate with tutors (young teachers or current senior students), attend an open day, observe the learning process, find out detailed information about the university.

The Stanford University mystery can be found in the article.

In Finland it is quite possible to continue the training started in Russia. Teachers are loyal to the delivery of subjects, the academic difference is mastered according to an individual program provided by the university.

Several successfully completed courses at a Russian university make it possible to enroll in a magistracy by passing the required subjects as an external student. Immediately after school, you can only enroll in a bachelor's degree.

Admission to study in Finland for Russians

Do not forget that you will need knowledge of the Finnish language, because most universities conduct lectures and exams in the state language. You should improve your knowledge, otherwise you will not collect the required number of "credits" to extend your visa and move on to the next course.

Kindergartens in Finland are paid, but provide a high degree of preschool education. You can triple in a municipal institution, choose a private kindergarten, or hire a person to take care of your child at home. The first option is the most budgetary, while others are affordable only for those citizens who have a good salary and are willing to pay for the preschool education of their child from 300-400 euros per month and more.

Finnish kindergarten, as well as preschool institutions in other countries, has a queue. But this issue is more acute in municipal institutions, because the price there is much lower. Finland is one of the few countries that takes parenting from an early age seriously. Each kindergarten has etiquette teachers, psychologists and art directors. A baby can be sent to a nursery from 9 months.


Preschool education in Finland and the presentation of the institution can tell a lot about which kindergarten is better to choose. For families with a small income, free places in kindergartens are allocated, but there are not many of them. On average, you will have to pay for your child's preschool education from 270 euros per month and more. There are special programs that help low-income families and make these payments for them.

The Finnish government has developed a pre-school education system that all institutions must adhere to. Therefore, you should not think that the municipal kindergarten will not follow any rules. Of course, the private kindergarten tempts with additional activities. Holidays are often built in for children, they are additionally taught writing, drawing and etiquette. Every day a psychologist conducts a conversation with children. But you have to pay for this. On average, the cost of a private institution varies between 400 and 500 euros per month.

Important! The average salary in Finland is about 2,000 euros and not every citizen is ready to give a quarter of their income to pay for a private kindergarten. You can hire a nanny, but she's unlikely to come out cheaper.

Which kindergarten to choose

The presentation of preschool education in Finland is tripled by all institutions. To understand which kindergarten is better, consider all the options in turn:

Municipal institutions accept children from 2 to 4 years old. There are queues there, but if you wish, you can find a place in a short time, just not the fact that the kindergarten will be next to home. Payment from 250 to 300 euros per month.

Private organizations are more accessible, but they are also more expensive. They raise children according to the Mantessori method. The cost of a private garden is not much different from the state one. There, in addition to basic preschool subjects, they will teach drawing, etiquette and arrange theatrical events. The cost is from 300 to 400 euros per month.

There is a family-type kindergarten. It is not much different from the private one. It is most often located in a large house, and accepts no more than 15 people in one group. The cost is the same as for private institutions. Such organizations are carefully checked by state bodies and if there are inconsistencies, then such a kindergarten will not receive a license.

In all institutions, special attention is paid to psychology and physical education. If a citizen has not found a place in kindergarten, which is unlikely, he can hire a nanny, but upbringing without society can negatively affect the development of the child.

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