If you don’t know any Finnish or Swedish yet, preparatory education is the place for you. Learning Finnish or Swedish will help you a lot in your everyday life in Finland, and it multiplies your study options after basic education. If you are planning to stay in Finland for a longer time, knowing Finnish or Swedish will be an asset in the working life.
How does it work?
In preparatory education, the focus is on learning Finnish or Swedish and getting to know the Finnish school system. However, preparatory education is not just Finnish or Swedish language classes; you also study other subjects and learn the language on the side. In addition to that, you get a chance to attend regular classes with Finnish-speaking or Swedish-speaking pupils as soon as you know a little Finnish or Swedish. You follow a personal study plan based on your needs, previous studies and skills.
You can study in preparatory education for up to 12 months. If your language skills develop quickly, you can switch to a regular classroom earlier. After preparatory education, you will move on to study in a regular Finnish-speaking or Swedish-speaking classroom. The aim is that you transfer to a group that matches your age and skills in the Finnish education system. Preparatory education does not mean that you fall behind in your studies.
In grades 1–2 (age 7–8), preparatory education takes place in the same classroom with Finnish-speaking or Swedish-speaking children in your local school, with the school staff supporting your language learning. After the maximum 12 months of preparatory education, you will continue your studies in Finnish or in Swedish. To enrol in grades 1 and 2, just contact your local school directly.
In grades 3–9 (age 9–17), Finnish-speaking preparatory education takes place in separate groups that are available in several schools around the city. We try to find you a place in a preparatory education class as close to your home as possible.
See instructions for enrolment on the How to enrol in preparatory education page. If you want to attend preparatory education in Swedish, contact your local Swedish-speaking school directly.