Immigrants’ language skills
Immigrants of all ages are taught Finnish or Swedish. The goal is the most efficient bilingualism possible: mastery of Finnish or Swedish as well as maintenance of one’s native language and culture.
Courses in Finnish and Swedish
You can study Finnish or Swedish at several educational institutions, such as
- vocational adult education centres
- folk high schools
- adult education centres
- general upper secondary schools for adults
- language centres at universities
- open universities, and
- summer universities.
There are numerous courses of different levels and duration. Course fees vary also. For more information about the courses, contact the educational institution or the information service at Employment and Economic Development Offices. (TE-palvelut.fi)
Links to language studies:
The Kotisuomessa.fi service contains self-study materials on Finnish and Swedish. Studying these materials and completing the exercises requires registration in the service. If you do not wish to register in the service, you can browse and view the contents in the service.
You can look for courses in Finnish and Swedish in the Helsinki metropolitan area and for Finnish courses in the Tampere region. You can search for courses according to the level, locality and the properties of the course.
Local information on studying Finnish and Swedish in the Helsinki region, Tampere, Turku, South Savo, Oulu and Rovaniemi.
Demonstration of language skills when applying for a place to study
If you apply for vocational or general upper secondary education and your native language is not the language of teaching at the institution, you are invited to a language test.
This test ensures that you cope with your studies. Educational institutions want to know that you understand the language of instruction and can participate in teaching. The language test can be a written test and/or an interview. Further information about language tests is available from educational institutions.
You cannot be admitted to education if you do not sufficient oral and written skills in the language of instruction.
When you apply to a university, you must have a certificate of a completed language test or you must have demonstrated language skills during earlier studies. Universities of applied sciences usually invite applicants to a language test. Universities do not ordinarily arrange language tests but require a certificate on language skills.
Before applying for education, contact the educational institution and find out how you can demonstrate the language skills required.
Finnish or Swedish skills with a National Certificate of Language Proficiency
You can demonstrate the language skills needed for studies by obtaining a National Certificate of Language Proficiency The Certificate can be completed at a basic, intermediate and advanced level.
The Certificate comprises of four sections:
- Reading comprehension
- Listening comprehension, and
A National Certificate of Language Proficiency can be used in an application for a job or place of study, for instance. You can also use the Certificate to demonstrate your skills in Finnish or Swedish needed to obtain Finnish citizenship, for example.
An intermediate level test in Finnish is arranged four times a year, tests at other levels and in different languages usually twice a year. The tests at different levels are subject to a fee.
National certificate of language proficiency
Admission criteria for vocational education and training
Demonstration of language skills with another language test or prior education
If you have completed another language test, contact the educational institution and ask whether they accept it as proof of your language skills.
If you have completed prior education, a degree or qualification or part of it in some language, contact the educational institution and ask whether they accept it as proof of your language skills.