Preparatory education for upper secondary vocational education and training
Before you start upper secondary vocational education and training, you can participate in VALMA, short for pre-vocational preparatory education for immigrants. This programme helps you improve your language skills and other abilities that you’ll need for studying according to your individual study plan. Preparatory education lasts between 6 and 12 months.
The studies are conducted entirely in Finnish or Swedish depending on the educational institution. Participation in upper secondary vocational education and training requires you to have basic Finnish or Swedish language skills. You can demonstrate your language skills by taking a language proficiency examination or test. Read more about demonstrating language proficiency on the Finnish National Board of Education website.
Preparatory education includes:
- Finnish or Swedish language;
- information technology;
- natural sciences;
- social studies;
- cultural knowledge.
You will also improve your study and career skills during your studies. You’ll get to learn about different occupations and vocational studies. When you later apply for an upper secondary vocational programme through the joint application system, you can get extra points for completed preparatory education.
You can apply for post-compulsory preparatory education in the summer. The application procedure covers immigrants’ preparatory education for both vocational education and training and general upper secondary school. You can apply for a maximum of three programmes using the same application form.
You may receive student financial aid and school transport subsidy for the period of preparatory education. Read more about financial aid at Kela website.
If the preparatory education is part of your integration plan, you may receive integration allowance instead of student financial aid. Read more about unemployement and social benefits during integration on TE-service website.