Studying Finnish in Finland

There are various opportunities to study Finnish in Finland, depending on your current skills in the Finnish language. However, what options are available to you depend a bit on your starting level.

If you're looking for Finnish language courses

Unless you are relatively fluent in Finnish already, it's not really possible for you to be admitted into a Finnish university 'to study Finnish'. The universities' Finnish language departments are not language schools in that sense: they do not offer beginner's level degree studies.

However, it may be possible for you to visit Finland on a short-term visa to attend short-term language courses - have a peek at the links on the right-hand margin! For example the Summer Universities arrange Finnish language and culture courses on many different levels annually. Contact the course organisers for detailed info on what is on offer, how to apply, etc.

Depending on your nationality, you may need to apply for a short-term visa in order to participate in a language course in Finland. Information on visa procedures is available from Finnish Immigration Service Migri or the Finnish embassy in your home country.

If you have been admitted as an exchange or a degree student

Most of the universities and UAS's in Finland offer beginners' level courses in the Finnish language for their international exchange or degree students. If you already happen to know some Finnish, it is a good idea to check if your hosting Finnish institution's Language Centre also offers Finnish courses for more advanced students. Contact your hosting Finnish university/UAS for more information!

If you are interested in full degree studies in the Finnish language

Finnish can also be studied at degree student level at various Finnish universities. To be eligible to apply for these degree studies you usually need to have advanced skills in Finnish, as the degree programmes are offered in Finnish only.

The following universities offer degree studies in Finnish language (the following websites are in Finnish, Åbo Akademi site in Swedish):

If you are interested in applying as a degree student to the above Finnish language departments, just contact the universities for advice.

EDUFI programmes for advanced-level Finnish students

The Finnish National Agency for Education (EDUFI) gives advanced-level students of the Finnish language and culture at universities outside Finland an opportunity to come to practise their Finnish in Finland by

  • organising summer courses in Finnish language and culture
  • offering students an opportunity to come to Finland as trainees on the Suomea Suomessa programme
  • awarding grants to students (for one term) and researchers (for 1–2 terms) of the Finnish language and culture.

For further information on these options for advanced-level students of Finnish, please visit the EDUFI (formerly known as CIMO) web service www.cimo.fi