English Schools in Finland
Education in Finland is essential for Finnish people and is of high quality. The education system is open to everybody from any cultural background, and it consists of daycare programs, pre-school, compulsory basic comprehensive school, and may continue to higher education.
International schools offered in Finland can be the solution for temporary or permanent residents; ideal for an expat student (multinational corporation executives, children of diplomats, NGO; Non-Governmental Organisation staff). Sometimes even for local families, who desire their kids in an international school.
There is a wide choice of international schools in English and other languages, including French, German, Spanish, and Russian. Some schools offer international programs in Finnish and Swedish, which both are official languages in Finland. However, the focus of this article is to give information about international schools with English speaking programs.
International schools / International programs
International schools in Finland creates a steady-cozy atmosphere for the students who have experienced moving to another country and might feel disoriented. These international programs are found within Finnish schools in every large/mid-size Finnish city such as Helsinki, Vantaa, Espoo, Turku, Southern Karelia, and Rovaniemi.
There are international English daycares for toddlers and babies. Basic education starts one year in primary school, usually kids from ages six years old. It´s is usually held either in the kindergarten or in schools. After that, students have nine years of compulsory basic education, starting from seven years old to fifteen years old, called peruskoulu.
After graduating from peruskoulu, children will choose to go to secondary school (lukio) or vocational school, which usually takes three years to finish. Higher education can lead to qualifying for polytechnic or university education.
International schools can follow various curriculum models such as Finland’s Ministry of Education or the UK, US, or France. One popular internationally accepted accreditation is the International Baccalaureate (IB), which is offered in some regular Finnish schools and private international schools. Other options exist as well, such as the model accredited by the EU-supported European Schools Institution, which is recognised by all EU member states. Or the Agency provides the other options for French Teaching Abroad which has accredited two schools in Finland, École Areva MLF in Rauma and École Française Jules Verne in Helsinki.
These accreditations can significantly help the students to obtain the education which is accepted elsewhere around the world, and therefore it can be continued, such as at the university level.
When researching English international schools for the students, it is necessary to consider these points mentioned here: curriculum, accreditation, the application process, entrance/placement exams, waiting period, facilities including special-need facilities, extracurricular activities, and tuition (if private). Also, you might want to know about the administrators and teachers. Some schools are free government schools, while some are with tuition fees. Enrollment in government schools is based on your location of residency.
However, in some schools, the Finnish language and culture are also provided as part of the general program.
However, it is essential to know that admission and enrollment procedures may vary in different schools, space can be limited, and preferences may be given based on nationality.
In your search for an international school, it could be useful to know about:
-The CoIS (Council of International Schools), a non-profit association of international schools and post-secondary institutions. The CoIS provides educational accreditation, teacher and leadership recruitment services, links to higher education, and governance assistance.
-New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) provides accreditation services for more than 2000 public and private institutions.
International Schools in Finland
Here is the list of some international schools in Finland with English speaking programs:
The International School of Helsinki ISH
Address: Selkämerenkatu 11, 00180 Helsinki, Finland
Grades: 1- 12
With Tuition fee
The Kielo international school
Address: Vanha Helsingintie 2,00820 Helsinki, Finland
With tuition fee
Address: Maunulanmäki 5, 00630 Helsinki, Finland
Grades: 1- 9
No tuition fee
Address: Kyösti Kallion tie 1, 00570 Helsinki, Finland
Grades: 1- 9
No tuition fee