Finland has one of the best education systems in the world. Luckily foreigners are also able to enjoy this, since universities in Finland are offering over 400 full degree programs in English.
There are also possibilities for younger children to study in Finland in English taught programs. There are several high schools offering a International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB) programs and there are several international schools offering English primary school education.
Grades 1-12 in public schools are free of charge for all students. However private schools may charge fees. Higher education usually costs for students coming outside EU (from 2017 onward). However some Universities provide a discount from the next years semester fee’s if the student earned enough credits during the previous year. Details regarding semester fees and scholarships must be viewed from each university’s website separately.
The structure of Finnish education system is really simple:
- Voluntary pre-school at 6 years old.
- Compulsory basic/primary studies from 7 till 16 years old. (grades 1-9)
Student applies to General Upper Secondary School or to Vocational Upper Secondary School (grades 10-12). Both take 3 years and both give equal qualifications to apply to higher education studies.
Student applies for higher education to University or to University of applied Sciences
Only basic level studies are compulsory in Finland. Children who require primary education in English often have to make an application in their preferred international school.
People must apply for studies at the upper secondary level according to their interests. Admission decisions are made based on applicants 9th grade grades. After upper secondary studies especially people with vocational qualifications often choose to work at least for a while before applying to higher education.
People must apply for higher education studies according to their interests. Admission to universities and universities of applied science’s are made based on students upper secondary school grades, work experience and by entrance examination.
There are no age limits for performing an upper secondary education or a higher education in Finland. There are even special programs for adults who want to study at the upper secondary level called Adult Education.
All students above 15-years of age have a right to work while studying in Finland. However there are many restrictions considering young workers that are under 18-years old such as limitations on times when they are allowed to work and amount of hours they are alowed to work.