Intensive Finnish Course

Helsinki Summer School 2020 was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Kindly note that Helsinki Summer School 2021 will not be arranged due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


The course is restricted to international students beginning their Master's / Bachelor's Degree studies in the autumn of 2020 at the University of Helsinki.


This intensive basic course in Finnish is for students accepted into University of Helsinki Master's programmes / Bachelor's programme in autumn 2020. It offers incoming students the opportunity to study the Finnish language before the beginning of the University's autumn term. The course includes 48 hours of teaching plus independent/group work (six hours of study a day on average).

Before the course begins, the participants are expected to take the online course A Taste of Finnish (, so that they will learn the basic vocabulary and grammar as well as various phrases and elements of Finnish culture and society. The online course provides help in English.


Päivi Vetsch, MA, University Instructor


The course offers incoming students the opportunity to begin studying the Finnish language before the University's autumn term begins, so that it will be possible to continue with Suomi 2 courses in the autumn at the University of Helsinki. The aim is to learn to cope with simple everyday discussions, write brief texts on familiar topics and learn key vocabulary.

The target level is A1.2 in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEF)


The course consists of four contact lessons daily, and the students work in small groups / independently in the afternoons. This way the course learning objectives can be attained. The students are expected to participate actively in the various tasks and group work during the contact lessons. The online platform Moodle may be used for mixed-mode activities (mainly independent work).

The course is taught in Finnish, which allows students to use the language straight away. The Finnish-in-Finnish method has been proven to accelerate and enhance learning; the course has been designed so that no other languages are needed. Nevertheless, students can always ask for help in other languages when the teachers are circulating in class supervising pair or group work, during breaks or after class.


Continuous assessment and final test. Minimum 75% active participation.
Oral skills are assessed continuously during the course. The written test is at the end of the course, and is assessed on the scale 0–5 (5 = excellent 4 = very good 3 = good 2 = average 1 = poor 0 = fail). The end-of-course written test can be retaken once. The participants will receive a certificate stating the contents and the level of the course.


City Centre Campus

Course schedule

5–19 August
10.00–11.30 Language lesson
11.30–12.30 Lunch
12.30–14.00 Language lesson
14.00–14.30 Break
14.30–16.00 Small groups / independent work

20 August
10.00–11.30 Exam preparation, course feedback
11.30–12.30 Lunch
12.30–14.00 FINAL EXAM


Accepted students; Please purchase the book before the first lessons: Suomen mestari 1. Suomen kielen oppikirja aikuisille by Sonja Gehring & Sanni Heinzmann. Finn Lectura. Chapters 1–7.

Additional material (handouts) by the teacher.