Fre­quently asked ques­tions about Finnish courses

When will the spring/​sum­mer/​au­tumn course sched­ule be avail­able on­line?

The course schedule for the spring is available at the beginning of December, and registration begins in January.

The course schedule for the autumn is available in June, and registration begins in August–September.

The course schedule for the summer is available in April, and registration begins when the schedule is published.

Where can I find the course sched­ule?

Links to courses can be found at helsinki.fi/finnishcourses.

Where are the courses or­gan­ised?

The courses are organised in a variety of locations on the University of Helsinki city centre campus. The exact address is included in the course description.

Are 1A, 1B and 1C courses for dif­fer­ent skill levels?

They are parallel courses for the same skill level, organised on different days and at different times.

Can I at­tend les­sons on a par­al­lel course to sub­sti­tute for ab­sences?

You can only attend lessons on the course for which you have been admitted. Courses may proceed at different speeds, and there is no room for extra people in the classrooms.

Can I take, for ex­ample, the Suomi 2 and Suomi 3 courses sim­ul­tan­eously?

You cannot attend two courses for different levels at the same time. Admittance into a course always requires that studies for the previous level have been completed. (However, if you wish to revise the material of e.g. the Suomi 2 course level and simultaneously take a Suomi 3 course, this can be done.)

Can I com­plete levels 1–3 dur­ing the sum­mer with the fol­low­ing sched­ule: level 1 in June, level 2 in July, and level 3 in Au­gust?

Completing the courses at such a fast pace is extremely demanding and is not actually recommended.

Which course will I have to com­plete to ap­ply for Finnish cit­izen­ship? Which course will I have to com­plete to take the in­ter­me­di­ate level YKI test for the Na­tional Cer­ti­fic­ate of Lan­guage Pro­fi­ciency, which is re­quired for cit­izen­ship? Do you or­gan­ise YKI tests for the Na­tional Cer­ti­fic­ate of Lan­guage Pro­fi­ciency?

You may take the basic level test for the National Certificate of Language Proficiency after completing a level 3 course and the intermediate level test once you have completed a level 5 course. Language Services does not organise YKI tests. More information can be obtained from the Finnish National Board of Education.

How will I know which course is ap­pro­pri­ate for my needs?

Read the Language Services course descriptions and see how they correspond to your skill level. You may also want to examine the textbook used in the course.

With the Finnish language skills test  you can assess which course to take.

I have stud­ied a little Finnish in my nat­ive coun­try. How do I know whether I should take the Suomi 1 or Suomi 2 course?

Read the Language Services course descriptions and see how they correspond to your skill level. You may also want to examine the textbook used in the course.

With the Finnish language skills test  you can assess which course to take.

The Finnish for False Beginners course might be appropriate for your needs. See the course description.

I can­not write in Finnish, but I un­der­stand well and can speak a little. What level of course would you re­com­mend for me?

Read the Language Services course descriptions and see how they correspond to your skill level. You may also want to examine the textbook used in the course.

With the Finnish language skills test  you can assess which course to take.

The Finnish for False Beginners course might be appropriate for your needs. See the course description.

How well do the courses and levels of dif­fer­ent course pro­viders cor­res­pond to each other? How can I find out?

The content and levels of courses offered by Language Services.

What course level do I need to com­plete in or­der to work in Fin­land?

This depends on the language skills required for the job, and varies greatly. For example, the target level after completing the Suomi 6 is skill level 3+ (EVK B1+/ YKI 3+).

How do I re­gister for a course?

An online form is used for course registration; it can be accessed by the link after each course name. Note! Registration is valid only when we have received a receipt of payment for the course fee.

When can I re­gister for a course?

You can register for the courses at helsinki.fi/finnishcourses. Registration begins on the stated date and continues until the beginning of the course, or until the course is full.

Can I re­gister for courses be­fore of­fi­cial re­gis­tra­tion be­gins?

No.

Is there an age limit for participation?

Participants must be over 16 years of age, however there is no upper age limit.

I am a mem­ber of staff at the Uni­versity of Hel­sinki. How do I re­gister for a Finnish course?

See the instructions in Intranet Flamma.

I work/​study at a uni­versity in the Greater Hel­sinki area; how can I re­gister for a Finnish course?

If you are a student at the University of the Arts Helsinki OR a member of the staff of the University of Helsinki or Aalto University, read this.

Courses in Finnish for students at the University of Helsinki are organised by The Bachelor's Programme in the Languages and Literatures of Finland, see this.

I do not have ac­cess to a com­puter on the date of re­gis­tra­tion; how can I re­gister?

You do not have to register for courses in person; someone else can register for you. You may also come to our office and fill out the electronic form on our premises. You cannot register for courses before the registration period begins.

What in­form­a­tion is re­quired for re­gis­tra­tion?

Information required for registration includes: the name of the course, the first and last names of the participant, date of birth, place of work or study, previous education, native language, other language skills, where and for how long you have studied Finnish before, street and email addresses, and phone number. This information is collected only for the needs of the teacher and the Language Services’ own statistics.

How many par­ti­cipants are there on one course?

Normally 30 participants will be admitted to a course, but the Finnish for False Beginners course takes 25 participants, and the conversation courses 20 participants.

What can I do if the course is already full? Can I go to the first les­son to see if there is room?

You cannot attend a lesson if we have not sent you a confirmation of your place in the course. The teacher cannot admit any new students into the course. Possible cancellations are always communicated through the Language Services office. Inform us, if you are interested in a particular course, and we will contact you, if a course place becomes vacant.

The em­ploy­ment and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment of­fice (TE of­fice) re­quires proof of at­tend­ance on the course; can I get a cer­ti­fic­ate from you?

Once you have registered, paid the course fee and received a confirmation of your place on the course, we can write a registration certificate on request. The certificate will also state the number of study hours required each week. We recommend that you email us first to request the certificate: kielikeskus-kielipalvelut[at]helsinki.fi.

Which text­books are used in the courses?

  • Suomi 1: Suomen mestari 1 – suomen kielen oppikirja aikuisille (Sonja Gehring, Sanni Heinzmann), chapters 1–7
  • Suomi 2: Suomen mestari 1 – suomen kielen oppikirja aikuisille (Sonja Gehring, Sanni Heinzmann), chapters 8–9, and Suomen mestari 2 – suomen kielen oppikirja aikuisille (Sonja Gehring, Sanni Heinzmann), chapters 1–5
  • Suomi 3: Suomen mestari 2 – suomen kielen oppikirja aikuisille (Sonja Gehring, Sanni Heinzmann), chapters 6–8, and Suomen mestari 3 – suomen kielen oppikirja aikuisille (Sonja Gehring, Sanni Heinzmann, Sari Päivärinne, Taija Udd), chapters 1–2
  • Suomi 4: Suomen mestari 3 – suomen kielen oppikirja aikuisille (Sonja Gehring, Sanni Heinzmann, Sari Päivärinne, Taija Udd), chapters 3–8
  • Suomi 5: Suomen mestari 4 – suomen kielen oppikirja aikuisille (Sonja Gehring, Sanni Heinzmann, Sari Päivärinne, Taija Udd), chapters 1–4
  • Suomi 6: Suomen mestari 4 – suomen kielen oppikirja aikuisille (Sonja Gehring, Sanni Heinzmann, Sari Päivärinne, Taija Udd), chapters 5–8

The teacher’s own learning material is used in the other courses.

Where can I buy the course books?

The course books are available in bookshops that sell various course textbooks.

How do I pay the course fee?

You can pay the course fee through an online banking system or by visiting a bank.

What is your bank ac­count num­ber?

Pay the course fee to the Helsinki University bank account:
FI58 5000 0120 3778 32
Swift = OKOYFIHH
The reference number 9910 8081 must be included on the payment form. Indicate your name and the name of the course in the message section, if possible. The course fee must be paid in euros.

Can I pay the course fee in cash or with a bank or credit card in your of­fice?

No.

Will you re­fund me if I have paid the course fee, but the course is full?

We will refund you the entire course fee if the course is full. You must submit a receipt of payment of the course fee and the payer’s account number to our office.

I have to move to an­other city. /​ My work­ing hours will change. Will you re­fund me for the course fee if I in­form you be­fore the course be­gins?

Registration is binding. Refunds can be made only in the following cases: the course for which the student has registered is full; the course is cancelled; the student has paid too much by mistake.

Can I change courses or con­tinue the course next term?

If the course turns out to be too easy or difficult for you, you can change courses provided there are vacancies in a suitable course. If you leave a course after it has begun, you cannot continue it later.

Will I re­ceive a dis­count on the course fee if I am a stu­dent?

The course fee is the same for everyone. No discounts are given.

Is the lan­guage of teach­ing Eng­lish / Rus­sian?

The teaching language is Finnish. The courses have been constructed so that no other languages are needed. You can, however, ask the teacher for assistance in another language when he or she circulates around the classroom supervising pair or group work, or on breaks and after class. English is used as a support language only in the course Finnish for False Beginners.

Will a fi­nal ex­am­in­a­tion be held at the end of the course? Is it com­puls­ory?

A final examination will be held at the end of the course (as well as an interim examination in the intensive course 1+2). The examination is not compulsory. You must, however, pass the examination to obtain credits and a course certificate. If you do not pass the final examination, you will receive a certificate of attendance if you have been present for at least 75% of the lessons.

Can I re­take the fi­nal ex­am­in­a­tion if I do not pass it the first time?

You can retake the examination once within one year of the start of the course. After that, you must take the course again.

I did not pass the fi­nal ex­am­in­a­tion. /​ My fi­nal grade was low. Can I pro­ceed to the next level?

Yes, but you should definitely study and review the material before the next course begins so that you will be successful in your studies at the next level.

Can I take the ex­am­in­a­tion without par­ti­cip­at­ing in the course?

You cannot take the examination without participating in the course.

Will I re­ceive a course cer­ti­fic­ate?

You will receive a course certificate and earn credits if you have passed the final examination. If you do not wish to take the final examination, you will receive a certificate of attendance if you have been present for at least 75% of the lessons.

Can I in­clude the cred­its that I earn in my stud­ies at the Uni­versity of Hel­sinki or an­other uni­versity? What should I do to have the cred­its re­gistered?

The credits can be included in your other studies. If you are a student at the University of Helsinki, please submit your student number to the Language Services office, and we will register the credits. Students of other universities must submit their course certificate to the academic affairs office of their university to have the credits registered.

For what pur­pose is the course cer­ti­fic­ate needed, or where can it be of use?

The certificate indicates the target level and content of the course as well as the credits and grade, if any. Your employer or educational institution or the local employment and economic development office may request the certificate as proof that you have completed the course.

Will I re­ceive a stu­dent card/​stu­dent status if I par­ti­cip­ate in one of your courses?

The student card is available only to students of the University of Helsinki faculties. Language Services’ courses are open to all and do not entitle the participants to student status.

Does Lan­guage Ser­vices provide hous­ing, etc.?

Language Services cannot assist course participants in housing or other living arrangements.

Will you send me a let­ter of in­vit­a­tion so that I can ap­ply for a visa? Can you as­sist me in ap­ply­ing for a visa?

As participation in our courses is not considered full-time study, it is unlikely that you are granted a visa in order to take a Language Services course. We do not send visa invitation letters.