Finnish for For­eign­ers

The University of Helsinki Language Centre's Language Services unit has offered open-enrolment fee-based Finnish for foreigners courses since 1991. You do not need to be enrolled as a student at the University of Helsinki to participate in these courses.

Courses are organised all through the year: autumn courses begin in September, and spring courses in January; summer courses run in June, July and August.

Finnish is the language of instruction in these courses.  The “Finnish in Finnish” method accelerates learning and enhances learning results. The progression of the courses is designed so that no other language is 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.

The level of the courses is indicated with the numbers 1–7, and courses of the same level are marked with the letters A–D. The length of the courses is given as the number of lessons, each lesson lasting for 45 minutes.

  • Are you not sure what your level is? Try the new level test that will help you assess which course is good for you.
  • Registration for the courses takes place using electronic registration forms. You will find links to the forms below in the course programme (the links are active during the registration period). You may also come and fill in the form at the Language Services Office (open on Tuesdays 12–16) during registration periods.
  • In order to ensure your placement on the course, register at the beginning of the registration period. Registration periods are given below in the course programme.
  • Courses will be filled in the order in which the receipts for course fee payments arrive. Please note that you will also have to submit the registration form.
  • It is recommended that you register for the course at least one week prior to the beginning of the course.
  • We do not send letters of invitation for visas.
  • Course participants are not insured by the University therefore they must cover their own insurance costs.
  • Registration is binding.
  • NB! If you are a student at the University of Arts Helsinki OR a member of the staff of the University of Helsinki or Aalto University, please read this.
    If you are an international student at the University of Helsinki, see this.



Re­funds of course fees

Please save the receipt of payment of the course fee: the fee can be refunded only to the payer’s account.

Registration is binding. Refunds are made only in the following cases:

  • The course is full and the student cannot be accommodated.
  • The course is cancelled. *
  • The student has paid too much by mistake.

* Please note that Language Services reserves the right to cancel a course if there are not enough participants, in which case the course fee will be refunded in full to the account it was paid from.

REFUNDS OF THE COURSE FEE UNDER THE EXCEPTIONAL SITUATION (COVID-19 PANDEMIA), Decision of the Director of Language Centre 23.3.2020:

  • The student cannot or will not participate, for a valid reason, in the distance teaching which is organised to substitute the remaining contact lessons due to the exceptional situation at the University of Helsinki. In such a case a refund of max. 50% of the course fee can be made, if the student sends us an email by 5 April 2020 to, stating a reason for not continuing and requesting a refund.
  • The course is cancelled.

In June–July 2020 there are no courses.

As of August 2020 the courses are organised by the Open University.

August courses in the Open University are arranged as distance learning: Suomi 1A, Suomi 2A  ja Suomi 3. Registration opens 45 days before the courses start.

Autumn 2020 and spring 2021 course programmes will be published on 9 July 2020 on the Open University page.


  • Excellent teacher, dynamic knowledge of it all, helpful, diplomatic, joyful. Dynamite!
  • Everything was great. I loved the pupils and the teacher. I had never such fun before.
  • I could not say a word in Finnish. Now I can communicate!
  • The teacher encouraged lively communicating and was always ready to answer our questions in a detailed and comprehensible manner.