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.

Pay­ment of course fee

  • Pay the course fee to the University of Helsinki bank account: FI58 5000 0120 3778 32,  Swift (BIC) = OKOYFIHH
    • For foreign payments you may need the address: OP Oyj, Gebhardinaukio 1, FI-00510 Helsinki, Finland
  • 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.
  • All course fees include VAT 24%
  • Books are not included in the course fee. You need to purchase the course book(s) in advance for the first lesson.

Courses will be filled in the order in which the receipts for course fee payments arrive.

  • Attach your receipt for payment of the course fee to the registration form, or post, email or bring the receipt to the Language Services Office once you have registered. Please make sure that the receipt clearly shows the payment status as 'paid ' with e.g. the bank's archive ID number. We do not accept documents that can be edited (e.g. excel files). If you email us the receipt, make sure that the course name and participant's name is visible. We do not accept payment receipts in languages other than Finnish, Swedish and English.
  • We will email you a confirmation of your course placement within a few working days after we have processed your receipt for the course fee payment. The confirmation will include detailed information about the course venue. All courses are organised at the University of Helsinki centre campus.

We do not accept

  • registrations prior to the registration period (see below)
  • registrations by email, mail or telephone
  • receipts of payment prior to the beginning of the registration period (see below).

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.

Spring 2020 courses

Registration for the spring 2020 courses

Please read the instructions for registration carefully.

Registration takes place online: links to electronic registration forms are provided in the course schedule pages when registration begins.

Registration times:

  • Suomi 1 and Suomi 1+2 starting 7.1.2020 at 10.00 am
  • Suomi 2 and Suomi 3 starting 8.1.2020 at 10.00 am
  • Suomi 4, Suomi 5, Suomi 6 and Suomi 7 starting 9.1.2020 at 10.00 am
  • Finnish for False Beginners starting 16.3.2020 at 10.00 am

Note! You need to reserve time for homework as well as classes. The courses require at least 70 hours of independent study, and the intensive course at least 140 hours. This means around 6 self-study hours weekly; 11 hours weekly on the intensive course. It may help you if you schedule your self-study hours in your calendar at the same time as you plan your course timetable.


  • 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.

Language Services office is open on Tuesdays 12–16 at Vuorikatu 5 A (3rd floor), Helsinki.