Student skiing

Become an exchange student in Finland

Study at a high school in the Nordics

Become an exchange student in Finland – the land of a thousand lakes! Finland is a beautiful and snowy country as well as one of the world’s most northern nations. It is known for its mesmerising nature, midnight sun, and characteristic language, among many other things.

Spending your high school exchange program in the hidden gem of Finland is an excellent choice if you want an experience in an interesting country. With four distinct seasons, an amazing education system, and friendly people, a fun and exciting experience awaits in the land of Santa Claus.

Are you ready to explore this striking and unique country on your student exchange program to Finland?

Tervetuloa suomeksi!

PROGRAMS ARE NOT CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FOR 2023 DEPARTURES. WE WILL SHARE AN UPDATE ONCE WE HAVE FINLAND PROGRAMS AVAILABLE.

Quick facts

Age of students: 15–17 years

Departure: August, January, October, November, from 2024 onwards

Language requirements: None, but basic Finnish skills are preferred

Visa: Yes, subject to program length

Area choice: No

Soft Landing Camp: Yes, in Copenhagen 

School day: Normally from 8:00 to 15:00

Subjects: There are both compulsory subjects and electives

Program: Classic High School

Views from Finland

Our Student Exchange Programs

In Finland, we offer our Classic High School exchange program.

Our destinations in the Nordics

The experience of a lifetime

Student exchange is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that shapes your future. Check out this short guide to plan your exchange program in Finland. Join an Information Session Webinar and then us to make that plan a reality.    

About high school in Finland

As an exchange student in Finland, you will experience one of the best education systems in Europe. Finland has repeatedly been praised for their education system and high PISA scores. The teachers are well-educated, a significant effort is put into the student’s well-being, and the gap between the weakest and strongest pupils is the smallest in the world.

All the classes are in Finnish, but you are not expected to have great language skills upon arrival. Both the teachers and students speak English well, and they will give you the support you need. The most important thing is that you always do your best and show an interest in learning more.

Enquire now

Subjects and school activities

You often have some input to choose among different interesting subjects and courses when studying in Finland as an exchange student on our Semester & Academic Year programs. Common subjects are English, Mathematics, Physical Education, Music, and Arts.

Generally, Finnish high schools are known to have a very individual focus. For instance, the students can choose their own pace – some finish high school in two years, others in four. The relationship with the teachers is friendly and relaxed, but with freedom comes responsibility. You must still always do your best, finish your work on time, and show a genuine interest in learning more.

Finnish high schools do not often host extracurricular activities. If you want to practice a sport or another interest, you must do this in your spare time in private clubs. Your Local Coordinator and host family can help you contact clubs if you are keen.

Enquire now

Semesters and breaks

The Finnish school year is divided into five semesters, and each semester ends with an exam week. As an exchange student, you will start your exchange in August, October, November or January.

In between June and August, there is a summer break. In addition, Finnish schools have a one-week break in October, usually two weeks off over Christmas and New Year’s, a one-week break in February as well as a long weekend break over Easter. The school holiday break is a fantastic opportunity to see more of Finland on excursions and trips.

Enquire now

Your spare time in Finland

Skiing resorts, Northern lights, modern cities or calm lakes. How you spend your spare time in Finland will depend on your host family’s location, and your interests.

Aside from being able to explore beautiful Finland in your spare time, all exchange students are required to take Finnish language lessons outside of school. Since Finnish is a challenging language, this gives you a fantastic opportunity to improve your language skills and confidence.

Finland is the perfect country for those interested in winter sport, but because of the chilly weather, they also have great indoor facilities in most towns. Football (soccer) is the most popular hobby among teenagers, but unlike most European countries, hockey is the most popular spectator sport.

Sauna’s and sisu

You may have heard about the Finnish peoples’ love for their saunas. A sauna is a small room designed as a place to experience dry or wet heat sessions, and can often be found at spas, gyms – and in the Finns’ homes.

The sauna culture here is huge, and a vital part of the life in the country. After enjoying time in the heat, it is common to go for a swim in the lake, even if there is snow and ice outside. If you are game, you should try it!

As you may tell, the Finns like to challenge themselves and have a lot of “sisu”. Sisu is a Finnish concept that can be translated to something close to “having guts”. Understanding the term sisu and what it stands for, is fundamental for understanding the Finns as it has been an integral part of their culture for hundreds of years.

Enquire now

Staying with a Finnish host family

By staying with a Finnish host family, you will immerse yourself into both everyday life in the country, but also traditions and holidays.

You will be able to practice your skills in Finnish language every day. In some cases, you can also improve your Swedish skills. Swedish is an official language in Finland, and approximately 5 % of the population here speak the language fluently. The aim in Finland is to learn Finnish, but if you get the chance, take the opportunity to learn some useful Swedish phrases as well, just for fun.

Families all over Finland

Our host families live all over Finland, and they all look different. Some have children, some do not, some live in apartments, and others in houses. The Finns may be quite reserved in the beginning, so do not be afraid of taking initiatives and ask questions, both at home and in school. Once you have taken the time to get to know them, they are open, honest, and very friendly people.

Your future host family may live in or near the large towns of Helsinki and Tampere, up north in snowy Lapland or in the ancient towns of Turku and Savonlinna. No matter where you will live and study, you will definitely have a unique experience of the fascinating country.

Learn about host families

About high school in Finland

As an exchange student in Finland, you will experience one of the best education systems in Europe. Finland has repeatedly been praised for their education system and high PISA scores. The teachers are well-educated, a significant effort is put into the student’s well-being, and the gap between the weakest and strongest pupils is the smallest in the world.

All the classes are in Finnish, but you are not expected to have great language skills upon arrival. Both the teachers and students speak English well, and they will give you the support you need. The most important thing is that you always do your best and show an interest in learning more.

Enquire now
banner-img

Subjects and school activities

You often have some input to choose among different interesting subjects and courses when studying in Finland as an exchange student on our Semester & Academic Year programs. Common subjects are English, Mathematics, Physical Education, Music, and Arts.

Generally, Finnish high schools are known to have a very individual focus. For instance, the students can choose their own pace – some finish high school in two years, others in four. The relationship with the teachers is friendly and relaxed, but with freedom comes responsibility. You must still always do your best, finish your work on time, and show a genuine interest in learning more.

Finnish high schools do not often host extracurricular activities. If you want to practice a sport or another interest, you must do this in your spare time in private clubs. Your Local Coordinator and host family can help you contact clubs if you are keen.

Enquire now
banner-img

Semesters and breaks

The Finnish school year is divided into five semesters, and each semester ends with an exam week. As an exchange student, you will start your exchange in August, October, November or January.

In between June and August, there is a summer break. In addition, Finnish schools have a one-week break in October, usually two weeks off over Christmas and New Year’s, a one-week break in February as well as a long weekend break over Easter. The school holiday break is a fantastic opportunity to see more of Finland on excursions and trips.

Enquire now
banner-img

Your spare time in Finland

Skiing resorts, Northern lights, modern cities or calm lakes. How you spend your spare time in Finland will depend on your host family’s location, and your interests.

Aside from being able to explore beautiful Finland in your spare time, all exchange students are required to take Finnish language lessons outside of school. Since Finnish is a challenging language, this gives you a fantastic opportunity to improve your language skills and confidence.

Finland is the perfect country for those interested in winter sport, but because of the chilly weather, they also have great indoor facilities in most towns. Football (soccer) is the most popular hobby among teenagers, but unlike most European countries, hockey is the most popular spectator sport.

Sauna’s and sisu

You may have heard about the Finnish peoples’ love for their saunas. A sauna is a small room designed as a place to experience dry or wet heat sessions, and can often be found at spas, gyms – and in the Finns’ homes.

The sauna culture here is huge, and a vital part of the life in the country. After enjoying time in the heat, it is common to go for a swim in the lake, even if there is snow and ice outside. If you are game, you should try it!

As you may tell, the Finns like to challenge themselves and have a lot of “sisu”. Sisu is a Finnish concept that can be translated to something close to “having guts”. Understanding the term sisu and what it stands for, is fundamental for understanding the Finns as it has been an integral part of their culture for hundreds of years.

Enquire now
banner-img

Staying with a Finnish host family

By staying with a Finnish host family, you will immerse yourself into both everyday life in the country, but also traditions and holidays.

You will be able to practice your skills in Finnish language every day. In some cases, you can also improve your Swedish skills. Swedish is an official language in Finland, and approximately 5 % of the population here speak the language fluently. The aim in Finland is to learn Finnish, but if you get the chance, take the opportunity to learn some useful Swedish phrases as well, just for fun.

Families all over Finland

Our host families live all over Finland, and they all look different. Some have children, some do not, some live in apartments, and others in houses. The Finns may be quite reserved in the beginning, so do not be afraid of taking initiatives and ask questions, both at home and in school. Once you have taken the time to get to know them, they are open, honest, and very friendly people.

Your future host family may live in or near the large towns of Helsinki and Tampere, up north in snowy Lapland or in the ancient towns of Turku and Savonlinna. No matter where you will live and study, you will definitely have a unique experience of the fascinating country.

Learn about host families
banner-img
Ice hockey

Soft Landing Camp in Copenhagen

As an exchange student in Finland, you also have the chance to discover another Nordic country, Denmark, on our much-appreciated Soft Landing Camp. Together with exchange students from all over the world, we prepare for the exciting year to come in the colourful capital of Copenhagen.  This is available for our Semester and Academic Year students. 

Hear from our former exchange students in Finland

Jessie

“Meeting so many new people and the whole culture and everything!! The lakes and trees are so so amazing and being able to go for lake swims in the morning.”

– Jessie in Finland

Lexi

“During this exchange I have been to so many different places and tried so many things. Every experience was incredible and I wouldn’t change them for the world.”

– Lexi in Finland

Enquire now

The best way to prepare for your exchange program is to join an Information Session Webinar.
Please click here to register and then complete your details below and we will be in touch to answer your questions.

"*" indicates required fields

Hidden
Student or Guardian*
Student's date of birth*
Handling of personal data*
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Apply now