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High School Exchange in Finland

Torilla Tavaatan - see you at the market square

The Finns may seem to be shy and reserved at first, but once you get to know them and their culture better, you will realise that they are warm, friendly, honest, open-minded and reliable. They show a lot of respect to one another and are very family oriented. Finns enjoy many activities together, especially outdoors.

Being an exchange student in Finland will enable you to see the Northern Lights in a land of forests and thousands of lakes. To the north is Lapland where there are many great ski resorts and to the south is the capital, Helsinki. Temperatures vary greatly from north to south, and in the north the sun does not set for 73 days in a row during the winter – the land of the midnight sun.

Life as an exchange student in Finland

Most exchange students are placed in smaller, rural towns.

Finland has two main languages – Finnish and Swedish – and you will be enrolled in a school that teaches in the language of your host family home. All students are expected to join additional language classes to help them to settle into life more easily.

Meals are more relaxed and as families are busy, they cannot always be taken as a family. Fish, potatoes, bread, vegetables and fruit form the basis of most meals, often accompanied by meatballs and sausages.

The Finnish school system

You will be enrolled into the upper secondary school in Finland, lukio or ammattioppilaitos. This section of school is for 16 -19 year-old students and lasts three or four years. Students are usually placed in the school nearest to their host family. The school year starts in August and ends in June and the academic year is divided into 5 or 6 sections.

Students usually study arts, music, sports, science, mathematics and languages (English, Spanish, Swedish, Russian, German, etc.). Students in Finland usually start school between 9 and 9.45am and end between 2 and 3pm. They have longer class periods and much longer breaks in between. The overall system isn’t there to ram information into their students but to create an environment of holistic learning.

Schools provide a free, hot lunch to students, and a typical meal might be meatballs with potato or fish with bread. Students are required to purchase their own books and at times costs can be as high as €500. Families and staff will try to help you borrow these books, but you must budget for these potential costs.

Finland exchange student reading
Finland aurora borealis

High School Exchange in Finland 2024-25|| 10 months: £8,295 || 5 months:£7,595 || 3 months: £5,495

Finland tram

Arrival Orientation

On arrival in Finland, you will be met by your host family or a representative of our partner organisation. You will attend a local orientation meeting within two weeks of arrival. The orientation is either done individually or as a group, depending on whether other students are placed in your area.

Finland exchange students skiing

Optional Tours

Each year our Finnish partner offers three trips for students to join. Visit Talinn, the capital of Estonia, or go skiing in Lapland, or visit Stockholm, the capital of Sweden. The trips offer a variety of activities and are reasonably priced. Minimum numbers are required for the trips to run.

Apply for a high school exchange in Finland today!