Consistently topping international rankings in measures of human development such as education, equality, and economic freedom, Finland boasts an extremely successful model for high school students from everywhere to learn from. Beyond its social welfare, embarking on a high school program abroad in Finland will give you the opportunity to explore one of the continent’s most scenically beautiful countries as well (Finland is the most sparsely populated nation in the whole European Union). If you’re searching for an educational adventure in Scandinavia to liven up your high school experience, look no further than Finland.
Finland is the easternmost of the Scandinavian countries, sharing borders with Norway and Sweden to the west and Russia to the east. Though Finland is the eighth largest country on the European continent, it has a proportionally small population of just over 5 million citizens. Throughout much of Finland’s history it has either been incorporated into the borders of Sweden or Russia, only recently gaining recognition as an independent country in the early 20th century.
Helsinki is the country’s capital and largest city, so not surprisingly it is also the most popular destination where to embark on a high school program abroad in Finland. Roughly a quarter of the Finnish population lives in the metropolitan area of Helsinki, which is a major economic, political, and cultural hub of northern Europe. Because of its laid back attitude, pristine setting on the gulf of Finland, and innovative architectural layout, Helsinki is also perennially listed as one of the most livable cities in the world.
Vantaa is another popular destination where you can enroll in a high school abroad program in Finland. Home to the country’s largest airport, Vantaa is Finland’s major hub of international travel and scientific research. Many citizens of Vantaa are bilingual, speaking both Finnish and Swedish.
High School Programs in Finland
High school programs abroad in Finland take on a variety of forms. Traditional study abroad programs are quite popular in the country, giving international students an opportunity to immerse themselves in one the world’s very best education systems while exploring a diversity of academic subjects. You can usually study abroad at either a local school among Finnish peers or at an international school among fellow study abroad students.
Within this scope, language immersion courses are also a particularly popular type of high school program abroad in Finland. By taking daily courses and practicing as much as possible outside of the classroom, you can learn one of Europe’s more unique languages while setting yourself up for a fruitful future relationship with the country.
Lastly, cultural exploration programs are another popular type of high school program abroad in Finland. As the name would indicate, cultural exploration programs focus more on the adventurous and culturally experiential side of travel than the academic. You may also move about between several destinations, as opposed to studying abroad in just one city.
Most high school programs in Finland run over the summertime, ranging in duration from just a few weeks to a few months long. For the fully committed, you can even enroll in exchange programs which last for up to a full year.
Scholarships & Costs
We won’t beat around the bush; Finland is one of the most expensive countries in the whole world to live in. A high school program abroad in Finland may end up costing a pretty penny between tuition, transportation, and on-the-ground living costs. For information about ways to soften this financial burden, check out our Finnish Scholarship Directory and fundraising page.
Accommodation & Visas
Homestays are one popular form of accommodation for high school programs abroad in Finland, giving the student a unique opportunity to immerse themselves fully in the Finnish culture and develop close relationships with a local family. Student dormitories are also available for some high school programs in Finland, which can be a fun way to meet fellow international students from around the world as well.
Finland’s visa requirements are generally in line with the rest of the European Union, allowing international students from many countries outside the continent entry for up to three months before they will have to apply for a visa (students from within the EU will not have to apply for a visa at all). For more information regarding your personal circumstances, you can check out our Finnish Embassy Directory.
Benefits & Challenges
Learn. In addition to the lessons embedded in travel itself, Finland has one of the top ranked education systems in the world. Not a bad country to learn from.
Observe. Finland is widely considered to boast one of the most successful social and political models on the planet, as it leads to such high levels of equality and human development. Come see what it’s all about.
Grow. Finally, embarking on a high school program abroad in Finland will challenge you to adapt to an entirely new culture, language and way of life. Think you’re up to the challenge?