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Finnish as a second language instruction at general upper secondary school

  • Service
  • Helsinki
  • Public service

At general upper secondary school, you can study Finnish and literature (äidinkieli ja kirjallisuus) based on the Finnish as a second language and literature (suomi toisena kielenä ja kirjallisuus) syllabus if your native language is not Finnish, Swedish or Sami.

You can study Finnish as a second language (S2), if you find one or more of the following things difficult to do in Finnish:

- speaking

- reading

- writing

- listening

S2 instruction will prepare you to study and work in Finnish in the future.

Do the following

The joint application system is used to apply for a place at a general upper secondary school.

To whom and on what terms

The teacher will evaluate whether you should take part in S2 instruction. The teacher will discuss and decide with you the syllabus you will study.

The service is free of charge.

The instruction is free. The students pay for their books.

Background information

Upper secondary education is general education following basic education that gives the students capabilities for studying at universities and universities of applied sciences as well as in vocational education and training based on the general upper secondary school syllabus. The students can select the general upper secondary school to which they apply. The general upper secondary schools select their students. The average grades required for admittance vary by year and by school.

The scope of the general upper secondary school syllabus is three years. This syllabus must be completed in no more than four years, unless additional time is granted for a student for a justified reason. The syllabus may also be completed by participating in separate tests.

In order to complete his or her general upper secondary education, the student must pass a minimum of 75 courses acceptably. In general upper secondary education for adults, this minimum number is 44 courses. General upper secondary education is organised by municipalities, joint municipal authorities, registered organisations or foundations to which the Ministry of Education and Culture has granted authorisation.

Basic information

The service is provided byCity of Helsinki
Responsible for the serviceCity of Helsinki
Area Helsinki
Available languageFinnish
Text edited by: City of Helsinki
Updated: 7/2/2020