What does integration include? It can consist of you settling down in Finland and acquiring the knowledge and skill needed to live within Finnish society. A number of factors can play a role in helping you to integrate; learning Finnish or Swedish, finding work or a place to study and making contacts within Finnish society. We have collected information about language courses, education options, job search and other useful tips to help you finding your path into the Swedish speaking Finland.
First things first
InfoFinland.fi is a webpage available in twelve languages that can help you navigate your move to Finland, both before coming and after.
Welcomeguide.fi is a step-by-step guide to help you when moving to Finland, depending on your country of origin.
Integration training and language courses in Swedish
Integration training is fundamentally a language course, which includes information about Finnish society and gives individual guidance from your arrival to your integrated status. In the region of Uusimaa, there are two providers of Swedish integration training; Arbis in Helsingfors/Helsinki, and Akan in Borgå/Porvoo. The courses start in the autumn.
If you find yourself unemployed, integration training can count as part of your integration plan or be seen as part-time studies. Find out more from your local TE-office.
Arbis has two different SFI programmes, SFI-Integration 1-4 and SFI-Study blocks.
– SFI-Integration 1-4 is for students with an integration plan from the TE-office. The course (20h/week) includes: studying Swedish (at four levels A1, A2, B1 and B2), Finnish society and Finnish-Swedish networks, career coaching, language internship and work internship.
– At SFI-Study blocks you design your own study block of 16h/week. This can consist of language courses or other useful courses. If you are unemployed, you can do the programme as independent studies as part of your integration plan.
If you are interested in joining one of the SFI programmes, register for the initial language assessment on ilmonet. The SFI Entrance test will take place 17.8.2020 at 10:00 Dagmarsgatan 3, room 13.
If you have any questions please contact Arbis at [email protected] or call 09 310 49494.
Do you know what language level is suitable for you?
If not, you can take this online self test. The test is indicative and many education providers tests their new students language level.
Most of the Swedish courses in the Capital Region are found at ilmonet.fi, where you can write Swedish in the search box.
Kauniainen, Grankulla, has their own page here; Opistopalvelut, where again writing Swedish in the search box should bring up the desired results.
In Spring and Summer, Helsinki Summer University arranges Swedish courses, too.
Lärkkulla in Karis/Karjaa organise boarding-style language courses during the year.
Vocational studies prepares students for work in a specific trade with hands-on experience. Jobs such as technician, tradesman, hairdresser or artisan all can be studied within the realm of vocational education. It can also be referred to as technical education.
If you are not too sure what you would like to become, you can apply for a one-year Valma education during which you can strengthen your study skills, improve your Swedish and try out different educational paths.
There are three Swedish vocational schools in Uusimaa. Prakticum, in Helsinki (Helsingfors) and Porvoo, Borgå, Axxell in Espoo, Esbo, Karjaa, Karis and Raasepori, Raseborg, as well as Folkhälsan, which is also located in Espoo, Esbo. Prakticum and Axxell also offer programmes specifically to students who require a little more support with language learning.
Axxell Karis is in the process of launching a new education aimed at adults who do not have Swedish (or Finnish) as their mother tongue. The training is scheduled to start on August 24, 2020 and will last for 6 months. The education covers the common subjects of the vocational school (language, communication, society, etc.). The training is suitable for participants who already have the basics in Swedish, B1, and who want to enter a career.
Higher level education
Higher level education in Swedish is for the most part offered in Helsinki, Helsingfors. The universities where Swedish is available are Hanken School of Economics, Helsinki University, Helsinki University – The Swedish University of Social Sciences and University of the Arts in Helsinki. It is possible to apply to the universities through studyinfo.
Vocational universities such as University of Applied Science and Novia University of Applied Sciences, situated in Raseborg, 100km west of Helsinki, and can also be applied to through studyinfo.
National Certificate of Language Proficiency
In order to be granted a Finnish citizenship, you are required to pass a language test. This test is called National Certificate of Language Proficiency, or YKI-testi in Finnish. The level required for passing is that of B1.2, mellannivå, intermediate. You can familiarise yourself with the test here, in Swedish. The next test date will: 14/11/2020.
In the Capital Region the YKI test, mellannivå-intermediate, is offered through Arbis and Careeria in Helsingfors and in Esbo by Axxell and Omnia.
If you want to take the högsta nivå test, advanced level test, you can do that at O&O in Helsinki.
Employment and entrepreneurship
The labor market in Finland often places high demands on knowledge in Finnish and also in Swedish. If the qualification requirement for a public administration position is higher education degree then it is usually also required excellent knowledge of Finnish and satisfactory knowledge of Swedish. In the private sector, language requirements are determined based on company policy.
The largest employment sector in Swedish is within the social- and healthcare, as well as in education. There is an urgent need for Swedish-speaking staff. The biggest employers are the following
Kårkulla Samkommun. It’s purpose is to provide service and care for intellectually disabled Swedish-speaking persons in Finland.
Folkhälsan. Folkhälsan is the largest Swedish-speaking social services and healthcare organisation in Finland. Folkhälsan provides services within the field of social services and healthcare, for example, care for the elderly and child protection services. They also have a research center.
At Barnavårdsföreningen you will find jobs where you work with children and families.
At Kommuntorget you will find Swedish speaking welfare and health care jobs from all over Finland.
It is possible to register a company either in Finnish or Swedish and handle all the bureaucracy in Swedish. At InfoFinland you will find information how to start a company in Finland.
There is an interest and service organization for Finnish small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and their owners called Suomen Yrittäjät. They arrange events and have different services for their members.
Mentoring and network
Do you want to become more familiar with the Finnish society, practise your Finnish or Swedish or meet a friend? Look into Fika, Luckans six months mentor program.
Do you want to broaden your professional network? Meet a person with experience in your professional sector in Finland? Look into Dörren, Luckans professional networking tool.
Free time and cultural activities
For a holistic, two-way integration it is important to keep up with current affairs, take part in some of the wide range of cultural activities that is going on and maybe join an association. There is a lot to choose from in Swedish in the Capital Region.
News in Swedish
Radio and TV
The Finnish Broadcasting Company, YLE, has a broad variation of news and entertainment in several languages.
Svenska YLE is a regular news site. A variety of radio and tv-programs you will find at Arenan.
The youth radio channel is YLE X3M, the adults channel is YLE Vega. There are different cultural, fact, entertainment, drama and spritual programs to dive into. There are also many different pods, both for adults and for children.
The national newspaper in Swedish is called Hufvudstadsbladet, HBL.
Västra Nyland publishes news from Western Uusimaa.
Östnyland publishes news from Eastern Uusimaa.
Affärsmagasinet Forum covers, on a monthly basis, business, management, technology and science in Finland and internationally.
Studentbladet is the oldest student magazine in the Nordic countries.
In Luckan Helsingfors you can read around 50 different newspapers and magazines in Swedish from all around Finland.
Easy to read and easy to listen to
LL-Bladet is an easy-to-read paper about current affairs. It is both an online and a printed paper. You can order the printed version here.
8-sidor is an easy to read news site from Sweden.
YLE has a short news program called Easy in Swedish, with sound and text published every weekday,
Kulturforum is an event calendar where you find Swedish activities in many parts of Finland. The webpage is only in Swedish.
Nordisk Kulturkontakt is a Nordic culture center in Helsinki with its own Nordic events.
Helsingfors Stad/City of Helsinki arranges Swedish speaking events at its culture houses and libraries. Write Svenska in the search box.
The libraries has cultural events for all ages. Click on Begränsa Sökningen and write Svenskspråkiga or Svenska in the search box, sökord.
Luckan Integrations events can be found at Kulturforum and on Facebook. The events are mainly in English, free of charge and open for all.
Luckan Helsingfors events can be found at Kulturforum and on Faceboook. The events are mainly in Swedish, free of charge and open for all.
Associations play an important role in producing Swedish services and many offer activities for children and adults.
All information is in Swedish. Please contact the association for assistance!
AV i Sörnäs, Munksnäs, Helsingfors, is an association that organizes a bridge-club, dance-club, has an Art circle, baby café, yoga, meditation, capoeira, Sami club.
Norr om Stan rf. organizes cultural events and free-time activities in the north of Helsingfors and Vanda area.
Swedish speaking associations in Esbo are gathered in this pdf.
Associations in Vanda can be found in this brochure from page 38, under the headline Föreningar. In the brochure you can also find information about other Swedish services.