What does integration include? It consists 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 here 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 and after.
Welcomeguide.fi is a webpage that helps you navigate through this phase 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.
Arffman has begun setting up an online-based integration course that will start in the end of March. If you are interested in that course you should be in contact with your TE-person or send an e-mail to [email protected]
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.
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 search Swedish in the search box via their website.
Kauniainen, Grankulla, has their own page here; Opistopalvelut, where again searching 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 are part of education that prepares you to work with a hands-on experience. Jobs such as technician, tradesman, hairdresser or artisan all can be studied within the realm of vocational education. It can often 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), Karis and 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.
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 through studyinfo.
Vocational universities such as University of Applied Science and Novia University of Applied Sciences, situated in Raseborg, 100km west of Helsinki, can also be found 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 in Swedish, 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: 4/4/2020, enrollment is now closed. You can find out what happens to the YKI-test this spring due to COVID-19 at the Finnish National Agency for Education’s web-page.
In the Capital Region the Mellannivå/Intermediate test 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 (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.