Education and Schools in Helsinki
The standard of education in Finland is regarded as one of the highest in the world. Expats moving to Helsinki with children can count themselves lucky to be in a country with such an impressive learning culture.
While education in Finland may come across as unorthodox, Finnish education has a proven track record of academic excellence and a culture of individual attention which helps children overcome their most difficult learning challenges.
Public schools in Helsinki
Expats legally residing in Finland are entitled to send their child to a public school at no cost. Lessons are taught in mostly Finnish or Swedish. As a result of this, public education is more often an option for those who plan on settling in the country long-term or those with young children who will be able to pick up the language quickly.
Finnish public schools boast high standards and there is often little difference in the quality of education from one school to the next.
Private schools in Helsinki
There are very few private schools in Finland. Owing to the Finnish government's regulations on educational institutions, even privately funded institutions are often free of charge.
These private schools have slightly more leeway in determining their curriculum and language of tuition. However, private schools in Helsinki may have more difficult entrance requirements and admissions processes than their publicly run counterparts.
International schools in Helsinki
Due to the short-term nature of many expat assignments, international schools are often the preferred option for foreigners' children. The biggest advantage of these schools is that they allow students to continue studying a curriculum with which they’re familiar, usually in their home language.
There are a number of international schools in Helsinki which cater to the needs of children from countries like the UK, Germany, and France. Fees are high, though, and many of these schools have long waiting lists, so expats should apply as early as possible if they want to secure a place for their child.