High School Abroad Programs in Finland
Say 'hei' to Finland! As a leader in multiple areas of life, Finland is a unique destination for students to visit and explore. It has consistently been at the top for education, economic status, human development, and quality of life.
In 2015, Finland ranked as the most stable country in the world, first in the World Human Capital and the Press Freedom Index, and second in the Global Gender Gap Report. While on a high school abroad program in Finland, students can truly discover a prime example of equality. It is also the most sparsely populated country in the European Union, so there are plenty of natural landscapes and scenery for students to discover!
Finland is best for students who want to experience a scenic Nordic country that boasts top education and quality of life.
If you're interested in studying abroad in Finland, you can choose from:
- Study abroad
- Language and cultural immersion
- Teen travel
Exchange and short-term programs are excellent choices for high school students. As Finland boasts some of the best educational systems in the world, diversifying your education before college is a great way to boost your resume and academic progress.
Language and Cultural Immersion
These are great for students who want to take the next step. While already learning about the country and Finnish culture, language and cultural immersion programs help students elevate their experience by adding classes that focus on language acquisition.
For students who'd like to study in Finland for a shorter period of time, teen travel tours are popular as they offer an integrated educational experience while still traveling throughout the country. Traveling during the summer offers more sunshine and daylight, which means more time for activities throughout Finland!
Planning Your Trip
As the capital and the largest city in Finland, Helsinki is one of the most popular destination for visitors. It has placed among the world's top ten cities to live in and boasts a variety of artistic and historical attractions, including the World Heritage Site Suomenlinna Fortress and the stunning Historic City Center.
Visas are not required for stays up to 90 days for most Western nationals. Students from South Africa, India, or China will need to obtain a Schengen visa. Check with your local Finnish embassy or consulate if you will be staying for a longer period of time. Your program provider can also help with those logistics.
Homestays are the most popular option for students who are spending at least a semester in Finland. Dormitories are also a good way to meet other students and be immersed in Finnish culture.
As a European country, Finland is typically on the more expensive side. However, keep in mind that if you are traveling with a program, expenses such as food, activities, and housing will be included. Budget between 25-40 euros per day for other purchases.
As a northern country, Finland is on the colder end for the entire year and is best visited in the summer between May and September. Be sure to pack:
- Warm layers -- long pants and long sleeved tops
- A scarf
- Non-slippery footwear
- Sunglasses (even in the winter)
- Thermal waterproof jacket and an umbrella (Finland rains year-round)
- A 230V/50hz power adaptor for electronics
Health & Safety
Specific vaccinations are not required for travel to Finland (beyond regular routine vaccinations), and tap water is safe to drink. Healthcare standards are extremely high and English is widely spoken by doctors and other medical staff.
Be aware of the potential dangers that come with ill preparation for Finland's extreme climate, such as hypothermia, frostbite, and viral infections like influenza. Biting insects like horseflies and mosquitoes are more of an annoyance than a problem, so be prepared if you dislike bugs.
As a whole, Finland is a very safe country where violent crime is rare. However, students should continue to be vigilant with their valuables and watch out for other petty crimes.