Teaching English in Finland

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How to Begin Teaching in Finland

Finland is a small country in Northern Europe, with borders with Russia, Norway and Sweden.

Finland is a small country in Northern Europe, with borders with Russia, Norway and Sweden. It’s clean, modern and safe and the standard of living is high. Finland actually has one of the highest per capita income rates in the world, so you can begin to imagine the kind of lifestyle you will lead here.

Finland is known as the Land of a Thousand Lakes, but this is a misnomer: Finland has almost 200 000 lakes! The outdoor lifestyle is popular here, with locals enjoying a wide variety of winter sports and in summer heading out to their holiday cottages on one of the many lakes. The weather is generally quite cold year-round, though in the summer temperatures can reach 20°C, this is usually only June to August.

The weather seems to be the biggest issue for visitors, particularly the long winters, but if you enjoy a bit of snow, then maybe Finland is for you. Don’t forget, long winters mean ice skating, skiing, ice fishing and, more importantly, hot, steamy saunas. Saunas are a big deal in Finland, there are more saunas in the country than cars. It is a massive tradition in the country. There are even saunas at Burger King in Helsinki. It’s also claimed to be the home of Santa Claus so a reindeer sleigh ride is never far away. Besides, even though being so far north means that you experience the Arctic night (when the sun never comes up), it also means you can experience the midnight sun (when the sun never sets).

The Fins are said to be the happiest people in the world. This comes from the most recent UN report that has said that Finland is the happiest country in the world. The Scandinavian countries are usually the happiest on these lists, however, the Fins have now jumped up to the top spot.

There are plenty of crazy sports that are popular in Finland. Have you ever given any of these a try? Air Guitar, Swamp Football, Mobile phone throwing, Mosquito hunting competition or Wife-carrying? One of the great things about Finnish society is the fact that Finland has free education, even at university of level. This is something that they feel very strongly about and a source of real pride. It even applies to students who have come from overseas from the EU/EES. People that do not come from the EU can also avail of free tuition fees if courses are taken in Finnish or Swedish, or doctoral studies in any language.

 

Teaching Opportunities

Finland has an excellent education system and consistently ranks at the top of world rankings. Teaching is no laughing matter here so it’s helpful if you have a little experience. Officially, Finland is bilingual in Finnish and Swedish but only a small percentage of the population can speak Swedish. Most of the population can speak English to a certain level.
There are quite a few language schools in Finland where you will be able to find work. Most of the time you will work as a freelance teacher rather than on a contract, so you will work shifts and your days might be a little disjointed. On the plus side, English is currently in high demand in the business community so you can expect to be teaching a few suits, which is usually good for your pocket. If you are looking for a short-term opportunity, there is a demand for teachers in December and January for winter language camps.

Teaching Requirements

  • Degree Requirement
    BA/BS required
  • Typical Contract Length
    6 – 12 months
  • Peak Hiring Seasons
    August, December
  • Visa Info
    Residence permit based on employment or EU passport
  • Typical Students
    Students, professionals
  • Average Monthly Cost of Living in Local Currency
    1,200-1,350 EUR
  • Average Monthly Salary in Local Currency
    1,200-2,500 EUR

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