Moving to Finland with a 12 year old - school question

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Pumka
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2020 12:01 am

Moving to Finland with a 12 year old - school question

Post by Pumka » Sat Nov 07, 2020 12:06 am

Hi,
we may have a job opportunity in Finland and considering how difficult the move would be for our 12 and 7 year olds. Our main concern would be for the 12 year old. Would he be able to attend a regular Finnish public school with his American schooling? Would he have to go down a grade? Are there any English language public school programs?
And taking a longer term view - what are higher education prospects for expat teenagers in Finland who may have a language barrier?
Thanks!



Moving to Finland with a 12 year old - school question

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FinlandGirl
Posts: 524
Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:43 am

Re: Moving to Finland with a 12 year old - school question

Post by FinlandGirl » Sat Nov 07, 2020 1:39 pm

Pumka wrote:
Sat Nov 07, 2020 12:06 am
we may have a job opportunity in Finland and considering how difficult the move would be for our 12 and 7 year olds. Our main concern would be for the 12 year old. Would he be able to attend a regular Finnish public school with his American schooling?
Yes.
Pumka wrote:
Sat Nov 07, 2020 12:06 am
Would he have to go down a grade?
How well does his current curriculum match what is being taught at Finnish schools?

In Finland children enter 1st grade at age 7, and graduate after 12th grade at age 19.
Would it make sense that he might for the rest of his education always be the youngest one?
Pumka wrote:
Sat Nov 07, 2020 12:06 am
Are there any English language public school programs?
Yes, but looking at your next question it is not clear whether this would be the best option.
Pumka wrote:
Sat Nov 07, 2020 12:06 am
And taking a longer term view - what are higher education prospects for expat teenagers in Finland who may have a language barrier?
If you want to stay long-term in Finland and if he wants to pursue higher education in Finland, he should be able to master the language by the time he graduates from high school.

If you aim at getting citizenship for you and your family when you become eligible, he has the additional opportunity to practice his Finnish during his service in the armed forces.

And for an actual longer term view, unless his career will be in IT his chances of finding any job in Finland will be close to zero unless he will be able to work in a Finnish-only environment.

Valinnan vapaus
Posts: 103
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2010 4:08 pm

Re: Moving to Finland with a 12 year old - school question

Post by Valinnan vapaus » Thu Nov 12, 2020 11:05 pm

FinlandGirl wrote:
Sat Nov 07, 2020 1:39 pm
And for an actual longer term view, unless his career will be in IT his chances of finding any job in Finland will be close to zero unless he will be able to work in a Finnish-only environment.
Maybe not quite so bad?

https://www.workinfinland.com/ (though looks like some part of those ads also require Finnish actually)

Comes to mind English-speaking teachers for international schools, working in some restaurants (cook or even as a waiter). I'm no expert though. Also not all "Finnish-only" environments would require equally advanced Finnish. Lots of immigrants get jobs when they're at that kind of B1-B2 level.

But yeah certainly that kid shouldn't struggle if he has any motivation at all. Just make sure he gets Finnish friends.

FinlandGirl
Posts: 524
Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:43 am

Re: Moving to Finland with a 12 year old - school question

Post by FinlandGirl » Thu Nov 12, 2020 11:21 pm

Valinnan vapaus wrote:
Thu Nov 12, 2020 11:05 pm
FinlandGirl wrote:
Sat Nov 07, 2020 1:39 pm
And for an actual longer term view, unless his career will be in IT his chances of finding any job in Finland will be close to zero unless he will be able to work in a Finnish-only environment.
Maybe not quite so bad?

https://www.workinfinland.com/ (though looks like some part of those ads also require Finnish actually)

Comes to mind English-speaking teachers for international schools, working in some restaurants (cook or even as a waiter). I'm no expert though.
You can always find someone who has found some job.

The usual situation for people who are medical doctors or have a PhD or other university degree and come as spouse to Finland is that they are spending the first year in a full-time language course since finding a job is otherwise impossible.
Valinnan vapaus wrote:
Thu Nov 12, 2020 11:05 pm
Also not all "Finnish-only" environments would require equally advanced Finnish. Lots of immigrants get jobs when they're at that kind of B1-B2 level.
Depends on the job whether B1-B2 is sufficient.

For postal delivery jobs B1 is fine, for jobs that requires a university degree it is usually not sufficient.


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