Welcome to Finland

YFU Finland invites you to have the experience of your life! Get to know our beautiful country as a YFU exchange student. Finland is a unique destination for your exchange. You will get to know a culture and a language that not so many people know! We are waiting for you.

Finland is… Beautiful surroundings. Good music. Cold, calm, organized. Beautiful nature and a lot of water. A lot of milk. A lot of winter sports. School system that motivates to learn. Fazer. Sauna. Silence and peace. Marimekko. Winter. Rivers and lakes. A lot of bread and good food. A lot of space. Interesting traditions. Ice hockey. Joulupukki. Cool people. Great school system. Small cities. Great country to go to. Great change between summer and winter. Organized country. Stones on the road. Reflectors. Ice fishing. Good bus system and numbered train seats. As an exchange student you will be able to explore in depth a country which is a combination of tradition and modernity. You will experience one of the best school systems in the world and beautiful nature.

Helsinki port viewed from the sea. View of the market square and Cathedral.

YFU Programs in Finland

In Finland you have several programs to choose from:

Year program, 11 months
Semester program, 6 months

All YFU programs include:

  • An orientation upon your arrival in Finland, a mid-term and end of the year -orientations during your stay.
  • International travel to and from Finland and assistance from YFU travel staff at the international gateway airport.
  • Placement with a carefully selected YFU volunteer host family in Finland.
  • Support through counseling, tutoring, and other means
  • 24-hour worldwide professional emergency assistance.
  • Training by volunteers who provide professional, individual support for you and your host family.
  • Assistance in acquiring your visa and/or residence permit if required.
”You should go to Finland because Finland is more than just forest, snow and sauna. And Finnish is a language that is not very famous, so it is great and special to speak a language, which is different from others. For me Finland is the best choice for an exchange year and I don’t want to be anywhere else.”
Jelena, Germany

Activities organized by YFU

You will be able to experience the magic of Lapland, meet the real Santa Claus and practice your skiing skills on a trip organized by YFU Finland. There is also a trip to Tallinn, Estonia where you will have fun with other exchange students and Finnish volunteers.
Please note that there will be an extra fee for these trips and they are voluntary.
YFU volunteers may organize other activities as well.

Finnish host families

YFU host families come in all shapes and sizes, with or without children. In Finland you will most likely live in a small town or in a rural area. Your family can be either Finnish or Swedish speaking. As a YFU student you will be a part of the family with the same rights and responsibilities as other family members.

”I’m just enjoying the family life, like little things. For example singing and playing guitar with my hostsis, joking with my host dad, the deep discussions with my host mum…”
Henrike, Germany

School requirements

YFU program is a school and family program. This means that YFU puts a lot of emphasis on the school and your motivation to go to school.

All year and semester students attend a Finnish high school – either a Finnish-speaking or a Swedish-speaking school. Finnish high school begins Mid-August and ends in the beginning of June the following year. Incoming students are expected to attend school minimum 5 hours a day, 25 hours a week. Fees: Finnish schools offer free lunch for all students. So far there have not been any school fees or lunch fees for the exchange students. Students are expected to pay the school material (books etc.) and transportation to the school. If transport costs are exceptionally high, YFU Finland will consider offering a small contribution to the student. (During the exchange, students will be responsible of school travel costs up to 70€/month. If school travel costs are higher, students can apply for a contribution to cover rest of the travel cost from YFU Finland. Students will be still responsible of the travel costs up to 70€/month).

Contact your local YFU

Start your international journey by contacting your local YFU-office. They will provide you with more information on how to become a YFU exchange student.

”The best experience was when my host father said: I totally see you as a son.”
Jonas, Germany