Finnish Courses

Start learning Finnish with us!

Would you like to embark on the exciting journey of learning Finnish? Are you looking for high quality and flexibility? At The Finnish Cultural Institute for the Benelux we offer Finnish language courses at all levels and classes are open to everyone, no matter where you are based!

You can find all the information about our courses below. In case you still have questions, please email our Head of Administration, Eeva-Maria Viitanen at eeva-maria.viitanen@finncult.be

Which courses are available in 2023-2024?

Intensive Beginners Online Course May-June 2024

Our new Intensive Finnish Course for Beginners starts on 2 May. It will take place online from May to July and prepare students to join the Level 2 class in the autumn. The course meets on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and on Saturday mornings and each class lasts three hours.

Please note, the course takes place when there are at least 6 enrolled students.

Registration for the course closes on the 26th of April.

Register now! 

For more information read the article on our website. If you have additional questions please contact our Head of Administration, Eeva-Maria Viitanen at eeva-maria.viitanen@finncult.be

 

Spring Term January-May 2024

Dates and times for the Spring Term (January-May 2024) are on the same day and time slot (see below) unless students are informed otherwise. 

Please note the Spring Term is open to those students that have completed the Autumn Term. 

 

Autumn Term September-December 2023

Level 1 – In-person Course starting 05.09.2023, Tuesdays 18:00-19:30 at the Finnish Cultural Institute for the Benelux office in Brussels with Kaija Kauppinen

Level 1 – Online course starting 09.09.2023, Saturdays 9:00-11:00 with Sanna Joutsijoki

NB! Please only register for one Level 1 course, mixing the in-person and online course is unfortunately not possible.

Level 2 – Online course starting 05.09.2023, Tuesdays 18:00-19:30 with Merja Heikkinen

Level 3 – Online course starting 04.09.2023, Mondays 18:00-19:30 with Kaija Kauppinen

Level 4 – Online course starting 06.09.2023, Wednesdays 19:30-21:00 with Sanna Joutsijoki

Level 5 – Online course starting 07.09.2023, Thursdays 18:00-20:00 with Sanna Joutsijoki

Level 6 – Online course starting 06.09.2023, Wednesday 18:00-19:30 with Sanna Joutsijoki

Selkeästi Suomessa*NEW ONLINE COURSE* starting 16.09.2023, Saturdays 11:30-13:00 with Sanna Joutsijoki

Please note that the courses will take place when there are at least 6 students enrolled.

How and when can I register?

Registration for the spring term closes on the 15th of January 2024.

The spring term is open for those students that are continuing from the autumn term. 

Please note our courses will only take place if there are at least 6 students enrolled.

Which course level do I choose?

If you are a beginner, choose a Level 1 course. If you have previous studies in Finnish but are uncertain which level to choose, please check the level descriptions below and compare their content to your skill set. You can also email our Head of Administration, Eeva-Maria Viitanen for more information: eeva-maria.viitanen@finncult.be

When will classes begin and how long does one term take?

The autumn term starts in September 2023 and finishes in December 2023. The spring term starts in January 2024 and finishes by the end of May 2024. There is one lesson each week. Each lesson lasts one and a half or two hours depending on the teacher. During one term you will meet 12 times (two hour classes) or 14 times (one and a half hour classes).

How much does it cost?

The course fee is 300 euros for one term. You must register and pay for each term separately.

The fee for the Intensive Beginners Online Course is 600 euros.

Payment must be made before the start of the course to the account of The Finnish Cultural Institute for the Benelux. You will receive the payment details after signing up. Please note the course book is not included in the course fee. The courses take place when there are at least 6 enrolled students per course.

Where do the courses take place?

Our courses usually are held online, using Zoom. Please note that the lessons are not recorded. You do not need to be in Belgium to take the course, you are welcome to join from anywhere in the world. If a course is in person, then it takes place at the Finnish Cultural Institute for the Benelux office in Brussels.

What book do we use?

The textbooks used are part of the Suomen Mestari series. You can buy the online version of the book or you can get the book from the European Bookshop in Brussels. Check the editions used from the course descriptions below.

Do you offer private lessons?

Yes! We also organise private Finnish lessons for 650 EUR/10 lessons (one lesson lasts 45 minutes). Get in touch with our Head of Administration, Eeva-Maria Viitanen for more information at eeva-maria.viitanen@finncult.be

Who do I contact if I have any questions?

You are welcome to contact the Institute’s Head of Administration who coordinates the language courses: Eeva-Maria Viitanen, eeva-maria.viitanen@finncult.be.

LEVELS

LEVEL 1

These are elementary courses and they are aimed at beginners, no previous skills are required.

The textbook is the new edition (2020 or later) of Suomen mestari 1 (chapters 1-5). You can buy the book online or for example from the European Bookstore in Brussels. It is available in both paper and in digital format.

The most important topics covered during the course include:

  • vocabulary: languages, cardinal numbers, countries and nationalities, colours, days, weeks, months, seasons, weather, appearance, family and relatives, clock
  • grammar: verb conjugation in present tense, verb types 1-5, vowel harmony, consonant gradation (“k-p-t”), pronunciation, nominative, genitive and partitive cases in singular, demonstrative pronouns, minulla on -sentence
LEVEL 2

This is an advanced course that builds on skills acquired during Level 1 classes. 

The textbook is the new edition (2020 or later) of Suomen mestari 1 starting from chapter 6. You can buy the book online or for example from the European Bookstore in Brussels. It is available in both paper and in digital format.

The most important topics covered during the course include:

  • vocabulary: living, traveling, transportation, food and drinks, celebration, dates and cardinal numbers, work, professions
  • grammar: cases of location, nominative plural, Huoneessa on  -sentence, demonstrative pronouns, imperative, word types (i-i, i-e, i-e, e, nen, si), declination of demonstrative pronouns, On hauskaa.. -sentence, partitive plural, post positions, object, declination of personal pronouns, consonant gradation (“k-p-t”) in verb types 3 & 4, conjunctions, word types (in, as/äs, is)
LEVEL 3

This is an advanced course building on skills learned during level 1 and 2. 

The textbook is the new edition (2022 or later) of Suomen mestari 2 starting from chapter 1. You can buy the book online or for example from the European Bookstore in Brussels. It is available in both paper and in digital format.

The most important topics covered during the course:

  • vocabulary: traveling, clothes, time, illness and health, nature and summerhouse life, sauna culture, hobbies, everyday plans 
  • verbs: positive and negative past tense, transitive and intransitive verbs, verb type 6, verbs with infinitives (Menen nukkumaan.)
  • genitive and partitive object (Minä luen kirjaa./Minä luen kirjan.)
  • necessive construction (Minun täytyy opiskella suomea.)
  • relative pronoun, joka, word types us/ys, os/ös, es, in, e, as/äs
LEVEL 4

This is an advanced course building on skills learned during level 1 to 3. 

The textbook is the old edition (before 2022) of Suomen mestari 2, starting from chapter 5. You can buy the book online or for example from the European Bookstore in Brussels. It is available in both paper and in digital format.

The most important topics covered during the course:

  • vocabulary: events and ceremonies, habits, education and work life, shopping
  • verbs: perfect and past perfect tenses – word types ut/yt, nut/nyt, Vus/Vys
  • possessive suffix (Minun kirja, minun kirjani)
  • i-plural in different cases (Asun talossa. Asumme taloissa.)
  • relative pronouns and pronouns
  • comparison in nominative singular
LEVEL 5

This is an advanced course building on skills learned during level 1 to 4 classes.

The textbook is  Suomen mestari 3, starting from chapter 1. You can buy the book online or for example from the European Bookstore in Brussels. It is available in both paper and in digital format.

The most important topics covered during the course:

  • vocabulary: environment, recycling, sustainability, culture, arts, history, society, geography, sights, expressions of time, letters, and e-mails
  • verbs: conditional present and perfect tense, passive present and past tense, passive perfect and past perfect tense, passive conditional, and imperative plural
  • passive object
  • word types: ton/tön, lämmin and kansi
  • adjectives: ton/tön and -llinen
  • adverbs: sti (nopeasti)
LEVEL 6

This is an advanced course building on skills learned during level 1 to 5. 

The textbook is  Suomen mestari 3, starting from chapter 5. You can buy the book online or for example from the European Bookstore in Brussels. It is available in both paper and in digital format.

The most important topics covered during the course:

  • vocabulary: family life, cultural differences, characters, home electronics, tools and sports
  • cases: translative and essive – adjectives: comparative and superlative
  • pronouns: kumpi, kumpikin, ei kumpikaan
  • sentence types
Selkeästi Suomessa

Tämä kurssi soveltuu opiskelijoille, jotka ovat opiskelleet suomen kielen tasot 1–4 (Suomen mestari 1 ja 2). Oppikirjamme, Selkeästi Suomessa (Finn Lectura), avulla tutustumme selkokielellä suomalaiseen yhteiskuntaan ja sen tärkeimpiin ilmiöihin ja toimintoihin. Kurssilla opimme keskeisiä asioita suomalaisesta yhteiskunnasta ja sanastoa sen eri osa-alueilta. Kurssin pääasiallinen opetuskieli on suomi. Englantia voidaan käyttää tarvittaessa tukikielenä. Kurssilla tehdään aiheisiin liittyviä tehtäviä, mutta pääpaino on keskustelussa ja luetun ymmärtämisessä.

This course is aimed at advanced students interested in learning more about Finnish culture and society while also practising their language skills. Language skills at or above Level 4 are required as the course is mainly taught  in Finnish. The text book is Selkeästi Suomessa (Finn Lectura).

Our Teachers

Merja Heikkinen: I am Merja, originally from the northern wilderness, but I studied Finnish language and literature in Helsinki. I live now in Flanders with my Belgian partner, bilingual children and monolingual chickens. I like to create a relaxing atmosphere for my lessons and share strange little anecdotes about Finnish culture and language. My favourite words in Finnish and any language are words that are hard to translate into other languages – like “hankikanto” or “tykkylumi”.

Kaija Kauppinen: My name is Kaija. I studied Finnish language and comparative literature in Turku, Finland. I arrived in Brussels in late August 2022, to volunteer at Finnish Seamen’s Mission for a year. Meanwhile, I’ve been networking and looking for different ways of collaboration in the field of Finnish language and culture and social community. I’m very excited about the opportunity to teach at the Institute. My goal is to create a joyful and encouraging learning environment in my lessons, so that everyone could express themself without hesitation. One of my favorite words in Finnish is yökyöpeli, because it is idiomatic and poetic, and its pronunciation might be a bit challenging for a foreign student.

Sanna Joutsijoki has been teaching the Institute’s courses for years and has a special interest in Finnish history, culture, and society.

 

Feedback from our students:

“Overall, I found attending the course(s) to be a positive and stimulating experience.”

“I found the course(s) a welcoming environment to meet and connect with other students, even though organised online”

“The course(s) met my expectations in terms of content and teaching methods.”

“I found communication about the courses to be clear and informative.”