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 2024-2025?

Autumn Term September-December 2024

Dates and times to be announced mid-June.

How and when can I register?

Registration for the autumn term will be open from mid-June.

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 and finishes in December. The spring term starts in January and finishes by the end of May. 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.”

 

Privacy Statement

This is the Privacy Statement for the Register of Finnish Language Students maintained by the Finnish Cultural Institute for the Benelux (below: the Institute). Please read it carefully! The Institute is committed to protect your personal data and to respect your privacy. The Institute collects and processes personal data according to the General Data Protection Regulations and the best practices for data handling and processing. General Data Protection Regulations refer particularly to the Regulation of the European Union as well as national legislation concerning personal data.

1 Controller of the Register
Name: The Finnish Cultural Institute for the Benelux
Business ID Finland: 0982406-5
Business ID Belgium: 0851.551.914
Contact Information: Rue de l’Arbre/Boomstraat 14/3, 1000 Brussels, Belgium, info@finncult.be, tel. +32 468 15 56 72 (office)

2 Name of the Register
Register of Finnish Language Students for the Finnish Cultural Institute for the Benelux.

3 Contact Person for Matters Regarding the Register
Head of Administration Eeva-Maria Viitanen
Contact Information: Rue de l’Arbre/Boomstraat 14/3, 1000 Brussels, Belgium, eeva-maria.viitanen@finncult.be,  tel. +358 45 130 93 75

4 The Purpose, Legal Ground, and Sources of Information for Collecting and Processing Personal Data
The personal data is collected for the administration of the Institute’s Finnish language teaching and for communicating about the courses.

The legal ground for collecting and processing personal data is the voluntary and conscious consent by the Registered Person.

The data is collected from the Registered Persons. The data and consent to process it are given by persons registering to the Institute’s Finnish language courses or private lessons.

5 Content of the Register
Personal Data
Name, phone number, e-mail address, home address, and country of residence.

Data concerning the connection between the Person and the Institute
The history of studies of the Registered Person at the Institute and information concerning payment of courses and private lessons.

6 Users of the Register
The personal data is processed and accessed by the members of Staff at the Institute. Access is limited to viewing or updating the data on a need-to-know basis.

7 Protecting the Register
The data is collected and stored in a database in the Institutes digital data storage (service provider Google Drive). The names and addresses are used in the Institute’s online accounting system for sending invoices.

In all the systems, the personal data is stored and protected in such a way that outsiders cannot access them and that they cannot be deleted, changed, handed over, moved, or otherwise illegally processed.

The Institute is committed to observe in all its activities sufficient measures to protect the personal data in its possession. These include all necessary technical measures such as firewalls and virus protection in computers, or access control of the Institute’s premises. In addition, the Staff is trained and kept up to date in the latest regulations and sufficient resources are allocated to acquire expert services if needed. Personal data is processed as confidential information and the personnel or collaborators working with it have signed confidentiality agreements or they are bound by other kinds of confidentiality clauses. The performance and efficiency of all protective measures are evaluated regularly by the Institute to ensure rigorous protection of all personal data.

8 Data Transfer
Personal data is not transferred to third parties outside the Institute.

Data is not transferred outside the European Union or the European Economic Area.

9 Keeping and Deleting Personal Data
The Institute keeps the personal data while activities related to them are being organized.

The Registered Person can ask for removal of their personal data at any moment in time.

10 Rights of the Registered Persons
The Registered Person has a right to see the data concerning them. They also have a right to claim correction of mistaken data or supplement insufficient data. The Registered Person has a right to ask for the removal of their data if there are no legal grounds to store it.

In addition, the Registered Person has a right to request restriction of processing personal data concerning them and oppose processing personal data concerning them. The Registered Person has also a right to transfer their personal data from one system to another.

The Controller of the Register has a right to ask proof of identity from any person requesting information on personal data. The Controller replies to requests within the time prescribed by General Data Protection Regulations (primarily within one month).

Requests for checking, correcting and deleting personal data should always be made directly to the Responsible for the Register (Head of Administration Eeva-Maria Viitanen, Rue de l’Arbre/Boomstraat 14/3, 1000 Brussels, Belgium, eeva-maria.viitanen@finncult.be, tel. +358 45 130 93 75).

11 Right to File a Complaint
The Registered Person has a right to file a complaint to appropriate authorities if they think their personal data has been managed incorrectly.