Playing in Finland

Looking for a new hobby?

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In an earlier blog we introduced you to different types of music and art institutions providing high quality music and art education for children and adolescents. But what about you? Are you looking for a new hobby, trying to find a way to continue the one you had previously, or are you interested in learning a new skill? Finnish adult education centers provide an inexpensive way to achieve any one those goals and now is the time to enroll for the upcoming semester. 

In every county in Finland you can find courses provided by the local adult education center for reasonable prices. The Finnish name for these centers vary. They can be called kansalaisopisto, työväenopisto, or aikuisopisto. The first two Finnish language terms reveal their origins. These adult education centers started to be established in the late 19th century when rising the education level of the Finnish workers started to be seen as valuable. Today such centers can be found everywhere and hundreds of thousands of Finns enroll in their courses annually. 

Adult education centers offer courses in a variety of languages (also Finnish for foreigners), arts and literature, music, sports, handicrafts, cooking, etc. Many adult education centers in larger cities also offer courses in English. For example, currently in the greater Helsinki area you can learn about Finnish mushrooms in English, learn to cook Finnish food, learn about Italian art, join a choir, or join a theatre group. All of this and more in English. 

In addition to courses taught in English, we encourage you to look into courses taught in Finnish as well. In many cases teachers are able and willing to take non-Finnish speaking students. These courses offer a great opportunity to meet Finns with similar interests to yours. 

The courses are not free, but often the fees are extremely reasonable as these centers are in most cases subsidized by the municipality in which they are located. They often also offer reduced rates for those unemployed or on family leaves as well as for students and the elderly. If information on such fee reductions are not readily available, as your local center for more info. In addition to the course fee, some centers also charge an additional material fee in art or handicraft courses where specific materials are needed. 

You can find all currently operating adult education centers here. There is a list as well as a map helping you to locate your nearest adult education center. Happy hobby hunting! 

The mission of Finnwards is to help you build a uniquely Finnish life for yourself and your family. Our online tutorials will give you the information and tools to you need to succeed in your professional and private life in Finland: https://school.finnwards.com/


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