What are summer high schools all about?

Summer high schools, taking place all through the summer, are intensive and informal alternatives for regular school education. They are camp-like, lasting 1–2 weeks each and usually including full room and board. You find these alternative schools in all parts of Finland, most of them located in beautiful unspoiled surroundings of folk high schools.

Who organizes summer high schools

Some summer high schools are organized by the Summer High School Association (Kesälukioseura ry founded in 1965) and others by different community colleges and folk high schools around Finland who work as partners with Summer High School Association.

Who can attend? 

Summer high schools are usually full-time courses for 15 to 19 year old high school students. If you go to school in Finland, you are able to include the courses you complete during summer high school to your degree (according to upper secondary school law §23). We encourage you to ask more about course compensation from your own school.

All summer high schools are open to expatriate youth whose Finnish is already advanced enough to participate lessons in Finnish, but those looking for Finnish lessons, Suomen kielen ja kulttuurin kesälukio and Sallan kesälukio offer courses in Finnish as a second language.

What happens in a summer high school camp?

A wide range of extracurricular activities together with excursions are included in the course package. Using learner-oriented methods, summer high schools offer a non-traditional approach to the learning process. Students are encouraged to take active part in the process and thus make the most of their study period.

Intensive study periods ranging from one to two weeks enable the student to:

  • revise and supplement basic high school courses
  • compensate high school courses included in the curriculum
  • explore new arts and crafts
  • try out new hobbies
  • gain personal experience of intercultural learning

To learn foreign languages, we may use role-plays, dramatisations, and conversations with students from different countries who are also there to participate in our courses. Professionals in different fields teach arts and crafts. We shall continue our interaction and exchange of ideas during free time: we will have excursions, discuss current topics and play games. And, of course, we shall sit around the campfire, swim and enjoy the sauna and the Finnish summer.

The application period for summer high schools held in Finland close in April-June. Apply here.

Themed summer high schools

Many summer high schools focus around a theme or a school subject such as mathematics or ecology. Some are targeted at a specific group, such as expatriate youth or anyone else who wants to practice their Finnish or learn about the Finnish culture (Suomen kielen ja kulttuurin kesälukio).

If you have any special subjects, hobbies or themes of interest in mind, please write to us or give us a call, so we can make you a personal recommendation for a summer high school.


Please don’t hesitate to contact us to find out more!

Kesälukioseura (Summer High School Association)
Mariankatu 7 C 1
00170 Helsinki
tel. +358 (0)9 686 0770 (inquiries, office)
toimisto (at) kesalukioseura.fi