A finnish classroom with international flags hanging on the walls and a teacher's desk at the front with an apple and a pile of books on it

How To Become An International School Teacher in Finland?

If you have a passion for teaching and an interest in experiencing a different culture, becoming an international school teacher in Finland can be a rewarding career path. Finland is known for its high-quality education system, and teaching in this country can provide you with valuable professional opportunities.

iPGCE or iQTS – Pathways and Benefits in Finland

If you are considering teaching in Finland, you may come across two popular pathways – the International Postgraduate Certificate in Education (iPGCE) and the International Qualified Teacher Status (iQTS). Both pathways offer benefits and advantages for aspiring international teachers in Finland.

The iPGCE is a qualification that allows you to teach in international schools around the world, including those in Finland. It provides you with the necessary skills and knowledge to deliver education in an international context. This pathway is ideal for educators who are looking to broaden their horizons and experience teaching in diverse cultural settings. Teaching in Finland, known for its innovative education system and high-quality teaching standards, can be a rewarding experience for those with an iPGCE qualification.

On the other hand, the iQTS is specifically designed for individuals who already have qualified teacher status in their home country and wish to teach in Finland. This pathway recognises the expertise and experience of qualified teachers, allowing them to transition smoothly into the Finnish education system. With the iQTS qualification, teachers can contribute their skills to the Finnish classroom environment and benefit from professional development opportunities within the Finnish education sector.

While both pathways have their own unique benefits, it’s important to research and choose the one that best suits your qualifications and career goals. Whether you opt for the iPGCE to explore international teaching opportunities or the iQTS to bring your teaching expertise to Finland, both pathways can open doors to a fulfilling and enriching teaching career in this Scandinavian country.

Why become a teacher in Finland?

Finland has gained international recognition for its exceptional education system. As a teacher in Finland, you will have the opportunity to work in an environment that values high-quality education and innovation. Finnish schools have a student-centric approach, focusing on promoting a love of learning and fostering critical thinking skills.

Additionally, Finland offers teachers competitive salaries and attractive benefits. With a strong commitment to teacher training and professional development, you can expect ongoing support to enhance your teaching skills and knowledge.

One of the key factors that sets Finland’s education system apart is its emphasis on equality. In Finnish schools, there is a strong focus on providing equal opportunities for all students, regardless of their background or socio-economic status. This commitment to equity ensures that every child has access to the same high-quality education, helping to reduce the achievement gap between students.

Furthermore, Finland’s education system places a strong emphasis on student well-being. Schools in Finland prioritise creating a supportive and inclusive learning environment where students feel safe, valued, and respected. This holistic approach to education not only benefits students academically but also contributes to their overall happiness and mental health.

What qualifications do I need to teach in Finland?

In order to teach in Finland, you will typically need a teaching qualification from your home country. This could include a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Education or a specific subject area, along with a teaching license or certificate.

It is also important to have a good command of the English language, as many international schools in Finland use English as the primary language of instruction. Some schools may also require additional language proficiency, such as Finnish or Swedish, depending on the location and curriculum.

Furthermore, to teach in Finland, it is beneficial to have an understanding of the Finnish education system, which is known for its high-quality and innovative approach. Familiarising yourself with the principles of the Finnish education system, such as equal opportunities for all students and a focus on holistic learning, can greatly enhance your teaching practice.

Additionally, gaining experience in multicultural and diverse classroom settings can be advantageous when teaching in Finland, as the country’s education system values inclusivity and diversity. Being able to adapt your teaching methods to cater to students from various cultural backgrounds is a valuable skill in the Finnish education environment.

What’s the hiring process for becoming an international teacher in Finland?

The hiring process for international teachers in Finland may vary depending on the school or organization you are applying to. Generally, it involves submitting an application, which typically includes your CV, cover letter, and relevant documentation of your qualifications and teaching experience.

If your application is shortlisted, you may be invited for an interview, which can be conducted in person or through video conferencing. The interview may assess your teaching philosophy, experience, and suitability for the position.

Once you have been selected for a teaching position, you may need to obtain a work permit and residence permit to legally live and work in Finland. The school or organization you join will often provide support and guidance throughout this process.

It is worth noting that Finland places a strong emphasis on education, with a well-established education system that consistently ranks among the best in the world. As an international teacher in Finland, you will have the opportunity to work in a country known for its high-quality education and innovative teaching methods.

Furthermore, Finland is renowned for its work-life balance and excellent social welfare system, which can contribute to a positive and fulfilling experience for international teachers. The country’s beautiful natural landscapes, vibrant cultural scene, and high standard of living also make it an attractive destination for educators looking to broaden their horizons.

Living as an international teacher in Finland

Living in Finland as an international teacher can be an enriching experience. Finland offers a safe and inclusive society, with a high standard of living and excellent public services, including healthcare and education.

While the cost of living in Finland can be relatively higher compared to some other countries, the salaries for international teachers are competitive, and the benefits offered can help offset some of the expenses. It is also important to note that Finland provides a high level of social security, ensuring a good quality of life for its residents.

One of the key attractions for international teachers in Finland is the country’s renowned education system. Finland consistently ranks as one of the top countries in the world for education, with a focus on holistic learning, student well-being, and teacher autonomy. As an international teacher in Finland, you would have the opportunity to work in a system that values innovation and creativity in teaching, allowing you to develop professionally and make a real impact on your students’ lives.

Furthermore, Finland’s unique natural landscape and outdoor activities offer a fantastic work-life balance for international teachers. With thousands of lakes, vast forests, and the stunning Northern Lights in Lapland, Finland provides ample opportunities for outdoor adventures and relaxation. Whether you enjoy hiking, skiing, or simply immersing yourself in the tranquillity of nature, Finland has something to offer for everyone, making it an ideal destination for those seeking a peaceful and fulfilling lifestyle.

Cultural Insights for International Teachers in Finland

Being aware of the Finnish culture can greatly help you integrate into the community and understand the expectations of Finnish students, parents, and colleagues. Finnish society places value on equality and individualism, and these values are reflected in the education system as well.

Finland, known for its stunning natural landscapes and innovative design, has a rich cultural heritage that influences its approach to education. The Finnish education system is renowned worldwide for its focus on creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills rather than rote memorisation.

  • Emphasize collaboration and group work in your teaching strategies.
  • Encourage independent thinking and allow students to take ownership of their learning.
  • Respect the Finnish school culture and its emphasis on punctuality and respect for personal space.
  • Participate in professional development opportunities to gain a deeper understanding of Finnish education practices.

Furthermore, understanding the concept of “sisu” is essential when teaching in Finland. Sisu is a unique Finnish trait that embodies resilience, determination, and perseverance in the face of challenges. Encouraging students to develop their sisu can help them overcome obstacles and succeed in their academic pursuits.

Cost of Living in Finland

Finland is known for its high cost of living, especially in major cities like Helsinki. Rent, groceries, and transportation are some of the main expenses to consider. However, salaries for international teachers are generally proportionate to the cost of living, ensuring a comfortable lifestyle.

It is advisable to create a budget and plan your finances accordingly. Research housing options, explore public transportation options, and make use of local discounts and benefits to manage your expenses effectively.

When considering the cost of living in Finland, it’s important to note that while certain expenses may be higher compared to other countries, the quality of life in Finland is often rated as one of the best in the world. The country boasts a strong social welfare system, providing its residents with access to high-quality healthcare, education, and public services.

Furthermore, Finland’s commitment to sustainability and environmental conservation is reflected in its everyday practices. From efficient waste management systems to extensive green spaces within urban areas, the country places a strong emphasis on preserving its natural surroundings. This eco-conscious approach not only contributes to the well-being of its residents but also creates a pleasant living environment for all who call Finland home.

Popular International Schools in Finland

Finland has a range of international schools offering English-medium education. Some popular international schools in Finland include:

  1. International School of Helsinki
  2. British International School of Helsinki
  3. Deutsche Schule Helsinki
  4. International School of Tampere
  5. International School of Vantaa
  6. International School of Turku

Each school may have different curriculums, teaching philosophies, and target student populations. It is important to thoroughly research and consider the school that aligns with your teaching approach and professional goals.

Challenges for International Teachers and How to Overcome Them in Finland

While teaching in Finland can be a rewarding experience, there may be challenges that international teachers may face. It’s important to acknowledge these challenges and have strategies in place to overcome them.

  • Language Barrier: Learning the local language, such as Finnish or Swedish, can help you better communicate with students, parents, and colleagues.
  • Cultural Adjustment: Take the time to immerse yourself in the local culture and connect with the community. Joining social groups or participating in local events can help you adjust and feel more integrated.
  • Weather: Finland has long, cold winters and relatively short summers. Embracing outdoor activities and enjoying the unique seasonal offerings can help you appreciate the Finnish climate.
  • Homesickness: Staying connected with loved ones back home and building a support network in Finland can help combat homesickness. Engage in activities that make you feel connected to your home country as well as to your new community in Finland.

In conclusion, becoming an international school teacher in Finland can open doors to exciting teaching opportunities and cultural experiences. By understanding the qualifications needed, the hiring process, and the cultural dynamics, you can embark on a fulfilling journey as an educator in Finland.

Take the Next Step in Your International Teaching Career with IPGCE

Ready to elevate your teaching credentials and embrace the opportunities of an international education career in Finland? IPGCE is your gateway to overcoming the qualification barriers that many educators face. With our International Postgraduate Certificate in Education, you’ll not only enhance your qualifications, leading to a significant increase in interview callbacks, but you’ll also unlock career progression, connect with a global professional community, and gain a deep understanding of international curricula. Embrace the flexibility of our online study options and join the ranks of satisfied educators who have seen a marked improvement in their career growth, salary, and adaptability. Don’t let inadequate credentials or isolation hold you back. Join the UK’s #1 Teacher Training Course today and set yourself on the path to success in Finland’s esteemed education system.

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