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Language studies

Our general upper secondary schools offer you excellent opportunities to study a wide range of languages. You will continue studying the compulsory A1 and B1 languages and any optional A2 and B2 languages that you started in comprehensive school. If you wish, you can also start studying new languages. You can choose languages studies from your own school or from the city's shared course catalogue. Language studies are also available as distance learning and online studies at the Helsinki Online Upper Secondary School. Additionally, you can choose study units in languages that are organised in cooperation with Helsinki Finnish Adult Education Centre.
Photo: Jussi Hellsten

As part of your general upper secondary education, you are required to complete the A level syllabus in at least one language and the B1 level syllabus in another language. At Finnish-language general upper secondary schools, one of these two languages must be Swedish. You can choose to study foreign languages at the B2 and B3 levels and choose the A level syllabus in more than one language.  

In general upper secondary education, the A level syllabus covers six complsory study units and two optional study units. The B1 level syllabus, on the other hand, includes five compulsory study units and two optional study units. The purpose of the education in both languages is to deepen the language proficiency you achieved in comprehensive school and also motivate you to continue working on your language proficiency after your graduation from general upper secondary school.  

See the language programme of our Swedish-language general upper secondary schools on the Swedish version of our webpages on general upper secondary education.   

Language study options at our Finnish-language general upper secondary schools

  • A level syllabus in Chinese, English, French, German, Russian, Spanish and Swedish. Studies in an A level language start in the 3rd or 4th grade of comprehensive school. 
  • B1 level syllabus in Swedish. Studies in the B1 level language start in the 6th grade of comprehensive school. 
  • The B2 level language options include Chinese, French, German, Italian, Latin, Russian and Spanish. Studies in B2 level languages start in the 7th or 8th grade of comprehensive school. 
  • The B3 level language options we offer include Arabic, Chinese, English,  French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Russian, Spanish and Swedish. Studies in B3 level languages start in general upper secondary school.

Language study options at Helsinki Upper Secondary School for Adults  

  • A level syllabus in English
  • B1 level syllabus in Swedish. 
  • B3 level syllabus in  English and Spanish.

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