Step up to the next level

Helsinki’s general upper secondary schools and Stadin AO offer versatile study opportunities after comprehensive school. 

Apply for upper secondary education in this spring 2023 joint application process from 21 February to 21 March 2023 at

Go to Studyinfo(Link leads to external service)

Nuoret istuvat pöydän ääressä.

Choose your own path in upper secondary education

Comprehensive school is almost over, and it is time to take the next step in your studies and life. Are you interested in general upper secondary education or vocational education and training? You can also apply for preparatory education for an upper secondary qualification (TUVA).

It is up to you to decide the field and upper secondary school you prefer. Take a moment to consider your strengths and hopes for the future. Discuss the different options with your friends, guidance counsellor and close ones. Visit the websites, social media, and schools’ open house events. Also consider your work experience periods or summer jobs. They can also give you an idea of what you want to do in the future.

You can apply to up to seven schools in the joint application process. Remember to put your favourite option as the number one choice – it can give you extra points in the application process. Good luck with your application!

Opiskelija silittää kangasta.
Photo: Jefunne Gimpel

Upper secondary education is full of possibilities

Nuoret oppilaitoksessa
Photo: Maija Astikainen

General upper secondary education is not just about reading books, and vocational school is more that studying on the job. The difference between general upper secondary and vocational school is not as big as people often think. Both include general education and practical skills – only the emphasis varies.     

You also have a third option where you can prepare and develop your skills for an upper secondary qualification. Preparatory education for an upper secondary qualification, also known as TUVA education, allows you to refine your plans for studies, improve your grades and complete parts of general upper secondary and vocational education. TUVA is a great option, if you want to strengthen your Finnish or Swedish language skills before upper secondary studies.

Photo: Jefunne Gimpel, Helsingin kasvatuksen ja koulutuksen toimialan aineistopankki.

Vocational education and training

In vocational education and training, you study professional skills in a specific field. There are many fields to choose from. In the Helsinki Vocational College and Adult Institute, Stadin AO, you can graduate in more than 50 different professions. You can incorporate entrepreneurship studies, studies abroad as an exchange student, and vocational competition activities in your studies. After completing vocational education, you can apply to university and university of applied sciences.    

You can also combine vocational education and general upper secondary school in vocational general upper secondary school. It allows you to study single school subjects or complete the entire Matriculation Examination alongside your vocational studies if you wish. 

Learn more about Stadin AO(Link leads to external service)

Photo: Maija Astikainen

General upper secondary education

General upper secondary education strengthens your general knowledge and study skills, providing a solid base for higher education studies. General upper secondary education ends with a matriculation examination and a white cap to mark it. The City of Helsinki’s general upper secondary schools provide the opportunity to get acquainted with higher education studies, working life and entrepreneurship already during the studies. All schools offer special emphases, such as dance, science, or a language, to deepen your knowledge according to your interests. 
Learn more about the City's general upper secondary schools