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How and when to apply to basic education in different languages

Here you can find the important dates and instructions on how to apply to basic education in English and bilingual education in different languages in Helsinki.


Admission to 1st and 7th grade for basic education in English and bilingual education, start of school in August 2023

  • Next year's seventh-graders apply to basic education in English and bilingual education on 14 November–7 December 2022.
    • Seventh-graders' language tests for basic education in English and bilingual education will be held on Wednesday 25 January 2023.
  • Next year's first-graders apply to basic education in English and bilingual education on 9–29 January 2023.
    • First-graders' language tests for basic education in English will be held on Wednesday 1 February 2023.
    • First-graders' language tests for bilingual education will be held on Thursday 2 February 2023.
  • Admission decisions will be made on Friday 3 March 2023 and emailed to the guardians.

(If you wish to apply for a place in grades 2–9 in fully English-language basic education, apply via the Continuous admissions route. Learn more under the section 'Admissions for applicants who move to Helsinki in the middle of basic education'.)

Future first-graders and seventh-graders apply to basic education in English and bilingual education according to the instructions below.

Admissions to 1st grade

Learn more about enrolling to first grade on the Welcome to school page

Compulsory education for children born in 2016 begins in August 2023. Next year's first-graders apply to basic education in English and bilingual education on 9–29 January 2023.

Supplementary application round to 1st grade 

If there are places left after the main admission, a so-called supplementary admission round can be organised. It is also possible that the supplementary admission round will not be organised, if there are not enough free places available. Schools decide on the supplementary admission based on the number of free places on each school term, which is why the details can be announced only after the main admission. More information about the next supplementary admission round will be available in late spring 2023, when the main admission has been completed. 

If the family moves to Helsinki after January when the main admission has closed, vacancies in English and bilingual classes can be applied for in the supplementary application round. 

Admissions to 7th grade

Lear more about enrolling to the 7th grade on the Guide for sixth-graders page

The application period for the seventh grade for the academic year 2023-2024 is 14 November–7 December 2022. If the family moves to Helsinki after this, you can only apply for vacancies in English-language basic education in the seventh grade if the pupil has previously studied in English in instruction corresponding to basic education in Finland or abroad. More information on applying based on previous studies can be found under the section 'Admissions for applicants who move to Helsinki in the middle of basic education' below.

Fill in the application form on Wilma during the application period. If you are an applicant from another city or you are otherwise unable to submit the form on Wilma, use the PDF application form. Fill it out, print it and return it to the school that is the pupil's first preference. Application form: Applying to 7th grade 2023-2024, PDF

Seventh-grarders' language tests for basic education in English and bilingual education will be held on Wednesday 25 January 2023.

Other school options for basic education in English and bilingual Finnish-English education in grades 7–9

In addition to the municipal schools offering English-language classes, the following lower secondary schools organise basic education in English and/or as bilingual Finnish-English education for grades 7–9:


Admissions for applicants who move to Helsinki in the middle of basic education 


Basic education in English, continuous admission

Pupils who move to Helsinki in the middle of basic education and have previously studied in English in Finland or abroad have the right to apply for vacancies in grades 2–9. The pupils are placed in classes in accordance with their year of birth. The student must meet the following criteria:

  • The pupil lives in Helsinki. The application can be submitted before moving to Helsinki, but to get a school place, the student's address must be in Helsinki according to the Finnish population information system.
  • The pupil must have an actual need for a school place, i.e. the pupil is still without a school place in Helsinki.
  • The pupil has received English-language instruction abroad or in Finland that is parallel to Finnish basic education in accordance with the Finnish Basic Education Act, or to English-language education provided elsewhere in Finland in accordance with the Basic Education Act. We ask all applicants to provide certificates of previous studies in English-language education (instruction fully in English or majority of instruction in English).
  • Based on the aptitude test, the pupil has sufficient language skills and competence to participate in English-language instruction.
  • In addition, a pupil who is applying to 8th or 9th grade should have A1-level Finnish skills in spoken interaction. See details in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (PDF), section Spoken interaction.

The Board of Education Division has approved the admission criteria on 26 October 2021. See the English translation of the school admission criteria in Finnish-language basic education: Determination of a pupil’s school and criteria for school admission in Finnish-language basic education (PDF)

How to apply 

  1. Fill in the electronic application form (if you  have Finnish online banking credentials). Attach a recent certificate or study report of prior studies in basic education in English.
    If you are unable to submit the electronic application form, please fill out the PDF application form, basic education in English, continuous admission. Print it, sign it and return it to the Education Division along with the most recent certificate of studies or transcript of records as an attachment. See further details on the PDF form. 
  2. Attach the applicant’s most recent certificate of studies in English-language basic education. Please attach a copy of the original certificate and if needed, a translation of it in Finnish or English with the required information. Please make sure the following information is included in the attachments:

    • school details (name of the school, contact person such as the principal)

    • dates or times of the completed studies (start date, end date if applicable)

    • information that indicates that the language of instruction has been English, i.e., the studies have been completed entirely or mainly in English-language instruction

    • Date and a school stamp or a signature.

      If the information or the attachments are inadequate, we will send you a request for additional information. The request for additional information must be resolved within two weeks.

  3. The education coordinator will be in touch with you within two weeks from submitting the application (during the school holidays the time period can be longer).
  4. If the above criteria are met, the Education coordinator will refer you to the school for language testing.  The school will be in touch with you about the testing time and place. (Please note that no testing is held during the school holidays from June to July.)  The schools organise language testing for continuous admission applicants once a month and the tests will be held either in Ressu comprehensive or Maunula primary school. (Please note that no testing is held during the school holidays from June to July.)

Language test dates in the school year 2022–2023 (Continuous admission, Basic education in English)

    • Autumn 2022: Wed 3 August, Thu 1 September, Thu 6 October, Thu 3 November and Thu 1 December.
    • Spring 2023: Thu 12 January, Thu 2 February, Thu 2 March, Thu 6 April and Thu 4 May.

Bilingual Finnish-English education, continuous admission

If a pupil moves to Helsinki in the middle of basic education and has previously studied in bilingual Finnish-English education elsewhere in Finland, the pupil can apply for bilingual Finnish-English education if the following criteria are met:

  • The pupil lives in Helsinki. (The application can be submitted before moving to Helsinki, but in order to get a school place, the student's address must be in Helsinki according to the Finnish population information system.
  • The pupil must have an actual need for a school place, i.e. the pupil is still without a school place in Helsinki. Please note: having or accepting a place in another school or in preparatory education or home-schooling means the applicant does not meet the admission criteria in the continuous admission route.
  • The pupil has received bilingual (Finnish-English) education provided elsewhere in Finland in accordance with the Basic Education Act. We ask all applicants to provide certificates of previous studies in bilingual Finnish-English education.
  • Based on the aptitude test, the pupil has sufficient language skills and competence to participate in instruction both in Finnish and in English.

The Board of Education Division has approved the admission criteria on 26 October 2021. See the English translation of the school admission criteria in Finnish-language basic education: Determination of a pupil’s school and criteria for school admission in Finnish-language basic education (PDF)

How to apply

  1. Fill in the electronic application form: Continuous admission for bilingual education. Please note that you need Finnish online banking credentials for identification. Attach a recent certificate or study report of prior studies in basic education in bilingual education.
    If you do not have Finnish online banking credentials, please fill out the PDF application form, bilingual Finnish-English education, continuous admission. Print it, sign it and return it to the Education Division along with the required attachment according to the instructions on the form. The Education coordinator will contact you within two weeks of completing the application form (during holidays the contact period may be longer).
  2. The Education coordinator will contact you within two weeks of completing the application form (during holidays the contact period may be longer).
  3. If the above criteria are met, the Education coordinator will refer you to the school for language testing. The school will be in touch with you about the testing time and place. (Please note that no testing is held during the school holidays from June to July.)

The Board of Education Division has approved the admission criteria on 26 October 2021. See the English translation of the school admission criteria in Finnish-language basic education: Determination of a pupil’s school and criteria for school admission in Finnish-language basic education (PDF)

For further information and enquiries, please contact:

English-language and Bilingual Services

If you have questions about English or bilingual education services, or early childhood education in different languages, please email, call or book an online appointment. We speak Finnish and English.

Email eduguidance@hel.fi

Tel. +358 9 310 76965







11.11.2022 14:20