Education for immigrants

Pupils who do not have sufficient Finnish language skills to study at their own local school will study their first school year in preparatory education. Preparatory education is centralized at the Rajala and Niirala primary schools (age group 7-13) together with Pyörö and Hatsala Comprehensive schools (age group 13-17). Preparatory education is also organized in Neulamäki Comprehensive school (age group 7-17).

Preparatory education

All children of basic education (age group 7–17 years) whose Finnish skills are insufficient to study in their local school are entitled to preparatory education. Preparatory education is preparing programme, which acquaints children with Finnish school system, culture and teaching methods. The aim of the preparing programme is to develop pupils' Finnish language skills and general readiness for Finnish school. Preparing programme is not class- or year-based. As pupils' proficiency in Finnish improves, they can begin to participate in Finnish lessons (integration lessons). Preparing programme comprises 900 hours (age group 6 - 10) or 1 000 hours (age group 11 - 17) that generally takes one year to complete.

If the schools offering preparatory education are too far away from child's home, it is possible to study in a preparatory education in a local school. These kind of situations will be compromised separately with coordinator.

Coordinator, education for immigrants

Pauliina Saarisalo

+358 44 718 8942



Principal, Rajala Primary shcool

Saila Tirkkonen

+ 358 44 7184351



Principal, Niirala Primary school

Riikka Karttunen

+358 44 718 4371



Principal, Neulamäki Comprehensive school

Martti Kettunen

+358 44 718 4681



Principal, Pyörö Comprehensive School
Outi Karikoski
+358 44 718 4801

Principal, Hatsala Classical Comprehensive School

Jaana Koivistoinen

+358 44 718 4501


Bilingual programme (Finnish-English)

The city of Kuopio will offer bilingual programme in two different schools: in Rajala Comprehensive School (age group 7 - 13) and in Hatsala Classical Comprehensive School (age group 13 - 16). In both schools the bilingual programme is for the children who can study both in Finnish and in English. The aim of these programmes is to develop a natural and straightforward relationship with the language. There is also a entrance exam in Hatsala Classical Comprehensive school which have to perform accurately before it is possible to study in this programme.
Principal, Rajala Comprehensive School
Saila Tirkkonen
+358 44 718 4351
Principal, Hatsala Classical Comprehensive School
Jaana Koivistoinen
+358 44 718 4501

Basic education for adults (age group 17 and more)

Basic education for adults is for adults who have not completed their basic education. Adult’s basic education lasts about 2 – 4 years depends on their earlier studies. The basic education provides eligibility for general upper secondary education or vocational upper secondary education and training.

There are three different states in basic educations for adults:
1. language teaching
2. beginning of basic education
3. final state of basic education
It depends on student's earlier studies, which is the best state to start for them.
In the city of Kuopio, the basic education for adults is centralized in Kuopio Community College (Kuopion kansalaisopisto, states 1 and 2) and Pohjois-Savo’s College (Pohjois-Savon opisto, state 3).

The most of the study groups starts in August and some groups in January. If there are any free places in groups, there is a possibility to start studies also in some other time. Free study places can be asked straight from the school/college. 

Education coordinator, Kuopion kansalaisopisto

Anna-Maria Koivistoinen

+358 44 718 4724