Youth For Understanding USA
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What kind of exchange experience do you want?
I want to spend a all program lengths  studying in Finland, or maybe all regions. And I'm looking for something with a traditional exchange  and I definitely want to show off my need for  any language skills. Can I go whenever?
  • All around the world.

    all regions
    Africa & Middle East
    Asia & Pacific
    Eastern Europe
    Latin America
    Scandinavian Countries
    Western Europe
    North America
  • Pick a place, any place.

    Say what?

    Any language requirements?

     Any  Yes  No
  • What I'm into.

    a traditional exchange
    a gap year option
    college & university programs
    language classes
    a connection to the Arts
    sports & outdoors
    a volunteer program
  • How long I want to go.

    All program lengths

    When can I leave?

    May to September
    December to March
Show me my options >


Scholarships Available

385 - Holcomb & Farnell Foreign Stud...
368 - YFU Community Grant
384 - YFU Financial Aid Fund

Age Requirement

Spring 2019 programs: August 31, 2003 - July 1, 2001. Fall 2019 programs: December 31, 2003 - January 1, 2002. Students who do not meet this age requirement or will graduate from high school before the start of their program will be considered for admission on a case-by-case basis.


Swedish and Finnish. Swedish and Finnish. Finland has two official languages; Finnish and Swedish. Students should have a minimum of 1 year of study in Finnish or Swedish. Students who do not meet this requirement can be accepted on a case-by-case basis.

Host Family Placement

Host families live throughout Finland in rural, suburban or urban areas and may speak Finnish or Swedish. Most students are placed in the countryside or in medium sized towns.


Begins in mid-August and ends in early June. Students are also required to take at least 20 hours of classes per week.


Year and spring semester students have the option of a six-day trip to Lapland, home of the Sami people. There is an optional two-day trip to Tallinn, Estonia for all students.

The snowy Finnish winter provides an excellent opportunity for winter sports such as skiing, snowboarding, and ice hockey throughout the country. But what many people don't realize is that Finland has relatively warm summers. Finnish Lapland is home to the midnight sun, when the sun doesn't set at all for two months!
Learn more about Finland.

Academic Year and Semester Programs

During your stay in Finland, you will live with a host family and attend a local high school. Part of your experience will be:


School: Finnish schools are some of the best in the world. The schools are modern and teaching methods are relaxed but effective. You will attend lukio (high school), where you'll pick from subjects such as social sciences, mathematical and computer-related studies, physical education, a wide range of languages (including Finnish, Swedish, German, French, Spanish, and Russian, depending on the school), as well as arts and special courses. Information technology is also a popular subject in many Finnish schools. Finnish schools use a system of periods, and this means that students take individual courses, up to 6 per period and one school year is typically 5 periods. 


Orientations: All students applying for the semester or year program must be available for a mandatory 3-day National Pre-Departure Orientation for Fall programs, which usually takes place in mid-July or early December. This orientation is a required part of the program aimed at preparing students for their experience overseas. All students will participate in a one-day local pre-departure orientation in May or June. All year and fall semester students receive a 3-day orientation upon arrival which includes an introduction to the Finnish language and an overview of what to expect on their program. Students also attend a local 1-day re-entry orientation at the end of their program. Year students attend a local mid-year orientation in January or February.


Extracurriculars: Finnish high schools generally do not offer extracurriculars. However, YFU students are encouraged to join sports, clubs, and teams available in their communities!


Optional Excursions:

Finnish programs also include the option to participate in optional trips and excursions at an additional cost:


Trip to Tallinn, Estonia: While in Finland, students may have the opportunity to travel to Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, for a 2 night trip in the fall. You will have a chance to explore the lovely medieval town in the midst of winter preparation and Christmas. 


Trip to Lapland: In March, students may also have the opportunity to visit Lapland, a region above the Arctic Circle where you can expect to experience a very different landscape as well as a different way of life. You may get a chance to ski as well as experience other fun winter sports, visit the house of Santa Claus and you may even get to see the northern lights at night.


Tuition Includes

-Placement with a carefully selected host family
-Enrollment in a local Finnish high school
-Airport transfers
-Domestic and international travel
-All pre-departure and post-arrival orientations
-Pre-program support by trained YFU staff
-Support from a YFU Finland Area Representative while on program
-Comprehensive insurance


Additional Information

Visa Information: Information regarding visas and other immigration processes will be provided upon enrollment. 


Additional Costs: Program tuition does not include personal spending money or school-related costs such as books and school trips.  

Programs Code Departure Return Full Tuition
Fall Year
Spring Year

0055 *
0429 *

early August
early August

late June
late November

Fall Semester
Spring Semester

0145 *
0428 *

early August
early January

early January
late June


* Programs also available to graduates