FAQ - Frequently asked questions

1. I don’t study or work at the University of Jyväskylä. Can I still participate in Finnish courses?

The Centre for Multilingual Academic Communication provides courses for non-university students. Please see For non-university students.

2. How do I know which course(s) to choose?

Please read our course descriptions.  By clicking the course, you’ll find the level of the course, and a speaking example by a student at the end of the course. If you’re still having trouble deciding if the course is right for you, you can contact movi@jyu.fi and we’ll figure it out together.

If you want to practise all the subareas of language, you can choose courses from XSUX1001 to XSUX1005. If you want to develop a particular subarea of language proficiency, you can choose supplementary courses. 

3. Can I take several courses at the same time?

Yes, if it fits your schedule and you are definitely sure that you’ll have time and energy to complete all the courses. All of the courses have homework, and many courses also include a project and oral presentations. 

4. I’ll arrive in Jyväskylä a couple of weeks after the semester has started. Can I still join the Finnish courses?

Contact the teacher. If you are more than two weeks late, you are no longer able to participate. 

5. Do I have to take the final exam even if I don’t really need the credits?

Yes. If you participate in the course, you also take the exam. 

6. Can I participate in a course if I’ve already passed it earlier?

Yes, and we recommend it if you’ve earned the grade 1 or 2. If you received 3 or higher, talk with the teacher before you sign up for the course. You won’t get new credits, but you might be able to improve your grade. 

7. Can I continue a course that I’ve started earlier?

Yes, but it is better if you can join the group in the beginning. If you want to join the group later, negotiate with the teacher. It is better for the group if you participate right from the beginning. If you have completed parts of the final exam, remember that they are valid only for one academic year and you might have to take the whole final exam again. 

8. If I take the course again, can I use the old material?

We update our material frequently, so chances are that the material has changed and you have to purchase it again. 

9. Can I get some extra work if I miss some classes?

The most important thing is that you find out what’s been done in the classroom and study the new topics and homework on your own. If you have to miss some classes, negotiate with your teacher in advance. 

10. None of the courses fit my schedule. What can I do?

You can study the contents of the course independently and take the exam on a general exam day. You can also participate in the Each One Teach One programme or study the Suunnista suomessa project independently. In addition, there is a lot of Finnish material online

11. How can I improve my grade?

You have three options:

a) You can take the whole course again. You won’t get new credits, but you might be able to improve your grade.

b) If you took the exam less than a year ago, you can retake only some of the final exams (speaking, listening, reading, writing) on the general examination day.

c) You can take the whole exam on a general examination day. 

Alternatives b) and c): Contact movi@jyu.fi 

12. Why are there so many parts in the final exam?

The final grades of the basic courses XSUX1001-XSUX1005 consist of speaking, listening comprehension, reading comprehension, writing skills, and mastering the vocabulary and grammar. As we teach all these skills, we also want to take them into account in the evaluation. In this way, you will also have a language proficiency profile, helping you to plan your Finnish studies after completing the course. 

13. I can’t come to the exam. What can I do?

If the course has a final exam, its date will be notified at the beginning of the course. Resit exams are also provided. When you begin the course, please ensure that your schedule allows you to participate either in the final exam or in a resit. Otherwise you can’t participate in the course. 

14. Are there any available courses in the summer?

We organize an intensive My Finnish course in August. The Summer University of Jyväskylä organizes intensive courses of different level in July. 

15. When do the Finnish courses begin?

Our courses begin at the beginning of the autumn semester, in September, and at the beginning of the spring semester, in January. In addition, an intensive My Finnish course is provided in August.

All the courses are not offered every semester. Please check the current courses and their dates in SISU.  

16. I have taken Finnish courses at another university, and also studied independently. Is there a way to earn credits on the basis of my proficiency in Finnish or do I have to take a test to prove my skills?

Course compensation on the basis of previous university-level language and communication studies requires you to complete an application for credit transfer which you can return to Ulla Lautiainen, ulla.lautiainen@jyu.fi, O206. You should include a course certificate as well as the course description with the returned application form. The credits will be added to your transcript of records. If you have yet to supplement the course in question, a Finnish teacher will contact you.

If you do not have a course certificate to prove what you have studied, you must demonstrate your skills by taking an exam on a general examination day. In this case, contact movi@jyu.fi.

17. Does the Centre for Multilingual Academic Communication provide courses for the University of Jyväskylä staff?

The staff can participate in all our courses. In addition, courses that better suit their schedules are organised for them. For further information: Courses for staff

18. If I want to buy a dictionary, which one should I buy

It depends on your level and how accurate a dictionary you want and need. A bilingual pocket dictionary is suitable for My Finnish and Everyday Finnish, but if you are planning to continue your studies, you might want to consider getting a monolingual dictionary.

Publishers of bilingual pocket dictionaries:

      • Gummerus
      • WSOY

Good monolingual dictionaries:

      • Timo Nurmi: Nykysuomen keskeinen sanasto. Gummerus
      • Anne Saarikalle, Johanna Vilkuna: Suomen kielen sanakirja maahanmuuttajille. Gummerus
      • Anne Saarikalle, Johanna Suomalainen: Eka oikea suomen kielen sanakirjani. Gummerus

A fun picture dictionary:

      • Viiden kielen kuvasanakirja. Karisto

Online dictionaries:

19. Which grammar book would you recommend?

Good grammar books:

      • Leila White: Suomen kielioppia ulkomaalaisille. Finn Lectura
      • Leila White: A Grammar Book of Finnish. Finn Lectura