Teaching English in Finland

Teaching English in Finland

Finland Overview

Main Cities/AreasSalary range (USD/month)
Helsinki$1000 – $2000

Finland is not a popular destination for TEFL teachers but there are more opportunities than you might expect. Many Finnish people take extra English classes and there is a reasonable demand for English for a specific purpose (medical, finance, etc.) and Business English tuition.

Very few opportunities are advertised online so you will probably have to start your search once you have arrived.

Many people are put off by the long Scandinavian winters but Finland is a paradise for those who love the great outdoors and a great choice for TEFL teachers who can locate work easily.

Typical Requirements and Tips

Degree?TEFL Certification?EU National?Experience?

Non-EU nationals should try to arrange a job and a work permit several months before arriving.

Americans with little or no experience might consider volunteering with the American-Scandinavian Foundation (ASF).

EU nationals who wish to settle in Finland should look into opening up their own language school.

As with most countries in Europe, it is a lot easier for EU nationals to find work as the paperwork required is significantly less than when applying to employ non-EU nationals. Employers usually take care of work permit arrangements but this can take several weeks.

Living costs are high but salaries go some way to reflect that.

Employers generally pay your income tax for you and as usual, you should expect to be paid on a monthly basis.

Fun Fact About Finland

Finland is known for its exceptional education system, consistently ranking among the top countries in the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) tests. This success is attributed to various factors, such as highly qualified teachers, a focus on individualized learning, a strong emphasis on equality in education, and encouraging students to solve real-life problems rather than relying on rote memorization.

Pros and Cons of Teaching in Finland


  • A lesser-known TEFL destination which will provide you with a unique teaching experience
  • Superb infrastructure and a very safe country
  • A beautiful country ideally suited to those who love outdoor pursuits


  • Lots of red tape for non-EU nationals
  • You may find it hard to find a full-time contract
  • High living costs

Comparable Alternatives

If Finland is not for you, there are many other Nordic countries that need English teachers including:

1) Sweden

Sweden shares many similarities with Finland in terms of culture, lifestyle, and design. Both countries have a strong emphasis on simple yet functional design, love for nature and outdoor activities, and a high standard of living. The Scandinavian aesthetic and way of life are prominent in both Finland and Sweden.

2) Norway

Norway, being another Nordic country, has similarities with Finland in terms of its landscape, climate, and lifestyle. Both countries are known for their stunning nature, including lakes, forests, and mountains. The Scandinavian design influence is also visible in Norway, with a focus on minimalism, functionality, and natural materials.

3) Denmark

Denmark, like Finland, has a strong design culture and appreciation for simplicity, functionality, and quality. Danish design is renowned worldwide for its clean lines, minimalism, and focus on practicality. Both countries also share a love for cycling, sustainable living, and a high standard of welfare and education.