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teaching in scandinavia

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by snoozyhead, Nov 29, 2005.

  1. I am interested in teaching in somewhere like norway/sweden/finland and wondered if anyone had any experience, hints tips for these types of countries. I am nursery trained so would be looking at that age. Also cost/quality of living. Cheers!!!
  2. I am interested in teaching in somewhere like norway/sweden/finland and wondered if anyone had any experience, hints tips for these types of countries. I am nursery trained so would be looking at that age. Also cost/quality of living. Cheers!!!
  3. Hi

    I worked in Sween for two years as an HOD in a small English school in the north.
    I found life quite difficult there.The high tax rate and cost of living can make life tough, in particular if you have children to support.

    Also, the winters with the lack of daylight can also be hard to get through.

  4. Finland

    Advantages: Cheap child care ?200 per month
    Kids OK
    Zero paperwork

    Expect a long struggle before professional qualifications are recognised. Unfriendly locals who don't want foreigners living in Finland.
  5. I am originally from Finland and went to school there also. I did my degree in the UK though and I'm now applying for a PGCE. Hence I've been browsing the forum and came across this topic.

    Cost of living is relatively high but especially if you are single I'm sure you would be fine. The biggest problem probably is the qualifications. Teachers in Finland tend to have at least a masters degree in their subject plus teaching qualifications.

    I assume you don't speak finnish/swedish and were thinking of an international school or something like that? Kids go to school the year they turn seven and "preschool" prior to that is optional. A lot of kids go to kindergarden though and I guess that age range corresponds to a UK nursery. I have heard international or foreign language kinder gardens are becoming more popular so a native speaker of english might be in demand. I think they might also be less fussy about qualifications as under 7's education is not really viewed as "school" in Finland. It's more of a daycare type of thing.

    If there is anything else anyone wants to know about Finland my e-mail is littlemissfinnish@hotmail.com My mum teaches secondary languages in Finland so I know a bit about that too.

    Oh and pretty much all finnish jobs are advertised in www.mol.fi (also in English) so that might be a good place to start. I had a quick look in google and found at least one english speaking daycare in Helsinki ( http://www.play-learn.com/ ). They might be able to tell if they regularly hire foreign people and what the job situation is like in general.

    I think the finns in bigger cities especially are happy to socialise with foreign people. My bloke who is from Bristol gets along fine whenever we go and visit. :)
  6. I guess that's one of the problems. A Master's Degree can vary greatly, in terms of quality and rigour, between one country to another. In Finland I personally know of at least two students who have been allowed straight onto a "Master's degree" course at the age of nineteen having just FAILED their IB Diploma!

  7. This is going a bit off-topic but mank I find that extremely hard to believe. Unless they did incredibly well in their entrance examination and had brilliant grades in their leaving certificate. I think sometimes you can get away with having just the "lukio" leaving certificate if you can show to the school in question that you have the knowledge needed for the course (i.e. high score in entrance exam).

    Part of the reason why I went to the UK to do my degree was that after studying hard and getting good grades in my matriculation examination I didn't want to do the same thing all over again for an entrance exam!

    Bachelor's degree is a relatively new thing in Finland (at least officially). Until recently all new students were automatically enrolled to the masters program, which is why everybody has a master's. And the main reason why most people take 5 years to graduate from university. I think the only way you could obtain a Bachelors was to drop out before finishing your master's thesis. A bit like MPhil is often an unfinished Ph.D in the UK ;)
  8. som


    I am interested in teaching in Norway. I have a PGCE but have not yet done my induction. Would anyone be able to tell me whether a PGCE is recognised in Norway, and how to go about finding a job there? Also, is there an equivalent body to the DfES there? I teach languages. Thanks!
  9. Littlemissfinnish

    Its all true! The students were also EXPECTED to fail their Diploma too!
  10. Tigger1962

    Tigger1962 New commenter

    I have lived in Sweden for more than 10 years.

    I'm not quite sure that you understand the Scandinavian system of "masters degrees" and University entrance - here in Sweden the Magister kurs is not a Postgraduate programme but an integrated Bachelors and Masters programme that takes 4-5 years to complete requiring a bachelors and masters dissertation.

    Unlike the UK where University entrance is based on A level grades, Sweden also has more than one way of being admitted to University. One route is via grades and another is via the National University entrance examination. If you have a good grade on the University Entrance exam you don't need to have school grades.

    If you want to work in Sweden in a nursery there are essentially 2 types of routes - either work in th ex-pat community in an English or International school. - however jobs can be difficult to find http://www.parentnetsweden.com/Infopages/Resources/Daycares_directory/daycares_stock.htm http://www.parentnetsweden.com/Infopages/Resources/Daycares_directory/daycares_stock.htm


    Or alternatively work in a Swedish nursery as Sweden has an extensive network of subsidised Local Authority nurseries which have been greatl expanded since the "maxtaxa reform" that limits the fees paid by parents to around £90 per MONTH for full time nursery including meals. There is a shortage of qualified staff in many cities but language would be a problem as you would be expected to have Swedish A & B (A level modules in Sweden)
  11. Som

    Are you looking to teach in an international school or in a Norwegian school?

    You have international schools in bergen, stavanger and oslo, plus a french school and a german school in oslo.

    I assume that you do not speak Norwegian.

  12. funkymonkey

    funkymonkey New commenter

    Teaching in norway is difficult as there are few jobs to be had. You could contact the utdanningsforbundet.no for more information, nearly all jobs are advertised through the local councils but you can find them on Finn.no. If you dont speak norwegian then your best chances are the International schools or the Folkuniversitetet. The last one pays by the hour but it is not easy to get work here. If you want to live here then you could get your qualification translated but to be honest the norwegians are sceptical to foriegners where ever they come from. If you are just looking for a foreign country to work in then Norway is not worth the hastle..If your girlfriend/boyfriend is norwegian then start learning the language.........lykke til
  13. I'm hoping to teach English in Denmark (ideally in Zealand, Lolland or Falster) in two years time. I have a Master's degree in English Language and a Certificate in Education, and I am in my second year of a part-time PhD doing an English/linguistics-related research topic.

    The job I'm looking for would ideally be part-time, although I would work full-time if necessary. I'm a police sergeant at the moment and will be retiring in early 2008 with a good pension and I'll be taking quite a bit of money with me - more than enough to buy a house outright - so it doesn't matter if the level of pay isn't very good so long as I have something to do.

    Does anyone have any experience or advice to offer me about this?


  14. I understand the system perfectly

    The FACTS are that 2 Finnish nineteen year olds who chose to study the IB Diploma, rather than the Finnish national lukio programme, were accepted onto a programme of study leading to a "Master's Degree" That's all!
  15. Tigger1962

    Tigger1962 New commenter


    I don't understand your point Mank isn't it the norm that everyone is accepted onto a Masters programme?

    I can only go by the Swedish System - but virtually everyone is accepted onto an integrated 4-5 year Masters programme when they leave school unless studying a vocational programme - its the norm. The state autmatically funds a Masters degree

    However you cannot take out the masters exam until you have taken the specified courses at the undergraduate and post graduate levels (graded A-D in dificulty) - or you can choose to leave "early" after 3 years approx having just taken levels A-C and take a bachelor exam. The system of being accepted only onto a bachelor degree and then applying for masters is unknown here - as is the UK system of being able to take a Masters in a different subject from the bachelor exam.

    Although this may change with the Bologna process as Universities in Sweden may raise the profile of the BA/BSc exam which is non-existent currently.

  16. Tigger1962

    Tigger1962 New commenter

    You need to look very carefully at the employment situation in Denmark which can be tricky for non-Danes. There are some international schools that might be a possibility although they would normally require a recognised teaching qualification and experience.

    Other employers usually require fluency in Danish at Danish A-level standard and foreigners often start on term-time hourly contracts for just a few hours a week. Although it can be possible to find private tuition work if you have contacts.

    It is also worth contacting the Danish Embassy in London to find out what their current criteria are for residence in Denmark. As you are planning to settle you may need to have your residence permit pre-approved -especially if you have no proof of fulltime employment. Denmark has some of the most draconian anti-immigration policies in Europe. I knew a Dutch girl married to a Dane who was refused entry as she did not have the right paperwork and had to return to Holland for several months until she had the right piece of paper.

  17. The point is the system doesn't look too rigourous

    Two 19 year old students accepted on a "Master's Degree" course having failed to pass their IB Diploma. Surely if they can't pass IB why are they accepted onto a course that leads to a Master's? If they can't cope with the academic demands of the IB Diploma how can they be expected to cope with the demands of an academic university programme of study that leads to a Finnish "Master's Degree" One can only presume that the Finnish university concerned believes that the students WILL be able to cope with their course that leads to a Master's. What does that say about the demands of their course? Does the University think that the IBO Diploma is harder than what the students will encounter on year 1 of their Master's programme?

    I've also seen the odd Finnish Master's thesis or two and they've been shocking. Its no exageration to say that I've seen better pieces of A Level coursework
  18. Tigger1962

    Tigger1962 New commenter

    ....Of course Mank they won't be doing Masters level work until they are 23 or 24 or do you mean that the students that you taught were totally unable to cope with a first year BA/BSc programme? Because you don't get onto Masters level courses until year 4 or 5 of the degree.

    I don't know the exact details of the Finish University entrance system - but in Sweden there is not just one way to get into University as there are several different application categories such as: school exmination results, The National university entrance examination results and a category for mature students with a minimum of 5 years employment experience. A percentage of places is allocated to each category. You can apply for any or all of these categories - around 30% of places are reserved for those who have only taken the University entrance exam - if you apply in this category you do not necessarily have to have any school results

    So it's possible that the students concerned applied in several categories and may have got in as a result of the entrance exam rather than IB results. I know a person who applied to Swedish University in 2 categories and on her school results was placed 134th on the reserve list yet was accepted on the Masters Programme on the basis of her grade in the National Entrance exam.

    I'm sure that the level required for dissertations varies just as it seems to in the UK. You only need to look around this site for people writing bachelor and masters diserations on the basis of questions and "surveys" posted on this website.

  19. Mark

    Thanks for the info - have you lived in Denmark?

    I'd be looking for adult teaching, as my Certificate in Education is for the post-compulsory sector. I do speak reasonable Danish, but I would want to polish it up if I had to take a test. I'm not expecting too much difficulty in getting a residency permit because I'll have a pretty good pension guaranteed and I'll be bringing a substantial amount of cash with me. In other words, I could afford to live on my means without working at all if I wanted. A few hours teaching, say 16-hours a week at a business or technical college would be ideal

    So far as I know, my teaching qualification would be recognised anywhere in Europe, but what may cause me a problem is the fact that I've spent the last three decades working in the police, rather than in an educational institution. My teaching experience is almost exclusively to police staff and relates to teaching criminal law and proceedures.

    I'll bear in mind what you say about getting the "right piece of paper", though. That's something I'll have to look into closely nearer the time.

    Once again, thanks for your input.

  20. Tigger

    Sorry, my last posting was for you. I don't know where I got "Mark" from!!!


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