We live in country X. Can my child apply to OIS?
No. You need to have a residence permit and an address in Oulu or Oulu region first to be able to apply to OIS. To get a residence permit to Finland, you have to contact the Finnish immigration authorities. Please see the "Welcome to Oulu" guidebooks: in English, in Russian or go to Youtube and type "Tervetuloa Ouluun" and you can find short welcome videos in different languages.
What is the expected level of English when applying?
We expect applicants to have B1 level of English.
What is the entrance test like?
We have language proficiency assessment (aka entrance tests) twice a year, one in February (for students applying from Oulu region) and one in August for those who have moved to Oulu during the summer. You do not need to practice for the entrance test. The entrance test will take about 2 hours. Make sure you eat well before the test. You can bring a small snack with you if you like.
The language proficiency assessment includes:
Gr 1: interview & activities to help see the level of pre-reading skills.
Gr 2: interview & simple reading and spelling tasks.
Gr 3-4: interview & reading & writing tasks.
Gr 5-9: Reading, writing, listening & speaking tasks.
Finnish skills will also be tested or evaluated in all grade levels. Finnish children living in Finland need to pass the Finnish test in order to be accepted to OIS.
My child did not pass the language proficiency test. When can they be tested again?
We have Transition Class for children who fail the test and fulfill the conditions for being admitted to the class. However, this class only accommodates 10 children. Those children who fail the test and do not get a place in the Transition class go to an immigration class in the Finnish school nearest their home. They may re-apply to be tested in the next calendar year.
How much is the annual school fee? Is there boarding for students?
OIS is owned by the City of Oulu so tuition is free of charge. There is no possibility for boarding at OIS. Students who arrive from abroad will have to move to Oulu with their legal guardians.
My child can already read and write. Can he start school at the age of 6?
By law, gr 1 students should turn seven during the year of starting school. If guardians would like their child to be admitted earlier, the child must take a psychological test. Our School Psychologist does not conduct these tests but you should contact a privately practising psychologist.
I'm not sure whether OIS is the right school for my child. Can I come and visit OIS?
Yes, of course. Contact our Principal, the Student Counsellor or the Office Administrator and they can show you around the school and tell you about our practices.
My child is aged X. Is there space in OIS?
Generally our classes are not entirely full and we can accommodate a child who passes the language proficiency assessment. However, some of the grade levels are full, in which case a child who passes the language proficiency test will be added on a waiting list.
We are staying in Oulu for X number of days/weeks. Can my child attend OIS during this time?
No. Only students who are residents in Oulu or Oulu region and have passed the language proficiency assessment can be students at OIS.
We lived in country X where my child started school already at the age of 5. Why is my child placed 2 years lower in OIS than in the old country?
Educational systems are not comparable in terms of curricula and class levels. OIS follows the Finnish school laws. In Finland children start school at the age of 7. Students coming from abroad are generally placed with their own age group. Regardless of the class level, the knowledge and skills of students of the same age are more or less the same in Finland and abroad.
How is my child transported to school?
Students whose journey between home and school is over 5 km are entitled to seasonal bus cards (Oulu Cards) to be used in the city buses. The cards are available from the school office and include two trips per day. Students whose school trip is less than 5km, come to school by bike or on foot. Guardians who drop off their children to school are asked to drive extra carefully in the school drive and bear in mind that there are very few parking spaces at OIS.
What is my child's PE programme this term?
The PE timetables are given to students on paper and you can also find them at http://www.ouka.fi/oulu/oulu-international-school/pe-timetables