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The test…

November 12, 2008
Again on the subject of language requirements – in order to acquire Finnish citizenship you have to have an intermediate level of Finnish / Swedish as determined by the Finnish National Board of Education.
This is useful information for you if you plan to take to the test in order to apply for Finnish citizenship:,574,51431,55149,5373
Last weekend I wrote the Finnish test in Tapiola (Espoo), one of dozens of test centres across the country. I decided that after being in Finland for 10 years it was high time to test my language skills. The whole motivation for doing the test in the first place is I am planning to apply for Finnish citizenship, but I have to pass the intermediate level test that I took.
It was tough! I was so worried about grammar that that is what I spent my time studying beforehand. In retrospect, I should have spent more time studying vocabulary as I noticed it was seriously lacking last Saturday. Confused My father-in-law has faith in me though, as he thinks I manage quite well, so that counts eh?
I have done myself a favour by attending Finnish language courses in the past, so I have no lack of materials in front of me to guide me through the ins and outs of Finnish. I haven’t been to a course in about three years though because the upper level courses from the Helsinki Summer University are held in the winter at the height of ski season, so when it comes down to studying Finnish or skiing my face off, skiing always wins out! In order to be a good Finn I should also be able to ski too, right? Wink I also had a baby last year, so that has really changed things too.
There are institutions that offer national level test preparation courses and perhaps I should have taken part in one of those… Alright but in any case – the test I did included five parts – reading comprehension (50 minutes), writing (50 minutes), vocabulary and word construction (50 minutes) and a language studio session with listening comprehension and conversation (1 hour).
I have to say I didn’t feel too confident after finishing the test. As my friend M said to me on the phone afterwards, it would be really great to head to the pub (at our old university) and have a pitcher of beer! I couldn’t agree more! If I don’t succeed in attaining the intermediate level needed for applying for Finnish citizenship, I will redo the process, pay another EUR 77 and pay a whole lot more attention to vocabulary!… If and when I do get around to applying for Finnish citizenship, I’ll be sure to share the process with you.
On an aside that I love to share with people… Below is a link to a story about a fellow Canadian I know who applied for Finnish citizenship and was rejected. Finns are shocked when I tell them this story. (Never mind, Finns are shocked when they hear there is a language requirement for Finnish citizenship.) As far as I know this chap has not reapplied for Finnish citizenship since then. (Hey, when it comes down to EUR 400 and feeling empty after being rejected, I can understand.)
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