Whatsapp: +358 407 516 478

Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.


January 16, 2018 - January 20, 2018


Lapland International Forum for Education

January 16-20, 2018
Rovaniemi, Finland

 Beside you can see a short video of the event, made by a media education student from the University of Lapland.

Learn from the famous Finnish education, see how everyday life works in Finnish schools, talk with the local teachers and students, and listen to the top Finnish education experts, such as Linda Liukas, to gain new ideas to support your daily work. This unique event, organized by VisitEDUfinn in co-operation with the University of Lapland, offers an exclusive opportunity to visit ordinary Finnish primary schools and kindergartens. This year, you have a unique opportunity to visit a vocational college and brand-new Ounasrinne School, which is a trendsetter for a new kind of community building, including wide range of facilities such a school, a library, a youth club, and a health centre. In addition to school visits, you may take part in variety of social events, such as seminars and workshops, and city of Rovaniemi reception and dinner, which are all included in the fee. LIFE 2018 takes place right by the Arctic Circle, in the city of Rovaniemi, also known as the official hometown of Santa Claus. During the event, you have an opportunity to meet him in person and participate in many other exotic winter activities. If you took part in the previous forum, LIFE2017, we warmly welcome you to join us again. Based on the feedback, we have extended the forum by a day, added inspiring discussion and reflection to our program, expanded the variation of school visit, and of course invited new keynote speakers. There are limited number of places available, so book now to secure your participation. See you in Rovaniemi!


Download a brochure

The key purpose of this event is to see in person how learning takes place in Finnish kindergartens and schools. You can choose the age range to ensure it is tailored to your needs. If you want to know more about pre-primary education, note that in Finland it normally takes place in kindergartens. Here are the age ranges for each visit:

Kindergarten (age 0–6) 
Primary school (age 7–12) 
Secondary school (age 13–15) 
Vocational college (age 16–18) 
Ounasrinne school (age 7–12) 
Teacher training school (age 7–12)

During the visits, you can observe teachers and children in their activities, and ask them about their daily teaching practices. After each visit, you may take part in a short group session to discuss and share your experiences with the staff from the visited unit and with your colleagues.

The conference offers interesting keynote presentations focusing on different aspects of Finnish education system. In addition to general presentations, you may expand your insights and reflect them with others during the interactive discussion sessions organized each day. Futhermore, these sessions will offer you with a great opportunity to share and elicit ideas inspired by the school visits. All these sessions take place in the premises of University of Lapland.

If you are interested in seeing one essential part of the teacher training in Finland, you may join a special group that visits the teacher training school in Rovaniemi. This school is administratively part of the University of Lapland and the Faculty of Education. During the visit, you have an opportunity to see how future teachers are performing in the classroom as part of their internship and education studies.

On Friday morning, you have an opportunity to visit to General and Vocational upper secondary education or participate to an optional workshop organized by the University of Lapland.

Tentative program for LIFE2018 – Please note that changes are possible.

Tue 16th
16:00 – 17:30 Registration
17:30 – 18:00 Opening LIFE2018
18:00 – 20.00 Kristiina Volmari: Key points to understand the Finnish perspective of education
20:30 – 21:30 City Reception and light dinner

Wed 17th
09:00 – 13:00 Kindergarten/School visits (incl. lunch)
13:00 – 14:00 Hannele Niemi: The Finnish educational system – A miracle of persistent work for education?
14:00 – 14:30 Heli Ruokamo: Media education: From university teaching to primary school
14:30 – 15:00 Break
15:00 – 16:30 Discussion session with teachers from the visited schools
18:00 – 21:00 Optional Winter activity (Snowmobile drive to reindeer farm)

Thu 18th
09:00 – 13:00 Kindergarten/School visits (incl. lunch)
13:00 – 14:00 Linda Liukas: Principles of play: Creativity & computing
14:00 – 14:30 Marjaana Kangas: Playful learning in theory and practice
14:30 – 15:00 Break
15:00 – 16:30 Discussion session with teachers from the visited schools OR Workshop: Apply principles of play in your classroom
19:00 – 23:00 Optional Winter activity (Aurora Borealis Adventure)

Fri 19st
09:00 – 13:00 School/Vocational college visits (incl. lunch) OR Workshop: Playful learning
13:00 – 14:00 Sanna Lukander: Fun learning – inspiring future astronauts to reach for the stars
14:00 – 14:30 Janniina Vlasov: Challenges of applying Finnish early childhood education principles internationally
14:30 – 15:00 Break
15:00 – 16:30 Discussion session with teachers from the visited schools
19:00 – 21:00 Conference Dinner with a visit from Santa

Sat 20st 
Time to explore Lapland, optional program:
09:45 – 12:15 Husky Safari
19:30 – 21:00 Ice Restaurant Dinner Experience 

Please note that the program has been updated based on the feedback received from LIFE2017.



Linda Liukas is a programmer, storyteller and illustrator from Helsinki, Finland. She is a central figure in the world of programming and has worked on edutech already before it was called that. Linda is the founder of Rails Girls, a global phenomenon teaching the basics of programming for young women all over the world. Her TED talk has gathered over 1 million views.


Hannele Niemi, Ph.D, is Professor of Education at the Faculty of Behavioural Sciences, University of Helsinki. She has contributed in many EU and OECD projects as an expert or researcher and served as a keynote lecturer in several international forums. Her main research interest areas are teachers’ professional development, quality of teacher education, moral education and technology-based learning environments. She has published e.g. the following books about Finnish education: “Finnish Innovations and Technologies in Schools. Towards New Ecosystems of Learning” (2014) and “The Miracle of Education: The Principles and Practices of Teaching and Learning In Finnish Schools (2012).


Kristiina Volmari, Ph.D, works as Counsellor of Education and Head of Statistics and International Affairs at the Finnish National Board of Education. She has also worked as a teacher for 20 years at most levels of education and in vocational teacher education. Kristiina’s  areas of special interest and expertise are comparative international education data, teachers and trainers in vocational education and training and leadership. She has a thorough knowledge and understanding of European and global education and training issues having worked closely with European networks and working groups as well as participating in OECD studies and data collection.


Heli Ruokamo, Ph.D, is a Professor of Education, specialty media education, at University of Lapland in Rovaniemi, Finland. She is a Vice Dean of the Faculty of Education and a director of the Centre for Media Pedagogy. Professor Ruokamo has 15 years of experience in research and development of pedagogical models for network-based education and educational use of ICT’s. Her research has focused on mobile and meaningful learning, playful, game-based, VR, and simulation-based learning environments. She has published approx. 100 scientific publications with referee practice, more than 2/3 of them are international.


Marjaana Kangas
, Ph.D, is a university lecturer and a researcher at University of Lapland. She is a forerunner of the research on playful learning in pre and primary education in Finland, and a co-developer of a “playful learning environment”, an innovative play and game-based learning environment designed for 21st century learning (e.g. Kangas, 2010; Kangas & Ruokamo, 2012). Her doctoral dissertation “The School of the Future: Theoretical and Pedagogical Approaches for Creative and Playful Learning Environments”, was rewarded by Lea Pulkkinen Award in 2012. Since 2003, she has worked as a researcher in many innovative research projects (Let’s Play, PlayIT, InnoPlay, InnoSchool, Omnischool), and participated in the development work of playful learning environments, and focused on the research on the best practices in the future school. Home page: www.marjaanakangas.net  Twitter: twitter.com/marjaanakangas.


Sanna Lukander is a Fun Learning creator and evangelist, Finnish experienced education content expert who believes we are globally on the verge of creating the new paradigm in education – together. Sanna´s background is in content development, publishing, education and entertainment. She now leads Fun Academy, the spinoff from Rovio Entertainment & Angry Birds. Fun Academy works to help all children gain access to high quality education – Fun Learning.


Janniina Vlasov is a former teacher of early years, and currently finnishing her Ph.D focusing on cross-cultural comparisons. Her special interest is in the development of early childhood education and its quality, which combines both her practical knowledge from the field as well as academic research. Janniina has long experience from the international education field, and spreading the word of joy about Finnish early learning is her passion.


Rovaniemi City Reception and light dinner

Tuesday 16 January at 20:30 – 21:30

Rovaniemi City Reception in Rovaniemi City Hall (Hallituskatu 7). Bus transfer from the university and back to the hotels afterwards will be provided.

Price: Included in the registration fee for all attendees. Advance registration required.

Conference Dinner

Friday 19 January at 19:00 – 21:00

Conference dinner will be organized at Restaurant Panorama, Lapland Hotel Sky Ounasvaara. Bus transfer to/from the dinner will be provided.

Price: Included in the registration fee for all attendees. Advance registration required.

Winter Activities

Wednesday 17, Thursday 18, Saturday 20 January

For our both LIFE2018 participants and accompanying persons we have organized an exclusive winter activity program in the surrounding areas of Rovaniemi. 

Price: Depends of the activity.


To get inspired you can have a look at www.laplandsafaris.com. For our LIFE2018 guests we have organized an exclusive winter activity program (registration before January 3rd, 2018):


18:00 – 21:00 Snowmobile Safari to Reindeer Farm

A snowmobile safari to a reindeer farm. First you will learn about our Lappish culture and reindeer husbandry. Everyone who passes a reindeer-driving test will be issued an international reindeer driver’s license and you have the possibility of participating in a special Lapp ceremony of crossing the Arctic Circle. Enjoy a cup of hot coffee or berry juice before returning back to town. NOTE! In this safari two participants share a snowmobile, single driver option available.
DURATION: 3 hoursPRICE: € 153 (adults)
Min. 10 persons


20:00 – 24:00 Aurora Borealis Adventure

After stepping out of the car in the middle of nowhere, we walk down to a river experiencing the surrounding sleeping nature. We reach the best spot to see the northern sky, but be patient the aurora loves playing hide-and-seek; we never know if or when they can show up! While enjoying the peace of nature we fry sausages surrounded by the great aroma of the fire. Before returning to civilization, we drop by a cosy old building “Poro-Pekan Pirtti”. The hosts warmly welcome us and show us their dwelling, which takes us into the past. This relaxing escape will definitely satisfy all our senses. Transfer to the wilderness and back by car (50 km one way).
DURATION: 4 hours
PRICE: € 108 (adults)
Min. 10 persons – Max. 45 persons


9:45 – 12:15 Husky Safari 10km

Wintertime safari with husky teams. After a short drive from town, we’ll arrive at a husky ranch, where these friendly dogs will bark an enthusiastic welcome to you. Before departing on the safari, you will be given instruction on how to control the sleds. Enjoy some hot berry juice by an open fire and chat with the head musher about these amazing northern animals once you return to the ranch.
DURATION: 2,5 hours including transfers (husky drive approx. 1h 15mins) 
PRICE: € 167 (adults)
Min. 10 persons – Max. 40 persons

19:30 – 21:00 Ice Restaurant Dinner Experience

The world’s only ice restaurant located exactly on the Arctic Circle, Santa Claus’ home turf. The Ice Restaurant’s unique atmosphere is a ”must see” for everyone visiting Rovaniemi. Incredibly beautiful ice sculptures, exciting details and a menu created from local ingredients will all add to an unforgettable experience. The delicious set menu includes an appetizer, main course and dessert. Welcome drink is served from ice glass in the Ice Bar before dinner. Join us for an unforgettable evening! Have a look at the menu choices HERE>>
DURATION: 1,5 hours
PRICE: € 89 (adults)
Max. 60 persons

IMPORTANT NOTICE: You should be at the Lapland Safaris’ office located right in the center of Rovaniemi 30 minutes before the activity starts, except for the Dinner at Ice restaurant which is located at the Santa’s Village. Transportation from the hotels to Lapland Safaris’ office / Ice Restaurant is not included in the price. Ask for pick up services directly from them:


Looking for daily activities for accompanying persons? Please contact directly the well-known operator Lapland Safaris. They have plenty of exotic options for each day and you will be taken care of by a very professional team.



All participants and invited speakers should register for the conference. Please read all information below before using the event online registration form to register for the event and to book your accommodation in Rovaniemi.


Registration categories 

Early bird fee (until 30 September 2017) 

Standard fee (1 October – 14 December) 

Late/On-site fee (after 15 December 2017)

Participant480 €580 €680 €
Student*390 €440 €490 €
Accompanying person150 €200 €250 €

*Students: please send a proof of a full-time student status (ID card or letter from your institution or program director) to the conference office by email (congress@ulapland.fi)

The registration fee for participants and students includes:

– Admission to all sessions
– Conference materials
– School visits
– Coffee/tea during breaks mentioned in the programme and lunches during the school visits
– Rovaniemi City Reception 16 January
– Conference Dinner with Santa’s visit 19 January
– Certificate
– Possibility to participate on special workshops designed for LIFE2018 (additional fees apply for Workshop Playful Learning Lapland, 250 €, including VAT 24 %)
– Possibility to participate on special winter activities designed for LIFE2018 (additional fees apply)

The registration fee for accompanying person includes:

– Rovaniemi City Reception 16 January
– Conference Dinner with a visit from Santa 19 January
– Possibility to participate on special winter activities designed for LIFE2018 (additional fees apply)


The registration fees include the VAT 0%. Please note that all payments must be made in advance and in euros (€). 

Please choose your payment type on the online registration form. The options are 

– Online bank transfer (Finnish banks) 
– Online credit card payment (Visa, MasterCard, American Express)
– Invoice. The invoice will be sent to you separately by the conference office. Please remember to specify invoicing address on the registration form. Invoicing fee 10 € will be added to all invoices. 

Cancellation Policy 

All cancellations must be made in writing or by email to the conference office. If you do not cancel your participation at all, you will be charged the full fee. 

For cancellations received by 1 October 2017, the paid registration fee will be refunded. No refunds will be made for cancellations made after this date. Please note that a processing fee of 50 € will be deducted from all refunds.

Any questions about practical arrangements, registration, hotel booking and payments? Please contact Rovaniemi-Lapland Congresses: congress@ulapland.fi 


Rovaniemi is the administrative capital and commercial center of Finland´s Lapland.

The city is about 800 km north from Helsinki, the capital of Finland. In the past few decades Rovaniemi has grown into a busy and active town with now more than 61.000. Rovaniemi is also the educational centre of Lapland and there are two universities located in Rovaniemi. The University of Lapland is the northernmost university in Finland and in the European Union. Lapland University for Applied Sciences has its home base in Rovaniemi. The unique location of Rovaniemi on the Arctic Circle has attracted more than 400.000 tourists each year from all over the world. For information about Rovaniemi, visit www.rovaniemi.fi.

How to get there

Despite its northern location, Rovaniemi is well connected to the rest of the world. From abroad, the town is easiest to get to by about one hour flight via Helsinki. Daily flights between Rovaniemi and Helsinki are operated by Finnair and Norwegian throughout the year. In addition, more and more airlines offer direct flights to Rovaniemi. For instance, Norwegian flies from London and Germania from Berlin.


Having problems finding proper flights between Helsinki and Rovaniemi? Night train and sleeping compartment can be an interesting, exotic and economic option for those who don’t want to stay extra night in Helsinki or Rovaniemi. There are two night trains available every day and the trains during the daylight offer a good opportunity to see more of Finland. Visit www.vr.fi/en for more information.

How to get from the airport/railway station to the hotels

Airport Express – bus from Airport to the city centre and back – drives to all the centre hotels as well as bus station, ca. 15 minutes, price 7 € / person. Airport Express departs from the airport after every flight arrival. Check your hotel reception about the pickup time from your hotel back to the airport. For further information call +358 (0)16 – 362 222. 

Airport Taxi: Cars available at the airport when flights arrive. Airport Taxi transports in the city area and surroundings. Price 10-12 € / person, takes more than one customer at the same time (car pool). For further information call +358 (0)16 – 362 222. 

Normal Taxi: Price from the airport to the city centre ca. 20 €. Phone +358 (0)200 88 000.

The railway station is located about 1.5 kilometres from the city centre. There is no direct bus connection. The easiest way to get to the hotel is to either walk or to take a taxi. 


Car rentals

All major car rentals have an office in Rovaniemi for those who are interested in traveling around the surrounding areas and Lapland by themselves. 


Finnish taxis are reliable and use a standardised kilometre-based pricing system. The following taxi companies operate in Rovaniemi:

Rovaniemi Taxi Services, tel: +358 60 030 030 / +358 29 009 1090; email: info@rovaniementaksipalvelu.fi

Taxi Rovaniemi, tel: +358 16 106 410; email: info@taxirovaniemi.fi

Weather in Rovaniemi

January is the coldest month of the year in Lapland, average temperate being -11,4. Have that in mind when choosing your vesture. For the winter activities, however, there is always prober clothing available for the participants. Please visit the Finnish Meteorological Institute’s website for updated news on weather in Rovaniemi HERE>>


The official languages in Finland are Finnish and Swedish but practically everyone knows basic English, and especially the people involved in tourism speak very good English. The LIFE2018 conference language is English.


The Finnish currency unit is the Euro. You can exchange foreign currency and traveller’s cheques either in banks, airport or hotels. There are numerous cash machines (ATMs) open around the clock and accepting all major credit cards. Major credit cards, in particular Visa, Eurocard and Mastercard are widely accepted almost everywhere (in hotels, restaurants, shops, taxis, cafeterias, bars, etc.).


The electric current in Finland is 230V, 50Hz. Plugs are two-pin continental size.


The time in Finland is GMT+2



For additional information about practical arrangements, registration, hotel booking and payments, please contact: 

Rovaniemi-Lapland Congresses
University of Lapland
PO Box 122
96101 Rovaniemi, Finland
Tel. +358 (0)40 484 4462 and +358 (0)40 721 8260
Email: congress@ulapland.fi

For additional information about LIFE2018 program and visits, please contact: 

VisitEDUfinn Ltd.
Väinö Auerin katu 10 D 54
00560 Helsinki, Finland
Tel. +358 (0)40 968 4987
Email: life2018@visitedufinn.com



January 16, 2018
January 20, 2018




Rovaniemi, Finland + Google Map
Shopping Basket