Frequently Asked Questions
Theme: Fees, Registration and Payment
How can I get a VAT exemption? What kind of document is needed?
For VAT exemption, you need to register as a representative/employee of a company or organization. At the end of the registration process, it is required to attach that company’s or organization’s tax certificate, trade register extract, or similar from your country.
How much would a customized visit program or study tour cost per participant?
The most crucial factor is the number of participants. As approximately 95% of the study tour expenses are fixed (fees to the schools, experts, host, transportation, renting the venue, etc.), the total cost is very similar for 10 or 30 participants. The best way to have a low price per participant is to gather a big group. When you know the number of participants, we can give you an exact price. Alternatively, if you don’t know the number yet, we can provide you with a cost per participant, but always with a minimum number of attendants.
The average price that our participants have paid in different visit programs is 181 euros/day. More information on our Compare prices -page. Having a look at our example study visit, you will also get an idea of the costs. Finally, you can also simulate a customized visit program and estimate the costs using our Study Tour Cost Calculator.
What if I get sick and cannot travel?
You can substitute someone else from the same organization by sending us a notification ASAP. Alternatively, You can get a 100% voucher to attend any other VisitEDUfinn’s events or visit programs later. However, we recommend that you get insurance to cover the possible loss of plane tickets, accommodation, and our fees.
What if the COVID-19 situation gets worse in my country and I cannot travel?
You can always postpone your visit for no extra charge or use the paid amount for another visit program or event. We will refund the paid amounts if the Finnish authorities, at the moment of your cancellation, don’t allow the entrance or require quarantine in addition to the negative COVID-19 test.
I need a visa to travel to Finland. Could you write me an invitation letter?
VisitEDUfinn will write invitation letters only after the full payment. In case the participant cannot get a visa and sends evidence about the rejected visa application, VisitEDUfinn will refund the paid amount. However, 100 euros (excl. VAT) will be deducted as an administrative fee.
We have a travel agency, and we would like to bring a group of students or education professionals on an educational tour to Finland and visit Finnish schools. Do you collaborate with foreign travel agencies? Do you offer accommodation in Finland as well?
Yes, we do collaborate with foreign travel agencies. However, as we offer educational services and are not an official travel agency, we cannot legally sell accommodation with the educational visit program. However, based on your group’s preferences, we can recommend hotels and hostels. Furthermore, we collaborate with some Finnish travel agencies who can offer you multiple accommodation options in Finland.
We have a good network of potential clients in our country, and we would like to be your representative with an exclusivity agreement. Do you make exclusivity contracts?
Our requirement for exclusivity contacts is that you would need to demonstrate that you can bring groups to Finland regularly. On some occasions, we can make a conditional exclusivity contract, meaning you would need to get a certain amount of clients/turnover in the agreed timeline to maintain the exclusivity binding.
Theme: General information about visits
Is it possible to visit Finnish schools during the summer, between June and August?
The Finnish school year starts approximately in the middle of August and terminates at the end of May. However, usually during the first and last couple of weeks, the schools prefer not to receive visitors. In June and August, we can organize visits to school buildings and meet principals, but there are no classes. The price would be the same as in Private School Visit.
Can I take pictures during the school visit?
Yes, you can, but there are two restrictions. First, don’t take close pictures of the students’ faces without their permission. Second, don’t publish on social media, website, reports, etc. any image where a student can be recognized.
How can I understand what is going on in the classroom if it is all in Finnish?
Typically, when you enter the classroom, the teacher explains in English what they are doing. Of course, if you observe classes for a more extended time (like in Teacher Job Shadowing), you will not understand everything. However, based on our clients’ comments, the experience has been nevertheless precious. Observing the methods, students’ group work abilities, the interaction between teacher and students, how spaces are used, etc., gives you an excellent idea of how teaching is conducted in Finland.
Are the school visits or job shadowing in Finnish?
The school visits are always guided in English, even when students are guiding the visitors in the school. In the classrooms, the lessons are normally taught in Finnish. However, all the teachers speak English and can explain to the visitors what he/she are doing with the pupils, what methods they are using, etc. Normally the pupils start to communicate with the visitors fluently when they are a bit older (approximately 15 years). Sometimes it is possible to visit bilingual schools where the pupils are taught in English (or in another language, such as Chinese, Spanish, French, German, Russian, and Estonian) from the first grade.
Theme: Visit Programs
Teacher Job Shadowing
We want to extend our job shadowing experience for two weeks. Is it possible, and how much does it cost?
We want to extend our job shadowing experience for two weeks. Is it possible, and how much does it cost? Yes, we can extend and modify our standard 3-day Teacher Job Shadowing program to fit your needs better. The price depends on the number of extra days and participants. Shortly, the more shadowing days and persons, the less is the cost/person/day. When shadowing for more than one week, please be prepared to change the school after one week, as not all the schools can receive visitors for more than a week. The possible change does not affect the price.
Is it possible to have the briefing/introduction session on the same day as the visit starts and the wrap-up session one day later or even online?
Yes, we can change both the briefing and the wrap-up session without any extra charge. We can also offer both of these activities online if you prefer that option.
Is it possible to find a school the matches our specific interest?
As long as the interest is not way too specific, such as 3D printing in primary schools, we can find a school and a teacher who can show or explain how he or she handles that issue. If you have a very specific goal for the shadowing, please let us know before booking. Below are some typical themes dealt with in our Study Tours and Teacher Job Shadowing.
- STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math
- How to teach children digital citizenship skills
- Phenomenon-based learning
- Playful learning
- Emotional awareness in teaching
- Child-centred approach
- School management and leadership
- Evaluation process
When can I know the school and teacher that I will shadow?
After receiving the payment, we will start looking for the ideal school for your job shadowing. We will inform you about the school as soon as we have confirmed it. Usually, the principal selects the teachers to be shallowed only a couple of days before the visit starts, depending on their situation and workload. Therefore, please expect to know about “your teacher” only when you enter the school. As in many cases, there are several teachers that you will shadow during the program, knowing your teacher is not even significant.
I have applied for an Erasmus grant for job shadowing. Should I register and book already, or should I wait for the grant?
It would be best if you waited for the grant. You can register and book, but we still won’t be able to move on with the arrangements until we received the payment.
LIFE – Lapland International Forum for Education™
What to wear?
In January-February, the average temperatures are around -11 degrees (Celcius), but you should be prepared for temperatures below that. Apart from a good winter coat, bring a warm beanie, gloves, and especially good shoes to walk for 10 minutes in -20°C. These outfits are fundamental as some of the school activities can be outdoors.
Special clothing for winter activities is not needed as Lapland Safaris will provide thermal clothing for them. NOTE! However, for the Ice Restaurant Dinner on Saturday evening, you must have warm winter clothing of your own, including warm winter trousers. The restaurant is made of ice¨, and only blankets will be provided by the restaurant. For the dinner, you can also rent thermal clothing from Lapland Safaris’ office, Koskikatu 1.
For the opening, city reception, and dinner, smart casual is a good option. We will walk (10 minutes) to the city hall, so please bring those good shoes for Monday night. It is easy and safe to walk from the city hall back to the hotels as well.
In the Finnish schools, the teachers and even principals dress quite informally, so casual clothes are fine for school visits and seminars/workshops.
How to get from the airport to the hotels?
Special airport express -busses and airport taxi service are available to get you to your hotel or city centre without pre-booking (https://airportbus.fi/en/), but if you are in a hurry just take a normal cab from the airport. The cab rate from the airport to the city centre is about 20 €, phone +358 (0)200 88 000.
Where to register and get a badge for LIFE2022?
You will register for LIFE2022 in Rovaniemi on Sunday morning from 8:00 to 9:00. During the registration, you will receive your badge and other material needed during the event. Please wear your LIFE2022 badge for identification during the program in Rovaniemi.
Will the city reception include a dinner as well?
Yes. The dinner is not heavy but buffet type, so you will not leave the city hall hungry.
What transportation is included?
The fee includes transportation from the venue to schools and back. Keep in mind that the hotels, city hall, and Lapland Safaris office are all less than 10 min walk from each other, so a taxi is not needed if you are wearing proper clothing.
How do I get to the right School/Kindergarten?
Our buses will pick up the participants from the venue. If you are located at another hotel or apartment, you should go to the venue. You will receive later an exact schedule which shows at what time your bus leaves the venue. IMPORTANT! THE BUS WILL NOT WAIT! So get yourself close to the hotel’s main entrance (inside is fine) a few minutes before the departure time. If you miss the bus, you can take a taxi to the school. You will receive later a list of participants for each bus and the schools’ addresses. During the event registration on Sunday morning, you will also receive a printed version.
Will there be changes to the program and schedule?
Some minor changes, most likely, yes. However, the dates and the basic program structure, including school visits and the named experts, will not change. In case of any changes, you will be informed well in advance about them.
How do I get to the winter activities?
All the winter activities start at the Lapland Safaris’ office (Koskikatu 1), less than 5min walk from all the hotels in the city centre. IMPORTANT! You should be there at least 30 min before the departure to have time to fit the special thermal clothes needed during the activities.
Where can I smoke?
In Finland, you cannot smoke anywhere inside. Often, smoking is also prohibited in terraces and outside building entrances unless there is an assigned area for smokers. In school areas, smoking is always prohibited. The best place to smoke is while having a walk on the street.
I have a special diet, will I be also to join the school lunch?
The schools will be informed about the special dietary needs indicated in the online registration forms in advance. It is good to know that Finnish schools always offer a vegetarian option for lunch. Please contact the school staff if you have any questions during the visit.
Open School Visit
I am not interested in visiting a primary school. Is it possible to organize the Open School Visit for Kindergarten/High school, etc.?
Unfortunately, Open School Visits always include observing primary school classes (age 7-12). Sometimes, we will visit a comprehensive school (age 7-15), and then it would be possible also to observe middle school classes (age 13-15). Occasionally, the school has pre-primary classes (age 6), which can be visited during the tour. If you require at least part of the visit for pre-primary or middle school classes, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org before booking your visit. Alternatively, you can book a Private School Visit, in which case we will customize the date and the school that you will visit.
We are a group of several teachers. Is it possible to have a discount for an Open School Visit?
That depends on the size of your group. However, already for a group of four participants, it would be more economical to book a Private School Visit.
Study Tours for Students
We want to bring a group of children to attend Finnish classes, is it possible?
Yes, it is possible. However, in primary schools, the teaching will be most likely in Finnish. Depending on the length of the visit, the teachers can focus on art, music, mathematics, etc., so the visitor can join the activities. Bigger groups will be split into different classrooms.
Can you organize a homestay for the children?
Finnish families are not very familiar with the concept of homestay, and it can be pretty challenging to find enough host families for the whole group. However, after the visit has been 100% confirmed (paid), we can inquiry about that option. It is good to remember that in Finland, the parents don’t usually take their children to school, and that homestay is only organized for an additional fee.
Can parents join the visit and stay in the classroom with the children?
Yes, parents can join the visit. They can observe the classes and talk with the teachers. As far as fees, the parents pay the same price as students. Especially for more extended visit programs, we recommend some parallel activities for the parents, such as cultural visits.