The International School of Helsinki (ISH) is an independent, coeducational day school that offers an educational program from kindergarten through grade 12 for students of all nationalities. The school was founded in 1963. The lower school (K-5) and upper school (6-12) operate on semesters that run from 8 August 2022 to 3 June 2023.
Organization: The school is governed by a nine-member school board, elected annually by the parents’ association, which sponsors the school. The parents’ association is a formal association registered with the Finnish Ministry in accordance with local legal requirements.
Curriculum: The curriculum is internationally focused and is aligned with the philosophies of the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO). The school is authorized to offer all three programs of the IBO: Primary Years Program (PYP), Middle Years Program (MYP), and the IB Diploma Program (DP). The language of instruction is English. Students with limited or no English are supported through the English-as-an-Additional-Language (EAL) program. The school also offers limited special education support. Second languages taught are French, Finnish, and Spanish. The curriculum emphasizes meeting the individual needs of students in small classes. There is an after-school activities program for grades 1-12. The school is permitted to operate by the Finnish Ministry of Education and is accredited by both the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and the Council of International Schools.
Faculty: In the 2022-2023 school year, ISH has 100 total staff including 64 teachers, 20 of whom are U.S. citizens, 19 host-country nationals, and 25 third-country nationals. All teachers maintain a teaching certification.
Enrollment: At the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year enrollment was 474 (K1-5: 201 and 6-12: 232). Of the total, 93 were U.S. citizens, 95 host-country nationals, and 285 third-country nationals.
Facilities: The school moved to its present facility in August 1996. There are 38 classrooms, three science labs, an art suite with kiln, a music suite, a cafeteria/auditorium with a state-of-the-art audio-visual system, a full-size gymnasium, a library with 19,000 volumes, and a sports field. The school has 1:1 iPad program in the lower school and 1:1 MacBook program in the upper school.
Finances: In 2022-2023 the school’s income derives from regular day school tuition and fees, and Finnish government grants. Annual tuition rates are as follows: K1–K2: €12,067; grades 1-5: €13,341; grades 6-8: €14,143; grades 9-10: €14,933; and grades 11-12: €16,121. The school also charges an application fee of €350, a registration fee of €3,150 and in some cases, a non-residency fee of €2,910 for grades 1-9 and €2,666 for grades 10-12. The registration fee is a one-time payment. (All fees quoted in euros.)
Special Needs: Download the Special Needs Profile (2023 Special Needs Profile- Finland, Helsinki) for this school to learn more about their capability to support students with exceptionalities.
This Fact Sheet is intended to provide general information. Prospective users of the schools may wish to inquire further of A/OPR/OS or contact the school directly for more specific and up-to-the-minute information. Information and statistics are current as of September 2022 and provided by the school.