Finnish & Nordic Studies

Now is an exciting time to check out Finnish & Nordic Studies at Finlandia University!

Finnish StudiesThe Finnish & Nordic Studies minor program is an interdisciplinary area studies program that can complement and augment any major field of study offered at Finlandia University. Finnish & Nordic Studies minors build an understanding of aspects of Nordic history, culture, and society with a special focus on Finland, which can be arranged to correspond directly with the student’s major field, or to call to a student’s unique interests separate from the major.

What will i do with a finnish & Nordic studies minor?

In connection with a student’s major program, a Finnish & Nordic Studies minor provides the graduate with numerous options: it is a particularly attractive specialization to prepare for careers in international business, social sciences and humanities fields, as well as for the local job market, in which Finnish culture and heritage is an important aspect of public life.

What classes will I take?

The Finnish Studies minor consists of 21 credits encompassing aspects of the social sciences, history, arts and literature, and language. Students in the minor are uniquely poised to help shape the program to best suit their needs and interests. Courses in the program satisfy a number of requirements across the curriculum. While all students in the minor are required to complete FNS 221: History and Culture of Finland, the remaining 18 credit hours are selected by the student in coordination with their advisor. Current class offerings are:

FNS 150: SPECIAL TOPICS IN FINNISH AND NORDIC STUDIES (3)

Explores the social, political, economic, and cultural aspects of life in Finland today. Through lecture, reading, and discussion students will discover current issues and contemporary topics to gain an understanding of the Finnish perspective. Offered as needed.

FNS 151 ELEMENTARY FINNISH I (4)

Students learn the basics of the Finnish language. Class work is based heavily on the oral skills of pronunciation and speaking. Grammar, vocabulary, hearing exercises, and written skills are also covered. Tervetuloa! Fall semester, even years.

FNS 152 ELEMENTARY FINNISH II (4)

Deepens understanding of the Finnish language. Students learn additional vocabulary, practice oral communication skills, and write short essays. Grammar and hearing exercises are also part of the course. Spring semester, odd years. Prerequisite: FNS 151 with a grade of C or higher.

FNS 221 HISTORY AND CULTURE OF FINLAND (3)

Explores the country of Finland and its many aspects. Students gain an understanding of Finland as a modern nation. Topics include major historical periods of Finland, lifestyle, culture and mentality, education, politics and society, nature, and population. Fall and spring semesters.

FNS 251 INTERMEDIATE FINNISH I (4)

The main emphasis of this class is on oral and written Finnish. Grammar, vocabulary, hearing, and reading comprehension exercises are part of the course. Students plan and present a 20-minute oral project at the conclusion of the class. Fall semester, odd years. Prerequisite: FNS 152 with a grade of C or higher.

FNS 252 INTERMEDIATE FINNISH II (4)

Emphasis on oral and written Finnish. Grammar, vocabulary, hearing, and reading comprehension exercises are part of the course. Students plan and present a 20-minute oral project at the conclusion of the class. The project is presented to the first-year Finnish language class. Spring semester, even years. Prerequisite: FNS 251 with a grade of C or higher.

FNS 310 NORDIC LITERATURE (3)

Cross-listed with ENG 310. Surveys the literature of Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland and their colonies. Examines traditional folklore and mythologies as well as modern novels, dramas and poetry. Reflects on the ways in which these various national literatures are both related and distinct, and considers what elements unite them across language and geography. Fall semester, odd years. Prerequisite: ENG 103 or instructor permission.

FNS 316 GENDER IN NORDIC SOCIETY (3)

Cross-listed with GSS 316. This course explores the notion of gender within Scandinavian cultures with an emphasis on 20th and 21st centuries. Topics include Nordic feminisms, LGBT issues, the welfare state and its resultant emphasis on gender equality as well as gender issues in minority and immigrant groups. Fall semester, even years. Prerequisite: ENG 104.

FNS 330 SÁMI HISTORY AND CULTURE (3)

Cross-listed with ANT 330. Europe’s only recognized indigenous people, the Sámi are an ethnic community from Northern Scandinavia related linguistically and culturally to Finns. This class will explore Sami peoples in historical, sociological, anthropological, and indigenous studies contexts. Sami traditional arts, subsistence practices, religious traditions, and political movements will receive special attention. Fall semester, odd years.

FNS 360 KALEVALA (3)

Cross-listed with ENG 360. Immortalized as Finland’s national epic, the Kalevala encapsulates ancient Finnish folk traditions. This course will detail the historical development of the Kalevala poetry tradition, its development and structure as a literary work, its use as an anthropological text, and its use as a political and cultural icon of Finnish identity. Spring semester, odd years.

FNS 350 TOPICS IN FINNISH AND NORDIC STUDIES (3)

Offers the student the opportunity to study a particular aspect of Finnish culture or society. Topics may include Finnish literature in translation, Finnish film, study of Finland’s national epic The Kalevala, and others. Offered as needed.

FNS 375 FINNISH-AMERICAN LITERATURE (3)

Examines the major themes and influences on the literature by Finnish North Americans in English, from the late 1800s through the present. Generational aspects from first, second, third and fourth generation immigrants will be studied across a selection of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. Offered as needed.

FNS 377 FINNISH-AMERICAN CULTURE (3)

Examines Finnish-American culture through concepts noted as evidence of Finnishness within the Finnish-American community including aspects of culture connoted by various media, food ways, music, crafts, recreation, and folkloric and literacy practices. Spring Semester, even years.

FNS 490 PALOHEIMO FELLOWS SEMINAR (3)

Seminar in Finnish culture and society as well as anthropological qualitative research methods including 2.5 week collaborative research project in Finland to take place immediately following spring semester. Enrollment by accepted application in fall term. Students build communication, professional development, and team-based research skills. Spring semesters. Prerequisites: Junior standing and instructor approval.

Study Abroad

Finlandia University boasts several study abroad options in Finland, both specific to major programs, and open to all disciplines. Students may spend as little as three weeks, or as long as a semester in programs designed for cross-cultural experience, language proficiency, job skills development, and independent research.

Learn more about Study Abroad opportunities

Financial Aid Opportunities

Several non-institutional scholarships are available to Finnish Studies minors and students of Finnish heritage, all of which are competitive awards. For more information on these awards, contact Professor Hilary Virtanen or the Department of Financial Aid.

Learn more about Financial Aid

Finnish Studies Faculty

Hilary VirtanenAssistant Professor, Finnish and Nordic StudiesFinlandia Universityhilary.virtanen@finlandia.edu906-487-7514
Jason OyadomariAssociate Professor of Biology & Dean of Suomi College of Arts and SciencesFinlandia Universityjason.oyadomari@finlandia.edu906-487-7381

Arts & Sciences Minors