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Finnish & Nordic Studies

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. Selected classes include (number of credit hours in parentheses):

FNS 151 ELEMENTARY FINNISH I (4)

FNS 152 ELEMENTARY FINNISH II (4)

FNS 221 HISTORY AND CULTURE OF FINLAND (3)

FNS 251 INTERMEDIATE FINNISH I (4)

FNS 252 INTERMEDIATE FINNISH II (4)

FNS 310 NORDIC LITERATURE (3)

FNS 316 GENDER IN NORDIC SOCIETY (3)

FNS 330 SÁMI HISTORY AND CULTURE (3)

FNS 360 KALEVALA (3)

FNS 490 PALOHEIMO FELLOWS SEMINAR (3) (STUDY ABROAD)

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.

Extracurricular Opportunities

Wahlstrom Nordic Workshop
Every February, Finnish & Nordic Studies faculty and students attend the Wahlstrom Nordic Workshop in Beaver Creek, Wisconsin to join peers from Nordic Studies programs across the Midwest for a weekend of lectures, discussions, traditional crafts, folk dancing, tons of great food, and ax-throwing. This low-cost professional development opportunity allows students to learn what peers do in Nordic Studies, to practice giving conference-style presentations, and to consider regional options in graduate studies. For more information, contact Dr. Hilary Virtanen.

Summer Courses in Finnish from the Finnish National Agency for Education
Annual intensive courses in Finnish language are offered by the Finnish National Agency for Education to students of Finnish who study at universities outside of Finland. These courses are free, including supplies and accommodations, and so they are extremely affordable for many. The annual application period is approximately mid-January to March 1. For more information, visit the link below.

http://cimo.fi/programmes/finnish_language_and_culture/support_to_students_outside_finland/summer_courses_in_finland

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 collaborative 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 and Nordic Studies News

News and Notes from Finlandia's Finnish and Nordic Studies Program


  • Virtanen’s research to be featured in three PBS world premieres this weekend

    Oren Tikkanen and Matthew Durocher perform with Finnish American band Laulu Aika at the Toivola Juhannus Festival 2019

    On Sunday, March 13, the world premiere of three documentary films featuring the research and production-related work of Finnish & Nordic Studies Professor Hilary-Joy Virtanen will take place on PBS station WNMU-TV Marquette as part of their Festival! 22 pledge programming.

    These three films result from a collaboration between Virtanen, film director and sociology professor Michael Loukinen (NMU), and videographers Kristin Ojaniemi and Alex Maier. Funded by a generous grant from the American Scandinavian Foundation in New York City, [...]


  • Bridge Feature: Eld delivers archive in ‘Finnebago’

    Frank Eld Finnebago

    Former Finnish American Heritage Center (FAHC) director Jim Kurtti traveled to New England in the fall of 2019 and met with multiple donors who made gracious contributions of Finnish American archives to be preserved and shared with the Archive and Center’s visitors. Until now, the archives were stored in New England before they were able to be transported safely by none other than Frank Eld and his famed ‘Finnebego’. On a journey that started in New England, Eld transported [...]


  • Kalevala Month featuring art exhibit, Kalevalathon

    Kalevala Week 2022 The Copper Country Community Arts Center and the Finlandia University Finnish & Nordic Studies Program are pleased to announce Kalevala Month 2022, a joint program of public events in celebration of Finland’s national epic, Kalevala. Centered on the CCCAC’s annual Art of the Kalevala exhibition and the Finnish & Nordic Studies Program’s annual Kalevala reading marathon, this series will highlight the important place Kalevala has in the Copper Country through a series of events that will be offered online and [...]

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Finnish Studies Faculty

Hilary-Joy VirtanenAssistant Professor, Finnish & Nordic Studies; Chair, Institutional Review BoardFinlandia 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

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