Graphic image of Kattilahalli building.

Otava Folk High School


In Otava, there are Comprehensive School Programmes, Upper Secondary School (both for adults and available online), and many Liberal Adult Education Programs.

Otava Folk High School (Otavan Opisto) is a folk high school located in the village of Otava in Mikkeli, founded in 1892. We offer comprehensive school programme for adults with immigrant backgrounds, upper secondary school for adults in our residential adult high school, and a variety of liberal adult education programs.

As part of the Finnish education system, comprehensive school programme for adults especially with immigrant backgrounds serve as complementary components in the field of education, catering to those who might not otherwise be served. In Otava, we believe that learning is a lifelong process. Equality, equity, and diversity are our core values.

The idea of education for all is connected to the values of the Nordic welfare state that we uphold. Every member of Finnish society has the right and opportunity to study and receive quality education throughout their life. Studying, meals on school days, and accommodation in our dormitory during the academic year are free for both basic education and high school students.

Comprehensive School Programme for Adults
Comprehensive school programme for adults at Otava Folk High School consists of three stages: literacy stage, initial stage, and completion stage. The language of instruction is Finnish. In the literacy stage, students learn to read and write; in the initial stage, they study the Finnish language and acquire the necessary knowledge and skills for the Finnish comprehensive school; and in the completion stage, they study or supplement their comprehensive school curriculum and prepare for further studies. The goal is to obtain a certificate of completion for basic education. Adult basic education is free for the students.

Annually, Otava Folk High School`s campus hosts over a hundred students with immigrant backgrounds, some residing in our dormitory, and others commuting from home. Comprehensive school programme can also be completed online. All courses of comprehensive school (completion stage) are available in the online format, and through a personalized study plan, the courses and the pace of learning are adjusted to the student’s situation.

Upper Secondary School
The aim of the upper secondary school for adults at Otava Folk High School is to complete the upper secondary school curriculum and pass the matriculation examination. These studies provide students with broad general knowledge and, thus, excellent prerequisites for further studies. Previous studies can be credited in upper secondary school, and students can start their studies at any time during the academic year.

Adult upper secondary school studies are also available online. There students can study year-round and around the clock from anywhere in Finland. If needed, the online school can accompany students even when they are abroad. The goal, both in the campus-based upper secondary school and in the online diploma-oriented studies, is to obtain a high school diploma and/or a matriculation examination certificate. In the online school, students can also study individual upper secondary school courses or subjects as subject students.

Short Course Offering
Otava offers fantastic courses throughout the year in various subject areas such as photography, music, and role-playing games. During the summer, the institute’s garden-like green courtyard provides a charming setting for courses.