Guidance Services and Recognition of Prior Learning and Competence for Immigrants

Guidance and Counselling Services

Guidance and counselling services offers you different options through which you may plan what kind of study opportunities there are for you to enhance and top-up your competence. Or, you may aim at starting a new study path or find ways to find employment in Finland.

What Is Guidance and Counselling?

Guidance and counselling aim at helping you to find the most suitable study and/or career paths for you. We will not give you any ready-made solutions, but the idea is to help you to acknowledge your own skills and competences. It also helps you to realise what are your strengths and weaknesses and in what areas you may need improvement or more studies to be ready to enter further studies or working-life.

You have various ways to receive guidance and counselling:

Personal Guidance Discussion

You may book a time for a personal guidance discussion in which we go through your previous studies and what kind of hopes and ideas you have for your future education and career. Guidance discussion is aimed at people with an immigrant background and who are eligible to apply for higher education, who have previous studies in higher education or have already completed a degree in higher education.

Book a time for personal guidance discussion by sending e-mail to simhe-info metropolia fi

Consider the following topics before coming to the discussion:

  • What have you studied before and what are your skills and competences?
  • Are you interested in supplementing your previous studies for example by taking courses via open university?
  • Do you plan to start studies in higher education for the first time, or do you wish to enter in a totally new field of study?
  • What are your career plans?
  • How is your life in general in relation to continuing or starting studies?

Guidance Generalia Lectures

In Guidance Generalia, you will

  • get familiar with the Finnish education system and in Finnish higher education system in particular
  • obtain information on what and where you can study in Finland as an asylum seeker and as an immigrant
  • obtain information on how to apply for higher education
  • have ideas what you need to take into account when planning studies
  • get extra knowledge on the selected and variable topic that is specific for each lecture. The topic will be informed two weeks prior to each Guidance Generalia session.

Guidance Generalia lectures will be offered in Finnish and English. Other language options will be decided according to the enrolment information.


Mon 21 August 2017 
Language studies offered via Metropolia:
OLS for Refugees - on-line language learning for immigrants
TOEFL language tests - preparatory course and TOEFL test in English language
Preparatory course for immigrants
Enrolment has ended Finnish
Mon 18 September 2017
Recognition of competences and self-development Enrolment has ended Finnish
Mon 6 November 2017
Finnish education system
Finnish higher education system
Applying for English-conducted Master's programmes 2018
Ilmoittautuminen on päättynyt

Mon 20 November 2017

Finnish education system
Finnish higher education system
Applying for English-conducted Bachelor's programmes 2018

Enroll simhe-info metropolia fi


 Mon 11 December 2017

 Recognition and international comparability of qualifications/Finnish National Agency for Education
The importance of recognising competences as part of integrating into the Finnish society
Enroll by 7 December >> Finnish


Guidance Generalia lectures are organised at Metropolia Bulevardi campus:
Bulevardi 31, 00180 Helsinki

Recognition of Prior Learning and Competence

What is Recognition of Competences and Prior Learning?

Recognition of prior learning and competence aims at mapping what kind of skills and competence you have acquired through your previous studies in higher education and also through possible study-related work experience.

The main goal is to help you to integrate into Finnish society faster through recognising such skills and competence and thus also enhance your possibilities to enter to the labour market.

Competence is all that you have learned during your life. You may have gained it by working or studying, in school, or through hobbies. Competence doesn’t show merely in certificates from school, studies or work. Recognition of competence and prior learning may help you in getting back to studies or to start your own professional career. A variety of different methods,”tools”, are used recognising your competence. Your competence profile starts to build up through this recognition.

Learn more about different tools and methods >>

Recognition of Competences for Highly Educated Immigrants in the Fields of Technology and Business in autumn 2017

We have organised the recognition of competences thrice: in spring 2016 in the field of technology and in autumn 2016 and spring 2017 in the fields of technology and business administration.

We offer Mapping of Competences in the field of technology and business in autumn 2017.
Enrolment for Mapping of Competences for autumn 2017 will be from 1 to 24 September.

ENROLMENT HAS ENDED. We will inform about the next enrolment in November 2017.

Who can participate?

You can take part in Mapping of Competences, if you have

  • Residence permit in Finland
  • Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in the field of technology (engineering) or business
  • Degree Certificate (translated into Finnish, English or Swedish)
  • Sufficient language skills in English or in Finnish

What is included in the recognition of competences?

Recognition of Competence and Prior Learning consists of Mapping Competences

You will be invited to an In-Depth Professional Discussion in which you have a conversation with a Metropolia professional from the field. Metropolia expert in your field will plan what kind of complementary studies could support your employment. These can be professional courses or project work.

Mapping of Competences

Mapping of Competences comprises of two phases:

  • Orientation (self-evaluation, degree comparison)
  • In-Depth Professional Discussion with an expert in your field of study

After the Mapping of Competences, you will receive a document in which we describe

  • what kind of competences we were able to identify based on your previous studies
  • what kind of additional skills and competences you have
  • what kind of added studies we can recommend to you

How can you benefit from taking part in Mapping of Competences?

Mapping of Competences will give you a better understanding on your skills and information on what kind of studies can support your job-search. The document also helps the employers to acknowledge your competences better, when you apply for a job. 

All SIMHE-Metropolia services are free of charge to our customers.

Study Opportunities is maintained by the Finnish Education Board. Finnish educational institutions introduce their offerings and services in the portal. provides easy-to-use, trustworthy and secure services for lifelong learning and planning and implementing individual study paths. contains information on degrees, professions and studying in different educational institutions.

You may find different study paths and apply for studies in the system.

Read more about the >>

Finnish courses has a good search engine for finding Finnish courses in Helsinki region, but also in Turku and Tampere regions.

Find a Finnish course >>

Suomi taskussa
Learn Finnish through videos!/kielet

Preparatory Courses for Immigrants

Metropolia offers preparatory courses for immigrants to introduce what it is like to study in university of applied sciences in Finland in different fields of study. Preparatory courses are conducted in Finnish (skills level B1.1).

Learn more about the content and course offerings >>

Teacher education

Subject Teacher Education Programme STEP conducted in English at University of Helsinki. Read more >>

Metropolia Open University of Applied Sciences

Open University of Applied Sciences (Open UAS) gives you an opportunity to study courses from various degree programmes (Bachelor's or Master's) regardless of your former education, work experience and age.

Learn more about the course offerings >>

Open UAS and university studies in the Helsinki Region

Laurea UAS

Haaga-Helia UAS

Arcada UAS
Studies are offered in Swedish and in English

University of Helsinki

Aalto University
E-mail: avoin aalto fi

Helsinki Summer University

Outside Helsinki region

Lahti UAS
avoinamk lamk fi

TAMK UAS (Tampere)
avoinamk tamk fi

University of Tampere
avoin uta fi

Turku UAS
avoinamk turkuamk fi

University of Turku

Note that each school has its own enrolment and fee policy.

Useful Links

How to make a Curriculum Vitae

The Europass CV, or Curriculum Vitae, presents key information about you in a concise form.

Make a CV

Information for working in Finland

In To Finland
In To Finland is a shared service point of The Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela) and the Tax Administration that is intended for foreign workers in Finland.

Virka-info is the City of Helsinki's information service that provides information and advice to both residents and visitors.

Infopankki offers information on living in Finland and about different possibilities there are in Finland. Services can be used in 12 different languages and it is maintained by City of Helsinki. 

How to find work in Finland

Te Services

Just Landed




Support for starting up a company in Finland

To help you to become an entrepreneur in Helsinki region - NewCo Helsinki