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After High School Finland vs. United States

Svante Vahajylkka, staff writer

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It is pretty obvious what you can do or what options you have after high school, but it can be very different in different countries.

United States and Finland elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools have some similarities, but are also very different. In both countries, teens must decide what they want to do after high school, but options might not be same.

The United States has six most common options after High School: Four-Year College, Two-Year College, Trade and Certificate Programs, The Military, Gap Year, or Work.

Finland has 10 common options which you could choose between. They are Three-Year Vocational School, Three-Year Senior High School, obtain a vocational qualification in vocational special education, Double Degree (simultaneously completes secondary school, matriculation examination and vocational qualification), raise grades in an extra tenth class, attend pre-vocational training, Participate in Work and Independent Life Formative Education, apply for a year-long high school education, go for a year at a folk high school, or Gap Year.

As we can see, Finland does not have work on its list, because most works require higher education than high school, and even if it is not required, such work is very difficult to find, and people usually start working when graduating from schools after high school. Most people go to vocational school and senior high school, which are both free and you have to pay for only your books and things you might need in classrooms. School lunch is free in vocational school, and can also be free in senior high school, if you have coil card, moped license, or driving license.

At the same time in United states, work is available almost everywhere you go and you do not need education for most of them. People start to work early in high school, sometimes even when they are in middle school. Working during high school is extremely rare in Finland. Most people in America go to College, and it is not free. The price can differ a lot between colleges, but average cost of tuition and fees are $34,740 at private colleges, $9,970 for state residents at public colleges, and $25,620 for out-of-state residents attending public universities.

Both countries have their benefits, because in Finland you have many options and education is free. United States has many places where you could work, and you can start working very early, so you can pay your education and at the same time earn some money. I personally like the Finland way more, because education is free, and  you can still work at the same time, even when it’s very hard to find work.

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