Freelance TEFL in Finland

Freelance TEFL in Finland

Teaching English in Finland

How does Global English former trainee Shaz Rahman make a living teaching English and being funny in Finland?

Here at Global English we’ve seen an upsurge of interest in teaching English in the Nordic countries of Sweden, Denmark and Finland.  Whether this is to do with the economic crisis in Europe, the popularity of Scandi-dramas, such as The Bridge and Borgen or just the lure of the landscape, we are not quite sure.

However, since the Scandinavian population tends to speak English well, gaining teaching work is not always easy. But with persistence and a good TESOL certificate behind you, it can be done. Here, Global English TESOL graduate and stand-up comedian Shaz Rahman shares his acccount of finding work in Finland: 

"I got my certificate with Global English TESOL courses back in 2003 and went to Finland to be with my girlfriend at the time. I managed to get work after five months as a freelancer for a couple of companies as well as for myself on a self-employed basis. I was mainly teaching business English. It helps if you are a little thick-skinned and don’t mind calling round companies and asking if they need your services. It wasn’t much at the beginning but it kept my head above water. There is very little job security, but that is part and parcel of the freelancer’s lifestyle.

The Finns I encountered were a shy, good-natured people and a joy to teach. I soon fell in love with the country and the sense of humour here is pretty good and I think that is the main reason I’m still here after 11 years.

Right now, I divide my time between teaching English and doing stand-up comedy. Believe it or not, the stand-up scene in English is in demand! I still love teaching and I find after doing this job for nearly 11 years I still get a level of satisfaction from it.

Thanks Global English again for helping me through the course and giving me the confidence to get out here and do something worthwhile."


Building a life and a career

Shaz has successfully built a life in Finland thanks to his personality, persistence and initial TESOL qualification. If you are keen to follow in Shaz's footsteps, read our top tips tips below for finding work in Sweden, Finland or Denmark:

  • apply in-country as you see very few adverts online
  • avoid the job hunt during the summer months when it is quiet
  • be persistent: email, call and then email and call again (Global English TESOL can provide a link to a list of language schools)
  • consider teaching English online internationally to support your lifestyle in Finland
  • check your CV is TEFL ready (Global English TESOL provides a free check for graduates)
  • take the best 150-hour TESOL course for Europe and then add the 30-hour specialist business course for Scandinavia. 

Why not join our Facebook group for the latest comment and advice on all things TESOL?


  • Author: William Bradridge
  • Date: 01/10/2014

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Freelance TEFL in Finland