To be truly international

Laura Huikko

Two years ago, the Kuopio Region Chamber of Commerce made a strategy for the future of Varkaus. It includes a vision for virtual university, attracting top talents for our businesses in the energy technology field and guaranteeing a high quality of life.

So far, we have taken a step towards the third objective with our new hospital also known as the Health Campus.

Varkaus gives a unique opportunity to study in English in grades 0 – 6. Unfortunately, the momentum is lost once the child goes to middle school.

Learning a language is a paramount skill in this global world and right now we nip it in the bud.

The studies have also shown middle schoolers to be at a difficult age when it comes to learning languages. Too many are left at an insufficient level with English, not to mention Swedish!

I have witnessed this phenomenon at home. We have two boys, in first and 6th grade.

We made a bet of only using English at home. It didn’t last longer than 10 minutes. The one to jump happily into this challenge was the younger brother.

I was quite impressed how well he used the few words and phrases he has learned from Youtube and videogames.

Our older boy completely refused to speak in English. He has been studying for 3 years, watches anime in English and has no trouble understanding. The difference in the courage to use the language was quite shocking.

So, in order to really be able to attract engineers and other professionals from abroad, we really should put more effort into our schools.

Let’s make the English grades go up to the end of 9th grade or even a fully English grammar school.

Offering our children a chance to immerse themselves in the language is a gift that keeps on giving. Once you have a sufficient understanding of one foreign language, it is easier to learn yet another one.

I personally have studied both Japanese and now Korean in English. The study materials are more abundant in English. And that goes for all other areas of studying, too!

Offering the world-famous Finnish education in English is a major attraction. Who would hesitate to move to a location that is safe, has plenty of clean beautiful nature to enjoy and offers your children a top-notch free education?

In order to make Varkaus stand out from other locations, this is really something we should investigate.