This page provides brief information about the Kalajoki Christian College for international guests, students and volunteers.

The history and background organization

Kalajoki Christian College was founded in 1942 during the Second World War. The founders believed that after the war the nation will need education for the future generations. The background of our college is in a Finnish Christian association Uusheräys (New Awakening), which promotes missionary work and Christian education among youth and children.

Our college’s mission is to be an open and encouraging Christian community. This means that we will always hold our doors open for students and staff from a variety of backgrounds, and are hospitable for different worldviews and religions. Our choice of vocational studies also reflects our belief in the importance of education.

Kalajoki Christian College today

Our campus is located in Kalajoki city central. We have a new dormitory, large cafeteria and a kindergarten on site.  We have 26 people working in our college and 10 in the daycare center. Kalajoki Christian College has years of experience working with immigrants and decades of experience training vocational students, offering courses and camps for children, and organizing basic education.

Our daycare center Arkki opened in 2015 and is located on campus. Arkki is a fully operational private daycare but also serves some of our vocational students who do their internship there. Our international volunteers often work with the older children (around five years old).

The college organizes both vocational education for various degrees and general education for Finnish language and for Finnish basic education. Students studying for a degree stay mostly from Monday to Friday. Approximately 200 students attend our classes on weekdays. The degrees we currently offer training in are:

  • Further Vocational Qualification in Education and Guidance in Early Education: Children’s instructor
  • Further Vocational Qualification in Education and Guidance in Support in Learning and School Attendance: Classroom Assistant
  • Vocational upper secondary qualification in Education and Guidance: Youthworker
  • Further Vocational Qualification in Education and Guidance: Private Childminder
  • Vocational Qualification in Cleaning and Property Services

We have organized basic education for adults for about twenty years. Many of our immigrant and refugee students study and live on our campus. Since 2016 educating immigrant and refugee students has been a large part of basic education. We have two teachers teaching Finnish as a secondary language and three teaching aides who help the students during and after classes. Our teachers are trained to support non-native learning and to use plain language as a teaching tool. We also have multiple teachers who have competence in special education.

Our specialty is to organize courses for the children and for the people with disabilities.  We offer two long courses for students with disabilities: The “By My Own Wings” -course for students who wish to develop their self esteem and skills in different fields., and the “By My Own Strengths” -course for younger students who want to deepen their knowledge and skills after basic education. Both courses aim to prepare the students for independent living and working in a field that interests them.

During weekends we organize short courses with our cooperation partners. Every year some 2500 people take part in our short courses.  Large part of these courses are for children and youth. The College has organized courses and summer camps for children for around 40 years. The college operates a summer camp home in Kangasala near Tampere, where we have organized hundreds of camps for kids, youth, adults and families during the last few decades.

We are an international college. Many of our students are immigrants or refugees. Our second mission is to train people who have a developmental or physical disability. Solidarity is one of our core values. The diversity of people is an everyday life in our college. Different people move around, eat together and meet each other on our campus every day. Many of our teachers and other employees also have immigrant backgrounds.

International work in Kalajoki Christian College

Becoming more international is one of our strategic missions. We are currently searching for other schools to partake in exchange and cooperation programs and we have had foreign volunteers for years.

For around five years volunteers have been an integral part of our school year and for the last three years we have been working with the European Solidarity Corps and their volunteers. The work is tailored according to the interests and goals of the volunteer but could include for example art education, language immersions or outdoor and playground activities. Our current international volunteering happens through ESC in cooperation with the local Rieska-Leader program.

In 2019 we signed a cooperation agreement with Nyakato Lutheran Bible College in Tanzania. As per agreement we arrange regular trips to each other and have an agreement to develop more ways to share our work. This includes student and teacher exchanges and regular trips from school to school.

International work has given us an invaluable window into different cultures. Starting from the year 2022 we have made efforts in educating our staff in the English language and international skills through Erasmus-projects.

International cooperation has also been a chance for us to grow as an organization. For example, our international volunteers have been able to show us various new ways on how to better the dormitory for our students, for example by teaching them to make food in the dormitory common area.