The practicalities of studying at a folk high school

Studying at a folk high school is individualized and flexible. During your study year you get to concentrate on your own strengths and development areas together with your teachers and fellow students. Your future plans often become clearer after a year at a folk high school.

Studies at a folk high school are mainly full-time. Folk high schools are also boarding schools that offer the possibility for you to live-in during your studies. The everyday life at the folk high schools also includes free time, happenings and events. The different ways of studies vary from programme to programme.

Living in a folk high school

Most folk high schools have dorms. Living in the dorms is a cheap and comfortable way to take part in an both independent and community-based school life. The personnel at the schools, such as instructors and dorm supervisors offer support for your studies and independent living.

It is not free to live at folk high schools. The cost of living at the schools vary from school to school and by programme. Often living and meals are included in the tuition fee of the chosen programme. Short courses such as weekend courses also include the possibility to live in the dorm.

However , living in the dorm is free for all qualification studies such as vocational education and training, basic education for adults, folk high school year for youth of compulsory education age and general upper secondary education.


The cantinas often offer breakfast, lunch and dinner. Students in all qualification studies get free meals during school days. Most tuition fees include both food and living costs.  

Study costs

It’s mostly free to study and live in the dorm for those who attend qualification studies. Folk high school study programmes, open university studies, single courses from general upper secondary education, short courses and some of the vocational education are not free.


As a student at a folk high school you can apply for student financial aid to fund for your upper secondary studies from the social insurance institution (KELA). The student financial aid consists of a study grant, housing supplement and a government guarantee for student loan. While living in a dorm and studying at a folk high school programme you are entitled to housing supplement (88,87 € a month). Read more about housing supplements on the KELA website.

If you have a sufficient work history and are either an entrepreneur or currently in working life, you can get eligibility to apply for adult education subsidy. Studies at folk high schools that don’t lead to a degree can be supported by adult education subsidy if the education is aimed at qualification or vocational competence. Read more about education that can be supported by adult education subsidy.

If you are unemployed and 25 or older, you can apply for unemployment benefits for the duration of full-time studies at a folk high school. To get unemployment benefits you need to report to the unemployment office, and your job search has to be ongoing. You have to apply before the beginning of your studies. Read more about unemployment benefits.

The state grants study vouchers to folk high schools that can support studies at folk high school programmes for example by lowering study costs. Your studies can be supported by study vouchers if you are a young person that has finished compulsory school and don’t have a place for further studies, an immigrant, unemployed or if you don’t meet basic educational requirements or if you feel that you have a learning disability. Ask for more information about study vouchers directly from a folk high school.