You can learn the language only when you have a clear goal for what you are learning it for; otherwise, it’s just “Puhun vähän suomea” throughout all 4 years of the studies. Be sure, visiting basic classes is not the way to become a master.
Self-controlled learning at home combined with studying at extra schools and live-conversations with everyone of any age and status is the way to become fluent in Finnish. “You can’t learn to cycle a bike by reading the instructions”. There is also a second way: enroll officially to some course of your interest that is conducted in Finnish; take in seriously and aim to get grade “5”.
There are examples of people, who were able to master the language in 1 – 2 years. Their driving forces were a desire to have a professional job in Finland during the summers and after graduation; ability to do own business; doing non-English Master’s programs in the field of interest; passion towards the country, Finnish friends and desire to stay here.
There are hard moments during the realization of the goal – feeling that it won’t work out. It is natural; just continue working. You’ll reach new higher level after overcoming that point.
For your learning process:
1. You can officially study professional and language courses at TUT and UTA.
2. Finnish language schools are organized in Tampere (also online):
3. Learning is fascinating with real books, journals, and comics. There are many at TAMK’s library and at local Second hand stores’.
4. Be sure, Finnish is essential to get a summer work.
5. Don’t limit your learning methods: search for fun and interesting ways of realizing your big goal, and one day you’ll say “Puhun suomea sujuvasti”.