IB Diploma Programme (DP)




Turku International School (TIS) is intended mainly for

  • international families moving to Finland and living and working temporarily or permanently in Turku and surrounding municipalities
  • Finnish families returning to Finland after years abroad
  • We will only consider for admission students under the age of 18 who will reside locally with family members

Applicants with a Finnish Basic Education Certificate

  • The deadline for applications is 18 March, 2022.
  • The selection of new DP-students is based on previous academic records and an entrance exam.
  • If the applicant has a Finnish basic education certificate, the grade average of academic subjects in this diploma is considered. Mathematics and English grades have double weighing.
  • The entrance exam for 2022 pre-DP entry will be held on 22 April 2022 at 10.00 in Turun normaalikoulu auditorium. (Annikanpolku 9, 20610 Turku). Please note, that applicants will not receive a separate invitation. The applicant should come to school in time and have their personal ID (e.g. passport) with them.

Online application for the IB Diploma programme

Applicants with an International Lower Secondary Certificate

  • The deadline for applications is 22 March, 2022.
  • The selection of new DP-students is based on previous academic records and an entrance exam.
  • The grade average of academic subjects is considered. Mathematics and English grades have double weighing.
  • The entrance exam for 2022 pre-DP entry will be held on 22 April 2022 at 10.00 in Turun normaalikoulu auditorium. (Annikanpolku 9, 20610 Turku). Please note, that applicants will not receive a separate invitation. The applicant should come to school in time and have their personal ID (e.g. passport) with them.
  • Admission test for students arriving to Finland during the summer 2022: The entrance exam for 2022 pre-DP entry will be held in August 2022 in Turku normaalikoulu (Annikanpolku 9, 20610 Turku). Invitations will be sent via email given on the submitted online application. Please note, that applications need to be submitted by the 11th of July in order to be tested in August 2022.

Online application for the IB Diploma programme

 Admission results are announced in mid-June 2022 at the earliest. The results will be sent to the email address given on the online application form.

  • For additional information, please contact jukka.valtanen@utu.fi, tel. +358 50-5660932.

FAQ Frequently Asked Questions

Who  can apply to Turku International school (TIS)?

The school is intended for international families moving to Finland, working temporarily or permanently in the Turku region and also for Finnish families returning to Finland after years abroad.

Is it possible to apply to TIS in advance?

It is possible to start the application process while living abroad. We recommend filling in the online application well in advance, if you are planning on moving to Finland.  Guardians are advised to contact the TIS principal Mirjam Virtanen to inquire the student situation of the grade in question.

Please note, that in order to finalize the application process and confirm a student’s school place you need to have a residence permit and an address in Turku/Turku region. To get a residence permit to Finland, you have to contact the Finnish immigration authorities.

Can my child go to TIS even though we don’t live in Turku? 

You need to live in Turku or its surrounding areas. Please contact the principal Mirjam Virtanen in order to find out from which municipalities in the Turku area students can attend TIS.

How much are the school/tuition and application fees?

Basic and secondary education in Finland is free of charge. TIS is a public school and therefore there are no school fees. The school materials and daily school lunch are free of charge as well.

However, that also means that we only serve families living in the Turku area, so you need to have a residence permit and an address in Turku before we can admit your child to TIS.

Does the school have boarding facilities?

Turku International School is a day school and the school does not provide any boarding facilities. Therefore, all our students live with their families and they must have a guardian in Finland.  In addition, the school can´t arrange accommodation or visas.

Can a student apply to IB programme without a parent?

The International Baccalaureate programme at the Turku international school is intended for students (usually 16-19 years old), who have to move to Finland because of their parents’ work or for Finnish young people who have been studying abroad previously, but are now returning to their home country. Please note, that we do not enroll foreign students who would move to Turku without their parents.

 Note for applicants outside of Finland

Turku International school welcomes applications from outside of Finland, with a priority going to families relocating due to job opportunities or families returning to their homeland. We will only consider for admission students under the age of 18 who will reside locally with family members or a legally appointed guardian.

DP, basic information

  • IB Diploma Programme is a challenging pre-university programme of international education offered by the International Baccalaureate Organization (Diploma programme at the IBO website)
  • Founded in 1968, the IBO is a non-profit educational foundation
  • There are more than 2700 schools in about 140 countries offering the IB Diploma Programme. In Finland the number of IB DP schools is 16.
  • The IB Diploma Programme leads to a qualification that is widely recognized and appreciated by universities all over the world.
  • In Finland the IB Diploma is considered equivalent to the Finnish “ylioppilastutkinto”.

IB Diploma Programme in Turun normaalikoulu is preceded by a one-year Pre-DP Programme which follows Finnish national upper secondary school first year curriculum. The language of instruction in Pre-DP is English. Pre-DP is implemented in order to ensure sufficient skills in the language of instruction (English) and to introduce working methods that are typically used in the IB Diploma Programme.

Around 95% of the IB Diploma graduates enter universities in Finland, Britain, other European countries or elsewhere in the world. The most successful graduates often gain admission to prestigious European and North American universities.

DP subjects

The Diploma Programme (DP) curriculum is made up of six subject groups and the DP core, comprising theory of knowledge (TOK), creativity, activity, service (CAS) and the extended essay (EE).

Through the Diploma Programme (DP) core, students reflect on the nature of knowledge, complete independent research and undertake a project that often involves community service.

The DP subjects are chosen at the end of the pre-DP year. Students must choose 6 subjects from DP subject groups 1-5, at least one subject from each group (group 6, Arts, is not offered). Three subjects must be chosen at higher level (HL) and three subjects at standard level  (SL). It is possible to choose 4 higher level subjects and an additional 7th subject.

At higher level the number of teaching hours is 240 and at standard level 150.

If a student needs all sciences (biology, chemistry, physics) for medical studies at university he/she does not need to choose a group 3 subject. A specific permission by the IBO is required.

DP subjects

Subject group
Subject Level
Group 1 Language A Language and Literature
English A HL   SL
Group 2 Language Acquisition
English B HL   SL
French B,

French ab initio



German B,

German ab initio



Finnish B HL  SL
Group 3 Individuals and Societies
Business Management SL
Economics HL   SL
History HL   SL
Psychology HL   SL
Group 4 Sciences
Biology HL  SL
Chemistry HL   SL
Physics HL   SL
Group 5 Mathematics

Analysis and approaches

Applications and interpretation



Core components
Theory of Knowledge  (TOK) 100 h
CAS programme

Extended essay (EE)

18 months

4000 words

Pre-diploma year

Pre-diploma year

  • The IB Diploma Program (DP) lasts for two years and is preceded by a pre-diploma year aiming at developing the students’ general knowledge as well as study and language skills.
  • The pre-DP year curriculum is a modified version of the national curriculum and the language of instruction is English.
  • Students complete 25-30 courses in the pre-DP year.
  • All students study either German or French. Students with no previous studies in these languages study 4 courses and advanced students study 2 courses. The courses are compulsory.
  • Other language studies must be approved by the DP coordinator.
  • In addition, Turku International School (TIS) students with previous knowledge of the Finnish language  take 2 courses of Finnish B in the pre-DP year.
  • TIS students with little or no knowledge of Finnish take 3 courses of Finnish in the pre-DP year.
  • If a student intends to take some other  Language A than  English, he/she has to study it with a private teacher during the pre-DP year at his/her own cost.
  • Ms. Rauni Kaskenviita can be consulted on questions regarding  other Language A arrangements.

Subjects and Number of Courses


Language A English 3

Language B Finnish 3
Language B (advanced): German or French 2
Language B (beginners): German or French 4

Mathematics 3 or 5
Natural Sciences: Biology 1-2, Physics 1-2,  Chemistry 1-2, Integrated sciences 1
Humanities: History 2, Psychology 1, Social Studies 1, Academic thinking skills 1
Other subjects: Art or Music 1, Physical Education 1, Guidance and counselling 1

Independent studies

  • Due to family or medical reasons a student may have to be absent from school and work independently for some time.
  • The school should be informed of such a case and preferably in advance, if possible.
  • The permission application for absence is made in Wilma.
  • The principal grants permissions to do the required course work independently.

Pre-DP year evaluation

  • Students are assessed  five times a year at the end of each study period. The grade reports are available in Wilma.
  • The courses are evaluated on a scale of 10 (excellent) to 4 (fail).
  • If all course work is not submitted the student is awarded the grade T (= unfinished work). Grade T is automatically replaced by a 4 (fail) after the next study period.
  • Teachers are not required to accept work which is turned in late.
  • Students can try to raise a course grade by signing up for a retake exam via Wilma.
  • A retake exam can be taken only once per course.
  • The dates for the retake exams can be found on the school’s website.


  • All students are expected to attend school regularly. Absences from school must have a legitimate excuse and teachers should be informed of them in advance, if possible.
  • All absences must be cleared by a parent/guardian or a medical professional (doctor, dentist etc).
  • If a student has three to four absences the teacher will determine whether he/she can evaluate the course.
  • More than four absences results in the incompletion of the course and the student must study the course independently.
  • The last retake exam is arranged in mid-June.
  • The pre-DP year cannot be repeated.

Conditions for moving on to DP1

  • To choose a higher level (HL) subject the student has to have at least a minimum average grade of 8,0.
  • For a standard level (SL) subject the minimum grade average is 7,0.
  • Students must meet the requirements below to select six DP year subjects (see section below for eligibility).
  • Students have to choose 3 higher level (HL) subjects (max. 4) and 3 standard level (SL) subjects from DP subject groups 1 – 5.
  • The sixth subject is chosen from groups 2 – 4.
  • Students must have completed all pre-DP year courses with a grade 6 or above by the end of the school year.

Subject Group 1
English A (HL/SL)

Subject Group 2
Finnish B (HL/SL), French B  (SL), French B ab initio (SL), German B (SL), German B ab initio (SL)

Subject Group 3  History (HL/SL), Psychology (HL/SL), Economics (HL/SL), Business Management (SL),

  • To qualify for Business Management students must have at least grade 7 in social studies (SOC).
  • To qualify for Economics HL students must have at least grade 8 in social studies (SOC), for Economics SL grade 7 in SOC is sufficient.

Subject group 4
Biology (HL/SL), Chemistry (HL/SL), Physics (HL/SL)

Subject Group 5

  • Math courses for DP are chosen after course 2. Those with an average grade of 6,0 – 6,9 for math courses 1 and 2 will have to take SL Math Applications and Interpretation course during DP1. These students take 3 courses of maths in the pre-DP year. Math grades below 6,0 are not acceptable.
  • Those with an average grade of 7,0 or more in courses 1 and 2 may choose Math Analysis and Approaches SL or HL course in DP1. To do so they have to study 5 courses of advanced mathematics in the pre-DP year.

N.B. Due to timetable reasons some subjects have to be taught at the same time. In the academic year 2019-2020 the overlapping subjects are physics and history / chemistry and psychology  / biology HL and economics HL  / biology and business management

DP1, Diploma Year 1, subjects and evaluation

DP subject briefs

The link above will take you to the official IBO Dipoloma Programme web pages where you can study the content, syllabus and evaluation of each of the IB subjects. TOK, CAS and EE information is there as well.

Evaluation in DP1 and DP2

  • IB grades range from 7 (highest) to 1 (lowest).
  • Thus 6 subjects give maximum 42 points, TOK and EE max 3 bonus points. So the maximum points in the IB Diploma is 45.
  • Students are given grades after each of the five study periods as a course ends. In DP1, there are 5 HL courses and 3 SL courses and DP2 4 HL courses and 3 SL courses.
  • In DP2 the students have two mock weeks (mid-term exam weeks) to practise time management and test their knowledge and skills.
  • If a student is absent from a mock exam, he/she must present a doctor’s certificate to the form teacher and DP coordinator. This is a requirement for rescheduling the exam.
  • Failure to submit all course work can result in the grade T (= unfinished work). A numerical grade will be awarded once the work has been completed.
  • Teachers are not required to accept or assess work turned in late.

Absence control in the DP

  • All students are expected to attend school regularly. Absences from school must have a legitimate excuse and teachers should be informed in advance, if possible.
  • All absences must be cleared by a parent/guardian or a medical professional (doctor, dentist etc).
  • If a student is absent from a mock exam, he/she must present a doctor’s certificate to the form teacher and DP coordinator. This is a requirement for rescheduling the exam.

DP2, Diploma requirements and final examinations

IB final examinations schedules

The link above will take you to the following two exam sessions. The exams of one subject is usually divided between two days. Sometimes the students have two different subjects tested on the same day.

Conditions for the award of the IB Diploma

  • all six IB subjects are compulsory and have to be taken in the final examinations
  • the students have 3 opportunities to take the examinations, this does not have to take place in consecutive sessions
  • most subjects can be taken in May or November sessions
  • a minimum total of 24 points in six diploma subjects
  • a minimum average grade of 4 in HL subjects (note: 3 is sufficient if have grade 5, 6, or 7 in another HL subject)
  • a minimum average grade of 3 in SL subjects (note: 2 is sufficient if have grade 5, 6, or 7 in another SL subject)
  • a minimum of 12 points altogether in 3 HL subjects
  • a minimum of 9 points in 3 SL subjects
  • completion of all IA work,  done at home or at school and is part of the final grade being 25-50 % of the final grade.
  • completion of all TOK components, no grade E
  • completion of all CAS components
  • completion of the Extended Essay, no grade E
  • all pending fees must have been paid, the final exam cost about 600 euros
  • Failing to meet one or more of the criteria above means no diploma awarded.

Textbooks and materials

Teachers (DP)

Aaltonen Kaisa KAA German, Theory of knowledge
Eeva Sara SEE Finnish A
Eroma Mari MER Physical education
Haavisto Eevastiina EHA Mathematics
Hall Steven SHA Economics
Hiilovaara-Teijo Mervi MHT Biology
Hyvärinen Jaana JHY Special education
Karhu Päivi PKA Mathematics
Kaskenviita Rauni RKA Finnish A
Keskitalo Katariina KKE Finnish B
Laine Reima RLA Chemistry
Lehtilä Hanna HLE Visual art
Lindgren Rici RLI Physics
Lintunen Pia PLI French
Nera Susanna SNE Finnish B
Osmo Anne AOS Swedish
Peltonen Mikko MPE Physics, Theory of knowledge
Raevuori Johanna JRA Psychology
Raiko Linda LRA Swedish A
Salonen Elise ESA Psychology, Business management
Salminen Jenna JSAL English B, Theory of knowledge
Sarimo Jannika JSA English A
Sellman Klaus KSE Physical education
Tähtinen Hanna HTÄ Finnish B
Valtanen Jukka JVL Guidance and counselling
Waltari-Grundström Anu AWA History, Social studies, CAS coordinator, Deputy head of school
Vanhatalo Marianna MVA Chemistry, DP coordinator
Vartiainen Katrina KVA Head of school
Vaurula Nina NVA English B
Viiniemi Minna MVI Social Studies
Vänttinen Juha JVÄ History

Study support and guidance

Study welfare team

Key persons

Office secretary  Anna Elenius              050 3297783
Guidance counsellor  Jukka Valtanen   050 5660932
IB-coordinator  Marianna Vanhatalo    040 5773395
Curator     Jatta Auremaa                        050 5924685
Study psychologist   Petri Tiitta             040 5181955
Special teacher  Jaana Hyvärinen          050 5327080
School nurse  Vilma Alcenius                 040 1498500

e-mails: first name.surname@utu.fi

Students’ welfare work is the responsibility of everyone working in the school and it is carried out in co-operation with homes. The key persons in the welfare team are listed above. The student whose issue the team is considering can attend the meetings and the same applies to guardians, form and subject teachers.

The main goal of the team is to take care of the students’ physical, mental and social welfare. The team also promotes the safety and welfare of the whole school community.

Guidance counsellor

The guidance counsellor for high school is Mr Jukka Valtanen, whose office is on the 3rd floor. Tel. 050 5660932,  e-mail jukka.valtanen@utu.fi

The guidance counsellor advises students in matters such as general studies, career choices, further education and work life. The guidance is given in lessons as well as at personal and group meetings. The work is carried out in co-operation with other teachers and the student welfare team. The guidance also includes visits to colleges, universities and further education open days.

School curator

Our school curator, Ms Jatta Auremaa, works for all levels of students in the school. Her office is on the 1st floor in A-wing.  Tel. 050 5924 685  e-mail:  jatta.auremaa@utu.fi

The school curator is a school social worker who aims at solving the students’ problems in studying. She also works in co-operation with guardians, teachers, the school welfare team and external experts. If needed she also guides familieshow  to contact specialists outside school. Both guardians and students are welcome to discuss even personal matters with the curator.  All discussions with the curator are confidential.

The curator helps and supports the students in matters such as:

  • problematic situations in studies (absences, lack of study motivation and disability to concentrate on work in class)
  • challenges in social relationships (conflicts at home or elsewhere)
  • clearing bullying cases
  • matters related to life control
  • guidance and advice on study benefits

School psychologist

Our school psychologist Petri Tiitta’s office is on the 1st floor in A-Wing. Make an appointment for consultation.                   tel. 040 5181955     e-mail: petri.tiitta@utu.fi.

The school psychologist aims at helping you in matters related to mental welfare, study motivation and coping with stress in particular.

The responsibilities of the school psychologist:

  • psychological investigations and evaluations related to the students’ study habits and welfare
  • offering consultation for teachers and other staff
  • guiding and advising guardians
  • guiding and advising students
  • analysis of the activities and harmony of student groups and classes
  • co-operation with the principals and other staff; plans for crisis situations, for instance

Special needs teacher

Special needs teacher’s job is to support the students in their studies and when they have learning difficulties at times when the students’ ability to work is decreased abrubtly, temporarily or extensively. The situation may be caused by a physical or mental illness or particularly difficult curcumstances in life.

On the other hand, the development of a student’s study skills, time management, feeling of responsibility, mastery of life skills or motivation may require special support and guidance.
Special needs teacher also organizes dyslexia tests to identify reading and writing difficulties. She is also responsible for writing a document needed in special arrangements in examinations. Students are advised to be active in getting suitable assistance from her and the school.

Health care

Health care

School nurse Vilma Alcenius  (tel. 040 149 8500)

The school nurse’s room is located on the 1st floor next to Lounge A in the elementary school section.

  • at 8 – 9 reception  without pre-booking
  • at 9 –  reception with advance booking

The aim of school healthcare is

  • to enhance the students’ health and ability to study effectively, and to support life control and the process toward adulthood
  • to recognize the need for special support and to guide the student to make use of our welfare team and the suppotive measures
  • to observe and promote the health, welfare and safety of the whole school community and environment.

Health inspections of the senior high students

School health care is mostly taken care of by the school nurses and school doctor. They will contact other health services such as hospital inspections, treatment or rehabilitation if needed. All 1st-year senior high students are called to the health inspection carried out by the school nurse. 2nd-year students are inspected by the school nurse and doctor together but it is possible to meet the doctore earlier on request.

The aim of the health inspections is to get an overall view of the students’ health and welfare situation and to guide the students to make choices that promote their health. Special attention is paid to the students’ life situation, study motivation and health risks.

The students’ health situation is evaluated from the point of view how well they are able to do well in their studies. The doctor’s inspection in the 2nd year includes the inspection for the army as a pre-measure to the official army inspection.

It is vital that new students inform the school nurse, form or subject teacher about any underlying diseases or other conditions or symptoms that may affect the future studies.

Accidents and sudden illnesses that require medical doctor’s treatment are taken care of in the local health centre or on-duty hospital (TYKS, T-hospital, Savitehtaankatu 1, Turku; telephone advice 02-313800). First aid is given by the school nurses. The treatment in cases of school accident is free for the students. See for more information in Wilma.

Dental treatments

Dental treatment of the students is carried out in the student’s own dental clinic in his/her postal area. The students must book the time themselves and the treatment is free for anyone under 18. Turku central dental clinic tel. 02-2660 644. Those who are not permanent residents of Turku are obliged to book a time in their own community.

Schedules of the school year

Schedules of the school year

Autumn term: Wed 11.8. – Wed 22.12.2021

  • Autumn vacation: Mon 11.10. –  Sun 17.10.2021 (week 41)
  • Christmas vacation: Thu 23.12.2021 – Sun 9.1.2022

Spring term: Mon 10.1. – Sat 4.6.2022

  • Winter vacation: Mon 21.2. –  Sun 27.2.2022 (week 8)

Study periods

Period 1 11.8.2021 – 5.10.2021

Period 2 6.10.2021 – 2.12.2021

Period 3 3.122021. – 8.2.2022

Period 4 9.2.2022 – 11.4.2022

Period 5 12.4.2022 – 4.6.2022,

Assessment periods (pre-DP)

Assessment period 1 28.9.2021 – 5.10.2021

Assessment period 2 25.11.2021 – 2.12.2021

Assessment period 3 1.2.2022 – 8.2.2022

Assessment period 4 4.4.2022 – 11.4.2022

Assessment period 5 25.5.2022 – 1.6.2022

Retake exams (pre-DP)

  1. Thu 28.10.2021 at 16 – 19
  2. Thu 20.1.2022 at 16 – 19
  3. Thu 10.3.2022 at 16 – 19
  4. Thu 5.5.2022 at 16 – 19
  5. Thu 9.6.2022 at 9 – 12

Guardians’ and parents’ evenings

  • Pre-DP year Wed 15.9.2021 at 17.30
  • DP1 Thu 9.9.2021 at 17.30
  • DP2 Tue 14.9.2021 at 17.30
  • DP2 Wed 10.11.2021 at 18.00

Other events

  • Penkkarit event Thu 10.2.2022
  • Day of the Eldest Fri 18.2.2022

Daily working hours at school

1. lesson  08.30-09.45
2. lesson  10.00-11.15
3. lesson  11.30-12.45
4. lesson 13.15-14.30
5. lesson  14.45-16.00