About SAM

Suomi Amerikka Yhdistysten Liitto - Activities

Vision and strategy

SAM´s vision is to become the leading information center for Finnish students looking for scholarships or summer jobs in the United States.

Additionally, we offer events, training, and other activities to our members and an opportunity to enhance your skills with our volunteer jobs.

Organization and leadership

The League of Finnish American Societies (SAM) is a non-profit friendship organization. Our mission is to deepen the understanding between our nations, cultural exchange and advance opportunities for students by offering scholarships and summer jobs.

In addition, SAM functions as an umbrella organization for its local chapters.

SAM is a politically independent organization and it does not try to influence state matters.


The board

The board for the league is responsible for strategic planning and providing guidance to operations. The board has one chair, two vice-chair, and 6-19 members, who are elected at the annual meeting. Their term is two years. The current chair, Elina Lehtinen was nominated to her position on October 26th, 2019.

The annual meeting is held between May and October. Member chapters can send representatives to the annual meeting, based on their membership quota. The annual meeting elects the board every other year.

The board for the league

Chair: Elina Lehtinen

Vice Chairs: Jaakko Barsk (Tampere) and Pirve Harakka (Helsinki)

Jasmin Granholm, Vaasa
Manolis Huuki, Turku
Kirsti Koistinen, Kuopio
Pauli Korpi-Tassi, Kokkola
Päivi Korpivaara, Jyväskylä
Heikki Kulju, Seinäjoki
Leena Mäkinen, Pori
Lasse Neuvonen, Joensuu
Siiri Nousiainen, Helsinki
Ari Okkonen, Oulu

The board´s responsibilities

The board has financial and strategic responsibilities. Its role is to guide, develop and support the local chapters and to execute the decisions made at the annual meeting.

Other responsivities:

  • Talent management
  • Plan agenda for the annual meeting
  • To name working and advisory groups when needed
  • Other responsibilities as the need arise

Become a member

Are you interested in the United States? Feeling homesick? Are you an expat, living in Finland and want to find friends who embrace the American culture?

Do you feel that it is important to have an exchange of cultures and deepen the understanding between the United States and Finland?

Join our membership and be part of the community. Support our mission to deepen the understanding between these two countries.

As a member, you will be part of SAM family. You will have access and VIP invitation to special events. You will also receive the SAM Magazine which is published four times a year.

You will have an opportunity to influence what events and programs your local chapter offers.

Join the SAM family! Find your local chapter here.


Your local SAM wants to be your home away from home, where you will feel welcome.

We offer activities and events where you can meet like-minded people, who are interested in the U.S. culture. Our organization is a volunteer-based organization and therefore each city may have different agendas and programs. The volunteers make the events. If you are interested in developing programs and events, please join us! We also provide relevant and interesting education for our volunteers.

Even that, most of our events are in Finnish, English speakers will be more than welcome to join. If you need an interpreter, it is best that you contact your local chapter and discuss how that could be arranged.  You may find all the chapter leaders here. 

Typically, the local chapters organize events such as:

  • American holidays: Halloween, 4th of July, Thanksgiving
  • Cultural events
  • Book clubs
  • Speaker events with a current topic

Hope to see you at our events! Event calendar

Click here for more information about SAT and SAT Subject tests in English. 

Day care centers

SAM operates English speaking daycare centers in three cities: Kotka, Mikkeli and Pieksämäki. Please find their contact information below.