English is the first language which usually crops up in the Facebook pages and on internet search engines when looking for foreign language events in Jyväskylä. However, there are actually some regular events which are also held in Russian and German.

Three of the most prominent English speaking events available are: English Improv Night, ESN International Pub and Pub Quiz Tournament, and CineSundays. These events are held monthly and encourage locals, other language speakers and international students to attend, meet new people and have fun.

The aim of the events is to fill a cultural niche and to serve the culture-hungry exchange students.

The English Improv Night is organised by Osuuskunta Kuje and performed by Kaisa Kokko and Marianna Räsänen who are both trained in improvisation, drama, and communication skills. The idea for these events took off from the Mikäklubi which has been running in Jyväskylä since 2011.

The aim behind these improv nights is to get the audience to have a unique experience by using a mixture of improv actors and musicians. Performances are improvised on the spot and usually the theme of the performance is determined by the audience themselves.


The aim of the events is to fill a cultural niche and to serve the culture-hungry exchange students.

”At the time Improv Night started there weren’t any other live show style events on offer in the centre which catered for non-Finnish speakers. Usually these events attract exchange students, it’s a chance for them to see some performing arts in Jyväskylä”, Iita Mykkänen from Osuuskunta Kuje explains.

The next English Improv Night event will be held on 14th December 2016 at 6.30pm in Katse, Väinönkatu 26. Event is for over 18’s only and tickets are 5 euros per person.


ESN International Pub and Pub Quiz are monthly events held by the Erasmus Student Network and encourage students to present their home countries to each other and get to meet other ESN students. Each pub quiz is held after the international pub ‘home country’ presentations.

The next ESN International Pub and Pub Quiz event will be held on 14th December 2016 at 7pm in Shaker, Kauppakatu 32. These events do not cost anything but do need to be booked around 2 or 3 days in advance. More details can be found on the ESN Facebook page.


CineSundays is organised in conjunction with Keski-suomen elokuvakeskus (KSEK) and it is an international cinema club, held on Sunday evenings once a month at the Jyväskylä Orthodox Parish hall, Rajakatu 39. This is a place for people of all ages and nationalities to meet, watch films (subtitles are provided in English) and discuss them together in English afterwards, free of charge. CineSundays began in autumn 2016 with an ‘International Encounters’  theme and each season will see the cinema club implement a new theme for their films. Due to licensing rules, the film titles cannot be publicly advertised but more information about each event can be found in the CineSundays private Facebook group.

They offer a range of events but most of the information on their website and Facebook page is in Russian.

For Russian speakers there is a very active group in Jyväskylä called Feniks ry which organises events on a regular basis for its members and others from within the Russian speaking community. Just recently they organised a Christmas ornament workshop and a pre-Christmas party.

They offer a range of events but most of the information on their website and Facebook page is in Russian. This makes it a little difficult for non-Russian speakers to navigate their way through event information without the help of a friend or an online translator. In the event of a ‘lack of translation know-how’, it’s always a good idea to speak directly to the event organisers to clarify details and ask for more information about events which interest you.

The next upcoming events are a puppet theatre performance for children which is organised and performed by parents and will be held on 18th of December 2016 at 12.30pm at the big hall in Sepänkeskus, Kyllinkatu 1. Followed by a traditional New Year’s party for families which will be held on 7th January 2017 at 2pm at the Kivistö Community Hall, Vaajakoskentie 29. Tickets for the party can be bought on the door; 10 euros per child (this includes a present) and 5 euros per adult (Feniks ry members get free entry).

More events can also be found from Art-Master ry, Laikuttajantie 2, which used to be part of Feniks ry but is now an independent organisation in Jyväskylä offering both Finnish and Russian speaking theatre performances.

In addition, the Venäjä-seura group recently teamed up with Keski-Suomen elokuvakeskus for the showing of a Russian spoken film with English subtitles. This is also a good way to find some non-Finnish events around Jyväskylä. Try to search for foreign films being shown by the KSEK on behalf of or in cooperation with other groups.


Last but not least, the Finnish-German organisation of Jyväskylä (Finnisch-Deutscher Verein Jyväskylä) recently organised a traditional German Advent service at the church in the centre of the city. The organisation’s secretary, Anne Nykänen, mentioned that they organise events on a monthly basis for their members and a new schedule of events will be available in January 2017. All information can be found on their website and Facebook page, provided in both German and Finnish.


The Multicultural Centre Gloria, situated on Matarankatu 6, also puts on events in various foreign languages along with language classes and meeting cafes for individuals and families. They are a great place to find information about other foreign language organisations as most of the non-Finnish event information is either not listed online and travels by word-of-mouth or it is written in another language, and therefore not always easy to find via search engines.