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Program Description
Program information for summer 2019 is not yet available
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Helsinki Panorama

   Quick Facts

So you think you’re smarter than a Finnish 5th-grader?
Find out why the Finnish educational system produces the smartest kids in the world by visiting one the most beautiful Nordic cities on a two-week adventure to Helsinki, including a visit to the country of Estonia and the medieval city of Tallinn and a day-trip to Finland’s original capital the 13th-century city of Turku.
Take a deep dive exploring K-12 schooling outside of the United States and experience first-hand the educational system of Finland, a known leader in education. Students will perform hands-on comparative research through classroom and school site visits. Examine what is working and what has failed, and explore ideas that we might bring back to improve schooling in the US.
In preparation for this study abroad experience, students will be required to participate in four, 2-hour long class sessions (in-person meetings located on the Tempe campus) starting Spring B term (late March and April; specific days and times to be determined).
Each afternoon during our two-week stay, you and your classmates will have the opportunity to experience the history and traditions of Helsinki and cities throughout Finland through socio-cultural excursions to museums, Repovesi National Park, UNESCO World Heritage Sites including Suomenlinna Fortress and the Verla Mill, art galleries, the Finnish Congress, the Rock Church, among other places. 

  • 3 credits
  • May 11th to May 25th, 2019 (with pre-trip coursework)


Nordic map
Helsinki Sign

Location Details

As the capital and largest city in Finland, Helsinki is an exceptional place to start our journey of exploring the Finnish K-12 education – regarded as one of the most progressive and most successful schooling systems in the world.  Helsinki is the meeting point of eastern and western Europe, reflected in its modern and cosmopolitan outlook, the influence of Russian and Estonian language and culture, and its globally-focused, well-educated, and multi-lingual population.  Outdoor cafes and bars (“terrassit” as the locals call them), located in the heart of the city’s center, provide a perfect spot for watching the warm and welcoming Finns and absorbing the rich cultural heritage of all that Helsinki has to offer!

Visa Information

It is each student’s responsibility to independently determine if a visa is necessary for travel to any foreign countries visited on this program. Limited information may be provided by the ASU Study Abroad Office, your faculty director, and/or partner organizations/institutions. Where visas are required, failure to obtain a visa may result in your inability to participate and, ultimately, your withdrawal from the program, subject to the terms of the Study Abroad Payment and Withdrawal Policies

Consult this page for additional information regarding visas. If you need assistance securing a U.S. Passport, visit the ASU U.S. Passport Acceptance Office in Tempe.

PLEASE NOTE: Visa requirements for non U.S. citizens may differ from those for U.S. citizens; students who are not U.S. citizens are advised to contact their International Coordinator and begin independently researching the visa requirements for their nationality as soon as possible.


Eligibility Requirements

This program is open to all undergraduates students who have a 2.5 GPA, earned 25 credits, complete an application essay(details will accompany the online application), and are in good standing with the University.  This program requires in-person meetings prior to the program in the spring semester (ASU Online students can participate on this program provide they can connect virtually to our pre-departure meetings).


Students will earn 3 credits in one of the following classes:

Undergraduate Students

  • SOC 451 – Comparative Sociology – 3 credits (SB & G)
  • SPF 494 – Special Topics:  Comparative Education: Finland and the United States – 3 credits 
Individualized honors contracts and independent study credit offered for projects that go beyond the scope of the study abroad program will be available and supervised by the program’s faculty director.
Nordic schoolchildrenClassroom


Faculty Directors

Paul C. LePore, Ph.D.
Associate Dean and Clinical Professor
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics
phone:  (480) 965-6506

Jessica Early, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

2016 Group in Stockholm


Hotel Arthur Helsinki
Photo credit: Hotel Arthur, Helsinki

Program Housing

Students will be lodged in centrally-located hotels in shared rooms with private bathrooms.  There will be welcome and farewell dinners and breakfast will be provided daily.  


Accessibility Information

Individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation in one of more of this program’s locations very different from what you find in the United States. Depending on the program, there may be a great deal of walking or the regular use of public transportation. The Study Abroad Office cannot guarantee access to public transportation, buildings, or public sites on this program.

Although ASU cannot guarantee the accessibility of all program sites, students with disabilities can and do study abroad. Upon request, the ASU Study Abroad Office can provide information about the availability of accommodations and accessible facilities on the specific program and can help you determine whether this program can meet your accommodation needs.

Who Gets Ahead City Snapshot


Cost Information

The Program Fee for Summer 2019 is $4,450

Program Fee includes:  tuition for 3 ASU credits, all housing, in-country transportation for program events, entrance fees for program-related activities, daily breakfast, welcome and farewell dinners, and health insurance. 
The Program Fee does not include:  trans-Atlantic airfare, most meals, passport, books and required course materials, and personal expenses.

Faculty Directed program participants are also responsible for paying a non-refundable $50 Application Fee, in addition to the Program Fee listed above. All other costs associated with participation in the program are the responsibility of the individual student. Be sure to reference the program Cost Sheet for information on program fees and any additional estimated expenses.

The program may allow for time which can be spent in non-program activities. Participants may wish to travel, sight-see or participate in activities or events in which they have a personal interest. Please note that the participant is fully responsible for making arrangements and for all costs of transportation, lodging, food and additional expenses that may be associated with any non-Program activities.


Funding Your Study Abroad Program

Studying abroad is an investment in your future, which requires careful planning and management. However, the personal, academic, and professional rewards that you will gain from this experience will last a lifetime. You should carefully consider costs, budgets and financing when selecting and preparing for your experience abroad. If you have questions at any step of the process, we encourage you to reach out to your International Coordinator for guidance.

Steps to Financing Your Study Abroad Program

  1. View the program Cost Sheet to find a breakdown of program expenses.
  2. Attend a Financing Your Study Abroad Workshop.
  3. Consider your Financial Aid options.
  4. Search and Apply for Scholarships and Grants.
  5. Exhaust your options by exploring Additional Funding Resources including our Community-Based Funding Guide.
  6. View our  Financing Your Study Abroad Program Handbook for more information, including Payment Information.

Unique Funding Opportunities for This Program


Dates & Deadlines
Dates & Deadlines
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2019 03/01/2019 ** Rolling Admission 05/11/2019 05/25/2019
NOTE: Dates are subject to change. Do not purchase airfare until Study Abroad Office contacts you to do so.

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Students will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision tasks prior to the term's application deadline.