Finland Forward – Linking Science and Movement with Educational Success

Finland, Turku

Tentative Dates: May 15 - May 31, 2023

Program Highlights

  • Visit schools throughout Finland to observe and interact with students and teachers to witness the interdisciplinary focus of teaching and see how movement is incorporated into each day.
  • Meet with University faculty and students at the University of Turku to learn more in depth the education sytem and teacher preparation.
  • Meet with educational leaders in the cities to learn how local curriculum decisions are made in Rovaneimi and Turku
  • Visit science centers in the country of Finland – Heureka Science Center in Helsinki, Tietomaa in Oulu, and the Pilke and Arkticum in Rovanemi, and Science Center Tuorla - Tuorla Observatory and Planetarium and Turku Centre For Biotechnology in Turku
  • Visit popular sites in Helsinki Uspenski Cathedral, Presidential Palace, Helsinki Olympia Terminal, Kauppahalli, Kauppatori Market Square, Oodi Library
  • Travel to the Arctic Circle and Santa Claus Village and a Reindeer farm and learn about the Lappish Culture

Explore more Finland Program details on CSB/SJU Global Portal.

Course & Program Information

Course Name: Finland Forward: Linking Science and Movement with Educational Success

Course Number: EDUC XXXA

Credit Number: 2 credits

Integrations Curriculum designation: Global Engagement (GL) pending

Prerequisite: None & open to all Majors

The goal of this course is to explore how schooling shapes and perpetuates cultures by examining schools in Finland. Finland is known to have one of the best education systems in the world. The transformation of the Finns’ education system began some 40 years ago as the key propellent of the country’s economic recovery plan. In this course, students will explore the interdisciplinary approach to the educational systems and be looking at what is taught as part of the national curriculum that was recently adopted. Students will work with teachers, university faculty, and educational decision makers in the country and observe students in schools.  This course will review the research related to the practices of physical activity and wellness that are incorporated throughout the school day and learn how sustainability of the resources is an integral part of the educational system.

Program Information:

Finland has the best education system in the world and has transformed the structure of the schools with an interdisciplinary approach that incorporates cultural values of physical wellness and environmental sustainability. Students will be assigned specific readings to give a broad overview of the educational history and the structure of the educational systems and research behind the educational approaches prior to travel. Each day, we will meet as a group to discuss focus of the day. We will visit science centers and schools and meet with faculty at the University and faculty at the school level to learn how the practices of physical fitness, nutrition, and science are integrated into the curriculum.  Students will visit other cultural and local sites such as the Helsinki Uspenski Cathedral and Oodi Library, and many of the other science centers in Finland. Students will enjoy the food of the country including blueberry juice and many other pastries such as Laskisaispulla.

Program Cost & Financial Considerations

Students on a summer program will pay an education program fee in addition to the cost of tuition for the two credits. The Find Program Fee details will be available in September and more information will be found on the CSB/SJU Global Portal.  

Students should plan early for a successful study abroad experience. Financial aid and scholarships may be available to help with program costs, but must be searched out well in advance.   


Students will stay in double or triple occupancy hotel accommodations while in Finland. WIFI is available at all hotel locations.

Program Director Information

The program director and instructor for this course is Diana Fenton. Diana is an Associate Professor in the Education Department. She graduated from the Bethel University in K-12 Educational Leadership and received her Masters in Interdisciplinary Teaching education from St. Cloud State University and Masters in Science from the University of Minnesota in Plant Breeding and Genetics. She has considerable experience in curriculum and instruction with a focus on science and technology. Diana traveled to Finland in the winter of 2022 to take part in a teacher shadow program to learn in-depth on the Finnish education curriculum and teacher preparation.

Contact: [email protected]