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FINLAND + Scandinavia AND THE BALtics:
A History of Deliberate Effort toLeave No Child Behind
JUNE 2023

Finland:

The Country of Educational Innovation  

Global Education Allies invites all interested educators to Finland and Estonia to explore the educational systems that have astounded many with their top performing scores, while employing an approach to schooling that some call “unorthodox”. Finnish and Estonian schools are known for their high levels of trust and equity, lack of standardized tests, long outdoors recesses, minimal homework, shorter school days, and minimal pressure to perform. The Finnish school system has been in the limelight ever since the first results of the PISA surveys (conducted every three years by the OECD) put Finland at or near the top in reading, math, and science. Estonia is emerging fast and is now a leader in digital learning and cloud-based educational infrastructure.

PROGRAM INFO

Sweden & Estonia

June 12th -17th (6 days); $1350

The Venice of the North, Sweden, presents a Nordic harmony of history and modernity, with culture, architecture, and art that spans the era of Vikings to ABBA, from kingdoms and empires to pop music and eSports. Join us in Stockholm, as we enjoy museums, landmarks, food, and pop culture, as well as learn about how community organizations are empowering a growing immigrant population of students.


Estonia, currently a world leader in cloud-based educational infrastructure, has seen a dramatic improvement in student academic achievement. Learn more about Estonia's efforts to improve digital literacy in the country and how this has facilitated greater education and economic development across this former Soviet state's society. Stroll through the streets and take in the culture and sites of the beautiful, historic city of Tallinn.

Image by Raphael Andres
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Main Program: Finland

June 17th - 23rd (7 days); $1750

Finland is not only known for its saunas, hundreds of thousands of lakes and great schools. It’s one of the great economic success stories of the 20th century: within just a few decades Finland was able to lift itself out of generational poverty that had spanned centuries under foreign rule and become a world leader in diverse sectors. Learn what role education played in the shift from an agrarian to a knowledge based society and how those priorities are still at work today.

 

Educational excursions will give participants an inside perspective and the opportunity to observe the Finnish education system on many levels, ask questions of experts, and make connections with local K-12 educators and administrators.

Midsummer celebration and Lapland Experience

(Norway and Finland)

June 23rd - 28th (6 days); $1550

 

The magical, northernmost area of the Nordics, Lapland, is known for the midnight sun, wandering reindeer, endless views of the Northern taiga and on the very tip of the continent of Europe, endless, windswept hills of tundra. We will fly to Rovaniemi, the “capital” of the Lapland area and learn about indigenous Sámi culture and crafts and the importance of dual language immersion in local schools in keeping the Sámi language and culture alive.

 

After the Finnish side of Lapland we will drive to the Norwegian Lapland, all the way to the Arctic Ocean, and enjoy layers of history and culture as well as breathtaking views where the mountains meet the sea.

Image by 66 north

Cultural Highlights

Pre-Trip to

Sweden & Estonia

 

  • Visit the famous Vasa Ship museum

  • Explore Gamla Stan (old city), including the Royal Palace, the Nobel museum, and the Drottningholm Castle and Gardens 

  • Take a cruise on a large ship to Estonia across the Baltic Sea.

  • Explore the city of Tallinn, with its incredible medieval Old Town (a UNESCO World Heritage Site)

  • Visit an old catacomb under Tallinn.

  • Learn about KGB history during the Cold War at the KGB museum

Main Program:

Finland

  • Explore a state-of-the-artl nature exhibit center at the Nuuksio national park

  • Visit the design district

  • Shop the famous farmers market

  • Explore the Suomenlinna island fortress (a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Helsinki)

  • Tour one of the oldest stone castles in Europe

  • Experience a traditional Finnish sauna on a lake

Note: Details on the itinerary may still change

Lapland Experience

(Norway & Finland)

  • Cross the Arctic circle 

  • Visit a reindeer farm and participate in a Lappish initiation rite

  • Drop by Santa’s workshop and meet the legend in person

  • Learn about indigenous Sámi crafts 

  • Ride with an Arctic dog sled team and interact with the dogs 

  • Visit Arktikum, a state-of-the-art museum of the Arctic North

  • Hike one of the famous “mountains” of the northernmost tip of Finland

  • Travel to Arctic Norway on a bus across the Nordic tundra 

  • Option to sleep in a glass “igloo”

 

DETAILS

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WHO

All interested educators and community leaders are encouraged to apply. Non-educator guests will be considered based on availability. An additional fee of $150 for non-educators will be charged to cover additional expenses.

 

WHEN

Sweden & Estonia: June 12th -17th (6 days)

Finland: June 17th - 23rd (7 days)

Lapland - Norway & Finland: June 23rd - 28th (6 days)

PACKAGE OPTIONS:

Option 1: Finland + Sweden and Estonia pre-trip package: $2950 (savings of $150)

Option 2: Finland + The Arctic post-trip package (Norwegian and Finnish Lapland and midsummer celebration): $3150 (savings of $150)

 

Option 3: Entire package: Finland + Sweden and Estonia + The Arctic (Norwegian and Finnish Lapland and midsummer): $4290 (savings of $360)

 

WHAT’S INCLUDED

Shared accommodations, most meals and program activities (including educational visits, sightseeing and entrance fees), local transportation and transportation (including flights) between programs are all included in the selected program price.

 

WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED

International airfare to Northern Europe, airport transportation to and from our meeting and ending locations, some meals, travel insurance, add-on or upgrade options that may be selected (including single rooms) or any covid-related testing costs are not included.

 

APPLICATION TIMELINE

Priority consideration: January 15th

Final deadline: March 1st (if spaces are still available)

The early consideration deadline is January 1, 2023. Those hoping to do the Lapland (Norway and Finland) post-trip are encouraged to apply by this date. The post-trip price may increase for late applicants, as prices of flights increase. 

Zoom interviews will be held through mid March and all selection decisions will be made by March 15th. A program deposit of $250 per trip leg (refundable in case of Covid) will be due upon acceptance. Program balance must be paid in full by July 1st.

WHY PEOPLE ARE TALKING ABOUT FINNISH EDUCATION

"Finland’s experience shows that it is possible to achieve excellence by focusing not on competition, but on cooperation, and not on choice, but on equity."

-Pasi Sahlberg

COVID STATEMENT

It’s a new world of travel and GEA is ready to navigate it safely and comfortably with our participants and partners in mind. We believe the benefits of travel outweigh the risks - when appropriately managed. GEA will be doing everything to navigate the situation on all our 2023 programs and to help everyone feel secure and comfortable. This means we may sometimes go above and beyond safety protocols in the US and abroad. There are also many ways you can personally manage a safe and happy travel experience and GEA will help remind you along the way.

We reserve the right to change the itinerary in consideration of Covid-19 and other unforeseen circumstances.

Please read here about our refund policies, extensive Covid strategies, and how GEA intends to make travel as safe, fair, and comfortable as possible.

Still Have Questions?

Funding Opportunities
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