One hallmark of the Flinn Scholarship is two funded study-abroad experiences—a group summer seminar and a destination chosen by the Flinn Scholar.
In the summer after their freshman year, the Scholars travel as a class to an international destination. The summer seminar strengthens community among the Scholars while helping them build skills and preparing them to travel confidently and wisely in more independent settings.
In addition to the summer seminar, Scholars individually choose at least one other travel experience during their undergraduate years. Options include semester exchanges, language study, and volunteer opportunities that will enrich and complement their academic programs.
Study abroad experiences, which can range from a summer to a semester to a year, complements and broadens a Scholar’s academic program at one of the three Arizona public universities and provides an opportunity to experience the culture and history of other locales and people.
2023 Summer Seminars: Finland and Greece
The Flinn Scholars summer seminar for students finishing their freshman year in 2023 was held in Finland for the first time. “The Finnish Experiment: Exploring Finnish and American Societies Through a Comparative Lens” examined Finland’s educational system in a comparative context to the American K-12 system.
The program began in the capital city of Helsinki before travel to Verla. The trip included visits to schools, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Helsinki’s Parliament House, museums, galleries, and other cultural attractions, an ice hockey World Championship game, and an open prison to learn about Finland’s rehabilitation program for inmates.
Also in summer 2023, the Class of 2019 Flinn Scholars traveled to Greece to make up for a canceled seminar after their freshman year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The program, “Wellbeing and Longevity in the Blue Zone of Greece: Tour of Ikaria” enabled Flinn Scholars to study and experience the healthy lifestyles, mindsets, and social connectedness of the island of Ikaria, one of five identified locations across the globe with the longest-living people.
A tradition of travel
The Flinn Scholarship group seminars started in Hungary and Romania about a quarter century ago. The program later shifted to China, where Scholars divided their time between the capital city of Beijing and a rural province.
The summer seminar returned to Europe in 2022, taking place in France with a focus on water sustainability and management. The Scholars spent time in Paris before traveling to Strasbourg, a city on the Rhine River on the German border, and then Montpellier near the Mediterranean Sea.
The Flinn Scholars have traveled all over the world while undergraduates, spending time on all seven continents, in countries rich and poor, and in cities large and small.