International Travel

One of the hallmarks of the Flinn Scholarship is the opportunity for at least two funded study-abroad experiences, including a three-week summer seminar in China and a destination chosen by the Scholar.

In the summer after their freshman year, the Scholars travel as a class to China, where they divide their time between the capital city of Beijing and the rural Yunnan province.

The 2019 program acknowledged China’s role in global-scale environmental, cultural, and economic sustainability issues, approaching these issues from both anthropological and artistic perspectives. The trip was coordinated in China by staff from the Council on International Education Exchange.

In Beijing, the Scholars visit sites such as the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, and the Forbidden City, engage in daily lectures and group discussions with experts on sustainability, encounter artistic and cultural traditions of China, and study Mandarin Chinese. In Yunnan, Scholars stay with host families in rural villages, visit environmental preserves, and participate in community events.

“The Chinese village was my favorite part of the trip, and getting pushed into that kind of setting allowed not only unique educational opportunities, but it also allowed true cultural immersion.”– 2014 Flinn Scholar

The Flinn Scholars summer seminar is now in its 20th year, with 2019 being the seventh year in China. The previous seminars were held in Hungary and Romania, which in the late 1990s were still emerging as democratic countries.

In addition to the China trip, Scholars individually choose at least one other travel experience during their undergraduate years.

These trips are intended to complement and broaden a Scholar’s field of study, to provide experiences beyond their degree programs, and provide an opportunity to experience the culture and history of other locales and people.

Scholars have traveled all over the world while undergraduates, spending time on all seven continents, in countries both rich and poor, and in cities large and small. These study-abroad experiences for Flinn Scholars can range from a summer to a semester to a year.

“I gained confidence and problem-solving skills while exploring the city without anyone who spoke the language, and it has prepared me for future study-abroad experiences.”– 2014 Flinn Scholar