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Students will study issues of crime and social justice alongside European students from Tampere University in Finland. Individuals studying criminal justice will benefit from experiential learning through prison tours, museum visits and interactions with criminal justice organizations. Students will hear from guest speakers including criminal justice practitioners, former inmates, and academic experts in the field. Finland is a current model of social justice in managing crime. They are focused on human rights and take full responsibility for those brought into the system working hard to rebuild families and reintegrate individuals into society. Likewise Estonia will offer a unique perspective through its policies and models. With criminal justice as a backdrop, students will also experience Finland and Estonia through historical and cultural site visits, including local guided tours, traditional cuisine, a summer cottage experience with a smoke sauna.

The course on “Comparative Crime and Punishment” provides Marquette University students with the opportunity to study comparative crime and punishment issues with students from the University of Tampere in Finland, University of Sheffield in England, and Finlandia University in Michigan.  The study program includes guest lectures of leading specialists, researchers and prison workers and field trips to functioning prisons in Finland and Estonia. In addition to the educational program you will also familiarize yourself with local cultures through interesting activities. In Tampere you will enjoy the beauty of nature and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of the “Finnish Manchester”. In Estonia and Tallinn you have the possibility to admire the historical, hanseatic old town and learn about the horrors of the Soviet past. In Liepaja, Riga you will have unique option (not mandatory!) to experience one night as a prisoner in the notorious Karosta Soviet prison.  The tour is concluded with unforgettable cottage weekend in the heart of the country of thousands lakes in Finland.

The course is suitable for students of all grade levels, in any major. It is most appropriate for students majoring in sociology, criminology, social welfare and justice, and political science, or for any students with an interest in issues surrounding social justice and comparative cultures. The course will utilize a variety of teaching methods, including lectures, discussions, videos, guest speakers and tours of prisons in Finland, Estonia and Latvia.  Students will be evaluated based on daily journals and reflections, as well as a final paper that should be completed after return from Russia. 

Tentative Itinerary
Arrival in Finland
Meeting at the airport-transportation to Tampere
Briefing and free time
9am-4pm lectures
5pm Guided city tour of Tampere
7pm Get-together with course participants
9am-4pm lectures
9am-12pm lectures
1pm departure from Tampere to Helsinki
3pm arrival in Helsinki
4pm ferry from Helsinki to Tallinn
6pm arrival in Tallinn
8pm get-together dinner at Olde Hansa restaurant
9am-12pm lecture at the College of Justice
Free time for lunch
Cultural activities; guided walking tour of Tallinn and visit of the TV tower
Breakfast and check-out by 9am
9am bus departure to Johvi, to visit Viru Vangla
11am visiting Viru Vangla-prison guards will show around in one of the most modern Estonian prisons
1pm lunch at Johvi cafeteria
2pm bus departure to Riga
8pm arrival in Riga, lodging and free time
10am educational program to 1pm
1pm Lunch
2pm free time
Cultural activities; possibility to visit a shooting range and try Russian guns
9am bus departure to Liepaja
12pm arrival, free time in the city
2pm prison experience begins in Karosta prison; option to spend night as a prisoner
Breakfast and morning prison activities
8am group is released from Karosta prison, journey home begins
11am arrival in Riga, free time for lunch
1pm departure from Riga to Tallinn
7pm arrival in Tallinn, ferry to Helsinki
9pm arrival in Helsinki, transportation to Tampere
11pm arrival in Tampere, lodging
11am-4pm lectures
9am-4pm lectures
11am bus transportation to Ruovesi
1pm arrival lodging and lunch
free time
8pm smoke sauna and bath cubes
8-9am breakfast
10am bus departure to visit  Vilppula OPEN prison
11:30 am transportation back to Haapasaari
12:30 lunch and reflective discussion
afternoon on leisure
8pm smoke sauna and bath cubes
transportation to Helsinki-Vantaa airport


Students will participate in a comprehensive orientation prior to departure. Additional orientation will take place upon arrival in Finland.

Courses offered
Students will complete a three-credit course titled SOCI/SOWJ/CRLS 4951: Comparative Crime and Punishment. The course will be taught by Marquette professor Dr. Richard Jones and Dr. Ikponwosa Ekunwe from the University of Tampere. The program is a good fit for students majoring in sociology, criminology and law studies, social welfare and justice, or political science.

The focus of this course is on how deviance and criminality are embedded in the larger socio-political economy, as well as a reflection of it. The course will be divided into three parts. Part one will explore the social construction of reality, with specific focus on how crime is conceptualized, what myths are created regarding crime and criminals, and the role of government and media in constructing crime myths. Part two will explore the response to crime, with specific focus on corrections in Finland, Estonia and the United States. Part three will provide a practical component, with guest speakers (including criminal justice practitioners, former inmates, and other experts), videos and tours of prisons in Finland and Estonia.

Assessment will be based on a class journal and reaction paper that builds off course materials or reflects upon those materials.


Cumulus Koskikatu, Tampere
Omena Hotel, Tampere
Hotel Seaport, Tallinn
Hotel in Riga, Latvia
Hotel in Liepaja, (Karosta, Latvia)
Ruovesi, Haapasaari cottage village


Short-term Program Tuition (Marquette rates) *   $2,130.00 
GeoBlue International Health Insurance *   $38.00 
Program Fee-billable *   $1,550.00 
Meals   $280.00 
Airfare   $1,200.00 
Passport/Visa   $135.00 
Total: $5,333.00


With over 200 lakes winding through the city, the views Tampere, Finland, has to offer are breath-taking. In addition to its theaters, which have an international reputation, it offers a wide range of cultural and recreational facilities, including the modern Municipal Library, the Lenin Museum, numerous parks and lakes, and the Särkänniemi amusement park. Tampere is a booming technologic hub. With a growing student population, studying here is the perfect place to learn and socialize.

Neighboring Tallinn, Estonia is a vibrant city that has fused the modern and the medieval boasting a culture that is both Nordic and Russian. Estonia was long under Soviet rule, but joined the European Union in 2004. It is home to a large Russian population yet is closely tied to Nordic Europe - a short ferry ride away. It showcases a mix of ancient church spires, glass skyscrapers, palaces, eateries and cafes. Tallinn also boasts a mostly intact medieval city center with watchtowers topped by red roofs.

Liepaja doesn't fit any cliche – a port city of gritty red-brick warehouses, moored torpedo boats and an old prison for the main attraction, it also boasts one of the country's most beautiful beaches, and it has generated a totally disproportionate number of major Latvian musicians. Its rough-around-the-edges vibe that translates into grungy musical sounds makes Liepaja somewhat akin to Manchester, but in reality its search for identity is only beginning.Founded by the Livonian Order in the 13th century, Latvia’s third-largest city wasn’t a big hit until Tsar Alexander III deepened the harbour and built a gargantuan naval port at the end of the 1800s. For years the industrial town earned its spot on the map as the home to the first Baltic fleet of Russian submarines, but after WWII the Soviets occupied what was left of the bombed-out burg and turned it into a strategic military base.

Riga is more than 800 years old and with a blend of a medieval centre and a modern city. Mixed together so perfectly that it fits every taste and with an enchanting and irresistible charm of old times. And Riga is also a venue for cultural events in an international perspective - which is shown by the fact that it was the cultural epicentre of Europe in 2014. 365 days every year Riga offers both cultural as well as culinary highlights

Aspö is a small village on the Aspö Island in Väståboland, Finland. Until 2009 it belonged to the municipality of Korpo. Its Finnish-language name is Haapasaari, although this name is seldom used. The village is known for its white limestone church that has a red brick roof. The current church was built in 1955–1956; however, a church has existed in the place since the Middle Ages. The old church was destroyed in a storm in 1949.

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This program is currently not accepting applications.