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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
  May 13 (Sunday), Meeting at Helsinki airport - transportation to Tampere; Arrival in Tampere at 18:00
  May 14, 09:00-16:00 Lectures; 17:00 Guided city tour of Tampere; 19:00 Get-together (social)
  May 15, 09:00-16:00 Lectures
  May 16, 09:00-12:00 Lectures; 13:00 Departure from Tampere to Helsinki; 15:00 Arrival in Helsinki 16:00 Ferry Helsinki-Tallinn; 18:00 Arrival in Tallinn; 20:00 Meeting for dinner at Olde Hansa
  May 17, 09:00-11:00 Lecture of the Academy of Security sciences; 11:00-12:00 Free time for lunch 13:00-15:00 Visit of the Tallinna Vangla. ln the afternoon cultural activities; guided walking tour of Tallinn and visit of the TV tower.
  May 18, 08:30 Departure from Tallinn to Riga; 13:00 Arrival in Riga, check-in' Free time for lunch free time in the city
  May 19, Breakfast and check-out. 10:00 Departure to KGB museum (until 12:00); 12:00 Free time for Lunch; 14:00 Departure to Vilnius Lithuania, on the way to Vilnius visiting the Hill of Crosses and the Trakai Castle. 20:00 Arrival in Vilnius, free time
  May 20, 10:00 Educational programs: Prison experience Soviet bunker 1-984. Survival Drama Back to the USSR - easy way!
  May 21, 07:00 Bus trip to Tallinn; 11:00 Arrival in Riga, free time for lunch; 13:00 Departure from Riga to Tallinn; 19:00 Arrival in Tallinn - ferry to Helsinki; 21:00 Arrival in Helsinki, transportation to Tampere; 23:00 Arrival in Tampere, lodging
  May 22, 11:00-16:00 Lectures May 23 09:00-16:00 Lectures May 24 09:00-16:00 Lectures
  May 25, Check-out; 10:00 Bus departure to visit the Vilppula OPEN prison; 10:30 Arrival in Vilppula, prison visit; 11:30 End of the prison visit, lunch in the prison; 12:30 Transportation to Ruovesi; 13:00 Reflective discussion wíth the entire group; 18:00 Smoke sauna & bath cubes
  May 26, Free time for Finnish cottage activities (rowing, hiking, cycling etc)
  May 27, Bus departure to Helsinki-Vantaa airport (or to Helsinki city center)


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, SOCI 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.


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 
Estimated program Fee-billable *   $1,350.00 
Meals   $280.00 
Airfare   $1,000.00 
Passport/Visa   $135.00 
Estimated total: $4,933.00 (This total is subject to change. Final costs are not yet finalized)


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.

Riga, Latvia's capital, is set on the Baltic sea at the mouth of the River Daugava. It's considered a cultural center of Latvia and is home to many museums and concert halls. The city is also known for its wooden buildings, art nouveau architecture and medieval Old Town that was created by Livonian order. The pedestrian-only Old Town has many shops and restaurants and is home to busy Livu Square, with bars and nightclubs. Riga is more than 800 years old and with a blend of a medieval and modern. Mixed together so perfectly that it fits every taste and with an

Kaunas, is a city in south-central Lithuania. Established at the junction of two major Lithuanian rivers; Neris and Nemunas. On the banks of the junction, the oldest medieval brick castle in Lithuania, Kaunas Castle, is established. To the east, the old town is home to the Kaunas Cathedral Basilica, with its ornate interior, and the Gothic spires of the Hanseatic House of Perkunas. A pedestrianized street lined with trees and cafes, crosses the city from west to east.

Vilnius, Lithuania's capital, is known for its baroque architecture, seen especially in its medieval Old Town. But the buildings lining this district's partially cobblestoned streets reflect diverse styles and eras, from the neoclassical Vilnius Cathedral to Gothic St. Anne's church. The 16th century Gate of Dawn, containing a shrine with a sacred Virgin Mary icon, once guarded an entrance to the original city. 

Tempere, a large city by Finnish standards, with more than 200,000 inhabitants, had managed to keep a small town feel. The city centre is compact in size, and the atmosphere is friendly and casual. The city is located on a scenic spot on a narrow isthmus between two lakes. The Tammerkoski rapids and their riverbanks form the backdrop for old industrial buildings, and ridges formed thousands of years ago by ancient seas and retreating ice offer fantastic views over the two lakes. Original architecture and innovative urban development blend together to please both viewers and users of the built environment.

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.

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This program is currently not accepting applications.