College of Education graduate students who traveled to Finland and Sweden last July shared insights about those countries’ educational systems Wednesday, March 27, at Indianapolis Public Central Library, 40 E. St. Clair St. 

EPPSP Finland and Sweden TripCOE and WFYI-TV cosponsored the  presentation, which was recorded for later presentation as a podcast on 

Twenty-one students enrolled in Butler’s Experiential Program for Preparing School Principals (EPPSP), spoke with Finnish and Norwegian educators regarding how the two countries have dramatically improved student outcomes and promoted the social status of teachers.

The improvements were documented by a research study and a film, both titled “The Finland Phenomenon.”

Professor of Education Marilyn Sudsberry conceived and led the trip; her curriculum has been nominated for a national award recognizing innovation in study abroad programming.

Sudsberry, who directs EPPSP, said that the Butler Center for Global Studies, and its associate director Jill McKinney specifically, helped work through the logistics of this first-time study abroad venture for EPPSP students.

EF College Study Tours (a subdivision of EF Education First), the company that coordinated their travel plans, helped arrange several highly informative meetings for Sudsberry’s students.

“They met with a former minister of education, a representative from national board of education, a college professor who taught previously in a middle school, former teachers, administrators, and other educators,” she said. “It was such a learning experience fitting totally with our learning objectives.”

The trip participants are all working educators. They were assigned to find educational reform ideas abroad that they could implement in their home school districts. 

The EPPSP will offer the same trip itinerary in summer 2014.

EF’s Director of Customer Insights and Product Innovation Andrew Garcia said his company was highly impressed by the curriculum Sudsberry developed around the initial trip.

EF has nominated Sudsberry for a national award from, an online resource for international education. GoAbroad will announce award winners in May.

Garcia also said that EF has made the Finland/Sweden trip, based on Sudsberry’s curriculum, part of its standard offering of experiential travel options.

“The work Marilyn did to apply her curriculum to our program framework really exemplifies the type of partnership that can make study abroad successful with us,” he said. “And the reaction from other educators to our ‘Education in Finland and Sweden’ trip has been phenomenal.”

The world leader in international education, EF Education First has sent more than 3 million students abroad and offers language, travel, cultural exchange, and academic degree programs. EF’s College Study programs send thousands of college travelers abroad annually.

Media contact: Mary Ellen Stephenson
(317) 940-6944