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*Faculty-Directed: The Global Economic Education Alliance Study Tour to Estonia & Latvia
Riga, Latvia; Tallinn, Estonia (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms:
Program Terms: Spring
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Type of Program: UCCS Faculty-directed Programs
Program Description:
Program Description:

The Global Economic Education Alliance in partnership with the Association of Teachers of Economics-Estonia & Junior Achievement Estonia, the Center for Economic Education, University of Colorado Colorado Springs in cooperation with the Faculty of Economics, & the Office of International Affairs, University of Colorado Colorado Springs.

to participate in an Economic Education Teacher Study Tour to Latvia & Estonia.

Dates:  March 20/21 - 29, 2020
Application Deadline: January 6, 2020
I.    Overview. 
  • The Global Economic Education Alliance is offering an 8-day Study Tour to Estonia & Latvia for two to four UCCS students and eight to ten K-12 school teachers from throughout the United States.  The Study Tour will be led by Professor John Brock, Director of the Center for Economic Education at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs (UCCS), Elbe Metsatalu, JA-Estonia and Director of the Association of Teachers of Economics Estonia, and Jānis Bukšs, JA-Latvia. 

  • This tour will provide a unique educational opportunity for teachers and university students to learn about the economies of Estonia and Latvia and exchange ideas and experiences in economics, culture and education with international educators as well as colleagues in the U.S. 

  • This Study Tour to the Baltics is a highly effective way of learning about an economy and experiencing firsthand, not only the educational system, but also the reality of everyday life.  Teachers and students who have participated in such international exchange often remark that it was “an experience of a lifetime.”  The objective is that teachers/students return home with renewed appreciation of the importance of economics and enthusiasm for international experiences.

  • For additional thoughts about the value of such a Study Tour, you are encouraged to read the Post-Study Tour reflections on the GEEA website,  If you would like to talk with past UCCS student Study Tour participants, please contact Professor Brock for contact information. 

II.  Structure.  The Study Tour is divided into three distinct phases – preparation, trip to Estonia/Latvia, and post-tour follow-up.
A.  Preparation. 


A preparatory program will be held during several months prior to departure.  Once the tour group is selected, Professor Brock will conduct preparatory planning via electronic communication.  We will discuss Study Tour planning as well as Baltic country history, culture, politics, economics and education challenges.

B.  Trip to the Baltics. 

Dates:  Participants depart on Friday, March 20 or Saturday, March 21 & return home on Sunday, March 29. 

Participate in all or some of the following activities (among others):
  • Visit schools and classes at both the secondary and university level.  These visits will include meetings with teachers, students, and education officials.  Participants will observe how educators conduct classes and manage the school.

  • Conduct/participate in an economics workshop with Estonian/Latvian teachers.

  • Visit the Central Bank of Estonia and Central Bank of Latvia and attend a lecture on the economic situation in the country.

  • Visit cultural and historic sites in both countries, such as the Museum of the Occupation of Latvia in Riga (or Kgb Building File No. 1914/2014 Museum) and Old Town Tallinn in Estonia, the best-preserved Medieval city in northern Europe.

  • Visit Estonian educator’s home for dinner. 

C.  Follow-up.

Upon returning, each UCCS participant will be expected to:

  • Share the experience with colleagues at UCCS.

  • If enrolling for optional economics credit, submit a 2,000 word (about 8 pages with 12-point font, double space) Post-Tour Report/Reflection to Professor Brock (via email) that summarizes the personal benefits gained from the experience, the benefits to your education, and your assessment of the economic and the educational situation in Estonia/Latvia.  You should plan to integrate your knowledge from the preparatory readings with the experiences in the Baltics.

  • Due date: August 7, 2020. 

III.    Important Requirements and Miscellaneous Details.

  • Applicants must currently be full-time UCCS students in their junior or senior year of studies (graduate students also eligible).

  • Students in all academic majors are eligible to apply.Optional: Students may enroll in Economics 9400, Economics of the Baltics: From the USSR to the EU, a 3.0 credit-hour course.  Request a permission number from Professor Brock.

  • Applicants must have valid passports when submitting your application (or evidence of passport application submitted).  A copy of the photo page of your passport must be included with your online application.  Your passport should not expire for at least 6-months after the completion of our Study Tour.

  • Please note Participation in a study tour can be physically taxing and the tour involves a lot of walking in both Riga and Tallinn.  

  • You may be required to carry your own luggage.  You may not have baggage handlers to help you, so try very hard to minimize luggage/weight; large suitcases become difficult to handle, as you may have to carry up and down stairs.  Ramps & elevators are sometimes not available.   

  • Accommodations (double-occupancy) are not deluxe, but very comfortable.  Be prepared to depart the hotel in the morning (sometimes early) and not have an opportunity to rest until late afternoon or early evening. 

  • The plan is to depart your home airport for Tallinn, Estonia on Friday, March 20 or Saturday, March 21, 2020.

    • In coordination with John Brock (, each student will purchase his/her own airline ticket to Tallinn (TLL), preferably scheduling a March 21 or 22  arrival in Tallinn.  Pre-arranged taxis will take participants to the hotel in Tallinn.

    • Return to U.S.:  Participants will schedule the return flight to the U.S. from Riga, Latvia Airport (RIX) on Sunday, March 29.  You should schedule arrival home on the same day.

  • Elbe Metsatalu and the Association of Teachers of Economics Estonia will serve as our primary host in Estonia and Jānis Bukšs will be our primary host in Riga.

  • Internet access should be available at all hotels.  Your phones with international calling should always work.

  • It may not be easy to accommodate special dietary requirements, but our hosts will do their best to insure diet needs are met.  Be sure to let us know of any special needs.

  • Participant health insurance coverage will be available at reasonable cost through the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs.  All participants must have travel medical insurance coverage. 

  • Participants will be responsible for the cost of alcoholic beverages and snacks/food outside of the three planned daily meals.  Water, soft drinks, and juices will be provided at meals.  Bottled water will be provided on bus tours and site visits. 

Expense Summary: 

Airfare: the roundtrip airfare will cost1 approximately:                         $1,300.00
In-country costs2                                                                                 $1,900.00
UCCS Office of International Affairs administrative fee3                        $50.00
Travel Health Insurance (thru UCCS; paid directly to Insurance Co.)4    $50.00
Net estimated total Study Tour cost paid by each participant               $3,300.00 

[1] Current round trip airfares are estimated to be in the $1,000 - $1,600 range, depending on city of U.S. departure, airline and chosen itinerary.
[2] Includes hotel (double occupancy), restaurants including tips, local bus transport, museum & other activity entrance fees and tour guides.  Only minor personal and incidental expenditures and tour guide tips are borne by participants.  Each participant will be responsible to send a check for $1,900 for in-country expenses payable to the Global Economic Education Alliance (via Professor Brock) no later than February 21, 2020. 
[3] Before submitting the application, you will be required to pay this UCCS admin fee as specified on the UCCS Office of International Affairs application webpage.
[4] Premiums range between $25 - $75 based on age. 

  • The Global Economic Education Alliance will be the fiscal agent.  Each student is responsible to send a check for $1,900 payable to GEEA no later than February 21, 2020.

  • Each participant will be required to sign a University of Colorado Release and Waiver Form.  This form will be provided via an online link after the in-country payment is received. 

  • Cancellation Policy:  After February 28, 2020, there will be no refunds on payments made to GEEA to cover your in-country expenses.  

  • Applicants will receive notification of acceptance no later than January 24, 2020.  [Note: Applications received well before the deadline may receive acceptance notice well before January 24th.]

  • If you have any questions about the Study Tour itself:  contact John Brock at  If you have questions about the online application process, please contact the UCCS International Affairs Office at or by phone at 719-255-5018.

Teacher Study Tour to Estonia and Latvia from March 20/21 – March 29, 2020

  • The application will be completed via the Office of International Affairs portal.  Search for Faculty-Directed Exchange to Estonia/Latvia.
  • Listed below are the questions and requirements that you will be asked to complete online when submitting your application:
    • The following elements of your application must be completed in full by the due date in order to be considered for selection to the Study Tour 

      • Copy of Passport (page with your passport number, expiration date, etc.)

      • Participant Contract Online

      • Personal, Financial, Disciplinary and Academic Information Questionnaire

      • In addition, you will be asked to submit:

        • Full name as it appears on passport
        • Home address (street, city, state, zip code)                                             
        • Phone number (include area code)
        • Preferred email
        • Academic Major
        • Academic Minor
        • Overall GPA and Major GPA
        • Year of Studies at UCCS:  Junior (grad in 2021) or Senior (grad in 2020)
        • Non-Econ majors:  list of Economics courses completed or currently enrolled
  • All applicants will be required to meet with Professor Brock in his office, Room 214 Academic Office Building.  Professor Brock will email you to arrange a time for the meeting.
  • Post-Acceptance: participants required to submit/meet the following:
    • Payment of UCCS Office of International Affairs $50 admin fee
    • Photography Release
    • Health Questionnaire
    • Submission of Flight Itinerary (consult with Prof Brock before final)
    • Send check to GEEA for in-country costs ($1,900)
    • Proof of International Health Insurance Acknowledgement of Pre-Departure Handbook packet

Why the Baltics?

The Baltic states – Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – were reluctant members of the USSR from WWII until the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s.  In the relatively short time since the demise of the USSR, these three Baltic republics have risen to high-income classification by the World Bank, are members of the OECD, maintain high Human Development Index rankings, are members of NATO, and are part of the Eurozone.  The transition from command to market has been nothing less than astonishing.  However, scars remain from the Baltic countries’ emergence from behind the trauma of the iron curtain. One survey in 1993 found that more than 40% of citizens had relatives who had been killed, imprisoned or deported by the Nazis, Soviets or both.  Given recent history, the Baltics find Russia to be very close and quite scary at times.  As The Economist magazine reports, “Officials here [in the Baltics] lie awake at night worrying about the Suwalki Gap, the 65 km Lithuania-Polish border strip between Kaliningrad and Russian-allied Belarus that is the Balts’ only land link to the rest of Europe …”  GEEA’s Study Tour to the Baltics promises to provide a most interesting look into the economic and political situations confronted by these amazingly resilient people of the Baltic countries. 
Program Overview
The study tour will include all or most of the following:

  • Visits to K-12 schools in Estonia and Latvia.

  • Visit to the Central Banks of Estonia/Latvia, with a talk from a bank economist.

  • Social event and/or education sessions with students.

  • Participate/conduct an economics workshop with Estonian/Latvian teachers.

  • Meetings with school faculty.

  • Visit with economic and financial literacy education policymakers.

  • Cultural and history component to include:  Trip/tour of Old Town Tallinn and Riga, Latvia’s historical city center.  Tour of Soviet occupation museum(s) in Riga and/or Tallinn.  Small group dinner at Estonian educator’s home.  

As part of the study tour routine, structured group reflection and journaling or field notes will be utilized to share perspectives and to stimulate deeper learning.  Participants will be asked to reflect daily on their experience as well as share their insights from the activities.    
Benefits of Program

  • Travel time on the bus will provide ample opportunity for participants and our hosts to explore mutual areas of interest and to exchange insights on the economic and political challenges in the Baltics.  

  • Participants will develop a better understanding of our world.  The program will provide you with first-hand knowledge of the Baltic countries and their economies.  You will be able to compare and contrast issues in both the U.S., the Baltics and the EU.   

  • You will also be in a position to bring your enriched international perspective to your university classes and colleagues.  All are encouraged to share your experiences via a PowerPoint or video presentation should such an opportunity arise. 

  • Learn about entrepreneurship education programs in Estonia and Latvia.

Time Line:
Pre-Decision Phase:
As soon as possible, preferably before December 1, 2019:  begin the online application process on the UCCS Office of International Affairs website.  If you have difficulty finding the application information, contact the UCCS International Affairs Office at or by phone at 719-255-5018. 
January 6, 2020:  Study Tour application deadline – complete the online application process, to include submission of all required documents.
January 24, 2020:  Notification of selection for Study Tour; early applicants may receive early notification.
Post-Selection/Preparation Phase:
February 2:  Commit to the program online no later than February 2nd.
January 24 – March 1:  Airline tickets purchased by participants; before finalizing purchase get approval from John Brock.  Post your itinerary on our Study Tour online website.
February 21:  Check for $1,900 made payable to the Global Economic Education Alliance received by John Brock.  Mail to: John Brock, 1334 Culebra Avenue, Colorado Springs, CO 80903, or deliver to Professor Brock in his office.   
February 21:  Complete Study Tour contract requirements:
sign UCCS Education Abroad Contract via online website (includes UCCS waiver of liability and indemnification)
purchase Health Insurance policy through UCCS (or other agent of your choice

Upload proof of insurance on UCCS Study Tour website.                                               
Fall 2019:  complete optional enrollment in Economics 9400: Economics of the Balics – From the USSR to the EU during the Spring 2020 enrollment.  Contact Professor Brock for a registration number. 
Study Tour/Trip Phase (likely trip agenda):
Mar 20/21:    Depart for Riga, Latvia.
Mar 21/22:    Arrive Tallinn Airport (TLL).  Pre-arranged taxi to Hotel Palace in Tallinn.
Mar 21-24:    Estonian portion of tour.  School visits, museum tour, Old Town Tallinn tour, Central Bank visit, conduct economics workshop for Estonian teachers, etc. 
Mar 25:         Bus to Riga, Latvia.  Check-in to Neiburgs Hotel in Riga.
Mar 25 - 28:  Riga portion of tour.  School visits, KGB Museum, Riga city tour   
Mar 29:         Taxis to RIX for flights to U.S.
Study Tour Follow-up Phase:
Following Study Tour:  Implement plan to share experiences with students, colleagues, Council/Center, etc. 
August 7, 2020:  Deadline to submit Post-Tour Report to Professor Brock.


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Dates / Deadlines:
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Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2021 10/01/2020 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
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