Welcome to the first post on my new blog, "Into the Land of the Curious".
If you google "land of the curious", the first couple of links that come up direct to Finland's Lappeenranta University of Technology, whose motto is the "Land of the Curious." This university in Lappeenranta, Finland will be my home for the next two years, which is why I named the blog "Into the Land of the Curious."
I chose to attend LUT for a few different reasons.
One reason was the awesome opportunity to participate in the Fulbright student exchange program, which not only provides funding for my LUT graduate studies, but also provides networking opportunities and language training. This may open new doors for me in the future.
Another driver was to study environmental engineering in a country and university which values the economic and environmental needs for sustainability, which I think is an area that our entire planet needs to consider as we deal with the challenge of global warming. LUT focuses its studies and research efforts across all disciplines around sustainability, which in my eyes is a unique offering. One more appeal of studying in Finland is its experimental approach to education, possibly creating learning environments that I am not formerly accustomed to. Learning is a lifelong process and I am eager to continue it in Finland.
One not so obvious reason for my departure to Finland is my desire to live in a place that is a bit out of my comfort zone. These past three years I've lived in New York, North Carolina, and California. While these three states are unique from one another, the institutions and lifestyles I experienced were not terribly different. I wanted to try living in Finland and experience its different institutions (metric system, anyone?), and understand the underlying reasons for why those systems are in place. It will give me a good point of comparison to what I am used to back home, and to understand what characteristics of each society I consider to be valuable.
I hope by blogging I will be able to keep those who have influenced me in some way or the other informed on my experiences and my learning. My goal is to post at least one time a week for the next month until classes start in Lappeenranta. Once classes start, I will most likely post every other week or once a month if things get too busy. And yes, there will be pictures and possibly videos in future posts.
My first stop in Helsinki includes meeting family members of my Finnish friend, Hanna, who I met through my Toastmasters club when I was in California. Then, I will meet up with my friend from Duke University, Magnus, who is coming from Hamburg, Germany to travel with me. Magnus and I will explore Helsinki and Lapland for the first week I am in Finland.
Will provide an update next week.