#FinnishWelcome by the #FinlandFulbright Center

Wow! - what an eventful week courtesy of the Finland Fulbright Center.

They organized a wonderful orientation program that was filled with valuable information for our Fulbright projects and exciting cultural events. I must commend their professionalism and their attention to detail as everything ran quite smoothly.

Further more, I was impressed with the caliber of scholars, researchers, and students in this year's crop of Fulbrighters. It seemed everyday after the orientation programming we enjoyed each other's company, whether it was grabbing dinner, singing karaoke, or discussing the state of world affairs. It was quite inspiring to be around them.

Couple Highlights:

  • Fulbright Orientation started off with a bang on Monday with a reception at the US Embassy in Helsinki. There we were able to network with members of Finland's Fulbright and University community. We heard words from the Chargé d'Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Helsinki, Donna Welton, as well as from President Sauli Niinistö. As some may have seen on FaceBook, I was able to snag a quick selfie with President Niinistö after a quick handshake and "hauska tavata" , which roughly translates to "nice to meet you". I think my use of the Finnish phrase caught him off-guard, in a good way.
  • We ended the week at the Finland's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We were briefed by leaders in the foreign ministry about Finnish foreign policy, economic trends, and Finland's SITRA investment fund (which works to aid the establishment of the Finnish circular economy, the main topic of my studies at LUT). I was humbled and honored by the information that was shared with us. Definitely left me with the positive impression regarding the respect Finland Fulbright garners in political circles.

If you are interested in seeing pictures and videos regarding our week, check out the following link: http://www.fulbright.fi/en/fulbright-center/photo-gallery

You should be able to get a good glimpse into the Fulbright orientation week.

On a train currently going from Helsinki to my host city, Lappeenranta. Will make my next post from there.

Best Regards,