The Really Short To-Do before Departure

  • The short list of instructions, gathered by former Fulbright grantees and the Fulbright Finland staff.


  • Contact your host institution
    -- Contact your host and go through together both of your expectations for the Fulbright grant period (e.g. a Skype conversation)
    -- Make sure you have a firm work plan, timeframe (June-July are holiday months in Finland!) and sort out the university registration procedure. Make sure you don’t miss any deadlines, e.g. for student union fee or for class registration
    -- Make sure your proposal is feasible at the department, is there any obstacles etc.

I would just say that the suggestion to be in early and frequent communication with your host/institution can't be reiterated enough. They may or may not really remember what you wrote in your application, and even if they do, you may not be interpreting those words in the same way. Don't assume anything and anticipate that it will take you a bit longer to 'get to work' than you might think.” U.S. PhD student 2012-2013

  • Arrange dates for your stay - this needs to be firm before you can get your residence permit
    -- Send these dates to Fulbright Finland.   
  • Apply for the residence permit - two to three month lead time
  • If you plan to vote in U.S. elections while in Finland, check:
  • Complete the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) registration:
  • Study Finnish! 
  • Find out options for Finnish summers schools where you can take introduction courses on Finnish language, culture and society.
  • Consider getting a cheap unlocked quad band GSM cell phone from eBay or similar.
  • Send Fulbright Finland your American bank account information (i.e. U.S. Grantee Travel Information Form), so that the travel grant can be paid to you.
  • If applicable, bring from the U.S. a marriage certificate and children’s birth certificates to which a notary public has affixed the notary seal as well as an apostille (for registration purposes with maistraatti). See further information in the section Bringing Your Family.
  • Consider if you wish to print new business cards for your Fulbright period. Grantees in Fulbright U.S. Student Program and Teacher Program should use the term Fulbright Student or Fulbright Fellow. Other grantees can use the term Fulbright Scholar.
  • Read the Orientation Guide
  • Email scanned copies of your passport, residence permit and other important documents to yourself.
  • Send your Fulbright Finland program coordinator your address in Finland.