Finnish Fulbright Welcome Network

 

"I have missed Finland SO much and this has been a fantastic way to stay connected.

We were making Runeberg's Torte with Finnish Fulbrighters."

         - Fulbright Finland alumni and
           Finnish Fulbright Welcome Network Member

 

Fulbright Finland News 1/2017: Read how The Buddy Program Inspired the Finnish Welcome Network!

Finnish Fulbright Welcome Network

March 13, 2017

A program open to American Alumni of the Fulbright Finland Program

Fulbright Finland is pleased to announce a second year of the Finnish Fulbright Welcome Network which is developed for the American alumni to bring together Finnish and American Fulbrighters and help everyone stay involved with their Finland and Fulbright experience.  This project was initiated by a American graduate student grantee in Finland in 2015-2016, Stephen Horvath, who has found the Finnish alumni connection very valuable and hopes we can establish something similar in the U.S.  Together we have developed a new program, the Finnish Fulbright Welcome Network, which we hope you will find appealing.

The point of this program is to make it more affordable and easily accessible for Finnish grantees to the United States to travel through the U.S. and become acquainted with various parts of the country. As many of you know, there is currently a well-established alumni program within Finland to support American grantees to Finland. This is a means to give back some of that Finnish hospitality.

If you sign-up as a member of the welcome network, you may be contacted by a Finnish Fulbrighter in the U.S. who is planning to visit your city, perhaps to attend a conference, visit colleagues important to the study/research  project, or simply to explore.  Or your city might be the actual host city for the grant project. The Finnish Fulbrighter will receive your contact information at the Pre-Departure Orientation hosted by Fulbright Finland Foundation in Helsinki. It is up to the Fulbrighter to make contact with you and up to you to decide what, if any, welcoming gestures you are able to offer. You can provide advice about the city in which you live and help them navigate.  You might offer advice on practical matters such as setting up a bank account, obtaining a cell phone number, public transportation, etcetera, or simply socialize informally.

Having the chance to network with other Fulbrighters is a valuable aspect of the Fulbright exchange program. If you are contacted by a Fulbrighter then you can discuss the details of his/her needs and how you are able to respond.  Always it is up to you to decide how involved you want to be. It might be that your own travel and work schedule limit your ability to respond to a specific inquiry, and this is very understandable.  There are no predetermined expectations about how you might interact with a Fulbright guest, it is up to you as a representative of the Fulbright community.

Please note that this is an initiative of the U.S. alumni network of Fulbright Finland. Fulbright Finland welcomes the valuable initiative and has agreed to help to kick it off by informing the members of the alumni community about this new opportunity. Fulbright Finland also assists the U.S. alumni network by checking that all of the participants signed up for the Finnish Fulbright Welcome Network are indeed Fulbright Finland alumni. Beyond that, however, all activities are up to and of the responsibility of the alumni involved.

During the academic year 2016-2017, there were 67 U.S. Fulbright alumni members signed up for the Welcome Network and it reached all the way from California to Maine and from Alaska to Puerto Rico!