2018-2019 U.S. Fulbrighters waving at the Sibelius Monument in Helsinki

Guide for Coming to Finland

The purpose of this Orientation Guide is to help you with the many questions that will likely come to your mind and things you need to take care of before your arrival in Finland, during your grant period and after returning to the U.S. Many of the suggestions in this guide come from former grantees who have shared their experiences and ideas with us.

Please note that many of the views in the Guide are based on the personal experience of those previous Fulbrighters who have shared their thoughts and observations with us. There are many ways to look at particularly cultural matters which are often sources of interesting debates. While every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the material in this Guide, the Fulbright Finland Foundation  does not accept liability for any errors or omissions.

Before Departure

The first step is to be well prepared to arrive in a new country, both mentally and physically. Finland is quite different from the U.S., but good preparation will save you from a number of unwanted surprises and will help you to get the most out of your experience.

Certain essential administrative tasks need to be taken care of months before the actual grant period, such as organizing your passport and residence permit. Also, academic issues such as finalizing your study/teaching program must be completed several months prior to the actual arrival.

Download a checklist (pdf) to help you to remember the important to-do items you need to take care of before arrival to Finland, upon arrival and before traveling back to the U.S.

After Arrival

During your first week in Finland you should:

See more information about the first things to do after your arrival.

Daily Life in Finland

This section includes general and practical information about Finland, and tips on how to make the most of your Fulbright grant term in Finland.

Extending Your Stay in Finland 

Each year there are Fulbrighters who end up staying in Finland longer than they initially planned. If you are interested in extending your stay in Finland, please find instructions on what to take into account and how to proceed.

Returning to the U.S.

Important Forms