2022 Fulbright Leaders for Global School Travel Grantees in Finland's Embassy in Washington, D.C.

Fulbright Leaders for Global Schools Travel Grant Program

A unique transatlantic professional development and networking opportunity for primary and secondary school leaders aiming at providing tools for developing schools and support for immigrant and refugee students.
The application period has closed!

Apply to Join ISLA's Symposium in the U.S. on Reimagining Schools and Support for Immigrant and Refugee Students!

An outgrowth of the U.S. Department of State-funded European School Administrator Program in 2016, the International School Leaders Association (ISLA) was established by program alumni and hosts in 2020 to foster the collaboration of education leaders from the U.S. and a number of European countries on promoting the educational and economic advancement of refugee, immigrant, and minority youth. The original European School Administrator Program convened educators from France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Now the organizers would like to engage on this topic with administrators from more countries, including Finland, as schools and governments in many other places face this challenge. As a partner in this effort with the U.S. Department of State and the University of Minnesota, the Fulbright Finland Foundation will provide two to three selected Finnish school administrators with a Fulbright Leaders for Global Schools Travel Grant in order to take part in the International School Leaders Association symposium and will serve as the point of contact for any questions applicants may have about this opportunity.

The theme of the 2023 ISLA meeting is Reimagining Schools and Support for Immigrant and Refugee Students. Hosted by the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) faculty at the University of Minnesota (UMN), the symposium will include presentations, working group and training sessions, visits to U.S. schools and community organizations, and networking and speaking opportunities. Participants will exchange ideas with experts, educators, students, researchers, immigrant and refugee families, community leaders, and representatives of various organizations that work in this field. The attendees will collaborate to generate new approaches to meeting the needs of immigrant and refugee students, inform policy makers of the ongoing need for support, and provide resources for schools and families.

Departure for Minneapolis will be scheduled for September 30, and return flight for October 6 or 7. The return date to Finland will be confirmed closer to the program.


The Fulbright Leaders for Global Schools Travel Grant Program provides:

  • An intensive professional development program in the U.S. aiming at providing tools for developing schools and support for immigrant and refugee students
  • Participation in the International School Leaders Association's symposium
  • Opportunities for international collaboration and speaking engagements
  • Networking opportunities in the U.S. and Finland 
  • Accommodation in the U.S. during the program
  • Round-trip airfare to the U.S.
  • Travel stipend for transportation and/or incidental expenses in the U.S.
  • Pre-departure orientation and support services provided by the Fulbright Finland Foundation
  • Visiting expert speakers for classrooms as part of the Fulbright Speaker program (virtual or in-person)
  • Opportunity to participate in the Fulbright Finland alumni activities

Responsibilities and Costs of the Participants or Their Employers

  • Participants are responsible for securing per diem from their home municipality or covering meals and incidentals on their own during the program.
  • Participants need to have or obtain a valid passport and ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) if selected for the program, and secure an appropriate visa (if required).
  • Participants are responsible for securing sufficient insurance for the duration of the program.
  • Participants are responsible for arranging time off for the pre-departure orientation and leave of absence for the duration of the program. Please note that potential substitute arrangements are not covered by the program.
  • Participants as a group are responsible for preparing a brief presentation focused on the program theme from the Finnish school context.
  • Participants are expected to study pre-materials in preparation for the program. 
  • Participants are expected to submit final reports and a brief article about the experience.
Check out the Fulbright Leaders for Global Schools Travel Grantees to the U.S. articles from Fulbright Finland News 2/2019 and Fulbright Finland News 2/2022, and read the blog by the 2019 alumni as well as the blog by the 2022 alumni!


  • Minimum one year of experience working as a school administrator (principal or assistant principal) at the primary or secondary school level
  • Full-time employment as an administrator
  • Master's degree
  • Finnish citizenship or permanent resident status in Finland with the ability to secure an ESTA for the U.S.
  • Commitment to working in school administration after completing the program
  • Ability to participate for the entirety of the program
  • Commitment to share knowledge gained from the program beyond home institution
  • Good English skills

Check out Fulbright Finland News 1/2019 and Fulbright Finland News 1/2022 for articles about the U.S. Fulbright Leaders for Global Schools programs in Finland.

How to Apply?

Please send the complete application form, CV and leave approval form (found below under Required Documents) to the Fulbright Finland Foundation by Thursday, August 17 at 10:00, 2023 via this SurveyMonkey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FLGS-TG-applications

Required documents:

For the letter of recommendation from an individual who knows you in a professional capacity, please send the following link to your recommender: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FLGS-travel-grant-recommendations

Please note that all the documents attached to your application need to be converted to a basic PDF file (no advanced file formats such as PDF Portfolios).


You will receive an email from the Fulbright Finland Foundation if your application has passed an initial screening and you have been selected for an interview. Please note that the Fulbright Finland Foundation does not cover expenses resulting from the interview. 

The interviews are compulsory and organized by the Fulbright Finland Foundation via Zoom on August 28. Read more about the selection process and preparing for the interview here.


Application period starts

August 8, 2023

Application period ends

August 17 at 10am, 2023

Interview invitations are sent to the selected candidates

August 18 or 23, 2023

Interviews are conducted

August 28, 2023 

Selections are made and applicants are notified

August 30, 2023

Compulsory Fulbright Finland Pre-Departure Orientation for the selected grantees going to the U.S. (online)

September 8, 2023 at 14:00-16:15

Program in the U.S.

September 30-October 6 or 7, 2023

Program Partners

The 2023 as well as the 2019 Fulbright Leaders for Global Schools Travel Grants Program are sponsored by the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government. The program is administered by the Fulbright Finland Foundation.

Logos on the Fulbright Finland Foundation and U.S.  Department of State

The 2020-22 Fulbright Leaders for Global Schools Travel Grants Program was organized in collaboration with the Fulbright Finland Foundation and the municipalities of Espoo, Liminka, and Oulu with funding from the Finnish National Agency for Education. 

Logos for Fulbright Leaders for Global Schools Travel Grant Program partners

The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the U.S. Department of State fosters mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries around the world. ECA strives to achieve this goal through a wide range of international exchanges as authorized by the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961, as amended. ECA works in close cooperation with U.S. Embassies and bilateral Fulbright Commissions overseas to promote personal, professional, and institutional ties between private citizens and organizations in the United States and abroad.

What is the Fulbright Finland Foundation?

The Fulbright Finland Foundation is a private, independent, not-for-profit organization based in Helsinki, Finland. The Foundation’s aim is

  • to promote a wider exchange of knowledge and professional talents through educational contacts between Finland and the United States, and
  • to support the internationalization of education and research in Finland, and help U.S. and Finnish institutions create linkages.

What Makes the Fulbright Finland Foundation Programs Unique?

  • In addition to the grant, the Fulbright Finland Foundation offers the grantees several additional benefits and free support services, as well as an access to a global, multi-professional network.
  • We are looking for applicants who want to impact the future and to make a difference – applicants who want to facilitate positive change, develop and advance their own profession or discipline, and find solutions to national and international challenges in their field.
  • The grantees also act as ambassadors for the Fulbright Finland Foundation, their home country, and their home organization and, in this way, do their part in sharing their home country and culture and contributing to the relations between Finland and the U.S.