Teacher observing students' work in a classroom

Fulbright Leaders for Global Schools Travel Grant Program 2020

A unique transatlantic professional development and networking opportunity for primary and secondary school leaders aiming at providing tools for developing diverse, equal and language aware schools from a leadership perspective.
The application period has closed.

Purpose of the Travel Grants

The 2020-22 Fulbright Leaders for Global Schools Travel Grants pilot program provides opportunities for primary and secondary school leaders from Espoo, Liminka and Oulu to develop diverse, equal and language aware schools from a leadership perspective. The program includes virtual and/or in-person U.S.-Finnish collaboration, professional development and networking, as well as opportunities for speaking engagements.

COVID-19 situation permitting, the program also includes short-term travel grants to the U.S. for a professional development opportunity and international collaboration with the goal of developing diverse, equal and language aware schools from a leadership perspective. The program in the U.S. consists of an opportunity to visit U.S. schools as well as professional development and networking opportunities at a conference appropriate for the program.

Primary funding for the Fulbright Leaders for the Travel Grants to the U.S. for 2020-22 comes from the Finnish National Agency for Education. The city of Espoo applied and received funding from the National Agency for Education as part of the 2020 Internationalization of Education Grant Application process in collaboration with the Fulbright Finland Foundation, municipality of Liminka and the City of Oulu.


The Fulbright Leaders for Global Schools Travel Grant Program provides:

  • An opportunity to develop diversity, equality and language awareness at your school and in your municipality
  • Opportunities for virtual and/or in-person U.S.-Finnish collaboration and speaking engagements
  • Virtual and/or in-person professional development and networking opportunities in the U.S. and Finland 
  • Accommodation in the U.S. during a conference appropriate for the program (COVID-19 situation permitting)
  • Virtual and/or in-person conference participation 
  • Airfare and local program related transportation in the U.S. (COVID-19 situation permitting)
  • Pre-departure orientation meeting organized by the Fulbright Finland Foundation
  • Visiting expert speakers for classrooms as part of the Fulbright Speaker program (virtual or in-person)
  • Virtual and/or in-person Fulbright Dialogue event to facilitate sharing of takeaways and good practices after the program

Responsibilities and costs of the participants or their employers

  • Participants are responsible for securing per diem from their home municipality to cover meals and incidentals during the travel 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 together with their employers are responsible for securing sufficient insurance for the duration of the program
  • Applicants are responsible for arranging time off for the duration of the interview. Please note that potential substitute arrangements are not covered by the program.
  • The applicant is responsible for booking flights and hotel accommodation in accordance with the applicant's municipality's travel guidance and instructions given during the program.
Check out the Fulbright Leaders for Global Schools Travel Grantees to the U.S. article from Fulbright Finland News 2/2019 and read the blog by the 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 in Espoo, Liminka or Oulu
  • Master's degree
  • Finnish citizenship or permanent resident status in Finland with the ability to secure a visa for the U.S.
  • Commitment to working in school administration after completing the program
  • Ability to participate for the entirety of the program
  • Ability and willingness to participate in the development activities as specified by the home municipality and described in the Leave Approval Form (Sitoumus ohjelman tavoitteisiin)
  • Good English skills
Check out Fulbright Finland News 1/2019 for an article about the inaugural cohort of the U.S. Fulbright Leaders for Global Schools and their 10-day program in Finland to learn about best educational practices to enhance student learning and develop 21st century skills.

How to Apply?

Please send the completed application form as well as the required supplements to the Fulbright Finland Foundation, [email protected], in one email by November 29, 2020.

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).

Required supplements:

  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Completed and signed check list
  • Leave Approval Form Sitoumus ohjelman tavoitteisiin (form in Finnish)
    • Applicants are encouraged to review the development activities described in the Leave Approval Form (Espoon kaupungin/Limingan kunnan/Oulun kaupungin tavoitteet).


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. At the very latest you will be notified of this a week before the date of your 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 in January 2021 according to the dates listed below. Read more about the selection process and preparing for the interview here.


Application period starts

November, 2020

Application period ends

November 29, 2020

Interview invitations are sent to the selected candidates

December 17-18, 2020

Interviews are conducted

January 8, 2021 (candidates from Liminka and Oulu)

January 11, 2021 (candidates from Espoo)

Selections are made and applicants are notified

January 18, 2021

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

February 1, 2021

Virtual and local collaboration

March 2021-September 2022

Program begins/Cohort arrives in the U.S.

October, 2022 (exact dates TBD)


Program Partners

The 2020-22 Fulbright Leaders for Global Schools Travel Grants Program is 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 2019 Fulbright Leaders for Global Schools Travel Grants Program was sponsored by the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government. The program was administered by the Fulbright Finland Foundation.

Fulbright Finland Foundation logo
U.S. State Department Seal


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.