Two Fulbright Leaders for Global Schools participants laughing during a small group discussion in the Seminarium Festival hall at the University of Jyväskylä

Fulbright Leaders for Global Schools

The program brings K-12 school administrators to Finland for an intensive ten-day program to learn about best educational practices to enhance student learning and develop 21st century skills.

Purpose of the grant program

The Fulbright Leaders for Global Schools Program is a professional development opportunity for U.S. K–12 school and district administrators. U.S. administrators will travel to Finland for a 10-day immersive, international experience. Administrators will gain a deeper understanding of their roles as leaders in creating students who are ready for the global economy.

I was able to engage in deep learning while being in school and university environments that enhanced my experience. Learning from Finnish educators and scholars caused me to reflect, question and shape my thinking around our US educational systems of support. I will forever be grateful for my FLGS experience and the relationships I built with my Finnish and American friends.  Thank you Fulbright Finland Foundation and the US State Department of Education and Cultural Affairs. - Michele Miller, Fulbright Leaders for Global Schools program participant 2019

Fulbright Leaders for Global Schools Program in Finland will consist of briefings, panel discussions, seminars, and events with the aim to provide an overview of Finland’s education system (at national, municipal and school level), school leadership, National Core Curriculum, teacher training and other relevant themes. Participants will visit schools in different parts of Finland. The program will include introduction to Finnish culture through cultural events and engagement.

FLGS program participants in Finland at the Sibelius Monument


The Fulbright Leaders for Global Schools fellowship provides:

  • Roundtrip airfare
  • Accommodations, meals and incidentals for the duration of the program
  • Professional development and cultural activities
  • Accident and sickness medical coverage (supplementary to participant’s existing insurance)


  • Five or more years of experience working as a K–12 school and/or district administrator (principal, assistant principal, superintendent, assistant superintendent, dean, director etc.)
  • Full-time employment as a K-12 school and/or district administrator at a public, private, or charter school or district in the U.S., a U.S. territory, or within the Department of Defense Education Activity
  • Master’s degree
  • U.S. citizen living in the U.S., a U.S. territory, or on a Department of Defense Education Activity Campus
  • Track record of professional experience and effective leadership
  • Observable dedication to K-12 educational leadership and administration, and a commitment to leverage professional development opportunities for impact in schools and communities
  • Demonstrated efforts toward innovation and successes in improving the learning environment and overall academic progress of students
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively with diverse audiences, and serve as an ambassador of the Fulbright Leaders for Global Schools Program
  • Priority will be shown for applicants working in high-need schools or districts, or with traditionally underserved populations, and for applicants from traditionally underrepresented areas in exchange programs
  • Preference will be given to applicants without significant professional experience (study, research, teaching, or employment) abroad
  • Ability to travel for the entirety of the program

Women and minorities are encouraged to apply. Current IREX employees and consultants and their immediate family members (spouses, parents, children, and siblings) are not eligible to compete in any grant programs that IREX implements. The U.S. Department of State and IREX do not discriminate against grant applicants because of race, color, religion, sex, age, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, or any other protected characteristic as established by U.S. law. This program promotes diversity in education. It supports inclusion and strongly encourages applicants with disabilities to apply.

Prior participants in the Fulbright Leaders for Global Schools Program are not eligible to apply.

Applications are reviewed and nominated by an independent committee of experts. Finalists are recommended to the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board for approval.

How to Apply?

Interested candidates should review more information at the IREX website.

The application can be found here!


Application period starts October
Application period ends October 31, 2019
Applicants will be notified of their selections January/February
Departure to Finland March 2020
Returning to the U.S. March 2020


Alumni Experiences

Read the blog of Vanessa Jones here.

Fulbright Finland News article
For example the article written about Clark Tenney in the Daily Courier.

Program Partner

The Fulbright Leaders for Global Schools Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and administered by IREX in the U.S. and Fulbright Finland Foundation in Finland.

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.


Mirka McIntire
Phone. 044 5535 269
[email protected]


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 Finnish higher education institutions.

What Makes the Fulbright program 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.
Global Fulbright Program logo

Fulbright Leaders for Global Schools Program is part of the global Fulbright program operating in over 160 countries worldwide.