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News, 3/28/2012 | Embassy of Finland, Washington

Finnish-American Fulbrighters celebrate the program's 60th anniversary 

Fulbright alumni at the Embassy of Finland

The Finnish-American Fulbright program celebrates its 60th anniversary this year. The Finlandia hall at the Embassy of Finland in Washington D.C. was full of both new and old Fulbrighters on March 26 when the Ambassador Ritva Koukku-Ronde hosted a celebration for the friends of Fulbright Finland, Fulbright alumni and Fulbright study tour participants. 

The Ambassador of Finland Ritva Koukku-Ronde congratulated the long running program and thanked the alumni for maintaining the vigor and the duration of the transatlantic relations.The Ambassador of Finland Ritva Koukku-Ronde congratulated the long running program and thanked the alumni for maintaining the vigor and the duration of the transatlantic relations.

The Program and the alumni really deserve all of our appreciation for the magnificent work they are doing, said the Ambassador Koukku-Ronde in her speech. Each year, the Fulbright Center awards grants to over 80 Finnish and American students and professionals. All in all, the Fulbright Center has approximately 4,500 client contacts annually seeking advising information. Since the programs initiation in 1952 it has facilitated about 2000 American students to live, teach and study in Finland and about 4000 Finnish students to do the same in the US. 

Promoting cultural exchange

The Fulbright Center (Finland-US Educational Exchange Commission FUSEEC) is a service organization that specializes in cultural exchange between Finland and North America. The services include grant programs, and advising and information services. The Fulbright Center awards grants to American graduate students, teachers, lecturers, and scholars to study, teach, or pursue research in Finland, and vise versa.

Friends of Fulbright Finland, FoFF, was launched in Spring 2007 through the initiative of the Fulbright Center in Helsinki. Since then, FoFF has hosted alumni events in different corners of the US: San Diego, Kansas City and northern Virginia. 

Program based on bilateral exchange

The evening included exchange of stories of experiences in Finland, speeches and poetry reading and, of course, Finnish delicaciesThe evening included exchange of stories of experiences in Finland, speeches and poetry reading and, of course, Finnish delicacies
Singing group Atlantic Echo performed traditional Finnish songsSinging group Atlantic Echo performed traditional Finnish songs

The Fulbright Program, based on bilateral cultural exchange agreements, is the cornerstone of the United States government's international academic exchanges. The Fulbright Program includes several separate programs, through which over 150 countries participate in academic exchange with the United States.

The Fulbright Center is a private, not-for-profit organization funded by the Finnish, US and Canadian governments, and the Finland-America Educational Trust Fund founded by the US and Finnish governments.    

The application process for this years scholarship is now open. You can apply for the program on the website of the Fulbright Center here: Fulbright

 

Dr Barbara Mossberg, also a Fulbright alumni, read poetry at the Embassy's event. Here is an extract from the poem "Washing the Lake":

  

“I’ll wash the dishes,” I say.

Nothing more than politeness—It’s my hands.

I can’t stand to get them wet.

But my hosts don’t understand.

Then it turns out there is no dishwasher.

There is a lake.

I am handed a bucket,

And pointed in the direction of a dock.

Now, washing the dishes,

It is wonderful

Before I even realize it,

Before I even think it is a poem.

 

More Dr Barbara Mossberg's poetry on Finland: 

www.barbaramossberg.com/

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Updated 3/28/2012


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