The name “Fulbright” rings a bell for many people, but the story behind the name might not be so familiar. The Fulbright Program was founded in 1946 by United States Senator J. William Fulbright. According to Mr. Fulbright, "Educational exchange can turn nations into people, contributing as no other form of communication can to the humanizing of international relations". The prestigious program still carries his name.
The Fulbright Program offers grants to study, teach and conduct research for U.S. citizens going abroad and for non-U.S. citizens coming to the United States. Since 1946 approximately 318,000 "Fulbrighters", 120,000 from the United States and 198,000 from other countries, have participated in it. At the moment the Fulbright Program is active in more than 155 countries – including Finland.
The year 2012 marked the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Fulbright agreement between Finland and the United States. During these 60 years over 3 500 Finnish grantees in various fields of expertise have travelled to the U.S. and over 1 500 Americans have gone to Finland. During the academic year 2013-2014, the Fulbright Center programs will involve over 80 Finnish and American students, researchers, teachers and experts.
In our newsletter blog “Fulbright to the Fullest” we want to give voice to a specific group of the Fulbright grantees. Each year the Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Program brings highly accomplished primary and secondary school teachers from the United States to Finland, and vice versa, to pursue professional development projects. During their 3-6 months long stay the teachers carry out individual projects, conduct research and lead master classes or seminars for students and teachers. The teachers gain insight about the education system in their host country and learn to see also their own schools with new eyes.
In our “Fulbright to the Fullest” blog U.S. teachers have shared their experiences in Finland. From the September issue onwards we get to read how three Finnish teachers view the United States. In the first blog Mikko Rahikka writes about his first impressions in the U.S., and in October and November the readers will meet Maija Kallio and Inka Ritvanen. We hope you enjoy the educational exchange!
More information about Fulbright programs and opportunities: http://www.fulbright.fi/en