Hi friends, family, and whoever happens to stumble upon this blog,
This blog is for me to share some of my thoughts regarding my experiences in Finland while working on my Fulbright project: to complete a Master’s degree in Economics from Aalto University and think about how Finland will respond to the challenges of globalization. I hope that my experiences will help me reach my long term goal of helping shape Finnish-American relations.
After graduating from Columbia University, I was blessed with one last summer at home. I had a lot of time to hang out with and correspond with close friends, as well as work with an amazing personal mentor and trainer (you rock Mohamed Marah!) So to CG, MG, ND, ZO, SA, WS, VL, and all the other lovely people that have made my New York experience so wonderful, miss you lots and can’t wait to hear about your wonderful projects, experiences, and travels when we meet up.
Then it was off to Finland, a country that I’ve always wanted to learn more about since I was probably 16, and whose language I’ve been trying to get a grasp on for the last 4 years at Columbia University.
And to explain, ‘Why Finland?’ I have to turn to high school to begin my explanation. I’ve always been a hockey fan (go San Jose Sharks!) and Teemu Selänne was my absolute favorite player. My first cell phone was a Nokia brick and I probably grew up with Fiskars scissors. But I never knew that they came from Finland (in fact, probably didn’t even know that the country existed!)
It took a very deep, somewhat challenging, but ultimately rewarding friendship from high school to bring my attention to the country, and I was hooked. From the statistics on equality, the stability of the country, the quality of the public education, the commitment to sustainability, and the genuine character of the people, I guessed that I had stumbled upon one of the hidden gems of the world. And thankfully, I wasn’t alone in those views.
In college, they say you can always find your niche and for me, Finland was it. Max and Clare, I don’t know how I would have made it through all those long Finnish texts and ridiculous grammar lessons without either of you. (Apua! Mä en kestää!) So then, in senior year, I got the wonderful news that the Fulbright Commission had chosen my proposal to study economics and globalization in Finland. And thus, my journey begun.
Please join me as I try to work out what makes these somewhat shy, very honest, and absolutely wonderful people represent one of my favorite cultures and countries in the world and how I think Finland will help us shape the world in our challenging, but very exciting future.
Also, here’s a disclaimer that we were asked to put on our personal blogs from the Fulbright Center.
“This is a personal website. All views and information presented herein are my own and do not necessarily represent the views of the Finnish-American Fulbright Program and its sponsors.”