Self Perspective

Chronicles of an American professor in Finland

This blog was meant to convey my experiences so that my wanderings, blunderings, and explorations might help others who elect to travel this same path.

To be sure, being a Fulbright Scholar was one of the high points of my academic career.  I met some incredible people who I believe will be lifelong friends and had many incredible experiences of which I would not have had, were it not for the Fulbright.

I continue to be surprised why so many of my fellow academic colleagues elect not to apply.  It is not because they are not qualified since many are superbly qualified.  I hear many reasons why they cannot apply, but, the cynic in me thinks it is simply not wanting to put out the effort or to leave a very comfortable routine.

Granted, applying for the Fulbright is a giant pain to put together; requiring a tremendous amount of time, effort and coordination of spouse, university, home, pets, friends, and work, but it is so worth it.   The only sacrifice that I consider that I made was having to leave my pets for four months.

When I first heard about the Fulbright experience, it was not even on my radar.  But, once it was, I was on a mission.  For me, nothing was going to stop me from overcoming any obstacle.  Of course, having a supportive and proactive wife who shares your passion is absolutely necessary.

For those who have the burning desire to make it work; that any short-term pain will be more than made up by the long-term Fulbright experience, I know you’ll figure out how to overcome any obstacle.  I passionately encourage you to apply as I’m positive the Fulbright will be a highpoint for you too and well worth the effort.  Just do it!

I will leave this blog with enthusiastic encouragement to apply to be a Fulbright Scholar, to travel often and far, and to occasionally, purposefully, make yourself uncomfortable; for how else can you grow?

If anyone has any questions regarding the Fulbright; applying, logistics, anything; I would be happy to try to answer.  Just send the question (or comment) to jtself@cpp.edu

 

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