Hi there from the U.S!
It is an honor to be one of these amazing teachers from all over the world taking part in the Fulbright Distinguished Award in Teaching (FDAT).- Programme. Teachers representing Botswana, Morocco, Mexico, India, Israel, Palestine, Taiwan, Singapore, New Zealand and Finland are placed in Bloomington, Indiana University for this semester.
When we arrived in Washington D.C on Saturday, 6 August temperature was about 98 F, which is close to +37 . Furthermore the humidity aspect should be considered as well, so the actual feeling was close to 40 degrees.. Anyway the A.C is a standard in the U.S, so we managed and survived. For us as Finns the weather issue is always so important, but just look at the people from Taiwan, Singapore etc, this is just so normal for them. it is not an issue at all!
Orientation days passed by very quickly. The Orientation workshop Agenda was to bring together all the international and U.S Fulbrighters in order to help the adjustment process. Themes like The Art of Crossing Cultures, Making the most of your FDAT- experience, Inquiry Project, Living in another country were covered and discussed.
The Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Program recognizes and encourages excellence in teaching in the U.S. and abroad. U.S. and international teachers receive grants to study at a university, observe classes and complete a project pertaining to their field of educational inquiry during their time abroad. The program is open to teachers from the United States and selected countries in multiple world regions.
It was so great to be acknowledged and appreciated by the U.S Department of State and The U.S Institute of International Education ( IIE) administrates, when they were giving their speeches and praising us as Fulbright-teachers. This is the way they do it in America: you are one of these outstanding teachers and you and your school should be proud of that! That is one of the things I have learned during these first weeks in the U.S; what is the point of being too humble all the time: you should be proud of yourself and praise the others aswell.
I would say the orientation workshop did the job; I also met those U.S teachers coming to Finland next spring and four of them will be placed in my home town Jyvaskylä, which is going to be just great! Welcome to all of you: Andrea, Stephen, Mayra, Sundra, Nat, Rachel, Tiffany and Mark, just wonderful to see you there!
The heat is on.. After the orientation we took a flight to Indiana and settled in Bloomington. Our Campus view Apartment is quite a nice one with all the facilities needed for a family ( a tiny one this time..) life. Now when the University courses have already began and Lilja has been enrolled in the school, back to the routine, this time in the U.S. More about the studies and visits to schools coming up.See you !