Swedish Fulbright Commission- official start of being a "Fulbrighter"
On Friday last, I had my official orientation as a Fulbright Scholar. There are currently 6 faculty (1 more coming in January) and 10 students, so a total of 17 of us in Sweden working on all manner of topics ranging from improvisational drumming to neon glass-making to medical research on Alzheimer's and diabetes. It's always interesting to hear what inspires people in their daily lives. As I posted before, I'm working on water issues- I'll send more on what I've been doing day to day in another post.
(If you have a high school student who might be interested, deadline to apply is Dec. 1st: https://online.yfuusa.org/scholarships/finland-us-senate-youth-exchange-program-12.php)
As a Fulbright Scholar, one is officially representing the U.S. as an effort for "bi-national exchange" meant to promote "mutual understanding." Swedes go the U.S., U.S. citizens come to Sweden (or about 140+ other countries). In 1946, Senator J. William Fulbright, Arkansas, apparently thought that there is no substitute to actually living in another country when he helped set up the program. Based on what we've already experienced, we'd agree! They showed this video on "10 good things to know about Sweden"... seems about right. We'll be writing about several of these themes when we get to it: fika (sharing coffee), allemansrätt (right to public access), parental leave, etc.
After a morning of conversation and orientation, we headed to lunch, followed by a tour of the Royal Palace, the Vasa Museum, and a welcome reception at a member of the U.S. Embassy (the US currently doesn't have an ambassador confirmed yet for Sweden).
A few photos of the day are below.
Changing of the guards outside the palace.
Detail work on the stern of the boat.
Headed to the official "welcome" reception