Fulbright interview with Aila Ahonen

Fulbright interview with Aila Ahonen

My interest towards Fulbright and USA comes from the field I am working. I am a senior lecturer and team leader in JAMK Sport Business School Finland and sport business is very new branch in Finland compared to United States. I heard about Fulbright some years ago and this year was perfect for me to come since my older daughter started university and my younger one is in high school and could join me before the first final exams next year.

My interest towards Fulbright and USA comes from the field I am working. I am a senior lecturer and team leader in JAMK Sport Business School Finland and sport business is very new branch in Finland compared to United States. I heard about Fulbright some years ago and this year was perfect for me to come since my older daughter started university and my younger one is in high school and could join me before the first final exams next year.

My experience so far has been great. University of Florida and my host has welcomed me warmly here and everything has been just wonderful. My daughter enjoys her studies and sports in Gainesville High School as well.

I’ve learned a lot about American bureaucracy. I don’t think I have ever signed so many papers in every possible place, school, car shop, doctors etc. In Finland we trust in couple of plastic cards to do the trick everywhere. However, the society is pretty close to Finnish society apart from the mixture of nationalities. I truly love meeting different people from different backgrounds and cultures. That has been one of the best things in my exchange here.

International cooperation is very important for academics. You can always learn a lot when you visit different cultures, different institutions and meet your colleagues from same field. We need to prepare our students to work in international environment, and that we can do only by internationalizing ourselves.

The wisdom I will bring back to Finland is the different pedagogical solutions I have seen my colleagues here to use. I will also bring back huge amount on new knowledge of curriculum development and different issues in sport management field. As for the United States,  I’d like the U.S. to learn a bit more punctuality and organizational skills from Finland.

Whether academic exchange has an impact on transatlantic/diplomatic relationships highly depends on individuals who are involved in these exchanges. If they stress the importance and present their experiences in right forums that will of course influence that sector as well.

 


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Fulbright interview with Annaleena Kangas

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Fulbright interview with Marina Castren

Fulbright interview with Veera Laine