The experience I had with Canadian Studies was back in early 2013 when I signed up for the JSIS 495 Task Force on Arctic Securities. I worked with Nadine Fabbi, Canadian Studies, and Joël Plouffe, Visiting Québec Professor, and was introduced to a whole host of information about a region I knew essentially nothing about. This experience opened up a lot of doors for me and got me interested in an area that is on the cutting edge of international relations with its connection to climate change and globalization.
After I graduated from the Jackson School, I was trying to find a way to continue working in this interesting area when I heard about the Fulbright exchange program. I decided submit an application. For me, the choice of country was obvious as I had also majored in Finnish language in the Scandinavian Studies department and had visited Finland a few times. I reached out to some researchers whose work I had been exposed to in the Task Force.
I wrote my application, sent it all off on the due date and crossed my fingers. It all felt very hectic and rushed but in reality, with my experience in the Arctic, a good idea for a project, and skills with Finnish, I felt I was a good candidate. March rolled around and I heard I was accepted and was invited to the Arctic Centre in Rovaniemi, Finland. I strongly encourage all students to apply for a Fulbright. I would highly recommend Finland as a place to study. As of now I’m based at the Arctic Centre for the next year writing a major research article on a comparison between Finnish and American Arctic strategies. We are trying to understand whether or not these countries are taking appropriate action on the Arctic.
Just one class with the International Studies and Canadian Studies programs introduced me to a whole new world and one that I expect I will be involved with for some time to come.
The Fulbright Center (the bi-national Fulbright Commission in Helsinki, Finland) is a service organization that specializes in cultural exchange between Finland and North America. The Center administers grant programs and provides advising, training and information services for students, researchers and working professionals.
by Michael Brown, International Studies (2013)