Taylors in Finland

The Grand Adventure

Mary Ann's Fulbright Exchange to Oulu, Finland
August 2001 - June 2002

Check List

Some ours and some from Fulbright's list

We started this in late May and is by no means complete. Some of these items are probably in our "Finnish Notes" and in the Fulbright papers you have received. We are just adding things as we think of them.

Before you leave:

¤ Finance addresses changed (credit cards, mortgage, etc.)
¤ Copy passport(s) and swap copies if traveling with someone
¤ While you are at it, get some extra passport photos
Passport carrier (for around your neck when traveling, John found any of the others awkward to use)
¤ House expenses at home payments arranged
(including those annual expenses like car insurance, auto registration, property taxes, etc.)
¤ House expenses in Finland arranged
(will you pay or is it easier to reimburse?)
¤ Advise your homeowners insurance agent that you have someone else in your house
(your exchange partner will probably never need to call but at least your agent will recognize your exchange partner if they call)
¤ Someone to forward your mail or else arrange with the Post Office
(see Finnish Notes about USPS Global Priority)
¤ Arrange for automatic deposit of your school pay check
¤ Open e-mail account at yahoo.com or hotmail.com
(so you can read your mail at any computer that can get to the Internet and you are not dependent on your school's account)
¤ Get a Teacher ID card (see Finnish Note from Elisabeth Young)
¤ Pack a few checks
(they are not used in Finland but you may need them to pay some stateside bills or to reimburse your mail forwarder)
¤ Open a dialpad.com account for calling Finland to the USA
¤ Do some research and take pictures of your area to share with Finns you meet or if you are asked to talk about your home town and the U.S.A.
¤ Make sure your address book is up-to-date, including e-mails
¤ Leave list of contacts for your exchange partner
 Besides friends and neighbors you should include people/companies you use for house and appliance repairs.
(Send copies of the list to anyone on list so they know they may be contacted)

After arrival in Finland:

¤ Start a daily diary
(Expenses, travels, people you meet, etc. so you have data for tax returns, Fulbright reports, etc.)
¤ Open Finnish bank account
¤ Get lessons on using OTTO (Finnish ATMs)
¤ Get lessons on using in-bank terminals for paying bills
¤ Contact closest Finnish/American group
¤ Advise U. S. Embassy/Consulate of your location, e-mail address
¤ Advise Fulbright Center in Helsinki of your location, e-mail address
¤ Borrow/buy cell phone and open account
(consider buying a used cell phone, much less expensive)
¤ Local bus pass, if needed
¤ Locate OTTO (ATM)
¤ Locate grocery store
¤ Locate school
¤ Find out about Internet access
¤ Locate closest Tourist Information office
¤ Find websites that tell you about local events
¤ Find out who is, or pick, your mentor at school
¤ Contact other Fulbright Exchange Teachers
¤ Enjoy work
¤ Enjoy your new friends
¤ Enjoy Finland

Some time in middle:

¤ Confirm with your exchange partner dates that you will be leaving each other's homes
¤ Plan your return travel from Finland to U.S.A.
¤ Rebook your air travel reservations
(we could not book our actual return trips when we left the U.S.A. since the airlines will only book 331 days into the future)

Near end:

¤ Start preparing your Fulbright Review package
¤ Make list of people to whom you can mail packages
(so someone is there to receive them or, at least, pick them up from the Post Office.)
¤ Start mailing stuff back to the States
(Mail negatives and prints in separate packages so if one package gets lost you still have the other)
¤ Change financial addresses that are mailed to Finland
¤ Notify Finnish cell phone company what day to stop service
¤ Notify Finnish cell phone company what address for final bill
¤ Arrange with someone in Finland to pay last bills and close bank account

Last Update 2003 12 07

return to top ^