Elisa Räsänen is the 2013-2014 Finnish FLTA at Indiana University.
"I am from Heinola, a city in the south of Finland. I am working on my Masters in Finnish language studies from the University of Jyväskylä in central Finland. I applied for the FLTA because I wanted to get to know American culture better and to gain experience in language teaching. I am hoping to learn more about teaching my language while at IU and to improve my English as well.
So far my Fulbright experience has been very positive. My orientation was at the University of Notre Dame. Everyone in the department here has been very friendly and helpful. Bloomington is a cute city, and it seems like there is a lot of going on here. The Lotus Festival in September will have two groups from Finland, including the women’s group Kardemimit who play the kantele.
I am taking two courses this semester and two next semester. The first is “Second language studies” to develop my teaching skills and then “American Studies- the 60’s” to get to know the culture better. What I would most like IU students to learn about my home country and language is that Finland is a very good place to live in. There everything works, like healthcare and education, so I’m really proud of my country. I also love the Finnish language, because it’s very different from English and it’s very descriptive. There’s a lot of vocabulary and a lot of expression in every single word.
Here I am an assistant teacher in the Finnish class, working with the introductory, intermediate, and advanced courses. The levels have 6 introductory, 3 intermediate, and 2 advanced students which is a nice size group to work with.
In general, it’s really great to experience living in a different country, so I recommend to everyone to explore and travel."
We wish Elisa the best for her time at Indiana University!