We are almost half way through the programme and I have been inspired to the fullest, but somehow my heart is stuck in the meeting with the 2003 alumni. In the first week, we had a meeting with the 2003 batch where they casually interacted with us talking about the memories they still cherish of FCP2003, and how useful it has been for them in the following years of their excursion to Finland.
The Hungarian participant of the FCP2003, Gábor Ozoli, wrote a blog post for our blog before the meeting, ” Finland is a perfect place for such a cosmopolitan project; its hospitality, openness, infrastructure, and outstanding natural beauty all made our one-month-long stay a special time to remember,” and I was thrilled with excitement to hear the whole story when we met them in person.
They were full of praises and we were already in love with Finland so our questions were limited to ‘what awaits us next?’. They gave us tons of advice about how we can make best of it, and not to miss the trips to Tallinn and Sweden on weekends and to Russia after the programme, or the planning for the reception on the last day of our programme and CREATIVE ideas for it.
Five of the participants from the 2003 batch and it gave the perfect feeling of alumni meet. They talked about how they were young journalists fresh out of college when they attended the programme in 2003 and how they have joined the corporate field after getting married and having families.
So the conversation pondered over how they utilised the experience from FCP in their own respective countries and how we can find good research topics here for our doctorate programmes in future. In my mind I took notes on what I have to do when I go back home, and in my heart I was thinking how it would be like to be back again as an alumni for the FCP2023 and share the wonderful experiences and memories we are collecting at present.
“These friendships are still very much alive: we have met many times since and continue to keep in touch. And this summer, in the year of the ten-year anniversary, we chose to go back to the place where it all began, the city which will always have a special place in our hearts: Helsinki, Finland…,” Gábor Ozoli says in his blog post and I can foresee the same feeling nurturing in my heart as I pack my bags for the family weekend.