Friday, February 18, 2011

Two Michigan Tech students study in Finland

Jonathan Kilpela, right, of Atlantic Mine, and Karl Koivisto of Cokato, Minn., enjoy a weekend together in Tampere, Finland. The two Michigan Tech University students are studying in Oulu and Tampere, respectively, thanks to the Gilman Scholarship Program. (Photo © 2011 and courtesy Jonathan Kilpela. Reprinted with permission.)

From Tech Today*:
Posted Feb. 18, 2011

HOUGHTON -- The Gilman Scholarship Program is sponsoring two Michigan Tech students now studying in Finland.

Jonathan Kilpela and Karl Koivisto are two of 1000 outstanding American undergraduate students from over 380 colleges and universities across the U.S. who were offered the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to participate in a study-abroad program during the Spring of 2011.

Kilpela, a second-year biological sciences major, received $2,000 to study at the University of Oulu. He is studying two of his interests -- biology and Finnish language. Finnish remains a big part of his heritage, as his mother's family immigrated to the U.S. from Finland. Kilpela hails from Atlantic Mine.

Keeping in shape in Finland, Kilpela writes, "We ran on singletrack through the woods around a lake -- It gets so hard packed that you could, and people do, bike on it." (Photo © 2011 and courtesy Jonathan Kilpela. Reprinted with permission.)

"Receiving the Gilman Scholarship has equipped me with the resources to fully live out my dream of studying abroad," says Kilpela. "It has made the difference for me between barely getting by and being able to experience as much as possible here in Oulu. This whole trip is giving me a completely new perspective on, well, everything -- and I've only been here for a month."

Reindeer sprint racing. "And if you thought skijoring was insane..try getting pulled by a full sized reindeer," Jonathan Kilpela writes.** (Photo © 2011 and courtesy Jonathan Kilpela. Reprinted with permission.)

Koivisto, a second-year biomedical engineering major from Cokato, Minn., received $4,500 to study at Tampere University of Technology -- a leader in biomedical research and technology.

Karl Koivisto's "million-dollar view" of Tampere, Finland, where he is studying. (Photo © 2011 and courtesy Jonathan Kilpela. Reprinted with permission.)

"I was very honored and excited to receive the Gilman," Koivisto says. "Without it, I would not have been able to study abroad. The Gilman has opened many doors for me."

The Gilman Scholarship Program aims to diversify the kinds of students who study abroad and the countries and regions where they go. The program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and administered by the Institute of International Education's (IIE) Southern Regional Center in Houston, Texas.

Applications for spring 2012 study-abroad scholarships are due Oct. 5 and will be available online in mid-August. Students receiving a federal Pell Grant from two- and four-year institutions are encouraged to apply.

Editor's Notes:
*Thanks to Tech Today for sharing this article and to Don Kilpela, Jonathan's Dad, for connecting Keweenaw Now with Jonathan for permission to publish photos.

**See Jonathan Kilpela's You Tube video of reindeer sprint racing in the Oulu marketplace on Jan. 29, 2011 -- same time as Hancock's Heikinpäivä.

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