Details, details, details! So many details to take care of in order to move away for six months. At this point I have no place to live in Joensuu but its not for lack of trying - both on my part and the help of my friend Leena (Fulbright scholar currently in the U.S. from Finland), Kari (my new mentor from the University of Eastern Finland), and the Finnish Fulbright group in Helsinki.
University housing is already filled with their current student population and there is a long waiting list, and the resident scholar housing is only available for short term visits. Leena has been extremely kind by offering to let me stay with her and her family for a few weeks while I find a place; the immediate pressure to find a place to live is off but I'm still quite curious about how it will all play out.
I have learned that when I arrive I'm required to register myself as a resident and then I'm given, amongst other things, a free bus pass. (I'm very excited about the free bus pass.). I also know that there will only be about one hour per day when the sun is above the horizon in January - therefore, I may be traveling around in the bus looking for a place to live in only darkness/semi-light, with a very limited vocabulary of Finnish. It sounds like fun... and the beginning of a very interesting short story!