Our event calendar obviously changed drastically due to the pandemic. We nonetheless have managed a few in-person, small get-togethers, in strict accordance with Icelandic social-distancing rules. Those who followed the news in Iceland know that these rules have been revised regularly in accordance with pandemic statistics and scientific advice at different times, so we have grabbed all windows of opportunity with gratitude and tried to make the best of them!
Fulbright Board meeting in June
Throughout the pandemic, and during the months when it was impossible to meet or hold events, the Fulbright Iceland Board stayed engaged through frequent electronic contact. It was, nonetheless, very much welcomed when Board had an opportunity to meet in person in June, while observing rules that were in effect regarding social distancing.
A lovely summer lunch with recent US alumni
One of the things the Commission found difficult last spring was the fact that we could not properly say farewell to US grantees at the end of the grant period, due to strict rules forbidding non-essential personal contact at that time. While some grantees departed, a number of our US Fulbright grantees decided to stay in Iceland after the program was suspended last spring. Once it was safe to have a small get-together, the ED and Chairman of the Board invited these recent US alumni to a belated lunch to celebrate their (albeit shortened) Fulbright year.
Mini fall orientation
Usually the Commission holds its main orientation in the fall, when we receive our largest group of incoming US grantees. Of course, things are quite different this year as only degree-seeking students were able to start grants in the fall. We are happy to have two students in that category: Nick Fry and Rachel Britton. The Commission held a mini-orientation for the two of them in early September and the small number allowed us to have the session in-person at the Commission. We expect that our main orientation will be held in January, when a larger group of US grantees, both PhD research students and scholars, are scheduled to arrive. Fingers crossed!