Finnish Program Holiday Letter

Submitted by Stacey Breitberg on


It’s a pleasure to send you holiday greetings! Minulla on ilo toivottaa kaikille rauhallista joulun aikaa ja onnellista uutta vuotta!

We were thrilled to welcome two new colleagues to the Finnish Program in fall 2023: Dr. Tapio Hokkanen, our new acting instructor of Finnish, and Ronja Salo, our new Fulbright Language Teaching Assistant (FLTA) of Finnish.

Tapio comes to us from the University of Eastern Finland. He has taught at numerous universities in Europe and North America and offers exceptional knowledge and experience to our students and the community.

Ronja is already legendary as a…Finnish Teacher: She earned an MA in education from the University of Tampere before coming to the UW and already has experience teaching in a primary school in Tampere. Ronja has also taught in the Netherlands. At UW, she is teaching Finnish.

Tapio and Ronja have brought a new charge of energy to the program. Tervetuloa! 

Our students amaze us more every year. We are so proud to share words from two students with you, as we do every year.

  • As I look to the future, I think I will try to start a career in Finland. I have made some professional connections from my lab work, none which would have been possible without the Scandinavian department […]  The support from all of you means so much to me. The community that the Scandinavian Studies department provides has been one of my favorite parts about this school. The students and classes from the department are so fantastic because of the generous donations from the Nordic community.
  • Every person in the Scandinavian Studies department, from my Finnish teacher, to my advisor, to our department head, has made me feel welcomed and supported. They truly want me to succeed, and have offered me many incredible opportunities, including the opportunity to do a special capstone project. Thank you for supporting my passion for Finland and my dream of sharing Finnish culture, values, and ways of life with other parts of the world.

All of us are grateful to be a part of the Finnish community of Seattle. As we look toward 2024, I ask that you include the Finnish Program in your end-of-the-year charitable giving by making a gift to the program.

With best holiday greetings/jouluterveisin


Tapio Hokkanen                                                           Andrew Nestingen      

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