Arriving in Oulu in early August, I have been with the University of the Arctic for almost five months now. During my stay in Finland I’ve had the chance to experience a different culture and way of life; from sitting in a floating sauna on a river to rounding up reindeer in the north-eastern most part of Finland (see image below). Before I arrived in Finland, I had quite a narrow view on matters related to the Arctic region – my view on the Arctic was based on a background within natural sciences. As a part of my bachelor’s I took a semester at Svalbard in Spring 2016 – a strong El Nino year – where I experienced the trend of decreasing sea ice levels, hampering both research and exploration possibilities on the island, most of the topics that naturally interested me were therefore on climate, environment and biodiversity.

This internship at the UArctic gave me the chance to broaden my perspectives, to see the Arctic from a different point of view. As a part of the internship, I took part in the Rovaniemi Arctic Spirit conference. Here I was introduced to the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, and participated in many interesting panel discussions on various topics related to the Arctic region and its peoples. The people I met through the UArctic have all contributed to a fun and very rewarding internship, which has only fuelled my (Arctic) fire, and I would like to thank all of them for that.

My future plans are to further educate myself within the field of Arctic biology at UiT The Arctic University of Norway and hopefully contribute to a better understanding of the Arctic region.

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Photo: Simon N. Schmidt