Tuesday 11. April 2017

SIT students in Greenland

A group of seventeen American college students is now completing a two week stay in Greenland as a part of their study abroad program „Iceland and Greenland: Climate Change and the Arctic.“ The program is a whole semester offered by the School for International Training (SIT) in collaboration with the University Centre of the Westfjords. Thirteen out of a total of fifteen weeks are spent in Iceland while two are spent in Greenland. This is the second semester this same program is offered in cooperation with the UW Centre.

The students started their semester in the middle of February and soon after the group arrived in Ísafjörður. Lectures took place in the University Centre, but students also got the opportunity to experience family life in the Westfjords first-hand as local families greeted them upon arrival and opened their homes to these students for a three week stay. SIT students have been offered homestays in the Ísafjörður area since 2012 and it has been highly appreciated.

At the end of March the students travelled to Nuuk, the capital of Greenland. Pernilla Rein University Centre project manager got the opportunity to join the group. During the past years Pernilla has been in charge of the UW field school services and has also organized the homestays.



In Greenland a schedule filled with lectures, presentations, visits and trips awaited the students. The group visited the Asiaq (Greenland Survey) and specialists of the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland and the Greenland (GEUS) and the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources (GINR) gave lectures on local themes. As these two institutions are located in the Greenland University Campus a tour of the University was included, as well as other lectures.

Besides getting introduced to local themes within the program‘s topic, there were also cultural intrductions and language classes in Greenlandic as well as in Danish. Students visited the National Museum and learnt about national costumes. One night was spent together with young local musicians who performed live music for the group and shared a meal of Greenlandic cuisine with the SIT students. Among other things the buffet featured whale meat, muskox meatballs, dried capeline, snowcrab and Greenlandic lamb.

One day was spent boating in the Nuup kangerlua (previously known as Gilbert Sound or Baal's River), which is the vast fjord system on which Nuuk stands. Blessed with very calm weather, students were able to get close to the edge of the ice sheet. Reindeer was spotted  in the mountains and eagles were seen flying by.

There were also opportunities to enjoy the ourdoors or for the students to spend some time on their own. A scheduled snowshoe hike was very appreciated and many in the group took the opportunity to go skiing. Students of course also explored the Nuuk, this small but very international and friendly capital.

The group now returns to Iceland full of new impressions and experiences from their stay in Greenland. Ísafjörður is likely to give them a warm welcome with the annual Ski Festival as well as the Aldrei fór ég suður rock festival which both take place in Ísafjörður during Easter.

By the edge of the icecap.
By the edge of the icecap.
1 of 6