A term in Svalbard

Arriving in Norway at the beginning of August during 24 hours of light, the sun spins 360 around your head over 24 hours, you would cram as much hiking, socialising and other activities into these endless days as possible, until eventually you had to stop and rest! Upon leaving in late December there was 24 hours of darkness, however strap a head torch on, let the moon, stars and northern lights light your way and hikes, skiing and more can still be achieved!

stuprof-michaelcopeWe embraced the silent norwegian landscape on a 3 day hike into the wilderness, accompanied by 7 Norwegians and 2 guys from Amsterdam which made for an unforgettable trip. We went in search of the sun for one last time before it disappeared from the skies for about 5 months! We crossed the frozen fjord on bikes with studded tyres and then climbed the 900 m mountain Hiorthfjellet, in a race to catch the sun before it disappeared! We won, euphoria!

I stayed 5 months in plush and practical renovated miners barracks; regarded by me as the best accommodation this world has to offer. With views of glaciers, the fjord, mountains and Northern Lights....... all from your bedroom window!

In short Norway was an experience of a lifetime, I now have good friends from all over the world, have experienced world class teaching from leaders in their fields, formed numerous academic contacts, and also have memories which will last me a lifetime. Whilst on erasmus a wise friend said to me, "You go to university once, and spend the rest of your life talking about it". For me this couldn't be more true!

Michael Cope, BSc Geography (Physical)

UNIS in Svlbard (via a link with the University of Bergen)

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