Then in January 2010 she ended up at the University of Lapland in Rovaniemi, Finland. Upon her arrival it was the coldest week of the year, and though the -30 degrees weren’t so different from winters in Quebec, it turned out to be a completely different experience to try and discover a new place than leading a known lifestyle in such cold. Back in Quebec, one of the interests she had to come to another northern country was a curiosity as to the differences and similarities existing between different cultures from arctic regions. She was also interested to witness how people’s lifestyles and cities were organized to deal with similar challenging environments. Being one of the few fervent winter cyclers in Quebec City, she was extremely glad to see that for example, despite the -30 degree weather people were cycling and that the city was designed to make this possible! Walking to class in the late morning when the moon was still high in the sky was something that was foreign to her experience living in Quebec and which she took great pleasure in. The ski hills in her back yard and the slow pace of the city are things that she enjoys about the lifestyle on the Arctic Circle. 
    The courses that she is taking throughout the ASP program allow her to experience different places first hand. Traveling for the Jokkmokk Winter Conference and the Kola Expedition to Northern Russia gave her the opportunity to see these areas of the world and also gain academic credit for it. With an interest in pursuing more opportunities for travel once she is finished in May she will look into exploring other areas throughout Scandinavia like Norway. Once the academic year rolls around in September she will embark upon her final semesters in her undergrad with a wealth of first hand experience in Northern Europe and a better understanding of environmental, political and social dynamics that affect northern regions across the world.

Elizabeth Zarpa