Sintija’s background is journalism and she received her Bachelor’s in Communication Science from the Rigas Stranin's University. During her studies she ventured to Akureyri, Iceland, for three semesters as an exchange student where she developed a living interest in Arctic issues by participating in some courses of the Polar Law Master’s Program. One of her lecturers in Akureyri therefore suggested to Sintija to participate in the Arctic Studies Program – and now she is in Rovaniemi for two semesters for the full diploma.   

“It is just great”, Sintija says. Especially the ability to follow individual interests within the ASP, the broad knowledge the program provides as well Dzelme 1as the high level of education provided by the lecturers of the ASP is something Sintija appreciates and enjoys very much. Also the overall study environment of the University of Lapland she sees as an overall asset of being an ASP student.   According to Sintija, “the University of Lapland is very innovative. It offers to learn things not only from a theoretical perspective, but also from practical one.” Also the used technology inspires active and efficient learning at the university. But most importantly, “Professors who are working here are not only your teachers but they are also persons who can help in different situations. They are very easy reachable.”  

One of the elements of living in the North is the close proximity to nature. Sintija particularly enjoys the special characteristics of each of the four seasons – starting with the midnight sun and ending in -33 C. Also the peace the natural surrounding provides with its calming silence contributes to Sintija’s well-being: “There is just natural silence and I can enjoy the peace of the North”. Only the size of Rovaniemi sometimes makes Sintija miss the bigger city, the associated larger number of people and more variations in entertainment opportunities. Yet, she says that “it is very easy to go to bigger cities and then just to come back to the cozy city – Rovaniemi.” But, unlike the big city, smaller cities and the North in general are not as stressful and overpopulated. Nor does Sintija see overexploitation by tourists, making the environment even more charming for her.   Sintija’s experiences with her Finnish friends reflect the view many people share with her: it is hard to get to know them, but once a Finn has become your friend, this friendship will last forever. And the importance of the sauna in Finland is something, Sintija reflects upon this way: “. I recommend trying it at least once. The Finnish Sauna is great!”   

dzelme 3All the different elements of living and studying in the North make Sintija say that she wants to stay: “This is a place where my heart is – I cannot imagine living in the South.” Even the harsh weather does not keep her from saying that, because she regards this as part of the Arctic beauty. Sintija would like to use her journalistic skills to write about the North, the life and environment as well as development in the North – also to make her friends and family come to pay her a visit, either in Finland or in Iceland – depending on where she will venture next.   

Sintija’s concluding words about the North are simply: “This place inspires to live and to reach aims of life. Just come to the North. I am sure that those people, who will come to Lapland won’t regret their choice. I think there is a reason why Lapland is called the heart of Finland. I just love this place!”