Can you share your journey moving through different Universities in the Arctic?
I started my academic career at Murmansk State Technical University, then the new education reform in Murmansk happened and I went to the Arctic State University doing the same program. Unfortunately, it was not a free education but only on a paid basis. Afterward, I took an intensive course in Tromsø and enrolled in an Arctic Studies program where they had classes from both Murmansk and Tromsø universities.
After that, I have been working a lot with cultural development, urban philosophy and challenges as well as opportunities in developing cities in the Arctic. In my vision, the colder it gets the more creative it gets. The program that I am enrolled in right now is sponsored by the Nordic Council of Ministers as well as some architecture, planning and engineering companies. It is a joint program between three Nordic universities. At the end of the program, a triple degree is awarded.
What are your future plans?
I am getting married to a Danish person so probably I will not go back to Russia [laughs]. I am thinking about applying for a Ph.D. in Tromsø otherwise. On the other hand, there are many opportunities in Denmark concerning working in the Arctic, mostly with Greenland. I would like to step out a bit of the Barents dimension and work with the big Arctic arena and issues. I came back from the Arctic Circle Assembly in Iceland and people do not know much about the Barents cooperation. We are trying to make people aware of it, but I am also looking forward to working with more global issues, community building and planning in the Arctic; I would love to keep working with Greenland. Anyways, it does not mean I will stop my connection with Russia and the Barents region. In the end, you never leave the Arctic…or perhaps the Arctic never leaves you.
Do you have any experience or involvement in UArctic?
I remember there were some mobility opportunities and also some presentations at Murmansk State University. Unfortunately, there were a few issues in dealing with Russian partners in my view. This is related to differences between the European and Russian educational systems. For this reason, it is hard to coordinate horizontal mobilities if there are no united educational standards, starting from the credits system.
Thanks Daria for sharing your experience and best of luck for the future!
Barents Regional Youth Council: http://www.barentsyouth.org/