As part of my Master’s degree at Aalborg University I spent five months as an intern at the office of the UArctic International Secretariat in Rovaniemi. When I first arrived in August it was late summer and the weather was wonderful. As the months went by the trees would turn from green into a plethora of beautiful ‘ruska’ colors before they got covered by snow. I spent some weekends hiking locally in Rovaniemi, mainly on the trails on the local “mountain” (or hillside) of Ounasvaara. In winter I went cross-country skiing there and got humbled by all the local skiers who raced past me on the trail.
At the office I was a part of the communications team and my main tasks involved working on the UArcitc website, writing articles and posting on different social media channels – with a lot of other projects in between. Working and being together with my coworkers at the office was great and stands out as one of the main highlights of my time in Finland. During my internship I also participated in a couple of events, as I joined in the celebration of UArctic’s 20 Year Anniversary Seminar and the Rovaniemi Arctic Spirit conference. I also joined the office on two work-related trips, once in a cabin in the beautiful Pyhä-Luosto National Park, where we also went hiking. We also spent a weekend at Oulanka Research Station together with the Oulu office.
I acted as a local guide when I got a couple of visits from people back home. I showed them the city and Ounasvaara. We also went to the Arctic Circle Hiking Area and took a trip up to Ylläs. I went to Levi with my partner for a weekend in October where we hiked, relaxed in saunas and saw the faintest northern lights you can imagine.
It was a great experience being a part of the UArctic International Secretariat and during the five months I got to work and develop myself and my professional skills. I experienced Finland in a very intimate and unique way that has left a long-lasting impression on me.