Biology student share experiences from internships in the Arctic
Biology student share experiences from internships in the Arctic

Beginning of the end

Hey there!

The internship is soon in its final stage, and now as the month of May has just started, you can notice that the beginning of the end is here. The students at Longyearbyen school is approaching the end of this semester, and in the classrooms we are slowly starting to summarise and recap curriculum and think about the upcoming finals and exams. For the older students, the exams are approaching rapidly, and May is going to be a busy month for them. As “russetiden” has just begun, the students are balancing exams and partying, and it still impresses me how they can manage to have time for it all.

My days at the school are pretty much the same as usual, with the exception of the classes I have with the two biology students that have their exam already the 7th of May. This means that we got a lot less time to go through the curriculum then we thought. The last few days we have tried to put aside as much time for biology and experiments at the lab as possible in our busy schedules. We have managed to perform to more lab tests: dissection of fish and bacterial growth on LB agar plates. This time we were in the lab at UNIS, as I was so fortunate to get some fish form Janne Søreide, a marine biologist at UNIS. It is more difficult than you think to prepare for the different lab experiments here at Svalbard, as the resources are limited. We don’t have the possibilities to just go out in the forest to do analysis’s, or to buy a whole fish at the fish market, as I might would do on the main land. Here you are dependent on planning, and very helpful colleges, students and staff (at both UNIS and Lyb School). I must say that I really appreciate the help I have gotten from fellow students giving me inspiration with their old reports, and staff at UNIS helping out and letting me borrow their facilities for “my” students. The community we have here at Svalbard really makes it possible for things like this to happen.

I also love that I can come to staff and students with questions from other fields of biology that is not in my expertise.  It is then very nice to be surrounded by people with expertise in everything from terrestrial to marine biology here at UNIS. There are many fields of biology that I haven’t really looked into for a long time, and I really appreciate the opportunity I get now to have a broader understanding of the subject, reviewing things I haven’t really thought about since I myself was in high school.  But I must admit that it has in some ways also reassured me that the path that I have chosen (in biology) is the right one, as I still find this the most interesting!

Write you again soon,


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