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Researching within the Arctic Circle... a once-in-a-lifetime adventure!

28.10.2022



TURID intesive week.jpeg
The TURID Network was founded in 1998, and it is funded by Nordplus Higher Education Programme. Over the years, the network has included 11 partner HEIs and over 400 student participants. This year, the Degree Programme in Tourism organized a TURID intensive week in Levi, Kittilä under the theme “Greener Business Practices as Competitive Advantage for Micro and Small Tourism Companies in Nordic-Baltic Region”. All in all, 22 students and 6 teachers from 6 universities (of applied sciences) in Finland, Sweden, Estonia and Latvia spent an inspiring week in Levi, learning about sustainability communication and developing it with three local companies. Here is what one of the student groups wrote about their experiences.

Arctic Circle… we finally meet!

Living in the Arctic Circle for a few days, especially if it is our first trip there, is an unforgettable experience. Getting up in the morning and being able to go for a stroll in the woods just outside the door, hunting for Northern Lights, and climbing gorgeous mountains surrounded by rivers and lakes… we will never forget that.

We knew we'd made the correct decision the instant we stepped foot in polar territory. We are more than 20 people from various countries in this course, and our major job is to get to know different organizations and work on the design of a strategy to promote sustainability communication.

When the opportunity knocks


During our time in Levi, we had a lot of firsts. Some of us saw reindeer for the first time and some had very interesting and new food experiences like tar butter on their taste buds for the first time. We got to experience a lot of things we will not probably experience in the future, like cocooning in the Lappish nature and drinking coffee made by perhaps the only campfire barista in the world.

All the visits were memorable in their own way, like visiting Elves village with their very uniquely designed cottages and very homely decorated houses. The Seitakivi really stuck, because we doubt there isn’t anything like it in the world.

All of the places visited, whether it was for educational purposes or going to lunch, had their own personal yet luxurious decoration, and it was truly an experience in itself. It was a real joy to work with the commissioners towards better sustainability communication in these conditions.

Taking up the challenge


During our 1-week study at Levi, we had assignments to learn about the sustainability of Levi's local businesses, in addition to experiencing new things. Furthermore, we are responsible for evaluating and providing feedback on LeviDay's social marketing strategy, as well as providing personal opinions and suggestions to help them improve their website, Facebook, and Instagram in terms of both images and content.

The first and most difficult challenge for us was to enjoy the Levi trip while also paying attention to the assignment. Because the tours at Levi and LeviDay's cottage were so enjoyable and relaxed, we were engrossed in the experience and found it difficult to concentrate on our studies.

The second challenge concerned the commissioner interview. Because the majority of the team members are international students and the LeviDay commissioner does not speak English, our conversation took a long time because we had to translate and understand each other. Fortunately, the group included two Finnish friends, Johanna and Aleksis, who assisted in translating the questions and answers.

Group meetings and idea generation went very well. However, sometimes team members don't really understand each other, which creates a tense atmosphere, but we all know that this is completely normal when working in groups, and we all know how to deal with the problem so that the group meeting runs smoothly and peacefully.

Our final but most important task is to prepare for the final presentation. All members were nervous and worried about the presentation, and we ran out of time during the presentation, so we didn't get to express all of the ideas that the group had prepared. However, this is also a lesson in how to say enough but concisely in future presentations.

And the final day... Nobody wanted to leave


The TURID experience is one-of-a-kind, and we recommend all of you to participate because it allows you to get to know yourself better, break down boundaries, meet individuals who share your same interests, and share with people from different countries across the world as if you were family.

It enables you to travel, discover, and grow personally and professionally, as well as experience the globe and step out of your comfort zone, which is when you truly feel alive.

- Diana Ayala, Johanna Ylioja, Trinh Dung (Jullie) -