Adapting to Change Abroad

For my session 3 course, I am taking Arctic Ecology. This course has already proved itself quite different from the previous courses I’ve taken at DIS (Psychology of Human Sexuality and Prostitution and The Sex Trade) both in the course material and general format. Arctic Ecology combines elements of both Animal and Plant Biology and Environmental Science to provide an interesting lens for topics like climate change and trophic mismatch. We’ve already had so many fun Field Studies that I cannot wait for our study tour, despite the many roadblocks we’ve encountered along the way.

Roadblock 1:

This week, my class was supposed to be on our study in Svalbard: an arctic archipelago off Norway. This was a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience, as Svalbard is the northernmost point of the globe and pretty difficult to get to. However, due to the SAS airline strike, we weren’t sure if our flight would be canceled until the day before. Long story short, it was canceled. While this was extremely sad for us to miss out on Svalbard, we were reassured that we would be taking a similar arctic excursion to Greenland the next week.

Roadblock 2:

We weren’t given a lot of details about our hypothetical Greenland trip, but we knew it was supposed to be happening eventually. One day in class, our instructor pulled up a news article about how all flights to Greenland had been cancelled for the rest of July due to weather. So with that, our second trip had also been cancelled. Recently, we found out that we are supposed to go to Northern Iceland instead, which I am super excited for.

The Adaptation

In Arctic Ecology, we talk a lot about how organisms in the arctic develop certain adaptations in order to overcome the harsh environment. In a similar way, our class has had to adapt to the rocky airline drama a couple of times. Although we were supposed to be in the Arctic this week, we were able to visit an aquarium in Helsingør to tour and see some of the research facilities. The trip was so much fun and we even were invited to go crab fishing. Crab fishing was the most fun I have had in a while and we had a competition between the class to see who could catch the most. After that, we explored the city and I ended up taking a solo trip to Sweden, which was a 15-minute ferry ride. I had a great time despite this trip not being what I had planned. So I guess the moral of the story is that things may not always go according to plan, but crab fishing solves all problems.

Cuttle Fish at the Helsingør Aquarium
Crab Fishing Success

Study Abroad This Summer with DIS:

Leave a Reply