Nord University welcomes students to inaugural Summer School

Many people gathered at a university session. Photo

Warm welcome: Monday, July 1, the official opening of Nord Summer School took place. Photo: Gry Alsos.

Nord University welcomes students to inaugural Summer School
Students from SEA-EU universities and other partner universities get a taste of what it is like to study in Northern Norway during Nord University’s first ever Summer School.

“We have been swimming in cold water, something I never would have thought I would do. And yesterday, we saw twenty-four elks with calves. We do not get bored here!” says Katrin Käis from Christian-Albrechts-Universität in Kiel, Germany.

Katrin is one of the students at Nord Summer School and takes the course Experiences in Extreme Environments.

Based at campus Bodø from 1-5 July, Nord offers six courses in small groups on a range of interdisciplinary themes which all are connected to the university’s core areas: blue and green growth, innovation and entrepreneurship, and welfare, health and education.

The university has leading research communities within aquaculture, biosciences, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

Students gathered outside next to sculptures. Photo
Welcome to Nord and Bodø: The students at Nord Summer School come from Spain, Chile, Norway, the Netherlands, Finland, and a number of other countries. Here they stand in front of the sculpture The University Portal, made by artists Hjorth and Kjølaas. Photo: Chanice Sørli.

Exercising in extreme, natural environments

“When you have completed the course, you will have a field-based experience of the human physiological and psychological responses to activities and exercise in selected environmental conditions, like cold water”, says Associate Professor Dagmar Dahl, course leader of Experience in Extreme Environments.

“You will also have developed an understanding of social, psychological, and physiological challenges when living and exercising in extreme, natural environments like in Northern Norway – among other things,” she continues. “Later in the week, we will go bodysurfing and do the majestic Bodøryggen-hike which – at its peak – is 625 meters above sea level.“

Professor Ottar Bjerkeset, who leads the course Outdoor Health, and his students also use the outdoors for much of the teaching and will also have the final exam at Mjelle beach where the students and teachers sleep in tents the last night.

Woman swimming in cold water. Photo
Cold as ice: Student Katrin having a field-based experience of the human physiological and psychological responses to cold water. Photo: Dagmar Dahl.

Katrin: "Open the Summer School-courses for staff as well"

“It was definitively the concept of outdoors that got me interested” says Katrin. “I knew Norway has wonderful nature, but I wanted to experience it. In Germany where I work, we get (freely translated) something we call education vacation each year. This is a 5 day leave that you use for professional development. The course you attend, needs to be accredited by my university and I am now the first one to join the course from the University of Kiel. I think it would be great if the Summer School-courses at Nord would be open for staff as well, in addition to students!”, she says.

All participants will finish the week giving presentations on the work done during the Summer School. They will also receive a certificate of having completed the course they follow.

Three women in a shopping centre. Photo
From left to right: Associate Professor Cathrine Fredriksen Moe, Researcher Elena Zhurova Sæther and Associate Professor Amsale Kassahun Temesgen teach the courses Work and Health, Sustainable Blue Growth in the High North and Ecological Economics for Sustainable Regional Development. Here they are at the reception at Bodø City Hall on the second evening of the Summer School. Photo: Charlotta Langejan.

Director of Academic Affairs, Anne Ringen Pedersen says:

“It is a joy to welcome students from our SEA-EU-partners and other cooperation partners. We will evaluate the Summer School and continue developing the university and the concept of Summer School. I look forward to welcome even more students to Nord next year.”

Students on a row sitting outside in nature. Photo
Popular course: Students from the course Outdoor Health learn about how spending time in nature influences mental well-being. Photo: Ottar Bjerkeset.
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