During the fall after KAA I’ve come to realize how valuable the experience was for my future career in Arctic research. Nowadays networking is the key for success in almost any field and I think it also is the greatest value of KAA. Not only did I get to meet people who I can call my KAA family but I also got to change ideas, knowledge and experiences with people from all over the Arctic countries and Korea, and from very different fields of study. These are people with whom I share the same passion, the future of the Arctic, and I know our paths will cross in the future. In addition, I got to meet Arctic professionals and to visit impressing institutes where the Arctic research happens in Korea. Overall the KAA experience widened my view on the importance of Arctic research, how global of an issue the Arctic really is and how diverse of a group the actors working in and for the Arctic are.

For me participating in KAA has strengthened my identity as an Arctic researcher and my vision of what I want to do in the future after my graduation next summer. The ideal situation would be to work in the international field and through my work improve the dialogue between research and policymaking for the sustainable development of the Arctic: Maybe even in cooperation with some of the KAA participants I met in July! As souvenirs from Korea I brought home confidence and international experience (in addition to metal chopsticks and hundreds of photos that make me laugh) which I believe will definitely be assets when reaching for my career goals.

My greetings to everyone thinking of applying next year: Go for it!