Before coming to UNIS for a semester in Arctic Geophysics, I had never heard of the University of the Arctic. Yet, when we received the e-mail mentioning the possibility to take the Circumpolar Studies (BCS; Bachelor of Circumpolar Studies), I immediately felt interested in the courses about Peoples and Cultures of the Circumpolar World. So I ended up following two courses: BCS-100: Introduction to the Circumpolar North (as it is a prerequisite for any other course) and BCS-322: Peoples and Cultures of the Circumpolar World II.

It required quite a bit of extra work, but I learned a lot about the Arctic, and I especially enjoyed the fact that it depicted the region as a whole, sometimes ignoring the state borders and sometimes using them to contrast the situation from one country to another. Both courses were very well documented and relatively in depth to provide the students with a good overview and understanding of the contemporary issues in the North. In particular, I found the course about peoples and cultures really well organised and interactive.

I would definitely recommend these BCS courses to UNIS students who would like to gain some knowledge about the Arctic in aspects which are not part of the UNIS curriculum. Be it linked to a professional project or personal interest in the topic, it is really worth it.