When Harry Borlase graduated from Goose High School (Labrador, Canada) in 2001, he never expected that his future plans would involve the North. However, following a few years hiatus from the land of ice and snow, Harry is very pleased to be returning back to the north. This September, 24 year-old Harry will be starting a six month internship with the UArctic Secretariat in Rovaniemi, Finland.
Having grown up in Labrador all his life, Harry’s primary concern post-graduation was shedding his winter coat in favour of the sunny south. However, after a brief three month stint in Cuba as part of Canada World Youth, Harry enrolled in the Department of Canadian Studies at Mount Allison University, in New Brunswick Canada. During his third year, Harry began searching for ways to diversify his Canadian Studies degree to include more Arctic material. It was at this time that Harry was introduced to the University of the Arctic and enrolled in BCS 331: Contemporary Issues of the Circumpolar World. The experience opened up Harry to a whole new approach to university education.
“Participating in BCS 331 was a completely new experience for me. At first I was worried that it would be difficult to engage in an online course, but I quickly realized that the material, as well as the constant student participation, was exactly what I was looking for. Not only was the course intellectually challenging, but it made me feel excited about studying such an unusual part of the world”.
Harry decided to pursue this newfound interest in Arctic education, and spent the following year at the University of Lapland, participating in their Arctic Studies Program. Although Harry found his studies rewarding, equally as interesting was being positioned in the hub of Arctic activity:
“I really felt like Rovaniemi was the centre of the universe. Not only were my studies completely focused on the Arctic, but there seemed to be an unending number of Arctic related things happening in the town. Everyone I talked to seemed to be either scaling glaciers in the high Arctic, running with reindeer in some far away corner of Siberia, or gradually making their way through every inch of Arctic tundra. I kept thinking, ‘I want to do that!’”.
Following his graduation in May, Harry jumped at the chance of returning back to Rovaniemi, and the University of the Arctic