Maiju Malinen from Jyväskylä, Finland is studying for Master's degree in Environmental and Resource Management at the University of Southern Denmark in Esbjerg. She did her bachelor in Tourism management where she specialized in Corporate Social Responsibility. Her previous internship took her to France and she did a half-year student exchange in Spain, which shows that she is passionate about exploring new cultures. Maiju grew up in the vicinity of forests and lakes. Therefore nature and environmental issues have always been close to her heart. She decided to do her internship in Lapland, because the Northern region fascinates her; "it has its own spirit". In addition, she wants to acquire more knowledge of Lapland and Arctic matters. During the following three months, Maiju's plan is to explore the Arctic outdoors and culture, moreover, to learn more about the Circumpolar North and its environmental and social concerns. She is hoping for a rewarding and inspiring learning experience at UArctic.
Alexej Parchomenko studies towards the same Master's degree as Maiju at the University of Southern Denmark. Before, he studied Geography at the University of Frankfurt and already encountered with cooperation in science and its importance for solving environmental and development challenges. This occurred in the context of artisanal mining in West Africa. True, the Arctic is a very different field and so is the scale. Yet many similar framework conditions exist, especially in the context of resource use, environment and social development. He thinks that breaking up the mental boundaries through cooperation and exchange is an important and the only path towards a peaceful and sustainable future. With this background he is not only glad to experience cooperation from inside of such a unique organization as the UArctic at the north2north International Mobility Office, but also to live in the North, to sense the landscape and the culture of its people.