"I have lived in the north all my life, so I don’t know anything else," said the 25 year-old student. "I think it has been a privilege to be raised here in the north, especially because of the closeness to nature."

Pálsson is studying Social and Economic Development with an emphasis on the Circumpolar North, at the University of Akureyri, Iceland, where he has lived most of his life. "The research for my bachelor thesis is focused on global change impacts in the Arctic with special focus on the north Atlantic region - Greenland and Iceland. My focus is on the socio-economic impacts of global change," said Pálsson.

It was an easy decision for him to stay in Akureyri for his studies. "I really like it in Akureyri. It is a town of 17 thousand inhabitants where almost everybody has the feeling that everybody knows everybody," he said.

solmundur 2Akureyri is a small northern city, but through UArctic, Pálsson has access to a whole network of students, professors, and curriculum, like the Bachelor of Circumpolar Studies. "Actually I am very grateful that University of Akureyri and Stefansson Arctic institute are members of University of the Arctic because I got a chance to take BCS 100 and BCS 321. I then choose to do independent study on the north last semester, which has lead to my BA thesis," he said.

It’s not that Pálsson can't leave the north. The fact is he doesn't really want to. "The main reason for I have staying in the north is that I love being here, I love breathing fresh air every day, which is priceless, even when it is cold," he concluded.