I had the opportunity to spend a week at the University of Lapland, in Rovaniemi, Finland through the Erasmus Lecturer Exchange programme. There has been a tight cooperation between the tourism departments of the Finnish and our university for years now, many colleagues of mine has already visited Rovaniemi and the Finnish Erasmus programme coordinator, Professor Seppo Aho is also a regular guest at our conferences, events and classrooms.
The journey has been an outstanding experience in many ways. In lecturer point of view, Health Tourism taught by me, fitted very well into the module of Regional Issues in Tourism taught by Professor Aho, so the students showed great interest towards the subject, they were open-minded and cooperative and I found the interactive classes very interesting. The journey was also useful in the aspect of improving professional and personal relation with the professor.
Of course, the personal experiences are also something to mention. One would not believe how excited an adult can get when meeting Santa Claus! The sightseeing sites might not match with those of London or Rome, but the nature is so beautiful in winter, you do not even have to travel away from town to enjoy the view, it compensates for everything. The walk on the 70 cm-wide-ice covering the River Kemi, taking the dog for a walk in the woods, the sauna in the evening, the 14-hour-long journey by train and the sparkling white snow will remain an unforgettable memory from the arctic circle.