The Final Countdown

“Only those who attempt the absurd can achieve the impossible” – Albert Einstein.


Hei hei!

I’m Lucy, 23 years old, Astrophysics student from Aberystwyth University. I’m about to set off to explore the arctic for 4 and a half months with 6 other students from my course.

This whole blogging thing is completely new to me. However, it seemed like a good idea to try and get used to it for a such a big trip. Please bear with me 🙂


In a week’s time, my journey to the arctic will begin. Myself and the other 4th year Astrophysics students will be flying to Svalbard on 7th January to complete our final semester of our degree. When we arrive there, we begin our trip with a 6 day training course, the AS-101 Arctic Survival and Safety Course. This will be followed by our 2 exams from 2 modules which were studied back at Aberystwyth University this semester. Once that is all complete, we’ll be ready to begin our new modules in Svalbard under the new university.

“Watch out for the polar bears!” – A popular comment from many concerned friends. Not to worry, I get rifle training in the AS-101 course. (To be used responsibly and only if absolutely necessary, of course).

12191522_10200998943853800_3810614990737730472_nThe photo above is of Longyearbyen, home to the The University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS) and the largest settlement in the Svalbard Islands. Unfortunately, I won’t be staying in Longyearbyen, but I will instead be setting up camp about 3km out of town in Nybyen in the barracks.

“No, I will not be staying in an igloo” – the answer to one of the most popular questions I’ve had on the run up to this trip.

If I’m lucky, I’ll find a second hand snowmobile at an affordable price. If not, it’ll be enduring a cold 6km walk to the University and back most days. It’s all part of the adventure though.

There’s just a bit of an introduction to me and what I am about to face. I am nearly ready to go, having been given a lot of warm clothing for Christmas and my Birthday. My family were also generous this year and splashed out on a GoPro for me to take some wonderful arctic photos.

Next time, get ready to hear about my stressful time trying to fit 5 and a half months of my life and warm clothing into 31 kilos.


Author: Lucy Hoskin

23 year old student from Aberystwyth University about to complete my Masters in Astrophysics in the arctic.

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