Day 1: SOI Alumni at the Arctic Circle Assembly

Picture this.

It’s 5AM in Reykjavik, Iceland. You’ve been flying all night and to be honest, you’re not even sure what day it is. It’s dark out, it’s raining, and you’re pretty tired, but the adrenaline of meeting new people, being in a new place and the excitement of the days that lie ahead keeps you up and moving. It keeps you chatting, keeps your eyes wide, and heart pumping. This is what you’ve been waiting for. This is what you’ve rescheduled midterms for, what you’ve asked for extra time off from work for, what you’ve been planning for and preparing for for months. This is the SOI Alumni Delegation. This is the 2018 Arctic Circle Assembly.

Travelling from across Canada, the United States, and Norway, 8 SOI alumni joined together on a rainy October day in Reykjavik, Iceland to kick off the SOI Alumni Delegation to Arctic Circle! Arriving a day before the official Assembly provided time for delegation and Assembly preparation, and lots of time for team building!

After some much needed rest due to the early arrivals, delegates joined together for an Official Welcome which included introductions to each other, background on previous SOI Delegations, and insights into why Alumni Delegations work. They dove deep into setting intentions and goals, both as a group and individually, thinking about where they are and where they hope to be after leaving Reykjavik and the Assembly in just a couple short days. The team finished up the afternoon with a successful and interactive workshop that focused on the importance of networking. The team worked on developing their own networking pitch, and discussed how resourceful your network can be if you make you needs and goals known to others.


Now, it’s not SOI if you’re not learning about the place that you’re in, so the delegates headed out – prepped in their rain gear – for a self-guided tour of downtown Reykjavik! As the team made their way from the Sun Voyager sculpture, to Harpa, to the Old Harbour, to City Hall, and finally to Hallgrimskirkja, there was enough of a break in the rain to give the sun a chance to shine. Together, the team took in the sites, history and stories of the city!

The SOI alumni delegation visited the Sun Voyager sculpture.

Delegation member Josh!


The Arctic Circle Assembly is held at Harpa conference centre in Reykjavik.

Aurora & Paloma

Delegates Susan and Kristine.

Aurora taught the delegation about Hallgrimskirkja.

To close out the day, the delegates attended the Official Welcome Reception for the Assembly, hearing from SOI friend H.E. Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, Chairman of Arctic Circle, President of Iceland 1996-2016, and taking in an incredible performance by Byron Nicholai, a former Arctic Youth Ambassador from Alaska, USA.

With goals in mind, networking tips on hand, programs in their back pockets, and a team rallying behind each of them, delegates headed to bed in preparation for the next day – the first official day of the Arctic Circle Assembly.

Check back in tomorrow for more updates from our delegates and photos!


Thank you to Polar Knowledge Canada for your generous support of this delegation.

Students on Ice is proudly supported by bv02.

This website was made possible by a generous contribution from the Leacross Foundation.