Reflections on SOI’s 2014 Arctic Expedition by Michaela Norgren

Take nothing but pictures and leave nothing but footprints is a line I heard many times during our 16 day voyage, the best 16 days of my life.

Many people have asked me to describe the Arctic. I have tried many different ways and searched endlessly through the thesaurus, looking for a word that describes my experience. Beautiful. Majestic. Grand. Charming. Magical. Thought-provoking. Outstanding. Humbling. Awesome. I could spend my entire life trying to describe the expedition, without ever doing it justice. In reality, all these words (and more) are needed! The Arctic and Students On Ice are truly indescribable.

Photo (c) Martin Lipman / Students on Ice

Photo (c) Martin Lipman / Students on Ice

On this trip I experienced so many new things. We explored different aspects of Inuit and Greenlandic culture, hiked up impressive mountains, expanded our education, got up close and personal with the wildlife, became leaders and had the adventure of a lifetime.

I have also made so many new and inspiring friends this summer, all of whom I hope to see in the near future. It is very easy to grow and change when connecting with nature and connecting with each other. Over this journey we have become a huge new family of 136.

This expedition has helped expand my horizons and discover many hidden passions. Our world is a unique and delicate place and our lives are all interconnected. On this expedition I learned the true meaning of adventure, curiosity and friendship. The memories I made and the knowledge I gained from Students On Ice will stay with me as I venture into the future.

Photo (c) Martin Lipman

Photo (c) Martin Lipman / Students on Ice

Thank you to the Leacross Foundation for giving me the opportunity to partake in this life-changing expedition. I am extremely grateful for this adventure and for the eye-opening experiences that accompanied it.

We left our footprints on the Arctic shore and this trip left its footprint on us.


The 2014 Arctic Expedition explored the Torngat Mountains National Park and the western coast of Greenland July 9-24.


To learn more and retrace the journey through photos, videos and student journals visit

Students on Ice is proudly supported by bv02.

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