Umeå, the roaring city

Umeå, the roaring city

By Vendy Hazukova

On October 16, I made my way to the Abisko train station, said my goodbyes, and set forth to the big city of Umeå. Umeå is home to approximately 120,000 people, two university campuses, and despite its northern, rather remote location, there is a vibrant cultural life.

For the duration of my stay, I joined the Ecology and Environmental Science (EMG) department at Umeå University, and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. Janne Karlsson was an excellent host—better than I could have imagined; Janne made sure that I get to meet everyone who is there to meet, that work on my project continues smoothly, and also that I experience the finer things Umeå has to offer, especially as we neared Christmas time. The halls of EMG are filled with intellectual curiosity and I have had many wonderful, stimulating conversations with many people across the department and beyond. Besides Janne, special thank you goes to Fredrik Sundberg and Cristian Gudasz who were both very generous with their time and just wonderful people to work with—progress on the project that I came to Sweden to tackle would not have been possible without them.

A special day in Umeå, no clouds on the horizon.

Beyond work, I also had the pleasure to participate in many festivities that happened at EMG over the course of my stay. It was delightful to bear witness to a PhD defense at a Swedish institution and also celebrate with the new doctor. Shortly before my departure, I also participated at an EMG Christmas party that had everything from excellent food (pickled herring made an appearance as well!), live music, Christmas song trivia, and good conversations.

As autumn days get shorter and gloomier in Umeå, social and cultural life in the city thrives. In particular, I enjoyed frequenting weekend music shows at a local music club, got to see a couple of wonderful movies during the Umeå Film Festival, and savored several pints with my new fellows at local establishments.

There is no shortage of snow in Umeå

LOREX is truly a wonderful program and I am very grateful for the opportunity to work and meet new colleagues in Sweden. It has been a joy and my time in Abisko and Umeå has gone by rather too quickly. I cherish the new professional (and also not professional) relationships that I began building and cannot wait to come back and continue working with folks at EMG again!


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