Danish guest student
At the University of Copenhagen, Melissa Cherry Villumsen studies Prehistoric Archaeology. Greenland, however, was by no means unknown to her, because, as she herself puts it, she has always had Greenland on her mind. Therefore, it was probably not a huge surprise when she was admitted as a guest student at Ilisimatusarfik through the Nordplus Network.
At Ilisimatusarfik, she participated in both cultural and community-related courses, and in her spare time she volunteered at the Greenland National Museum & Archives. She worked at the museum to gain work experience, but most of all the driver was her great interest in Arctic archaeology. But even though you prepare yourself to study in Greenland, there are always things that can’t be learned from reading.
"The challenge for me in the beginning was the reduced focus on structure and that my body was still on Greenlandic time, but now I feel that I am very much more relaxed".
This was Malissa’s answer to what had been the greatest challenge for her at Ilisimatusarfik. Now she is most of all worried about having to go back to a very structured everyday life in Denmark. She will in particular miss the quiet Greenlandic way of living and trust among people:
"All the Greenlanders I’ve met in Nuuk are all pleasantly open-minded. This also applies to the people I’ve met on my travels around the country. And as trips go: it was the coolest by far".
Melissa ends the interview with a big smile:
"And as a vegan, I have never enjoyed better food than in Greenland. Who would have thought that? And blimey! The Northern Lights are just everywhere. I would never have believed that".
Hopefully, Melissa’s Greenland adventure will not end with her study visit with us at Ilisimatusarfik. In the near future, she hopes to get an internship at the museum in Tasiilaq.