Beate Hummel is from Germany. She has studied sociology and psychology and been working as a psychologist, first, in different hospitals, and now on her own practice, that gives her a lot of time to travel, she says. And for the last ten years she has been traveling a lot. Firstly she was very busy taking courses for her profession, then, she decided to see the world. She tells about how she became interested in the North:
“What I love most in the North is its nature. It fascinates me: unbelievable landscapes, fresh air, unique flora and fauna and peaceful atmosphere. I traveled a lot in northern countries: I was in Iceland and I've been to Greenland for five times, its nature amused me. But as the time passed by from loving nature it went on to being interested in the people, in how they survive in such difficult climate. I wanted to know more.
Last year I did maybe the most magic thing in my life. I sailed from Germany through the Baltic states, through a little bit of Russia, through Finland, up to the North Cape. It was trip of my life, I enjoyed the northern nature and met a lot of different people. And there I passed through Rovaniemi University. There is a huge, wonderful Arctic museum, where I discovered University of the Arctic. It was what I'd been looking for. I decided to start circumpolar studies to prepare myself for living and studying in the North. I liked BCS 100 very much. It is a very good course for the beginners. I got a very broad understanding of the North – geography, the basic features of similarity and differences of the people in the North, their culture, way of life and everything. I'd already decided that I wanted to live and work on the North, but after the course I wanted it even more.
Siberia was the only one northern area where I've never been. It was very interesting for me to get to know it not only theoretically. And then I saw this Summer in Siberia program advertisement at the University of the Arctic. That sounded exciting – two months in Siberia learning Russian, taking courses on ethnography, history and traditions of the Yakut people and having different excursions. I couldn't miss that opportunity.
I really liked this program – the combination of Russian lessons, different courses and excursions. I want to point out professor Krivoshapkin's lectures which were very differentiated and outstanding. He is a very good and enthusiastic guide. And also I enjoyed Mikhail Prisyazhny's lectures. As being sociologist I'm very interested in living conditions of people in the North. And on the lecture we had to do price comparison in different villages, in Yakutsk and on the other side of the river. So you could get practical understanding of living conditions.
One of the amazing part of the Summer in Siberia program was excursions. We had a lot of wonderful trips, like trip along the Lena River to the Lena Pillars. Siberian nature differs from other northern countries' nature. It has unique geography with interesting landscapes like tukulans, Buluus and many other features characteristic only for Siberia. It is very beautiful and peaceful.
Siberia is one of the places on Earth where you want to come back again and again. I saw Siberian summer, and now I want to experience the whole cycle of a year. I've made up my mind that I want to come back here and do some research as a sociologist. I want to compare living standards of Yakutia with the different northern countries. I hope I will have such opportunity and I will come back to Yakutia with its nice people”.