The Study Abroad Newsletter

Winter Wonderland

Asia Helfrich

English major
Uppsala University
, Sweden

Northern Lights When I decided to study in Sweden for a year, I imagined an icy winter landscape, complete with powdery snow and frozen lakes. In reality, my university town of Uppsala lacks much snow during winter, but does not lack dangerously icy sidewalks. At the beginning of January 2019, I escaped the city and headed up north to fulfill my winter fantasies.

Boy, were they fulfilled! I visited Kiruna and Abisko in the northernmost part of Sweden. I stomped around in the most powdery snow I had ever seen. I went dogsledding, rode a snowmobile, visited an ice hotel, jumped in a frozen lake, went ice climbing, and got to see the fabled Northern Lights. This was one of the highlights of my semester, as this born- and-raised Hawai’i girl got to experience everything that winter has to offer.

Asia in ice-climbing gear, next to a frozen waterfallIce climbing - what an experience!