Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada

StFX student one of two Canadians selected for Norway study exchange

February 1st, 2013
Sara Gitto in Norway

Sara Gitto, a second year StFX aquatic resources and biology student from Caledon, ON, is now in Bodø, Norway for the winter term after being awarded one of two possible High North Fellowships for Canadian students to study at the University of Nordland.

She is completing courses in the Faculty of Biosciences and Aquaculture between January and June 2013. Ms. Gitto says her experiences so far have been surreal.

“I am in a beautiful place, surrounded by amazing people, and I am studying what I love,” she says.

“This experience will benefit me in so many ways. I get to broaden my horizons and take courses that I would not normally be able to such as Norwegian aquaculture. I also get to immerse myself into an entirely new culture and learn from a much different perspective.”

Living in a new country with different customs, and a different language has already helped her grow as a person, she says.

“And I have no doubt that the High North Fellowship program will be an experience I will remember for my entire life.”

Ms. Gitto says she first heard about the High North Fellowship through her academic advisor, Lynn Patterson, and was very interested in the exchange program.

“It was Lynn who really pushed me to apply though, and provided ongoing support and assistance during the entire process. I can confidently say that without Lynn's help as well as the assistance and cooperation of Brenda Riley, the international exchange coordinator, I would not be in Norway right now.”

Ms. Gitto, who is considering specializing in either deep sea biology or aquaculture in the future, says what has stood out for her the most so far was a biology trip to Vestvatn Villmarkssenter.

“We stayed in log cabins heated only by fire and enjoyed a weekend of skiing, sledding, great food, and to top it all off, the trip ended with a bang as on the last night we saw the Northern Lights. I really could not have asked for a better time.”

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