For a man who comes from a country known for active volcanoes, glaciers and spectacular waterfalls Andri Numason might be forgiven for finding the Cumbrian landscape tame by comparison.
But the Icelandic University of Cumbria outdoors education student loves the Lake District and has just spent a week exploring the area while studying an MA in the subject.
“It’s a beautiful playground and one I’ve enjoyed exploring while I’ve been studying at the university,” Andri said. He’s explored Sca Fell and has spent his time in Cumbria under canvas, camping near to the Ambleside campus and enduring temperatures he’s rarely experienced - ‘too hot!’ With a major Lake District ridge walk beginning almost in the car park of the university, Andri’s been spoilt for choice when it comes to adding to classroom experience.
Brought up in Reykjavik but now living in Selfoss in southern Iceland, the full time student visited the Ambleside campus a year ago and signed up to study immediately.
“Iceland is a small country and there’s a narrow field to study at home - I wanted to learn in a community where there is the range of experience I could make the most of,” Andri said. “We’ve been studying how the thought process has evolved, something I’ve found really eye-opening.”
Iceland is rugged and as a trainer with the Icelandic Search and Rescue Association Andri (and his 5 year old search and rescue dog) is frequently out in the hills and mountains the country is famous for. He’s hoping work to plan his dissertation will mark the successful conclusion of an association with the University of Cumbria.
“A key aspect of our Masters programme is encouraging students to critically explore aspects of outdoor experiential learning through a transcultural lens, and connections with nature and landscape are a key aspect of this; Andri has brought a wide range of experiences to the course which has provided a unique addition to this year’s postgraduate learning community and helped other students gain an appreciation of life in Iceland,” Dr Liz Mallabon, Programme Leader MA Outdoor and Experiential Learning, “We’re delighted he was interested in learning about the psychological side of outdoor exploration, something we’re proud to be able to be offer at the university in a setting that’s ideal for outdoor exploration.”