Ten Chinese college students arrived at the country's Arctic research base, the Yellow River Station, on Friday.
The once-in-lifetime trip to the station, set up in 2004 and located at Ny-Alesund (79 degrees north latitude) in Norway, was achieved through cooperation involving the Royal Norwegian Consulate General, the Chinese International Polar Year (IPY) Committee and the State Oceanic Administration (SOA).
Two Chinese college students walk down stairs on their arrival at the Ny-Alesund Airport in Norway's Svalbard archipelago, March 7, 2008. An expedition team of Chinese college students Friday afternoon arrived at China's Arctic research base - Yellow River Station - at Ny-Alesund (79 degrees north latitude) in Norway. The students are expected to conduct research and experiments on biology, astronomy, physics, geography and climate. [Xinhua]
On Saturday, the students are expected to witness the end of four months of darkness in the area, as the sun makes a rare appearance.
During their four-day stay at the station, the students will meet and learn from some of China's leading polar researchers. They were welcomed at the station yesterday by its director, He Jianfeng, who is an expert on marine micro-ecosystems.
The students will also visit the German and Norwegian stations and meet researchers there.
A Chinese college student takes a photo with a statue of a miner in Norway's Longyearbyen city, March 5, 2008. An expedition team of Chinese college students Friday afternoon arrived at China's Arctic research base - Yellow River Station - at Ny-Alesund (79 degrees north latitude) in Norway. The students are expected to conduct research and experiments on biology, astronomy, physics, geography and climate. [Xinhua]
As for entertainment, the visitors will get the chance to play ice hockey at the world's most northerly sporting venue.
Among the visitors is Zheng Li, a student majoring in telecommunications at Dalian Marinetime University.
"It is so exciting to see how the Chinese researchers work in the world's most northerly laboratory," she said.
"This opportunity is precious. Most people will never get the chance to travel so far from home and visit such an amazing place. It's a once-in-a-lifetime thing."
Wu Jinyou, head of the Polar Research Institute of China under the SOA, and the group's leader, said: "I hope the students have not only a field trip to the Yellow River station, but are also touched by the devotion and spirit of the Chinese researchers here.
"I expect in the future, some of them will choose to engage in polar research and maybe even work with us."
The students have been in Norway since February 28, and were given Arctic training prior to moving to the station.
Anna Saeboe, the consul of the Royal Norwegian Consulate General, said: "So far, all 10 of the students have performed excellently."
The Arctic expedition is one several international cooperation and exchange activities forming the China Program for International Polar Year (2007-08).It was launched last March and is the first time China has taken part in an international initiative involving cooperation on large-scale scientific projects.
(China Daily, Xinhua News Agency, March 8, 2008)