The Arctic Semester

The Arctic Semester is aimed at graduate students who wish to increase their knowledge of engineering in cold regions while studying a semester in Greenland.

The Arctic Semester takes place at DTU's campus in Sisimiut and is offered once a year in the spring semester. The Arctic Semester can be included in a number of DTU's master's programs and is also open to students from other universities.

The language of the education is English.

Extreme Engineering

- The Arctic Semester in Greenland

Why go all the way to Greenland? Because it is exciting and rewarding – both from a strictly learning point of view and from a life experience point of view.

Many places in the world engineers work under extreme conditions. It could be an extreme climate: very cold or hot, very humid or dry. It could be an extreme physical environment: rough mountains or soft ground. It could be extreme logistics: Isolated settlement without infrastructure or remote areas with difficult access.

Common for those conditions is that you work under abnormal conditions; you cannot use standard methods and procedures. You have to adapt to the extreme condition or develop new methods and procedures.

The Arctic Semester is an opportunity for you to experience the unique environment and the challenges of extreme engineering north of the Arctic Circle:

  • How to design buildings able to withstand strong forces from heavy snow load and extreme gales, and how to design comfortable indoor climate in an energy efficient way in a harsh climate.
  • How to construct on unstable permafrost or harbors in icy waters, and how to blast tunnels in old cracking rock for hydroelectric plants or mines.
  • How to treat wastewater and solid waste in remote locations
  • How to manage the logistics in remote areas with a sparsely population and very limited access.

Greenland has it all. If you can engineer in Greenland, you can engineer everywhere.

See the semester plan

Who can attend The Artic Semester?

The Arctic Semester is part of the curriculum for the Master of Science in Civil Engineering, Architectural Engineering and Environmental Engineering at DTU. The semester is also part of the Nordic Master in Cold Climate Engineering. Students from these programs have first priority for the seats in the semester.

But you can also attend the semester as an international exchange semester or other DTU programs.

How to apply for The Arctic Semester


Want to learn more about student life in Greenland?

See the experiences of two exchange students from The University of British Columbia who have finished the Arctic Semester.

Read about Lorenzo who travelled all the way from Italy to Greenland to be part of the Arctic Semester.

Jean-Gabriel enjoyed a bit of travelling after in Greenland after the Arctic Semester.

Have a look at how Nigina spent her time outside in and around Sisimiut while attending the Arctic Semester.


Gunvor Marie Kirkelund
Associate Professor
DTU Civil Engineering
+45 45 25 17 30