All students that follow courses at UNIS have to participate in a safety training. For us, the safety training only took one day, but students that stay here during winter have to follow one that takes up several days, since the environment can be quite harsh in that period. Our day started with an introduction about the dangerous situations you can get yourself into and more important, how to avoid that from happening.
One of the things they really emphasised was the risk of encountering a polar bear. If you encounter a polar bear and you are not able to chase it away, you need to know how to shoot it down. Therefore, for the second part of the day we went out to the shooting range. There we got instruction about how to handle a rifle and how to make sure you do not hurt someone. I must say, the instructions about the rifle where somewhat intimidating, but I was still looking forward to trying it myself. After some practise with how to hold the gun, and how to reload it, we were allowed to shoot at a target around 30 meters away. And the recoil was not that bad, but the sound was so loud! I know, I could have expected it, but it literally is like someone shooting fireworks two centimetres away from your head (and then like three times as loud)! In total we were allowed to shoot around 16 times and we were all able to hit the target pretty well so that was really nice.
For the last part of the day we had to get ourselves into these very strange safety suits that are supposed to keep all of the water out. They are used when going on a zodiac, to make sure you will not freeze right away if you fall in the water. When we had put on the suits (which was quite a challenge) we drove to the harbour to jump in to the water to experience how it would be if you would fall overboard with those suits on. It was really a lot of fun since we were just floating in the water making a kinds of group formations. And although I hope I will never need any of the things I learned this day, it felt really cool to do!