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Majors & Degrees

Northern lights make next international trip

May 24, 2018

The Northern Lights are on the travel itinerary when Dakota State University faculty, students, alumni and friends travel to Iceland in March 2019. Seeing the aurora borealis is not guaranteed, however.

“Seeing the lights is totally dependent on Mother Nature,” said Dr. Deb Tech, associate professor of marketing, and the coordinator for the annual international journey. “This is a hunting trip, after all.”

Anyone with a connection to DSU is invited to travel to the “land of fire and ice” March 1-9, 2019. Tech has traveled with DSU groups to Peru, Cuba, and Indochina in recent years, with the number of travelers averaging about 20 each trip.

In addition to the hunt for the Northern Lights, travelers will walk in the footsteps of the Vikings, see sites in the capital of Reykjavik, relax in the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa, and explore the geysers and waterfalls of the Golden Circle. Tech is particularly looking forward to whale watching and the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

While March is a prime time to hunt the Northern Lights in Iceland, the average winter temperature will be between 28 and 38 degrees Fahrenheit, with about 10 hours of daylight. Icelandair Hotels recommends travelers bring several layers of clothing, and waterproof shoes.

Tech does note that travel in Iceland – particularly food – is expensive. “Restaurant prices in Iceland are 88 percent higher than in United States,” she said, “so unlike other trips people may have taken with DSU, dining may be a bigger portion of the budget.” All buffet breakfasts and three dinners are included with travel, and one lobster dinner, a delicacy for which Iceland is famous.

Cost estimates for the trip are between $2,600 and $2,800, depending on the number of travelers. This amount does not include air fare, and Tech emphasized that interested travelers should not check flights rates, as an increased number of searches results in price increases. She estimates the transportation costs will add about $1,500 to the total trip price.

Anyone interested in the Iceland trip may contact her at 605-256-5165 or deb.tech@dsu.edu. An $825 deposit will hold a place in the group; due to the transportation mode, group size is limited, Tech noted.

To make the deposit, contact the Director of International Programs Nicole Claussen; checks are preferred as credit card payments incur a three percent fee. Claussen may be reached at Nicole.Claussen@dsu.edu, or 605-256-5744.