What to Know About Studying, Working, and Living in Iceland

Would you like to study in Iceland? Read on to learn everything you need to know about studying, working, and living in Iceland. Iceland is a small island nation off the coast of Europe. It is noted for its ice volcanoes and breathtaking surroundings. The country appeals to both tourists and international students. Iceland is an ideal location for studying natural sciences. If you want to pursue a program in this or any other discipline, this article will help you.
Iceland is a small country, with almost all of its activities taking place in Reykjavik, the capital. International students who want to see one of the world’s most breathtaking natural wonders might consider studying in Iceland. Iceland has a small number of universities, but those that exist are recognized as some of the best in the world, particularly in science.

The country has seven universities. The bulk of higher education institutions are run by the government or by private organizations that receive government financing. There are around 20,000 students enrolled in Iceland’s higher education system, with approximately 5% being overseas students.

Iceland, despite its small size, is one of the most peaceful countries to live in. International students who desire to study in Iceland will undoubtedly find the country fascinating. Check out the list below for some fantastic reasons to visit Iceland.

Why study in Iceland?

  • Iceland is decent for international students
    Iceland boasts seven highly competent international academic programs in a number of topics, offering good opportunities for higher education. Applications from suitable students from all over the world are welcome in Icelandic higher education institutions.
  • Study in a science city
    Iceland’s tertiary education offers a progressive education and innovative programs. They are known to be research-based.
  • Standard living/quality life
    Iceland has routinely ranked among the top countries for quality of life. It has one of the highest literacy rates in the world, a strong track record of equality, and is considered as one of the world’s most peaceful countries.

How to apply for admission in Iceland

1. Find a program
Finding a program and university in Iceland is simple because there aren’t many universities, which may have made your decision tough. So, select an institution and put in the search box to view a list of programs offered by the university.
2. Check the lists of documents to submit
Did you find your course on the school website? If yes, the next step is to check for the admission requirements and assemble them to begin the application process. Listed below are the entry requirements for study in Iceland
Admission requirements for Iceland
Online application form
CV (for postgraduate or doctoral studies)
Letter of motivation
Grade transcripts from your previous education (electronically and a posted hard copy)
Two letters of recommendation
English language proficiency test
Passport photographs
Application fee
3. Submit your application
There is no uniform application portal in Iceland. Applications are sent to individual schools, which require downloading and filling out an application form. The application form is typically printed and mailed after being obtained from the institution’s website. Students can also request that the application form be forwarded to their home address via your institution’s international relations office.

Before submitting your application, you must pay an application fee. The application fee is around 7,400 ISK, which should be paid directly to the institution.

4. Get your acceptance letter
The school will send you an acceptance letter once a decision has been made, and you will use it when applying for your visa.
5. Apply for a study visa
Depending on your nationality, you may need a study visa to enter Iceland. Generally, to apply for the study visa, you will provide the following documents:
Visa requirements for Iceland
A completed application form
Passport Identity
Two passport-sized photos
Proof of fee payment
Copy of acceptance letter from your university
Proof of no criminal record
Proof of health insurance
Proof of financial self-sufficiency through bank statements

Intake period

Iceland’s academic year is divided into two semesters, autumn and spring, and runs from September to May. The autumn semester runs from September 1 to December 31, whereas the spring semester lasts from January 1 to May 31. Specific fields may differ.

Each university has its own application deadline, but you should apply in December or January of the year before you plan to start.

Application deadlines for most universities in Iceland
International students
1 February each year
15 April / 5 June each year (Nordic citizens, graduate/undergraduate studies and some graduate diploma).
Exchange students
Autumn semester or full academic year:
1 April each year
1 May each year for EEA citizens

Universities in Iceland

Agricultural University of Iceland
Bifröst University
Hólar University College
Iceland University of the Arts
Reykjavik University
University of Akureyri
University of Iceland

Are there scholarships for international students in Iceland?

Yes, international students can apply for scholarships through individual schools and through research councils.

Teaching language in Iceland

The bulk of undergraduate courses at Icelandic universities are taught in Icelandic. However, a considerable number of English-taught master’s and doctoral programs are available, mostly at the University of Iceland, Reykjavik University, and the University of Akureyri.

Language requirements

Icelandic is the major language of instruction at Iceland’s higher education institutions. As a result, you will be required to demonstrate your knowledge of Icelandic. In general, you should be able to communicate in Icelandic at the B2 level according to the European Language Passport. International students can enroll in English-taught programs at select schools. Check the list of schools above to see if they offer English-taught programs.

Tuition Fees

Tuition prices for higher education institutions in Iceland vary depending on the institution and program type. The fee levied varies depending on whether the university is state-run or privately owned.
Master’s degrees at public institutions are free of tuition; nevertheless, all students must pay an annual registration or administration fee of €550.
PhD students in Iceland pay no tuition. Undergraduate students, on the other hand, will be required to pay a tuition charge that can range between €3000-€5000 each year. The fees are detailed on each school’s website.

Tuition and registration fees at private universities vary by discipline and institution. Students from outside the EU usually pay higher fees. The University of Iceland recommends that students budget roughly ISK125,540 per month for housing and other living expenses.

Note: The fee is not fixed due to exchange rates

Cheap Universities in Iceland

University of Iceland
University of Akureyri
Agricultural University of Iceland
Iceland University of the Arts
Bifröst University

Study and work in Iceland: Can international students work while studying?

Work permits are issued to international students studying in Iceland. A student may work up to 15 hours per week, but they must obtain a specific work permit before they can utilize their study permit to work in Iceland.

Can international students stay back in Iceland after graduation?

International students’ residence permits can be renewed for up to six (6) months after graduation, allowing them to look for job in their field of study. A student who has graduated from an Icelandic university can apply for a permanent residence permit after completing at least two years of temporary stay. For more information visit here

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