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Study in Iceland

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Study in Iceland | Top Universities, Courses, Fees, Eligibility & Admission

Why Study in Iceland

1. High-Quality Education: Iceland has a strong educational system with high academic standards. Its universities and educational institutions are known for their quality of teaching and research. Icelandic degrees are recognized and respected worldwide.

2. English Proficiency: The majority of Icelanders are fluent in English, making it an accessible country for international students. Most university courses are taught in English, although learning some Icelandic can be beneficial for daily life.

3. Natural Beauty: Iceland is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, including glaciers, volcanoes, waterfalls, and geothermal hot springs. Studying in Iceland provides a unique opportunity to explore and appreciate the country's stunning natural wonders.

4. Sustainable and Green Focus: Iceland is committed to environmental sustainability and renewable energy. It has a strong focus on clean technology and sustainable practices. Studying in Iceland can expose you to innovative solutions for environmental challenges.

5. Safety and Quality of Life: Iceland consistently ranks high in global safety indexes, making it a secure place for studying and living. The country has a relatively low crime rate, and the healthcare and social welfare systems are of high quality.

6. Cultural Experience: Icelandic culture is rich and distinct, blending ancient traditions with modern influences. Studying in Iceland allows you to immerse yourself in this unique cultural heritage, including Icelandic sagas, music, art, and cuisine.

7. Research Opportunities: Iceland provides excellent research opportunities, particularly in fields such as geology, renewable energy, environmental science, marine biology, and climate change. The country's geological characteristics make it an ideal location for conducting research in various scientific disciplines.

8. Small and Welcoming Community: With a population of around 360,000 people, Iceland has a close-knit and inclusive community. International students often find it easy to integrate into Icelandic society and make lifelong friendships.

9. Adventure and Outdoor Activities: Iceland offers a range of outdoor activities, including hiking, glacier exploration, horseback riding, and whale watching. If you enjoy outdoor adventures, studying in Iceland can provide you with numerous opportunities to explore and experience nature.

10. Scholarships and Funding: Icelandic universities and institutions often provide scholarships and funding opportunities for international students. These financial aid options can help make studying in Iceland more affordable.


Education System in Iceland

  1. Preschool Education: Preschool education in Iceland is voluntary and available for children aged 1 to 6. It focuses on the holistic development of children, emphasizing play, socialization, and early learning experiences.

  2. Compulsory Education: Education becomes compulsory for children aged 6 to 16. It consists of a nine-year comprehensive school (grunnskóli) divided into the following stages:

    • Elementary School (Barnaskóli): Students attend the elementary school from the ages of 6 to 12 (grades 1 to 6). The curriculum covers a broad range of subjects, including language, mathematics, science, social studies, arts, and physical education.

    • Lower Secondary School (Unglingaskóli): Students continue their education in the lower secondary school from the ages of 13 to 16 (grades 7 to 10). The curriculum becomes more specialized, with a stronger emphasis on specific subjects and preparing students for further studies or vocational training.

  3. Upper Secondary Education: After completing compulsory education, students have the option to pursue upper secondary education (menntaskóli) until the age of 20. Upper secondary schools offer different study programs, including academic programs leading to the Icelandic Matriculation Examination (Stúdentspróf) and vocational programs that provide practical skills for specific professions.

  4. Higher Education: Iceland has several universities and higher education institutions that offer a wide range of study programs at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. The largest and oldest university is the University of Iceland, located in Reykjavík. Other universities and specialized institutions focus on fields such as arts, music, business, marine sciences, and engineering.

    • Bachelor's Degree (Bakkalársgráða): Undergraduate programs in Iceland generally last three to four years, depending on the field of study. They culminate in a bachelor's degree.

    • Master's Degree (Meistaragráða): Master's programs typically require two years of study and involve coursework and a thesis or research project. Some programs may be completed in one year for students who have already completed a relevant bachelor's degree.

    • Doctoral Degree (Doktorsgráða): Doctoral programs in Iceland are research-focused and typically take around three to five years to complete. Students conduct original research and produce a doctoral thesis.

Tuition Fee & Cost of Living in Iceland

Tuition Fee: In Iceland, higher education is generally free for Icelandic and European Economic Area (EEA) students. This means that students from Iceland, EU/EEA countries, and Switzerland are exempt from paying tuition fees at public universities. However, non-EEA students are required to pay tuition fees, which can vary depending on the university and study program.

The tuition fees for non-EEA students in Iceland can range from approximately 800,000 to 2,000,000 ISK per year for undergraduate programs. For postgraduate programs, the fees can range from around 900,000 to 2,500,000 ISK per year. It's important to note that tuition fees can vary between universities and programs, so it's recommended to check with the specific institution for accurate information.

Cost of Living: The cost of living in Iceland is relatively high compared to many other countries. The exact expenses can vary depending on personal lifestyle choices and location, with Reykjavík being the most expensive city in the country. Here are some estimated monthly costs (in Icelandic króna, ISK) for living in Iceland:

  1. Accommodation: Rent for a single room in a shared apartment can range from approximately 70,000 to 120,000 ISK per month. Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Reykjavík can range from around 160,000 to 220,000 ISK per month.

  2. Food: Monthly grocery expenses can vary depending on personal preferences, but a rough estimate for basic food items can be around 50,000 to 70,000 ISK per month.

  3. Transportation: Public transportation costs in Iceland, especially in Reykjavík, are relatively high. A monthly bus pass can cost around 11,000 to 14,000 ISK. Owning a car can involve additional expenses, including fuel, insurance, and maintenance.

  4. Utilities: Utilities such as electricity, heating, water, and internet can amount to around 15,000 to 25,000 ISK per month, depending on usage and location.

  5. Health Insurance: All residents in Iceland are required to have health insurance. The monthly cost for health insurance can be approximately 15,000 to 20,000 ISK.

  6. Miscellaneous Expenses: Other expenses, such as leisure activities, dining out, and personal items, can vary depending on individual preferences and lifestyle choices. It's advisable to allocate some additional funds for these expenses.

Eligibility to Study in Iceland for Indian & International Students

  1. Undergraduate Programs:

    • Indian Students: Indian students who have completed their secondary education and obtained the required qualifications equivalent to the Icelandic education system are eligible to apply for undergraduate programs in Iceland. They may need to provide proof of English language proficiency, such as IELTS or TOEFL scores.

    • International Students: International students from countries other than the European Economic Area (EEA) must meet the admission requirements set by the specific university or institution. They may need to provide proof of secondary education completion, academic transcripts, English language proficiency test scores, and other relevant documents.

  2. Postgraduate Programs:

    • Indian Students: Indian students who have completed a bachelor's degree in a relevant field and meet the admission requirements of the specific university can apply for postgraduate programs. They may need to provide academic transcripts, letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and proof of English language proficiency.

    • International Students: International students from non-EEA countries must fulfill the admission criteria set by the university or institution. This typically includes holding a relevant bachelor's degree, providing academic transcripts, letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, English language proficiency test scores, and other requested documents.

  3. English Language Proficiency:

    • Indian Students: Indian students whose primary language of instruction during their previous studies was not English are generally required to provide proof of English language proficiency. This can be demonstrated through standardized tests such as IELTS, TOEFL, or other recognized language tests.

    • International Students: International students from non-English speaking countries are typically required to provide proof of English language proficiency. The specific requirements may vary between universities, but tests such as IELTS or TOEFL are commonly accepted.

Scholarship to Study in Iceland

Scholarship Name

Description

Eligibility

Icelandic Government Scholarships

Scholarships offered by the Icelandic government

International students

EEA Grants Scholarships

Scholarships funded by the EEA Grants program

EEA and Norwegian students

Arctic Studies Program Scholarship

Scholarships for students interested in Arctic studies

International students

Reykjavik University Scholarships

Scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students

International students at Reykjavik Univ.

University of Iceland Scholarships

Scholarships for international students at the Univ. of Iceland

International students at Univ. of Iceland

Snorri Sturluson Icelandic Scholarships

Scholarships for students of Icelandic heritage

International students of Icelandic heritage


Qualifying Exams to Study in Iceland

  1. Undergraduate Programs:

    • Secondary School Transcripts: Most undergraduate programs in Iceland require applicants to submit their secondary school transcripts or the equivalent, demonstrating completion of their high school education.

    • English Language Proficiency Tests: For non-native English speakers, universities may require English language proficiency test scores such as IELTS or TOEFL.

  2. Postgraduate Programs:

    • Bachelor's Degree: To pursue a postgraduate program in Iceland, you typically need to hold a relevant bachelor's degree or an equivalent qualification from a recognized university.

    • Academic Transcripts: Applicants may be required to provide academic transcripts from their previous university studies, demonstrating their academic performance and coursework.

    • Letters of Recommendation: Some postgraduate programs may ask for letters of recommendation from professors or professionals who can attest to your academic abilities or work experience.

    • Statement of Purpose: A statement of purpose or personal statement outlining your motivations, research interests, and goals may be required for postgraduate applications.

    • English Language Proficiency Tests: Non-native English speakers may need to submit English language proficiency test scores like IELTS or TOEFL.

Intake to Study in Iceland

Intake

Description

Autumn intake

The autumn intake is the primary intake in Iceland and usually begins in late August or early September.

Spring intake

The spring intake is a secondary intake that typically starts in January or February.


Top Universities in Iceland

University

Description

Available Course Programs

University of Iceland

The largest and oldest university in Iceland, offering a wide range of programs in various disciplines.

Business Administration, Computer Science, Engineering, Law, Psychology, and more

Reykjavik University

A private university known for its focus on technology, business, and innovation.

Business Administration, Computer Science, Engineering, Renewable Energy, and more

Iceland Academy of the Arts

A specialized university dedicated to the study and practice of arts, including fine arts, design, music, and performing arts.

Fine Arts, Design, Music, Theatre and Dance, Visual Culture, and more

Agricultural University of Iceland

A specialized university focusing on agricultural sciences, sustainability, and environmental studies.

Sustainable Agriculture, Environmental Sciences, Food Science, and more

Bifröst University

A private university with a strong focus on business, offering programs in business administration, law, and social sciences.

Business Administration, Law, Political Science, Social Sciences, and more


Bachelor Courses in Iceland

Field of Study

Example Course Names

Business Administration

Business Management, Marketing, Finance, Entrepreneurship

Computer Science

Software Engineering, Data Science, Information Systems

Engineering

Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering

Environmental Sciences

Environmental Studies, Ecology, Sustainable Development

Health Sciences

Nursing, Medicine, Public Health, Physiotherapy

Social Sciences

Psychology, Sociology, Political Science, International Relations

Arts and Humanities

Literature, History, Philosophy, Fine Arts

Natural Sciences

Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics

Education

Primary Education, Secondary Education, Special Education


Masters Courses in Iceland

Field of Study

Example Course Names

Business Administration

MBA (Master of Business Administration), International Business

Computer Science

Computer Science, Data Science, Artificial Intelligence

Engineering

Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering

Environmental Sciences

Environmental Management, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Development

Health Sciences

Public Health, Clinical Psychology, Health Management

Social Sciences

Sociology, Political Science, International Relations

Arts and Humanities

Literature, History, Fine Arts, Cultural Studies

Natural Sciences

Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics

Education

Education Leadership, Special Education, Curriculum Development


Cost of living in Iceland

Expense

Average Monthly Cost (in ISK)

Rent (1-bedroom apartment)

180,000 - 250,000

Utilities (electricity, water, heating)

20,000 - 30,000

Internet

5,000 - 10,000

Groceries

60,000 - 80,000

Dining out

3,500 - 6,000 per meal

Transportation

12,000 - 15,000

Health insurance

Varies

Gym membership

7,000 - 10,000

Entertainment

10,000 - 20,000


Documents Required to Study in Iceland

1. Application Form: Complete the application form provided by the university or program you are applying to.

2. Proof of Identity: Provide a copy of your passport or national ID card to verify your identity.

3. Academic Transcripts: Submit official transcripts or academic records from your previous educational institutions, including high school or undergraduate studies. Transcripts should include grades, courses taken, and the degree or diploma obtained.

4. Proof of English Proficiency: Non-native English speakers may need to provide proof of English language proficiency through tests like IELTS or TOEFL. Some universities in Iceland also accept alternative English language tests.

5. Letter(s) of Recommendation: Obtain letters of recommendation from teachers, professors, or professionals who can speak to your academic abilities, character, or work experience.

6. Statement of Purpose: Write a statement explaining your motivation for studying in Iceland, your academic and career goals, and how the chosen program aligns with your aspirations.

7. CV/Resume: Prepare a comprehensive resume highlighting your educational background, work experience, skills, and any relevant achievements.

8. Passport-sized Photos: Provide passport-sized photographs as per the specifications requested by the university or program.

9. Financial Documentation: Demonstrate proof of financial ability to cover tuition fees and living expenses in Iceland. This may include bank statements, scholarship letters, or financial guarantees.

10. Visa/Residence Permit: If you are a non-EU/EEA student, you will need to apply for a student visa or residence permit. Check with the Icelandic Directorate of Immigration for the specific requirements and application process.

How to Apply to Universities in Iceland

1. Research: Explore the universities and their programs in Iceland. Consider factors such as the program offerings, admission requirements, tuition fees, and the university's reputation.

2. Choose Programs: Select the program(s) you are interested in and make sure they align with your academic and career goals.

3. Review Admission Requirements: Carefully review the admission requirements for the selected program(s). Check if there are specific prerequisites, minimum GPA requirements, language proficiency requirements, or any additional documents needed.

4. Prepare Documents: Gather the necessary documents, such as academic transcripts, proof of identity, English language proficiency test scores, letters of recommendation, and statement of purpose. Ensure that all documents are up-to-date and meet the university's requirements.

5. Pay Application Fee (if applicable): Some universities may require an application fee. Pay the fee as instructed by the university.

6. Submit Application and Supporting Documents: Once you have completed the application form and attached the necessary documents, submit the application online before the deadline. Take note of any reference numbers or confirmation emails for future correspondence.

7. Track Application Status: Keep track of your application status by regularly checking the university's online portal or contacting the admissions office. They will inform you if any additional information or documentation is required.

8. Wait for Admission Decision: The university will review your application and inform you of the admission decision. This may take several weeks or months depending on the university and the program.

9. Accept Offer and Complete Enrollment: If you receive an offer of admission, carefully review the terms and conditions, including the deadline for accepting the offer. Follow the instructions provided to accept the offer and complete the enrollment process, which may involve paying a deposit or confirming your intention to enroll.

Grading System in Iceland

Grade

Description

Percentage Range

10

Excellent

90-100%

9

Very Good

80-89%

8

Good

70-79%

7

Above Average

60-69%

6

Satisfactory

50-59%

5

Adequate, Pass

40-49%

0

Insufficient, Fail (or equivalent)

0-39%


Students life in Iceland

1. Welcoming and Diverse Community: Iceland is known for its friendly and inclusive society. As a student, you'll have the opportunity to meet people from various backgrounds and cultures, fostering a diverse and supportive community.

2. High-Quality Education: Icelandic universities offer high-quality education with a focus on research and innovation. The academic programs are designed to provide students with theoretical knowledge, practical skills, and critical thinking abilities.

3. Engaging Student Organizations: Universities in Iceland have a wide range of student organizations and clubs catering to different interests and hobbies. Joining these groups allows you to socialize, pursue your passions, and develop leadership and teamwork skills.

4. Vibrant Cultural Scene: Iceland has a thriving arts and cultural scene, offering opportunities to attend concerts, music festivals, art exhibitions, and theater performances. You can explore traditional Icelandic culture as well as engage with international cultural events.

5. Outdoor Adventures: Iceland's breathtaking natural landscapes provide numerous opportunities for outdoor activities. From hiking and glacier exploration to geothermal baths and whale watching, there is no shortage of adventures for nature enthusiasts.

6. Safety and Quality of Life: Iceland consistently ranks among the safest countries in the world. The country's low crime rate, clean environment, and high standard of living contribute to a safe and comfortable student life experience.

7. Work and Study Opportunities: As an international student in Iceland, you may have the opportunity to work part-time while studying. This allows you to gain practical experience, earn an income, and enhance your skills.

8. English Proficiency: Most Icelanders are proficient in English, making it easier for international students to communicate and integrate into the local community.

9. Cultural Immersion: Living in Iceland offers a chance to immerse yourself in the Icelandic way of life, learning about the language, traditions, folklore, and unique cultural heritage of the country.

10. Natural Wonders and Northern Lights: Iceland is famous for its stunning natural wonders, including waterfalls, geysers, volcanic landscapes, and the mesmerizing Northern Lights. These attractions provide unforgettable experiences for students exploring the country.

Student Visa Requirements in Iceland

1. Acceptance Letter: Obtain an acceptance letter from a recognized educational institution in Iceland confirming your enrollment in a full-time study program.

2. Financial Proof: Demonstrate sufficient funds to cover your tuition fees and living expenses in Iceland. This can be shown through bank statements, scholarship letters, or financial guarantees.

3. Health Insurance: Provide proof of health insurance coverage that is valid in Iceland for the duration of your stay. It should include medical, accident, and repatriation insurance.

4. Passport: Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your intended stay in Iceland.

5. Application Form: Complete the student visa application form provided by the Icelandic Directorate of Immigration (UTL).

6. Photographs: Provide recent passport-sized photographs meeting the specifications outlined by the Directorate of Immigration.

7. Travel Itinerary: Submit a copy of your travel itinerary, including flight reservations, to and from Iceland.

8. Language Proficiency: Depending on your chosen program, you may need to demonstrate proficiency in the language of instruction, usually through a recognized language test.

9. Medical Certificate: Obtain a medical certificate indicating that you are in good health and free from any contagious diseases.

10. Proof of Accommodation: Provide proof of accommodation in Iceland, such as a rental agreement or confirmation from a university dormitory.

Part-time work option in Iceland

1. Work Hours: As an international student, you are allowed to work part-time for up to 20 hours per week during the academic year.

2. Work Permit: Non-EU/EEA students do not need a separate work permit to work part-time in Iceland. The student residence permit allows for part-time work.

3. Language Requirements: Proficiency in Icelandic may be required for certain jobs, especially those involving customer service or direct interaction with the local population. However, there are also opportunities in international or English-speaking environments.

4. Job Availability: Part-time job opportunities can be found in various sectors, including hospitality, retail, administration, tutoring, and research assistance. Universities may also offer part-time positions within their campus, such as library assistants or student ambassadors.

5. Job Search: Check university job boards, online job portals, local newspapers, and social media groups dedicated to job listings. Additionally, networking and reaching out to employers directly can also be beneficial.

6. Work Contracts and Rights: Ensure that you have a proper work contract that outlines your rights and responsibilities. This includes details such as working hours, wages, and employment conditions.

7. Income and Taxes: The income earned from part-time work can contribute to covering living expenses. However, it's important to be aware of the tax obligations associated with earning income in Iceland. Consult the Icelandic tax authorities for information on tax regulations and requirements.

8. Balancing Work and Studies: While working part-time can provide valuable experience and additional income, it's essential to prioritize your studies. Make sure that your work schedule allows you to manage your academic commitments effectively.

Work Visa and PR in Iceland

  1. Work Visa:

    • Job Offer: To apply for a work visa, you must have a confirmed job offer from an Icelandic employer.

    • Labor Market Test: In most cases, the employer must demonstrate that no suitable candidate from the local labor market or the European Economic Area (EEA) is available for the position.

    • Work Permit: Once the job offer is secured, your prospective employer must apply for a work permit on your behalf. The work permit is typically valid for a specified period and tied to the specific job.

    • Residence Permit: Alongside the work permit, you will need to apply for a residence permit. The application is submitted to the Icelandic Directorate of Immigration (UTL). The residence permit allows you to legally reside and work in Iceland.

  2. Permanent Residency (PR):

    • Continuous Residence: To be eligible for PR, you must have resided legally and continuously in Iceland for a specified period (usually four to seven years, depending on circumstances).

    • Financial Stability: You must demonstrate financial stability and sufficient means to support yourself and any dependents during your stay in Iceland.

    • Integration Requirements: PR applicants may need to fulfill certain integration requirements, such as demonstrating proficiency in the Icelandic language and passing a citizenship and civic knowledge examination.

    • Application Process: The application for PR is submitted to the Icelandic Directorate of Immigration. The decision is based on various factors, including the length and purpose of your stay, your ties to Iceland, and your ability to integrate into Icelandic society.

Placement after study in Iceland

Sector

Companies

Technology/IT

CCP Games, Össur, Marel, Decode Genetics, Arion Bank

Renewable Energy

Landsvirkjun, Orka Náttúrunnar, Reykjavik Energy

Finance and Banking

Landsbankinn, Arion Bank, Íslandsbanki

Tourism and Hospitality

Icelandair Group, Blue Lagoon, Fosshotel, Guide to Iceland

Pharmaceuticals

Actavis, Alvogen, Medis, Icepharma

Engineering/Construction

EFLA, Verkís, Skanska, Mannvit

Consulting

Deloitte, PwC, KPMG, EY

Retail

Hagkaup, Bónus, 66°North, IKEA

Healthcare

Landspítali (The National University Hospital of Iceland), Heilsuvernd, Lyfja

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