I felt like a ghost most of the time Past Review

By (Studio Arts, Wellesley College) for

Iceland University of the Arts: Reykjavik - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was worthwhile because I am a more resilient and resourceful person. I had alot of time to reflect and learn about myself. Like all bad experiences you end up learning alot and growing stronger. While there were some good things, the landscape, and some friends I made, the art I pushed myself to create, on the whole it was a really hard and upsetting experience. I felt like a ghost most of the time and was pretty unhappy. I consider myself a pretty friendly person but it did not seem to change things. But I adapted and now am ecstatic that the experience is over, and would not in good faith recommend it for anyone else, unless they were vacationing or in a different school.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+
The term and year this program took place: Spring 2010

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I had to remind professors that I was even there. At the end of courses they would tell me I had missed alot (even though they gave english summaries), and that my work suffered because of it. What I got out of this educationally was almost entirely self driven, and independent work, as that became my only option.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program


* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

a guesthouse recommended by the school. I had my own room, there were some other exchange students there, some tourists, some young professionals. The guesthouse included a shared kitchen, bathrooms and laundry. It was Odins Guesthouse, 9 Odinsgata <br /><br /> Also young professionals and tourists were living there

* Food:

I cooked for myself

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

There are alot of cafes, pubs, and music in reykjavik which are nice.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

The only reason I didn't feel safe was that often the other exchange students would leave a bar without telling me, but thats not the programs fault, its just bad luck.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? probably 60-80 dollars a week but I can't really remember exactly. It would depend hugely on whether or not I would need art supplies that week.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Cooking saves alot of money. The food is quite expensive


How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? none
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

* Did you study abroad through an exchange program or did you directly enroll in the foreign university? Exchange

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Hostel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • International Students
  • Other
  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I would suggest becoming fluent in Icelandic if you really want to go, otherwise go to an English friendly school you can get more out of.