Everything I hoped for and more! Past Review

By (Marine Sciences, University of California - Berkeley) - abroad from 06/08/2015 to 06/17/2015 with

The GREEN Program: Iceland - Sustainability and Renewable Energy Abroad

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I had an amazing experience; everyone on my program was so nice and different, and yet we all got along. I didn't hesitate when given the opportunity to do new things, and neither did everyone else. We all did everything we our whole selves, which made for an incredible experience. I gained a ton of new memories, found a sense of peace in focusing just on what I was doing at that moment, and have a renewed sense of passion for discovery and for the environment.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I loved getting to take class at Reykjavik University, but I felt that some aspects of the power plant tours were lost on me because I'm not an engineer. I also really grappled with the capstone project for awhile because it had to fit the business model; it was hard for me to create a product rather than just do a research project on an environmental issue I was passionate about. The experience helped me to grow, but it was definitely something I struggled with. The program leaders were really helpful in assisting with capstone work, and helped my group think through our issues. My favorite aspect was the outside the classroom learning; I learned a lot of things about Iceland, glaciers, and the application of renewable energy just from talking to our guides.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Our guides were amazing! They were hilarious and made sure everyone felt comfortable. I could not have asked for better program leaders.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

We got to experience a wide variety of living arrangements, which really contributed to the trip. I loved all of the places we stayed for different reasons.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I learned so much about Iceland and its culture; we began learning bits of complicated Icelandic about an hour into the program.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I never once felt unsafe; we did a lot of adventurous things, but never anything that made me feel uncomfortable or unsafe.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* 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)

The program price itself isn't cheap, but once we were in Iceland I didn't spend any money at all until the last day when we had the opportunity to buy some souvenirs.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? None
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Buy your plane tickets well in advance and shop around to make sure you're getting the best price; that's the only aspect of the program cost you're in control of.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

Icelandic is insanely complex, but our program leaders taught us how to count to ten and say things like good morning; they encouraged us to learn simple phrases or words, but every person we met spoke English so our lack of knowledge of Icelandic was a non-issue.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? None
How many hours per day did you use the language? 0

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Other
  • Hostel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

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

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • All of the activities
  • The people and culture
* What could be improved?
  • Some aspects of the capstone
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? The reason they're so vague on the itinerary is because you only find out what you're doing the next day that night before. This wound up being a great thing, because we weren't looking too far ahead; we just got to focus on the present, which really added to my experience.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.