An Extraordinary Trip with Exceptional People! Past Review

By (Environmental Science, University of Oklahoma) - abroad from 06/07/2015 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?
From my experience abroad I learned about passive design techniques that can be used in urban planning, renewable energy, and other useful tools for combating climate change and the obstacles associated with it. By throwing myself into the Green Program, in an environment I was not used to, I feel that I grew as a person. I am more adventurous and goal oriented. Because of my experience on the Green Program, I am now hoping to study abroad next spring semester. I would not trade the experience I had on the Green Program for anything.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

During the Green Program, my peers and I were responsible for creating a Capstone project with an environmental focus that followed a specific business model. In a program that is only ten days long, creating the Capstone was sometimes difficult, especially when internet access was limited. This being said, the opportunity to work at the University of Reykjavik and present to the professors there was remarkable. The feedback they gave was very helpful and encouraging to what my group had presented. During the Green Program, we also attended classes on renewable energy and toured various geothermal and hydro power plants. While the classes supplied information that was a bit of a review, the tours were interesting and rather "hands on."

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The three guides or administrators that I had the pleasure of having on the Green Program were amazing to say the least. Each of them were so welcoming and really just loving. You could tell they love what they do, and that want nothing less than success and adventure for you.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

During the Green Program in Iceland, we stayed at various hostels. Each one was unique, comfortable, and surrounded by beautiful scenery. The geothermal hot water was an added plus when showering.

* Food:

Icelanders sure do like their potatoes. Every meal we had was filling and delicious. My only complaint would be about the breakfast, but that was only because American breakfasts and European breakfasts differ greatly in size and number of choices.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Although I still don't know Icelandic, I feel like I was very well integrated with the local culture. The guides on the Program informed us of Icelandic myths and traditions as well as some important Icelandic customs. You could ask them anything, and they would have an answer for you. Even at the end of the program when I was walking around downtown Reykjavik I had a feeling of emersion into the Icelandic culture.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

There were no real health issues at all other than a couple of blisters from hiking.

* Safety:

I felt completely safe during all of activities we participated in on the Green Program. Even when some excursions seemed treacherous, the guides were always there to help you get across a flowing creek or difficult part of a hike. Make sure to bring hiking shoes and extra socks!

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $40
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Don't ever spend all your money in one place!


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Hostel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

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

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International 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?
  • A 2-day camping trip into the Highlands of Iceland
  • Snorkeling in a glacial lake
  • The hostels and little moments we all had there
* What could be improved?
  • The internet access availability should be improved
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? How NOT studying abroad is one of the worst decisions a college student could ever make.