Confidence Boosting, Trip of a Lifetime Past Review

By (Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology, Yale University) - abroad from 05/25/2015 to 06/03/2015 with

The GREEN Program: Iceland - Sustainability and Renewable Energy Abroad

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a lot about who I am as a person, as well as what I want to do with my life moving forward. It was certainly worthwhile. The Capstone Project proved to be the most rewarding aspect of the trip for me, but I also relished every moment I spent outside hiking, watching the sun set at midnight, or running against 50 mph winds in the Icelandic countryside.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The academic side of the program was more in depth than I was expecting. We took classes at the School of Energy in Reykjavic in the mornings, and I learned all about hydropower, geothermal energy, and others. The education side of the program extended far beyond the classroom -- we visited both small-scale and large-scale hydropower and geothermal plants, as well as a farm that produces biofuel from rapeseed oil. The Capstone Project at the end of the program provided an opportunity to delve deep into a particular topic or arena, and it ended up being extremely rewarding.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Very well run and executed program.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Living arrangements were far nicer than I had expected. The only major hiccup was extremely limited WiFi while we were working on our Capstone Projects.

* Food:

Sometimes, the food was out of this world amazing. At other times, our options were very limited. However, after the first two days, the program administrators went out of their way to supply me with food that I could eat (since I have several allergies).

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

There was not a ton of particular integration with the culture and people of the country per se, but I did love the limited amounts of cultural exposure that we were treated to, including the Icelandic cuisine.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

No problems at all.

* Safety:

Extremely safe.

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)

Icelandic food is expensive, but thankfully all of our meals were covered. We stopped often at gas stations, etc. to pick up snacks and Icelandic candy, which is delicious.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $200
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Buy alcohol at the airport when you arrive because it is exorbitantly expensive at the liquor stores.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
  • 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?
  • The hikes and outdoor adventures
  • The Capstone Project
  • The other students on the program
* What could be improved?
  • Access to internet
  • Snacks
  • Daily agenda
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had truly immersed myself in the program from Day 1. It took about 5 days for this to happen for me, but it's best if you essentially disconnect yourself from your life in America, or wherever you live.