Going GREEN Past Review

By (Education, Pennsylvania State University - University Park / Penn State) - abroad from 03/08/2015 to 03/15/2015 with

The GREEN Program: Iceland - Sustainability and Renewable Energy Abroad

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Sustainable energy, Icelandic culture, team work, community building, how to be a better person and live life more fully! Absolutely worthwhile :)

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The program is the perfect combination of cultural experience and academic interest. By taking classes at the Reykjavik University and applying what we learned in visits to various renewable energy plants, I was able to understand the topic more than I would have had I just taken a renewable energy course at Penn State. The capstone project also required me to engage with the content and concepts on a deeper level, which overall left me with a positive, educational experience.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I could not have asked for a better hosting experience. The housing we had throughout our stay was phenomenal; from Helga and her wonderful cooking to the multi-bedroom, hot tub including house later in the week. I also could not have asked for better guides than Tinni and Helga. Having Icelanders lead us made the experience authentic and engaging. Also props to Melissa for being a wonderful GREEN representative :) The team was wonderful in every way.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

As stated above, the housing was wonderful! I appreciated the diversity in where we stayed, but I always felt safe and comfortable where we were staying.

* Food:

AMAZING! I wasn't sure what to expect from Icelandic food, but I really loved it. I especially loved the cooking from Helga at Hjardarbol. I regret having tried the rotten shark, but what was I really expecting?

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The program does a wonderful job of immersing us students into the culture of Iceland! While there, I felt like I was more than just a tourist. I felt as though I was getting an inside look into the Icelandic culture, and I believe that is especially thanks to our two native guides.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

We didn't actually have any health issues, but I assume they would have been handled wonderfully! (I couldn't figure out how to select N/A)

* Safety:

I always felt like I was in wonderful hands. The team makes sure we are all comfortable with any activities and get any kind of help we may need. Also Iceland overall is a very safe feeling country. While we were there we experienced no safety incidents.

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)

As most expenses were included in the trip fee, I was able to get through the week very comfortably. GREEN also offers a way to pay for the program in installments, which helped me greatly.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $300
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Ask for financial assistance everywhere you can, set up a GoFund Me page, slowly grow funds in a saving account every chance you have money to spare.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Hotel
  • Hostel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Friends
  • Outdoor recreation
  • Food/Drink
* What could be improved?
  • Some of the RU classes are hard to get through
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Rain gear and TONS of layers are not optional.

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.