Inspirational and Impactful Icelandic Journey January 20, 2016

By (Economics and Society and the Environment, University of California - Berkeley) - abroad from 01/02/2016 to 01/10/2016 with

The GREEN Program: Iceland - Sustainability and Renewable Energy Abroad

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I came into the program as a lost college student, searching for meaning in my academics and post-grad life. I left the program with a solid foundation as to a path I would love to take in the future and a reinstated passion that had been lost by hours and hours in classroom settings at my home university. This program is unlike any other educational experience I have ever participated in. There was a unique and perfect balance between classroom time and out of classroom adventures that served to further educate me on what I had learned in the classroom. I wish all my classes could be taught like The Green Program! 10/10, I recommend this to every student who is looking to further their educational experience in a "green" manner.

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.

I was extremely nervous to embark on a program to a foreign country where I knew no one I was traveling with and little about Iceland. I found, however, that The Green Program did an incredible job of turning a group of strangers into a compatible and even inseparable friend group by the end of just a week long journey. Furthermore, I thought the balance between studying Iceland's renewable energy practices and exploring Iceland itself was the perfect mix. I knew that my trip was truly unforgettable and one of a kind when by the end of my stay, I was truly sad to say goodbye to the amazing people I had met. I don't regret for one second spending my winter break alongside strangers turned friends in a country so unique and beautiful.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Our three guides were awesome in that I felt like every student could relate to all of them as individuals. They truly made me feel integrated into the Icelandic culture by the end of my stay.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The living arrangements were way above my expectations. Every night, I only had one roommate, and I even stayed in a hotel for two nights. Our main hostel felt more like a hotel than a hostel.

* Food:

I loved how at each place we stayed, there was breakfast, lunch, and dinner provided for us. After leaving the country, I felt as though I had tasted what Icelanders eat on a day to day basis. Furthermore, I loved how we also went out to restaurants so that we could experience both the home made meals provided by the hostels and the meals at restaurants.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Studying at the University enabled me to talk to a lot of natives in a one to one setting. I felt as though I was as integrated as I could be into a different country's culture by taking classes at the Iceland School of Energy.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Even though nobody on my trip ever required any medical attention, the guides were always prepared in case of an emergency.

* Safety:

Our guides made sure to keep us completely safe. Even though I felt like at times I was stepping out of my comfort zone and trying new things, I never felt as though I was in danger.

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

Finances

* 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 covered all costs so I didn't actually "need" to spend any money while abroad. I did, however, spend some money on small gifts.

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? The cool thing about this program is that if you don't want to spend any money while abroad, you don't have to. All meals are paid for.

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Other
  • Hotel
  • Hostel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local 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?
  • the hands on approach to all learning experiences
  • the hikes
  • the swimming opportunities
* What could be improved?
  • more time in Reykjavík
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I now have a good grasp on the renewable energy practices implemented by Iceland, such as geothermal power and hydropower.

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.