Life-changing experience where I learned a lot about Iceland and myself June 07, 2016

By (Mechanical Engineering, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University / Virginia Tech) - abroad from 05/23/2016 to 06/01/2016 with

The GREEN Program: Iceland - Sustainability and Renewable Energy Abroad

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
The GREEN Program: Iceland Edition, was one of the best choices I ever made. I got to stay with 19 other like-minded students from America and Canada as we attended renewable energy lectures at Reykjavik University, visited renewable energy power plants, and hiked, snorkeled, and caved around Iceland, making some great friends along the way. This program was definitely worthwhile and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to go into renewable energy and sustainability.

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 classes at Reykjavik University's School of Energy were exactly what I wanted to learn about, so they naturally I found them very interesting.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

We were able to stay in multiple guesthouses throughout the trip, and they just kept getting better and better.

* Food:

It was the first time I had seafood, and it was great! All of the food was unique and authentic. I'm glad we stayed in guesthouses where we got to experience what it was like to eat like an Icelander.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

While we definitely learned a lot about Iceland during our excursions and spent a lot of time with our hosts, who were natives, I didn't think there were many opportunities to interact with the locals and dive into the Icelandic culture.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

There weren't any serious health concerns on our trip, but one student did get a little sick and the guides aided him as soon as they found out.

* Safety:

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

I learned a lot about renewable energy and specifically how Iceland harnesses it. Iceland also showed me a different perspective towards renewable energy, one that I wouldn't find in the United States.

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)

I only really needed to pay for souvenirs because everything else is taken care of, which is good because the souvenir shops around Iceland were quite expensive.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $150
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I didn't apply for any, but there are scholarships for this program that you can look into.

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? No
How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Hotel
  • 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? 10+

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • People
  • Adventures
  • Knowledge that we gained
* What could be improved?
  • The test at the end
  • More access to professors
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew to pack only one bag and one carry on. Bringing two large suitcases was a mistake.

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!