Iceland: Where Dreams Come True Past Review

By (Religion and Anthropology, Hamline University) for

University of Iceland: Reykjavík - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Yes, everything was great. The academics were rewarding, I learned a lot about myself, I learned a lot about other people and cultures, and I really have no complaints! I plan on returning in the future for a longer period of time. I also feel more globally minded, having met so many people from various countries and establishing those connections. It's a good feeling.

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.

Workload was nothing I wasn't used to, but still stimulating. Teaching methods were a little different from what I was used to. The professors would often go on tangents, and it would be hard to follow at times, but they would always link it back up in the end. Everything was generally more relaxed at this university than what I am used to back home. The relaxed university life really reflected Icelandic life in general, relatively stress free and mellow. It was a nice change of pace.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I can't rate it below or above average, because there was really no communication between the University's ISEP coordinator and the ISEP students. We didn't really need any help from them, but if we did, we knew where they were located, just in case. Everything went smoothly, and they made themselves available.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The housing was pretty great. I just wish more Europeans or locals lived there, but regardless, it was right next to campus, and a short walk into town, so the location was great. The neighborhood was just fine, no complaints there. They provided us with cookware, bedding, etc. so we didn't need to purchase that ourselves.

* Food:

The food was pretty good. The quality was above average, and it was modestly priced, so I had no complaints about that.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I was able to go on excursions into the Icelandic countryside, watch farmers wrangle sheep, see geysers, climb mountains, go hiking, and many other things. It was fantastic.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Reykjavik is incredibly safe. There is almost no crime or poverty, and everything is really sanitary. I had no experiences having to navigate health care or hospitals, so I have no comment about that.

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)

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Hotel
* Who did you live with?

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  • International Students

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? As I said above, do the research! Find the best fit for you and you can't go wrong.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Icelandic Folktales

Course Department: Humanities - ÞJÓ004G
Instructor: David Nickel
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This was a pretty intensive class. The professor was very knowledgeable and knew his subject very well. I participated about the same as I would back home in a class. I learned a lot about Icelandic history and their way of life in general, and it was very worthwhile.
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Course Name/Rating:

The Politics of Culture

Course Department: Social Sciences - STJ330G
Instructor: Matthew Johnson
Instruction Language: English
Comments: It was a fairly challenging class. It was highly theoretical, so the concepts were hard to grasp at times. But we had a role play based on the Danish Muhammad cartoons that was very worthwhile, and a research project that I enjoyed a lot. The professor was brilliant and I learned a lot from the course.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Icelandic Culture

Course Department: Humanities - ÍSE014G
Instructor: Jon Yngvie
Instruction Language: English
Comments: It was a decent course. A broad overview on topics of Icelandic culture. Nothing too intensive, but a good way to get acquainted with how they view things.
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Icelandic Society

Course Department: Social Sciences - FÉL007G
Instructor: Helgi Gunnlaugsson
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Like Icelandic culture, it was a broad overview of Icelandic society, and it was relatively simple. We had guest professors each week share certain topics in their fields, which was interesting. Academically, it wasn't very challenging, but it was a good introduction to larger issues Icelanders are faced with.
Credit Transfer Issues: