Iceland may be small and sparsely populated, but it packs a massive amount of amazingness into its land and sea. This Nordic island nation continues to earn top spots on the best destination lists from places like National Geographic’s Traveler Magazine and Lonely Planet. Iceland is also home to an internationally celebrated higher education system. With a variety of study topics, ideally for geography, geology and biology to name a few, Iceland can be a great study destination for students wanting to experience study abroad.
Agricultural University of Iceland
The Agricultural University of Iceland is an educational and research institution focusing on agricultural and environmental sciences, founded in 2005. The University’s facilities are mainly located at Hvanneyri, near Borgarnes, Iceland but it also operates research stations in Reykjavik, Árnessýsla and Eyjafjarðarsýsla. The Agricultural University of Iceland comprises the Faculty of Environmental Sciences, the Faculty of Land and Animal Resources, and the Department of Vocational and Continuing Education.
Through the International Representative, the Agricultural University of Iceland supports student and teacher exchanges. The International Council of Agriculture of Iceland is working to strengthen collaboration with foreign universities and institutions and oversees student and teacher exchange programs such as Nordplus and Erasmus+. The International Representative contributes to the increased participation of the University in various EU programs in the field of science, education and training.
The International Representative provides students and teachers with information on foreign cooperation between the AUI and the opportunities available there. These include applications for grants for student and teacher exchanges.
Erasmus+ and the Agricultural University of Iceland have co-operation agreements with various schools in Europe through the Erasmus program. Erasmus+ builds on, among other things, individual grants for student exchanges, and students can apply for stays of 3-12 months without delaying their studies, as the condition is that the study abroad must be fully evaluated when they arrive.
Bifröst University is located in the valley of Norðurárdalur, approximately 30 kilometers north of Borgarnes, Iceland. It was founded in Reykjavik in 1918 as a secondary school called the Cooperative College (Samvinnuskólinn). The school was run by the Icelandic cooperative movement (Samband íslenskra samvinnufélaga) and was originally intended as a training college for the staff of cooperative stores and other members of the movement. Originally a business school, it also offers degrees in law and social sciences, at both bachelor’s and master’s level, as well as a remedial university preparatory course. Student and staff housing surrounds the school, which with Hólar University College is one of two real “campus universities” in Iceland. However, many enrolled students are in distance learning programs.
Students are allowed to go and study in one of Bifröst’s partner schools abroad, and the program is assessed in the undergraduate program so that an important time is not lost from the program. Students who are interested in exchange studies can apply for exchange studies and book an appointment with an international representative. The International Commissioner applies for an Erasmus grant for students applying for exchange studies in Europe. It is important that students have acquainted themselves with the university’s collaborative school before an interview comes.
Here is some of Bifröst University’s partner schools:
- Wiener Neustadt University of Applied Sciences (Business and Administration)
- EPHEC University College – Brussels (Business Studies)
- American University in Bulgaria (Business Administration, Economics)
- Czech University of Life Sciences – Prague (Business and Administration, Information and Communication)
- IBA – Kolding (Business Students)
- University of Lapland (Law and Social Sciences)
- University of Toulose (Social Sciences)
- Berlin School of Economics (Business and Law)
- Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences (Social and Behavioral Sciences)
- University of Florence – Firenze (Business Administration)
- Óbuda University – Budapest (Business Administration)
- Turiba University (Business Administration; Tourism & Hospitality)
- International School of Law and Business – Vilnius (Business Management, Tourism) (Nýr)
- The Hague University (Business and Administration, Political Services & Civics)
- University of South-Eastern Norway (Business and Administration)
- Cracow University of Economics (Business) (EAA Grants)
Hólar University College
Hólar University College is located in Hólar, Iceland, an important historical center of education. The first school in Hólar was founded in 1106. It was renamed Hólar Agricultural College in 1882 and became Hólar University College in 2007. The long history of education at Hólar makes it one of the oldest schools in Europe. Hólar University College has three departments: the Department of Agriculture and Fish Biology, the Department of Equine Studies, and the Department of Tourism Studies.
Hólar University College puts great emphasis on cooperating with other universities and research centers. Active quality collaboration is invaluable in regard to teaching and research, as well as resulting in more effectiveness in running the institution and increasing the scope of courses available to the students.
Hólar University College is an active member of the Liaison of Public Universities in Iceland. Apart from various administrative and technical advantages, this includes opportunities for guest or visiting studies and some joint degrees of study. Hólar University College takes an increasingly active part in EU’s programs for education and training, through the Erasmus and Leonardo initiatives. This includes opportunities for staff and students, incoming and outgoing. Presently, active mutual contracts under the Erasmus charter are with the following institutions:
- Department of Aquaculture and Aquatic Biology
- HAS Den Bosch University, Netherlands
- University François Rebelais of Tours, France
- Telemark University College, Norway
- Department of Tourism
- Jósef Pitsudski University of Physical Education, Poland
- Fachhochschule Westküste, Germany
- L’Université d’Angers, France
- Van Hall Larenstein, Netherlands
- Leeds Beckett University, UK
- Polytechnic Institute of Coimbra, Portugal
- Dalarna University, Sweden
- Halmstad University, Sweden
- University College of South West Norway, Norway
Iceland Academy of the Arts
Iceland Academy of the Arts (or Iceland University of the Arts) is an Icelandic institution of higher education, located in Reykjavik, which offers the only university-level degrees in the arts in Iceland. The University was founded in 1998 by consolidating the Iceland Drama School and Reykjavik Arts School, and classes began in autumn 1999. It has five departments: Art Education, Design and Architecture, Fine Arts, Music, and Theatre and Dance.
The Iceland University of the Arts actively participates in international collaboration. The University is a member of two extensive international cooperation ventures: the Nordplus educational program organized by the Nordic Council of Ministers, and the EU program Erasmus+. Both of these programs include teacher and student exchanges as well as other form of cooperation. The Iceland University of the Arts has made bilateral agreements with more than 100 higher education institutions in Europe through Erasmus. Within Nordplus, the University participates in several different thematic networks with 90 partner schools in the Nordic and the Baltic area. In addition, the University is currently working on bilateral agreements with academies outside Europe.
Below is a list of some of the partner institutions:
- University of Innsbruck (Architecture)
- ERG Brussel (Design)
- CAFA Central Academy of Fine Art, Beijing (Design)
- Architectural Institute in Prague (Architecture)
- The Royal Academy of Music Aarhus / Aalborg (Music)
- Aalto University (Design)
- Centre Détudes superieures musique et danse (CESMD) de Poitou-Charentes (Music)
- Berlin University of the Arts (Architecture, Fine Art, Music, Performing Arts)
- Athens School of Art (Fine Art)
- Hungarian University of Fine Arts (Fine Art)
- NSD National School of Drama, New Delhi (Dance)
- University College Cork (Music)
- Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem (Fine Art, Design)
- Academia di Belle Arti di Brera / Roma (Fine Art)
- Shibaura Institute of Technology (Architecture)
The amount of grants awarded to every exchange student varies for each partner country. For more information, visit International Relations. Learn more about Iceland Academy of the Arts at www.lhi.is.
Reykjavik University is the largest private university in Iceland with more than 3,500 students. It is chartered by the Chamber of Commerce, the Federation of Iceland Industries, and the Confederation of Iceland Employers. The University consists of four academic schools: School of Law, School of Business School of Computer Science, and the School of Science and Engineering. All four schools offer a 3-year study program leading to a BSc or BA degree. All schools offer graduate programs and PhD programs. Reykjavik University also offers preliminary studies for students who need more preparation before beginning their university studies, and an Open University with executive education course for professionals. Studies in Reykjavik University are delivered bilingually (English and Icelandic).
Reykjavik University has its roots in the Commercial College of Iceland, School of Computer Science (TVÍ), founded in 1988 and run the Commercial College of Iceland (VÍ) housing for 10 years. Reykjavik University started its first semester in 1998, in a new building under the name Reykjavik School of Business. TVÍ became one of two departments within the school. A name change was inevitable because the School’s name was not descriptive for the variety of the School’s operations.
Reykjavik University offers scholarships for full-time students:
- Graduate students
- Sustainable Future Scholarship: several partial fee scholarships for students at Iceland School of Energy, valued 3,000-9,000 USD. The scholarship will be awarded on merit to students who have already received acceptance to one of ISE’s full-time graduate degrees.
- Future Arctic Energy Scholarship: one partial fee scholarship for the graduate programs offered by the Iceland School of Energy. It is available to students who have already received acceptance to one of ISE’s full-time graduate degrees and have a special interest in the Arctic. The scholarship will be awarded based on merit.
- Undergraduate students
- Dean’s List: for students who achieve the best results in each examination period have a chance to be on the Dean’s List and have their tuition fees for the next semester waived.
University of Akureyri
The University of Akureyri was founded in 1987, in the city of Akureyri in the northeastern part if Iceland. It has grown since then, establishing a school of health sciences, humanities and social science, and a school of business and science. The University is the largest provider of distance education in the country, with around half of the enrolled students studying through distance education. the University of Akureyri coordinates with other Icelandic Universities to operate the University Center of the Westfjords which operates two master’s degrees; one in Castel and Marine Management and the other in Marine Innovation. Additionally, the University of Akureyri coordinates with other Nordic Universities for the West Nordic Studies and Polar Law Masters programs.
The University of Akureyri receives an increasing number of exchange students every year. All of these have found the opportunity of studying in the capital of North Iceland attractive for many reasons.
An exchange student is a student who comes to Akureyri through an exchange program such as Nordplus, Erasmus, North2North, or through a bilateral agreement between the University of Akureyri and the student’s home institution. Free movers are not accepted.
The University of Akureyri offers four courses every academic year that aim to introduce the Icelandic language, community and nature for international students at the university. These courses are only available to student registered for a full study and to exchange students.
- Icelandic as a Foreign Language I and II
- Icelandic Nature
- Icelandic Community, History and Culture
For more information, visit Incoming Exchange Students. Learn more about the University of Akureyri at www.unak.is.
University of Iceland
The University of Iceland is a public research university in Reykjavik, Iceland and the country’s oldest and largest institution of higher education. Founded in 1911, it has grown steadily from a small civil servants’ school to a modern comprehensive university, providing instruction for about 14,000 students in 25 faculties. Teaching and research are conducted in social sciences, humanities, law, medicine, natural sciences, engineering, and teacher education. The University has a campus concentrated in central Reykjavik, with additional facilities located in nearby areas as well as in the countryside.
The University of Iceland offers programs on three levels: 3-year undergraduate programs leading to a BA or BS, 2-year graduate programs leading to a MA, MS or M.Ed., and 3-year doctoral programs leading to a PhD or Ed.D. In addition to this, shorter diploma programs are available at both the Bachelor and Master level.
Students, faculty, and other staff at the University of Iceland can apply for grants from funds operated at the University. There are, on the one hand, funds that allocate grants for scientific research mostly targeted at doctoral students and research scholars at the University of Iceland.
On the other hand, there are University of Iceland scholarship funds with over 60 funds and gifts that have been bequeathed to the University since its foundation in 1911. The funds are intended to support various projects in specific fields of study, for the benefit of the University of Iceland, students or staff.
University students can, furthermore, apply for Erasmus+ and Nordplus grants for exchange studies abroad.