Iceland lies in the North Atlantic Ocean east of Greenland and just touches the Arctic Circle. It is one of the most volcanic regions in the world. More than 13% is covered by snowfields and glaciers, and most of the people live in the 7% of the island that is made up of fertile coastland. Iceland has a free-market economy with relatively low corporate taxes compared to other OECD countries, while maintaining a Nordic welfare system that provides universal health care and tertiary education for its citizens. In 2013, it was ranked as the 13th most developed country in the world by the United Nations' Human Development Index.
Many people think if Iceland is a remote area without a lot of life and culture, but that is anything but the truth. If you plan to study abroad in the country, you will find that this Nordic island country is one of the most unique. The country's population is small, with only 320,000 people calling the 40,000 square miles of the island home. Reykjavik is the capital city and also the largest city in the country. It is also home to about 2/3 of the island's population. From volcanic activity to an intense geological hotspot, Iceland is a beautiful country with a lot to offer the student studying abroad.
Studying in Iceland can be a challenge for some. The country was hit hard during the 2008 financial crisis and, while its economic conditions have improved, it is not yet in the same position it once was. Opportunities exist, though. The tourism industry has also grown here. Many people come to see the unique scenery that makes Iceland a treasure. Nevertheless, in Reykjavik, you will find a more modern city, with ample nightlife, great cultural opportunities, and a potential employment.
Iceland has a diverse climate, which is not necessarily cold all the time. In the summer months, temperatures can reach as high as 95 degrees F, though this is not likely in northern components of the country. The winter temperatures can drop well below freezing. You will see snow. A big difference for many international students is the daylight hours that are nearly consistent all day and evening long during the summer months. During the winter months, there is very little light at all.
Many people who visit the area or come to study do so in the capital city because of all of the features it offers. You will find a modern city here, with ample theaters, cultural attractions, and fun activities, including bars, cafes, and plenty of restaurants. You will also find that the overall atmosphere in the surrounding communities, as well as in Akureyri, the second largest city, is urban, but more laid back.
Cost of Living
The cost of living in Iceland is similar to most western cultures. It is an affordable place to live, if you live modestly. Because it is not a large country, though, anything imported is high cost. The capital city is the most expensive place to live, where you can count on higher prices. In fact, compared to European countries, living in Reykjavik is most like living in Switzerland. Students are not likely to need a significant amount of money, though some schools recommend at least $1000 USD per month for students to have accessible for accommodations.
Why study in Iceland
Iceland is a great destination for international students and a fantastic place to live. Located in the North Atlantic Ocean right close to the Arctic pole, Iceland is a highly developed country with a world-class higher education system. Although Iceland is not a member state of the European Union, it signed the Schengen Agreement. If you plan to study in Iceland, you will benefit from its membership to the Schengen area as you will be able to freely move within Europe.
Iceland is known by its astonishing nature, with landscapes full of geysers, glaciers, volcanoes covered by snow, and geothermal sources. A geologically young land, Iceland is located on both the Iceland hotspot and the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, which runs right through the island. This combined location means that the island is highly geologically active and has many volcanoes. Dettifoss, located in northeast Iceland, is the largest waterfall in Europe in terms of volume discharge. The Vatnajokull glacier is the biggest in Europe.
There are many reasons to study in this more remote country. It affords individuals to the ability to study glaciers and volcanoes upclose. The long daylight hours during the summer months can also be gripping, since it provides an opportunity for students to conduct various research studies. The community as a whole is welcoming of international students, the nightlife if vibrant, and the overall culture is one worth exploring.
Higher Education in Iceland
For those students planning to study in the country, the first thing to consider is where to attend. With a small population, there are not numerous schools to select from for higher education. The largest university present is the University of Iceland. A second option is Reykjavik University. Both are located in the capital city and offer a wide range of study options including arts and humanities, business and economics, sciences, and health studies. Another option is the University of Akureyri. It is located in Akureyri, a city to the north. Other schools include the Agricultural University of Iceland and Bifrost University.
Studying in Iceland is not something new for foreign students. In fact, about five percent of all students here are from international locations around the world. Most of the universities are happy to allow students to come and study, especially because this helps to expand the range of knowledge and offers the schools larger class sizes. As a result of these larger groups of international students, many of the courses are now being taught in English. As compared to other countries, Iceland's educational system ranks as excellent, with the Program for International Student Assessment ranking the country the 16th best.
Student Visa Requirements:
Students will need to provide the following documents along with course of study. The course must be a full time course (lasting an academic year) and should have a minimum of 15 hours per week.
- Letter of acceptance from a recognized school/college/university stating that you have been accepted for the course of study
- Documents of student’s academic ability to pursue the chosen course through the English language (unless it is an English language course).
- Passport (travel document) with validity that extends beyond the completion of studies
- Documents certifying that the course fees has been paid in full
- Evidence that student have enough funds (€ 7,000) to maintain himself for the initial part of the stay.
- Documents certifying that student or a sponsor have access to at least € 7,000 for each subsequent year of the studies, in addition to the course fees for each of those years.
- Evidence that student have private medical insurance document
- Confirmation that student intends to return to his/her country of permanent residence when he/she leaves Iceland.
- Documents in case the student has any gaps in his educational career.
- Visa Application Fee ₹14000 to be paid in Cash +VFS Global Service charges 1450 at time submission.
- A completed application form for a residence permit signed by the applicant.
Upon submitting the application candidates are also required to submit a copy of their passport. Original passports would only be required for authentication. The embassy has the reserve right for asking any other authentication. Incomplete applications would not be accepted. Visa processing depends upon the nationality of the candidate. All regulations consular fees or services are subject to change without any prior notice.
Important Noted: All documents must be in one-side A4 paper and NO staples, pins
Iceland Embassy in India:
Embassy of Iceland
10, Munirka Marg, Vasant Vihar
110057 New Delhi
Tel: +91 (0) 11 4353 0300
Fax: +91 (0) 11 4353 0311