You may have only become interested in studying abroad in Iceland for their geothermal pools and giant glaciers that have recently become trendy all over social media. But do you know the real Iceland?
While there are exciting adventures to be had (bathing in the Blue Lagoon, watching for the Northern Lights, going whale watching) the Nordic country has much to boast about outside of its incredibly unique natural environment. International students are flocking to Iceland thanks to it being the safest country in the world with a rich and intriguing culture!
Iceland has a small population of just over 300,000, which gives it the feel of a small town you may expect from a city, not a country. While the language may be intimidating, foreign students will be happy to know that most of the locals also speak English. Here, we will discuss some of the best scholarships in Iceland for international students.
What is the cost of living like as an international student studying in Iceland?
International students with an EU passport are legally allowed to work in Iceland. However, non-EU students should expect to face work restrictions. Once an international student is granted residency, which is necessary if staying longer than 3 months, they are permitted to work up to 15 hours a week.
What are some of the largest universities in Iceland?
Despite its small population, Iceland is home to quite a few top-rated universities, many of which are free or low-cost. While it is to be expected that international students will be paying more for tuition and registration than the locals, it is still substantially lower than what they may pay in the United States or other western countries.
The two largest and most well-known public universities, the University of Iceland and Reykjavík University, are located in the capital city. For those students that are looking for something outside of Reykjavík, the third largest university in the country, the University of Akureyri, can be found farther north.
Best Scholarships in Iceland
1. Leifur Eiríksson Foundation Fellowships
The Leifur Eiríksson Foundation fellowship allows for current graduate students at the University of Virginia to conduct research in Iceland. The student must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States in order to be considered for the award. This Iceland scholarship is competitive, and only awarded to one student per year. However, the scholarship itself is worth the effort: up to $25,000.
While the earnings cannot be used for living expenses for the spouse or family of the student, it does cover the cost of traveling to and from the project location. This Fellowship is not just for students at the University of Virginia. It is also open to Icelandic students who want to study in the United States of America.
Therefore, American applicants are not just competing against their fellow classmates. They are also competing against students across the Atlantic, making it even more competitive.
2. Brian O’Connell (BOC) Partial Scholarship Programme
Students from South Africa that display considerable academic success may complete their dissertation research at a SANORD institution. This Iceland scholarship lasts three to five months, and is meant to nurture collaboration between the South African Nordic Center and Iceland.
While the graduate student may choose the university of their choice, they must partake in classes and research that will go towards their Masters degree. The purpose of the Briann O’Connell Partial Scholarship Programme is to spread awareness of the Nordic culture in another region of the world: South Africa.
3. The Education for Sustainable Energy Development (ESED) scholarship program
The Education for Sustainable Energy Development scholarship is perfect for those students interested in solving some of the world’s most important environmental issues through sustainable efforts. The ten awarded scholars will earn up to $10,000 a year for up to two years with this scholarship in Iceland.
With over 900 applications received for last year’s Education for Sustainable Energy Development scholarship it is competitive, though not as competitive as some of the other scholarship opportunities on this list. The organization is focused on building their diversity by giving preference to female applicants and awarding scholars from a variety of geographical locations. It is open to students from all over the world which further promotes their desire for diverse ideas and perspectives.
4. Canadian Institute for Nordic Studies Scholarship- Undergraduate Students
The University of Alberta in Alberta, Canada offers multiple scholarships for students that would like to study in Iceland. Three students are awarded $1,500 with the hopes of creating new relationships between Canada and the Nordic country.
The goal of the University of Alberta is not just to offer a study abroad opportunity, but to also help their students appreciate and understand the culture of Iceland. Winners of this Iceland scholarship are required to take at least one class in the official language of Iceland, which will help them immerse themselves deeper into the country’s distinct culture.
5. Canadian Institute for Nordic Studies Scholarship- Post-secondary
Masters level and PhD. candidates at the University of Alberta also have the opportunity to study abroad in Iceland. Scholars can expect up to $2,000 awarded to one graduate student, and $4,500 awarded to one PhD. candidate. These international students studying abroad in Iceland would be expected to promote and find new common interests between the two countries.
There is no requirement with regards to degree program or field of study; all majors may apply. However, the scholarship recipient is required to explain their motives and reasons for wanting to study abroad in Iceland. Those that express a genuine and well-thought out approach to building connections between Canada and Iceland are more likely to earn this scholarship in Iceland.