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Guide for International Students


  • Guide for International Students


    INTRODUCTION 7International and unique 7International Office 8

    PLANNING YOUR STUDY ABROAD 9Admission International degree seeking students 9Admission Exchange students 9Student residence permit 10Work permit 11Health issues 11Accommodation 12Mentor system 13Climate in Iceland and what to pack 13Cancellation of stay 14Academic year 14Course catalogue 14Subjects and credits 14Grading system 15Language of instruction 15Icelandic language and culture courses 15

    ARRIVING IN REYKJAVK 18Orientation meeting 18Registration/student residence permit 18Registration at the University of Iceland 19Ugla - intranet and email 20Introduction to Iceland 20

    STUDENT SERVICES & STUDENT LIFE 21Service Desk at the University Centre 21Student Registration 21International Office 21School and Faculty Offices 22National and University Library of Iceland 22Computing Service 22

    University Student Counselling and Career Centre 24Icelandic Student Services 24Student Council 25Student Associations 25University Sports Centre 26University Cinema 26Open University 26

    LIVING IN ICELAND 28Iceland New and different 28Reykjavk Pure energy 28Public holidays 30Currency 30Cost of living 31Health care and emergency services 31Shopping 31Buses 32Telephones and post offices 32Working in Iceland 32

    GOING BACK HOME 34Transcript of records 34Obtain the signatures needed 34Final report 34Inform Registers Iceland of your departure 34Accommodation 34

    IMPORTANT CONTACTS 36University offices 36Other important contacts in Iceland 37Useful websites 38



    Table of Contents

  • 4

  • 5Dear International Student

    Welcome to the University of Iceland.

    I am delighted that you have decided to come to Iceland and study at the University of Iceland. The University is part of a global network of learning and strives to create opportunities for local young people as well as those that come from afar.

    The University of Iceland, founded in 1911, is a

    progressive educational and international research

    institution. It places great emphasis on research and

    educating young people; preparing them for taking

    an active part in society as well as making their

    mark in the global community. Currently there are

    around 14,000 students enrolled at the University

    including over 1,000 international students.

    Dynamic and extensive collaboration with research

    institutions and industry is an important factor in

    the Universitys operations. Furthermore, working

    with leading universities in the world is the found-

    ation for an international network of knowledge.

    One of the Universitys long-term goals is becoming

    a leading international university; and it is now

    ranked among the best 300 universities by the

    Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

    This booklet contains information that I trust

    will prove useful for you, about the academic

    community at the University and the various services

    provided for students.

    International students are a welcome addition

    to our academic environment and are very much


    Again, welcome to Iceland, and welcome to the

    University of Iceland. I hope that you will enjoy your

    time here, both in your studies at the University, but

    also living in Reykjavik and that you will look back at

    your time here with fond memories.

    Kristn Inglfsdttir, Rector / President

    Address by the Rector

  • 6

  • 7International and unique

    The University of Iceland has been the centre of

    knowledge in Iceland for more than a century.

    Continuous development and a clear vision for the

    future are, and will continue to be, the strength of

    the University.

    The University of Iceland is a public university,

    situated in the heart of Reykjavk, the capital of

    Iceland. A modern, diversified and rapidly

    developing institution, the University offers

    opportunities for study and research in over 400

    programmes spanning most academic fields:

    Social Sciences, Health Sciences, Humanities,

    Education, Engineering and Natural Sciences. The

    University of Iceland is the only university in Iceland

    offering undergraduate and graduate programmes

    in all its fields, including doctoral degrees.

    Some of the resources available at the University

    are uniquely Icelandic. These include the medieval

    manuscripts preserved at the rni Magnsson

    Institute for Icelandic studies, the Icelandic census

    records dating from 1703, the exceptionally

    complete genealogical data and extensive

    climatological, glaciological, seismic and

    geothermal records.

    The academic staff at the University of Iceland

    maintain excellent international relations and many

    of them are leaders in their respective fields within

    the international scientific community. Furthermore,

    the University of Iceland has made numerous

    agreements with outstanding international

    universities and research organisations on

    student and faculty exchanges as well as research


    All of the Universitys students have the option of

    taking part of their studies at universities overseas.

    A large number of international students are

    enrolled at the University of Iceland, and their

    number is growing. The University employs many

    international academics and scholars, and brings

    in lecturers from abroad almost on a daily basis.

    Hence, the University is a vibrant and multi-

    dimensional community.


  • 8International Office

    The International Office oversees and manages the

    international affairs of the University. The office

    provides information and assistance to incoming

    international students and academic staff. Please

    do not hesitate to contact us or visit the office in

    case you need assistance.

    University Centre (3rd floor), Smundargata 4,

    101 Reykjavk. Tel: +354 525 4311

    Email for incoming exchange students:

    Opening hours: MonFri 1012 and 12:3015

  • 9Planning Your Study Abroad

    At the University of Iceland, we welcome a large

    and increasing number of international students

    every year.

    Embarking on studies at a university in a foreign

    country will be a challenging life experience. Many

    of the questions you will have are addressed in

    this brochure. You will find extensive information

    on courses, services and social activities at the

    University website,

    Admission International degree seeking students

    Information for international degree seeking

    students and an application for admission can

    be found online at

    The deadline for international students (other than

    exchange students) to apply for undergraduate and

    graduate studies is February 1st (for the following academic year). Students from the Nordic countries

    are exempted and may apply for undergraduate

    studies until June 5th (with the exception of the Icelandic as a second language programme, for

    which the deadline is February 1st for all students).

    Admission requirements

    Students must have completed a matriculation

    examination or the equivalent to be considered

    for admission for undergraduate studies. For

    entry requirements see

    Specific faculty rules apply for admission

    requirements for masters and doctoral studies.

    Please refer to the Graduate school website:


    The annual registration fee for the UI is ISK 75,000.

    There is additionally a 50c application fee for

    citizens of countries outside the EU/EEA. The fee is

    charged as part of the online application process

    and is payable by credit card only. The handling and

    processing fee is NOT refundable.

    Admission Exchange students

    Please note that the application process is different

    for exchange students than international degree

    seeking students, with different deadlines.

  • 10

    All prospective exchange students should begin

    the process by contacting their home university.

    They must have completed at least 60 ECTS credits,

    and there must be a student exchange agreement

    between the home institution and the UI.

    The student applies to the home university,

    and if she/he is accepted the home university

    exchange coordinator will nominate the student

    to UI. UI will email all relevant information on

    the application process to nominated students.

    Application deadline for the Autumn semester and

    a full academic year is March 1st (EEA citizens: May 1st). Deadline for the Spring semester is August 1st (EEA citizens: October 1st).

    After filling in the online application, students

    must have the printed version signed by the home

    university exchange coordinator and send it by mail

    to the International Office along with the

    accompanying documents as instructed.

    Further information can be found on

    Student residence permit

    All international students must meet the

    requirements set by eithe


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