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A Complete Guide to How to Study, Work, and Live in Iceland

Iceland is a small island country off Europe’s coast. It’s famous for its ice volcanoes and breathtaking scenery. Tourists and international students alike are drawn to the country. Natural science fields are well-suited to study in Iceland. This page will help you if you want to pursue a program in this or any other discipline.

Iceland is a small country where almost everything happens in Reykjavik, the capital. International students interested in studying in Iceland should consider visiting one of the world’s most spectacular natural wonders. Iceland has a small number of universities, but those that exist are among the best in the world, particularly in the sciences.

There are seven universities in the country. The government or private groups with government support run the vast majority of higher education institutions. Over 20,000 students are enrolled in Iceland’s higher education system, with approximately 5% of them being overseas students.

Despite its small size, Iceland is one of the most peaceful countries in the world. International students who wish to study in Iceland will undoubtedly find the country fascinating. Check out the list below for some compelling reasons to visit Iceland.

Why study in Iceland?

• Iceland is decent for international students
Iceland boasts seven very competent international academic programs in a wide range of areas, providing outstanding higher education opportunities. Applications from qualified students from all around the world are welcome in Icelandic universities.

• Study in a science city
Iceland’s tertiary education offers a progressive education and innovative programs. They are known to be research-based.
• Standard living/quality life
Iceland is routinely ranked as one of the top countries for quality of life. It has one of the highest literacy rates in the world, a superb record of equality, and is one of the world’s most peaceful countries.

How to apply for admission in Iceland

1. Find a program
Finding a program and a university in Iceland is not tough because there aren’t many universities there, which could have limited your options. So, pick an institution and type in the search box to view a list of programs available at that university.

2. Check the lists of documents to submit
Did you find your course on the school website? If yes, the next step is to check for the admission requirements and assemble them to begin the application process. Listed below are the entry requirements for study in Iceland
Admission requirements for Iceland
Online application form
CV (for postgraduate or doctoral studies)
Letter of motivation
Grade transcripts from your previous education (electronically and a posted hard copy)
Two letters of recommendation
English language proficiency test
Passport photographs
Application fee
3. Submit your application
In Iceland, there is no one application portal. Applications are sent to specific schools and involve the downloading and completion of an application form. After downloading the application form from the institution’s website, it is normally printed and mailed. Students can also request that the application form be mailed to them via your institution’s international relations office.
You must pay an application fee before submitting your application. The application fee is around 7,400ISK and must be paid directly to the school.

4. Get your acceptance letter
The school will send you an acceptance letter once a decision has been made, and you will use it when applying for your visa.
5. Apply for a study visa
Depending on your nationality, you may need a study visa to enter Iceland. Generally, to apply for the study visa, you will provide the following documents:
Visa requirements for Iceland
A completed application form
Passport Identity
Two passport-sized photos
Proof of fee payment
Copy of acceptance letter from your university
Proof of no criminal record
Proof of health insurance
Proof of financial self-sufficiency through bank statements

Intake period

The academic year in Iceland is divided into two semesters, autumn and spring, and runs from September to May. The fall semester lasts from September 1 to December 31, whereas the spring semester lasts from January 1 to May 31. Specific fields may differ.
Each institution has its own application date, but you should apply in December or January of the year you intend to start.

Application deadlines for most universities in Iceland
International students
1 February each year
15 April / 5 June each year (Nordic citizens, graduate/undergraduate studies and some graduate diploma).
Exchange students
Autumn semester or full academic year:
1 April each year
1 May each year for EEA citizens
Where to study: Universities in Iceland
Agricultural University of Iceland
Bifröst University
Hólar University College
Iceland University of the Arts
Reykjavik University
University of Akureyri
University of Iceland

Are there scholarships for international students in Iceland?

Yes, international students can apply for scholarships through individual schools and through research councils.

Teaching language in Iceland

The bulk of undergraduate courses are taught in Icelandic at Icelandic universities. However, many English-led master’s and doctoral programs are available, mostly at the University of Iceland, Reykjavik University, and the University of Akureyri.

Language requirements for studies at universities in Iceland

Icelandic is the principal language of instruction in Iceland’s higher education institutions. As a result, you will be required to demonstrate your proficiency in Icelandic. In general, you should be able to communicate in Icelandic at the European Language Passport level B2. Some schools provide English-taught programs to international students. Check the list of schools above to see what English-taught programs are available.

Tuition Fees

Tuition prices in Icelandic higher education institutions vary depending on the institution and program type. The fee is determined on whether the university is state-run or privately owned.

Tuition for master’s degrees is not charged at public institutions; nonetheless, all students must pay a €550 annual registration or administration fee.

PhD students in Iceland do not pay tuition. Undergraduate students, on the other hand, must pay a tuition cost that might range from €3000-€5000 each year. Fees are listed on each school’s website.

Tuition and registration fees at private universities vary by discipline and institution. Students from outside the EU usually pay greater tuition. According to the University of Iceland, students should spend roughly ISK125,540 per month for housing and other living expenses.

Cheap Universities in Iceland

University of Iceland
University of Akureyri
Agricultural University of Iceland
Iceland University of the Arts
Bifröst University

Study and work in Iceland: Can international students work while studying?

International students studying in Iceland are granted work permits. A student may work up to 15 hours per week, but they must obtain a specific work permission in order to use their study permit to work in Iceland.

Can international students stay back in Iceland after graduation?

International students’ residence permits may be renewed for up to six (6) months after graduation to allow graduates to seek employment in their field of expertise. A student who has graduated from an Icelandic university is eligible for a permanent residence permit after a minimum of two years of temporary stay. For more information visit here


Iceland is a small country renowned for its scientific achievements. Because the country only has seven universities, the number of overseas students studying in Iceland is less than 5000. International students in Iceland, on the other hand, find the country exciting.

Iceland’s higher universities offer strong research-based programs. One of the university’s strongest subjects of study is natural sciences. Arts, Business Management, and Sciences are only a few of the courses available at its universities.

International students pursuing master’s or doctoral degrees, regardless of nationality, are exempt from paying tuition, and after completing your studies, you are free to stay in the country for six months to look for work.

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