What’s it like to study on cheapest tuition in Iceland? This beautiful country has rather an unusual nickname, ‘the land of fire and ice’, which refers to its amazing variety of natural features.If you didn’t know, Iceland is one of the world’s most active volcanic regions, and has large areas covered in glaciers.
It is a sparsely populated island nation in the north west of Europe, and is popular for its hot springs, fishing industry and high quality of life.
Sadly, the country was hit hard by the 2008 global financial crisis, but has since recovered. In recent years, Iceland has grown to become a popular tourist destination, with thousands of travelers enticed both by the stunning natural scenery and the cultural features of the capital Reykjavík –celebrated for its colorful buildings, vibrant music scene and fascinating nightlife.
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University applications and fees in Iceland
Applications are typically submitted directly to each university, with requirements and deadlines varying across universities
It is interesting to note that Public institutions do not charge tuition fees, but there is a compulsory ‘registration fee’. This fee varies between universities, but for example the University of Iceland currently charges ISK60,000 (roughly US$470) per year. Private institutions charge both tuition and registration fees, which varies based on the program and institution. Fees on the other hand are typically higher for students who come from outside the EU.
The University of Iceland tells students to budget about ISK125,540 (US$980) per month inorder to take care of accommodation and other living costs.
Obtaining a visa for Iceland
Based on your nationality and how long you hope to stay, you might be required to obtain a visa for Iceland. However, those who are interested in studying in Iceland for more than three months are expected to apply for a residence permit, via the Icelandic Directorate of Immigration. You will apply for this visa once you have been officially granted a place at a university in Iceland. Applications take 90 days to be processed, and students are encouraged to apply in time to receive their permit before arriving in the country.
Healthcare in Iceland
Once you’ve being a resident in Iceland for six months, you automatically become a member of the national social insurance system, regardless of your nationality. This implies access to healthcare in Iceland at the same fixed rates paid by the indigenes.
Before the six month point, students from EEA countries are able to access services at these same rates, by presenting a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), as proof that they are entitled to healthcare in their own country.
Higher tuition fees will be charged applicants from outside the EEA, and students are encouraged to take out private insurance to cover this.
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Languages in Iceland
The country’s number one and main language is Icelandic. There are also other languages in Iceland such as Danish and English, which are both widely spoken and are both compulsory subjects at their schools.
Note that at universities in Iceland, most undergraduate programs are taught in Icelandic. At the master’s and PhD levels, however, a considerable number of English-led programs are available, particularly at the University of Iceland, Reykjavík University and the University of Akureyri.
Universities in Iceland
At the moment, there are seven low tuition universities in Iceland, of which three are private and four public. The largest universities are the University of Iceland and Reykjavík University, both in the capital, followed by the University of Akureyri in the northern city of Akureyri. International students constitute 5% of all students in Iceland, and universities in Iceland are always keen to attract more international and exchange students. Many, especially the bigger universities, offer a growing number of courses taught fully or partially in English, and there are good support systems in place for foreign students choosing to study on low tuition in Iceland.