How to Study on Affordable Tuition in Iceland: Application Process and Tuition Fees

Would you like to know how it feels like to study in Iceland? The beautiful island nation has rather a dramatic nickname: it’s popularly known as ‘the land of fire and ice’, which refers to the Island’s impressive variety of natural features.If you were not aware, Iceland is one of the world’s most active volcanic regions, while also having large areas covered in glaciers.

Additionally, Iceland is a sparsely populated island nation in the north west of Europe. It is also well known for its hot springs, fishing industry and high quality of life.

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University Application Process

Note that applications are submitted directly to each university, with requirements and deadlines varying between institutions.

Fortunately, public universities do not charge international students tuition fees, but there is a ‘registration fee’. However, to study on free tuition in Iceland you will have to study in the icelandic language. Note that this fee varies between universities, but for example the University of Iceland currently charges ISK60,000 (about US$470) per year. Private universities charge both tuition and registration fees, which vary depending on the course and institution. Fees are usually higher for students from outside the EU.

The University of Iceland advises students to allow about ISK125,540 (US$980) per month to cover accommodation and other living expenses.

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Student Visa

Depending on your nationality and how long you intend to stay, it may not be necessary to get a visa for Iceland. However, those who intend to study in Iceland for more than three months will need to apply for a residence permit, via the Icelandic Directorate of Immigration. This can be applied for once the student has been officially granted a place at a university in Iceland. Applications take around 90 days to be processed, and students should apply in time to receive their permit before arrival in the country.

Languages in Iceland

The island’s official and main language is Icelandic. Other major languages in Iceland include Danish and English, which are equally widely spoken and are both compulsory subjects at Icelandic schools.

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.

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