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Exchange in Reykjavik, Iceland

Hello! My name is Jaydon king, and I am doing a Bachelor of Marine Biology. I decided to go on an exchange and used my free electives to study at the university of Iceland in Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland.

I currently live in student housing where I have a shared kitchen but a nice private room with a private bathroom attached. I am paying around 850-900 Australian dollars a month in rent which is a lot cheaper than anywhere else in Reykjavik. They have a gym which is very good and is only 50 AUD a semester that includes an indoor sports hall and a sauna.

Because I am using my free electives, I was able to choose subjects with quite a lot of freedom, 60% of my subjects here needs to be within the natural science department but then I am free to choose any other subjects. My subjects are mainly geology and geography subjects such as map design and natural hazards but I’m also doing some language and tourism subjects too. The teaching styles here are very similar to UTS but maybe a little more relaxed. They use Canvas so it’s very familiar and easy to understand as all my subjects are in English and almost everyone in Iceland can speak English. They have both lectures and tutorials with a few excursions which are often out in the nature. One of the subjects I am doing started with a 4-day hike in the southern highlands which was one of the most amazing experiences I have done in my life.

The university of Iceland is cool as it’s a big destination for exchange students, so you will meet people from all over the world. The university is very good at making you feel welcome as they host many events such as bar crawls and trivia nights, I highly recommend attending these nights as you will meet many new friends. Most exchange students are in the same mindset so while you may go to classes during the week, every weekend there are people going on road trips around Iceland in which there is often space to join. Discovering Iceland is an incredible experience, you will see the most amazing things that you wouldn’t see anywhere else in the world and is truly a unique country, especially if you want to see the northern lights.

If you do decide to go to Iceland for exchange, I do have some recommendations. Iceland is one of the most expensive places in the world so you need to be prepared, getting the exchange loan was crucial to me and I would suggest applying for it. You can sometimes be limited in subjects as there are some only open to third years so if you want a more relaxing subject selection it may be better to go in your third year. You should apply for everything as early as you can, especially for student housing as it can competitive. Getting to Iceland early is a good idea so you have time to sort things out especially as most of you would need to get a student visa before you leave. Some students have gotten jobs here to help pay for some things which can be beneficial as traveling around Iceland can be quite expensive. However, my time here has been amazing, and I am very glad I chose to go to Reykjavik, if you decide to do the same you definitely won’t regret it.

Jaydon King

Bachelor of Marine Biology

Global Exchange

University of Iceland

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