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Destination Guides
Study in Iceland

What's it like to study in Iceland? The country has rather a dramatic nickname, ‘the land of fire and ice’, which refers to its impressive variety of natural features. Iceland is one of the world’s most active volcanic regions, while also having large areas covered in glaciers.

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

The country was hit hard by the 2008 global financial crisis, but has seen steady economic recovery since 2010. Recent years have also seen Iceland become increasingly popular as a tourist destination, with travelers enticed both by the stunning natural scenery and the cultural attractions of capital Reykjavík – celebrated for its colorful buildings, vibrant music scene and nightlife.

Fast Facts

  • Europe’s second largest island, after Great Britain
  • Most sparsely populated country in Europe, with about three inhabitants per square kilometer
  • Reykjavík is the world’s most northerly capital city
  • Once ruled by Denmark, became fully independent in 1944
  • Reykjavík means ‘smoky bay’ in Icelandic – referring to the city’s coastal location, and the steam that comes from the natural hot springs
  • Currency is the króna (1 krona = 100 aurar)
  • Home to more than 170 geothermal pools
  • More than 11% of the country is covered by glaciers
  • One volcanic eruption every five years, on average
  • Popular Icelandic musicians include Björk, Sigur Rós and Of Monsters and Men
  • You have to be at least 20 years old to purchase alcohol
  • Iceland has no armed forces
  • At 12,000 sq km, Vatnajökull National Park is the largest national park in Europe
  • 100% of Iceland’s electric power comes from renewable sources, and about 90% of homes are heated by geothermal water
  • Icelanders are among the world’s biggest consumers of cheese