FAQ's (Frequently Asked Questions)
Q: Can I change courses once the semester has started?
Q: Can I choose courses from different study programmes?
Q: Does the University of Akureyri offer scholarships?
Q: How much money do I need for living costs?
Q: How is medical insurance arranged?
Q: Does the University assist me in finding accommodation?
Q: Can foreign exchange students work during their studies?
Q: How is the academic year structured?
Q: When are repeat exams scheduled?
Q: How do I register for classes when I am an exchange/visiting student?
Q: Do I need a temporary residence permit?
Q: When is the application deadline for exchange students?
Q: When does the semester begin?
Q: Are all the courses taught in English?
Q: When is the perfect time for me to arrive in Iceland?
Can I change courses once the semester has started?
Yes, you can see the dates on UNAK‘s calendar for when students have to confirm their registrations for the semester.
Can I choose courses from different study programmes?
Yes, in many cases you can choose courses which are not within your study programme. There are however limitations, e.g. if there are prerequisites.
Does the University of Akureyri offer scholarships?
The University of Akureyri does not provide any scholarships, but you can probably receive a grant from the Erasmus/Nordplus Exchange Programme, when your application is approved. This mobility grant is not meant to cover all living costs, only the differences in costs of living abroad.
How much money do I need for living costs?
The total cost of living in Iceland for an exchange student is approximately 125,540 ISK. A monthly price for a room can range from 35,000 ISK to 50,000 ISK. The remaining budget could count for entertainment, transportation, meals, etc. It will always depend on each student's lifestyle.
All these costs were obtained and calculated on 22 April 2008 based on information published by the office of the Icelandic Student Loan Fund.
How is medical insurance arranged?
The Icelandic social security system is a residence-based system. To be insured, a person must have been registered with a domicile in the national registry for six months. Iceland is a part of the European Economic Area; therefore to be insured in Iceland for the first six months, students within the EU/EEA should bring the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This does not apply to citizens of the Nordic countries as they are automatically insured in Iceland. Citizens from countries outside the EU/EEA can of course obtain medical assistance but must pay in full. They can then seek reimbursement from their own insurance in their country of origin or from their private insurance company.
Does the University assist me in finding accommodation?
The University of Akureyri has campus residences (http://www.festaha.is/english.html) and the International Office has reserved a very limited number of single rooms for foreign exchange students with the "first to apply, first to get" policy. The University has also made agreements with a few guesthouses where international students can rent a room with access to a kitchen, bathroom and laundry facilities. For more detailed information on housing, please contact the International Office.
Can foreign exchange students work during their studies?
Although exchange students are allowed to work, the University of Akureyri does not recommend that students do so. The workload in each study programme is heavy and it is often difficult to combine additional work with your studies.
How is the academic year structured?
The academic year consists of two semesters. The fall semester usually runs from the end of August to mid-December and the spring semester from the beginning of January to the middle of May. There is usually a teaching break of two weeks at Christmas and Easter. At the end of each semester the University offers the opportunity to repeat exams that a student did not pass or during which a student was sick. For exact dates, please check the Academic Calendar.
When are repeat exams scheduled?
Repeat exams take place at the end of each semester. For exact dates, please check the Academic Calendar.
How do I register for classes when I am an exchange student?
A representative from the International Office will process your application and a representative of the Academic Department will register you in the classes you selected. You can always expect to make changes to your first selection of courses. Definite registration takes place after arrival. Students will receive instructions/help from the departmental coordinator on how to register and/or change courses.
Do I need a temporary residence permit?
Nordic citizens intending to stay for less than six months do not need to apply for a residence permit.
Citizens of EEA or EFTA countries intending to stay for less than six months no longer need residence permits, but instead, those individuals now shall register their residence with the National Registry, Þjóðskrá.
Students that are planning to stay longer than six months will have to apply for an extension of residence during their stay in the country.
Further information can be found on the website of the Directorate of Immigration here.
When is the application deadline for exchange students?
15 May for admission to the fall semester starting in August.
15 November for admission to the spring semester starting in January of the following year.
When does the semester begin?
The fall semester begins in mid/late August and the spring semester at the beginning of January. Please check the Academic Calendar
Are all the courses taught in English?
Each semester a number of courses are taught in English. Course descriptions are available here.
When is the perfect time for me to arrive in Iceland?
Each semester begins with an Orientation Programme. These introduction days consist of one to three days and are held shortly before classes begin. It is important to attend this part of the Orientation Programme in order to adjust to your studies and to a new culture, etc. Therefore, we recommend that you arrive in Iceland a day or two before the Orientation Programme starts.