How to Study in Iceland for Free (8 Steps)

Iceland has always stayed on the radar of many international students. Being an island country in the Northern hemisphere, it does not boast a massive population or any of the wonders of the world, yet it does feature top-class academies and universities. The alumni of the universities can choose to continue their studies in Iceland or to seek employment in one of the local companies. The opportunities are limitless, as the degrees are recognized all over the world. So, in this article, we will go over how to study in Iceland for free.

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 How to Study in Iceland for Free

1. Research the Universities and Programs

Iceland has a fair share of both private and public universities. It is important to research each of the institutions to choose the one that suits your interests best. Consider the subjects you are curious about. Can some of them lead to a successful future career? Research the current and forecasted job opportunities.

Some Icelandic schools, such as the University of Iceland, offer tuition-free education. If you take your time and look through all of the available options, you may seek out other schools and colleges, which might help you to study in Iceland for free.

2. Get in Touch with the Faculty

After a suitable educational institution has been found, send a message, or give them a call. Express your interest in the school and the program you have chosen. If any of the information available online confuses you, inform the staff and ask them to explain it in detail. You will find that, through the conversation, you can expand the knowledge of the school, its history and mission, as well as build your first connection with the academic personnel.

3. Find Affordfable Universities in Iceland

With an average tuition fee of $2,000 for the European Union nationals and $5,000 for those who come from other countries (based on the rates of the Reykjavík University), there is always a room for maneuver. If a university does not offer a tuition-free education program and the price seems too steep, try looking at the other available options. Attending affordable universities in Iceland is a way to study for free in Iceland.

Most likely, you will be able to find something that better suits your particular financial conditions. Also, while reading the university pages, make sure to check the information on the application fees, the price of dormitory accommodation, et cetera. If you are interested, learn about 5 Cheap Universities in Iceland for international students.

4. Prepare the Paperwork Early

It is best to choose a university before you have completed high school. Surely, it is difficult to go through the finals while researching educational institutions in Iceland. The balance between preparing for the exams, trying to improve your GPA scores and gathering information on schools is the challenge most applicants have to overcome. The early start allows you to avoid the last-minute rush some applicants encounter. Take the time to prepare for the entrance exams, pass a language proficiency test, get your vaccinations and visa paperwork ready so that you do not have to worry about it later.

5. Apply for a Scholarship or a Stipend at Iceland Universities

In the present-day academic environment, the students often find themselves confused by an unconventional dilemma: which scholarship or stiped should they choose? If the prior generations frequently struggled to keep up with the education expenses, modern scholars can ask for monetary support from a variety of sources.

Getting scholarships is the most common method of studying in Iceland for free. Firstly, the governments of most countries run support programs that allow the citizens of these countries to receive financial relief when studying abroad. Examples of such countries include South Africa, Brazil, the US, and more. Secondly, there exist international organizations that support students’ ambitions in receiving education abroad. Finally, do not forget about the stipend or the scholarship offered by the school.

6. Apply for Studies

Throughout the application process, showcase your ability and knowledge of the required subjects. Stay active in conversations with the faculty staff. Every student starts as an unknown persona. The people working in the university have a limited image of you. That is the main reason why you must pay such a pristine degree of attention to your resume; it is your job to ensure a positive first impression.

There will be many soon-to-be freshmen applying for the studies. Some with better scores, some having a certain connection to the institution (e.g. their parents have studied there), but you must not fear the competition. Treat it as a challenge you may not be able to experience ever again. One of a kind opportunity to become a student.

7. Work while Studying

If you come to Iceland from a country far away, try to enjoy as much of the fresh sights as is possible. Walk around, explore, read through all the different travel guides, choose the places you are interested in and drive there in the free time.

You must have a work permit to get a job in Iceland, and working while studying can definitely help you achieve your goal of studying for free in Iceland. This does make it more challenging to seek out an opportunity for additional income. It is possible, however, to apply for and receive the work permit. It is normally done through the Directorate of Immigration (more info available here). Having a job in Iceland not only means easier everyday living but also helps to meet the locals and embrace the culture, both working and recreational.

8. Control Your Living Expenses

Iceland is not a cheap country to study in. With an average cost of living of $2,000 per month, it is notorious for being one of the most expensive countries in the world. The fact, on the other hand, does not mean there are no ways for a student to save a dollar or two.

Top tips for saving money in Iceland are as follows: ride a bike instead of a car or a bus; avoid going to food outlets and bars; always consult with your local friends to find out where to eat out, to shop, and to relax. The country offers a high-speed Internet in many public places, so you may not even need to get a connection through an ISP. Finally, it is worth mentioning that many universities offer dormitory rooms and hostel accommodation to the students and getting the type of accommodation can greatly decrease your living costs.


I hope that this article was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Europe Scholarships Page.