Iceland offers a combination of intriguing landscapes from rugged coastlines, glaciers and hot springs to geysers, volcanoes and lava deserts. And then look up to enjoy the spectacular aurora borealis—the Northern lights. No wonder Icelanders enjoy an outdoor life: swimming in hot springs, skiing, and horseback riding. Iceland also offers a rich literature tradition of poetry and sagas to enjoy cold winter nights. Much of the power and heat in this country is generated naturally—90% of Icelandic houses are heated by hot springs,

Icelandic teens have quite a bit of independence and carve out time for soccer, parties, movies, chess and enjoying the outdoors.

A photo posted by bálint zsófi (@bzsoofii) on Sep 5, 2015 at 4:01am PDT

Host Family & Community

Whether you live in the capital Reykjavik or in the countryside,  you’ll be in a coastal community. Some host families live in isolated areas, so you may have to travel a bit to school or to see friends.

School

High school runs from Monday through Friday (8 am to 3 pm). Icelandic, Danish, and English are all required and students choose one additional language to study. The relationship between teachers and students tends to be casual and friendly as a part of a general atmosphere of creativity and support. You can join one of the many clubs at school such as photography, cinema, radio, and choir or do activities like mountaineering, modeling, and cooking.

A photo posted by AFS Iceland (@afsiceland) on Aug 20, 2016 at 12:21pm PDT

Language

Icelandic is the language of Iceland. English, other Nordic languages like Danish, and German are widely spoken. Having a basic knowledge of English will be helpful. AFS will help you find language courses in the first few months and provide materials for you to study before your exchange.

Food

Dinner is the most important meal of the day when the whole family to gets together. Icelanders eat a lot of seafood, lamb, cheese and skyr, the local version of yogurt. Boiled potatoes accompany most meals. Thanks to Iceland’s many greenhouses, a wide range of fresh fruits and vegetables are also available.

Icelandic breakfast, skyr 😊#iceland #exchangeyear

A photo posted by Lily (@__lilinka__) on Sep 17, 2015 at 1:29am PDT

Let AFS guide your intercultural adventure

Go abroad with AFS to discover who you really are, make new lifetime friendships and immerse yourself in a fascinating intercultural experience.
TEEN PROGRAMS (UNDER 18 YEARS OLD)

Our learning program will prepare you for an amazing AFS intercultural experience. The program begins at your home country with a pre-departure orientation and continues with orientations and other supported learning activities and facilitated conversations will help you maximize your experience, cope the challenges of navigating a new culture and community and gain knowledge, skills, and a global understanding, throughout your time abroad, and as you return to you home country. AFS volunteers will be there to support and guide you and your host family through your learning journey abroad.

ADULT PROGRAMS (18 YEARS OR OLDER)

The Global Competence Certificate (GCC) program will support your intercultural learning experience. This state-of-the-art program prepares you to successfully navigate new cultural environments—during your AFSNext experience and long after you finish the program. Online intercultural learning modules combined with in-person sessions help you develop practical and global skills, knowledge and attitudes that employers need and mission-driven organizations believe will help achieve their social impact goals. You will receive your certification upon completion of the training program.   

Explore the Programs Available in Islandia