• 21 FEB 15
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    Iceland

    Iceland

     Basic Information about Iceland

     Iceland is an island with an area of 103,000 km2 (39,756 sq. miles) in North Europe, the second largest island in the North Atlantic Ocean. Its highest peak, Hvannadalshnjúkur, rises to 2,109 m above sea level, and over 11 percent of the country is covered by glaciers, including Vatnajökull, the largest glacier in Europe.

    Situated on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, Iceland is a hot spot of volcanic and geothermal activity; 30 post-glacial volcanoes have erupted in the past two centuries. Natural hot water supplies much of the population with cheap, pollution-free heating, and rivers are harnessed to provide inexpensive hydroelectric power.

    Iceland is the most sparsely populated country in Europe, with an average of about three inhabitants per square kilometre. Almost four-fifths of the country is uninhabited, the population being limited to the coast and the lowlands plains.

    Iceland, even though its name suggests otherwise, has a relatively mild coastal climate. The average summer temperature in Reykjavik is 10 degrees in July, with highs averaging 35 degrees. The average winter temperature in Reykjavik is about 0 degrees.

    The first permanent settlers in Iceland were Norsemen from Scandinavia, arriving in the late 9th Century, and Celts from the British Isles. The language was Old Norse from the outset, but there are traces of Celtic influence in some of the Eddaic poems, in peoples’ names and place names, and even in the appearance of present-day Icelanders. Althingi, the world’s oldest functioning legislative assembly, was established in the year 930 AD.

    Iceland is a land of contrasts, fire and ice. Reykjavík, the capital, may not be the largest city in the world but there you can find everything that bigger cities offer today. Whether it is modern Icelandic design you search, designer boutique or the typical low prize brands you van do some good shopping. In Reykjavík you can also find quality restaurants and a vivid night live.

    If it is nature you seek you will not be disappointed. As the land is densely populated and unpolluted it is easy to find peace and quiet in the midst of extraordinary magical landscape.

    But you can also find lots of opportunity adventure in Iceland; spurting geysers, glaciers and waterfalls offer endless possibilities for an exciting adventure either in the sun or in snowfall.

    The Higher Education System

    The Icelandic educational system is divided into four levels:

    • Pre-school level: up to 6 years of age
    • Compulsory school: primary and lower secondary school in a single structure, 6-16 years of age
    • Upper secondary school: 16-20 years of age
    • Higher educational: aged 20 and older

    Education in Iceland has traditionally been organized within the public sector, and there are very few private institutions in the school system. Almost all private schools receive public funding.

    The Icelandic Parliament is legally and politically responsible for the educational system. It determines its basic objectives and administrative framework. All education comes under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, with the exception of a few specialized schools.

    The Icelandic higher educational system dates back to the foundation of University of Iceland in 1911. The University of Iceland remains the principal institution of higher learning in Iceland, but over the last three decades, new institutions of higher education have emerged, and there are currently seven institutions of higher education operating in Iceland.

    Scholarships

    Most scholarships are granted in the framework of university or institutional co-operations. Students may then contact the office of International Relations of their respective universities to get more information about the scholarships available. If you are interested in studying in Iceland and if you are looking for financial support/Scholarship, we strongly recommend that you reach our counselor who would assist you to find all the information on available scholarships (section Study & Research in Iceland). Our aim is to make it easier for those interested in studying in Iceland as well as those providing assistance and advice in ESC’s office to find details of existing grant programmes and to guarantee that the information about these programmes is always up to date.

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