Study Abroad in Iceland

This summer, IU South Bend students have a unique, first time opportunity to study abroad in Iceland.

Iceland 1

Iceland is a very unique nation. It is a 38,610 square miles island (roughly the size of Indiana) that has about 332,000 permanent residents (roughly 3x the size of South Bend). Without a standing army, the island nation-state is protected by a small coast guard [1]. Egalitarianism is not only valued, it is practiced and Iceland has one of the lowest income gaps and is frequently ranked in the top three women-friendly nations in the world [2].

During the trip, students will reside in the Hunafloi and Skagfjordur region near Holar University College. Students not only will learn how Iceland maintains a modern economy that places an emphasis on the sustainability of the country’s natural-based resources, but also how it balances this with the fact that it is a nation that is growing as an ecotourist destination.

With the deadline looming (February 1), International Programs has asked the trip leader, Dr. Terri Hebert, the following questions:

International Programs: Why study in Iceland?

Dr. Hebert: “Iceland is such an amazing place, unlike any other place I’ve visited before. From the first time my feet touched the moss found growing on the lava rocks to seeing chunks of ice float past me from thousand-year-old glaciers to walking right up to a bubbling cauldron of some sort of sulphuric mixture, that place captured my senses. Also, Iceland being one of the friendliest and safest parts of the globe eases one’s caution about traveling in today’s world.”

International Programs: What can Iceland teach U.S. citizens about sustainability (or even the larger world)?

Dr. Hebert: “Iceland has weathered rather huge financial challenges and emerged quite strong. This speaks to the creative spirits of Icelanders. It also holds a message for us to consider – about overcoming our own challenges in life. Don’t give up. Don’t quit. Keep looking for possible solutions. And in the midst of it all, remember to be kind and help one another.”

Dr. Hebert: “Right now, Iceland is facing another challenge – that of increasing numbers of tourists, all wishing to see the nature that awaits them there. To accommodate the thousands of people traveling to Iceland, more and more tourist-related buildings and roads are being constructed, but often at the expense of the very thing which draws people – the unspoiled beauty and wilderness. Eco-tourism is a hot commodity. The country is in the midst of finding balance. It is an interesting time to visit and speak with various people affiliated with the changes. Great for business majors, sustainability majors, health care providers, education students, and always art/photography majors!”

International Programs: Is there any other insights, or points that you would like to emphasis?

Dr. Hebert: “If anyone has ever wondered what it would be like to step into the Arctic Circle and see it teaming with wildlife, or visit the place where Game of Thrones is filmed – then this is that moment. Often people think, why should I want to go somewhere in the summer that is freezing? This is a misconception as the summer temps range from the mid-60s in the day to mid-40s at night. The food is very good, too – especially the cheeses and the chocolate.”

Iceland 2

For more information and applications, please click here.


[1] Insight Guides, 2017.

[2] “Best and Worst Countries for Women, from Iceland to the U.S. to Pakistan and Afghanistan.” The Daily Beast (September 18, 2011).

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About Jason U Rose

I am a graduate from IU South Bend with a major in History, and a double minor in European Studies, and Women and Gender Studies. I currently attend Ball State University studying early 20th Century American Cultural and Social History with a subspecialty in Transnationalism and Digital History. I am an avid music collector and I try to go to as many shows as I can. A particular favorite of mine is to visit blues bars in Chicago.

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