Reykjavík, Iceland

Welcome to Reykjavík, the northernmost capital city of a sovereign state and the smallest big city in the world. With a population of over 130,000 and over 230,000 people in the larger Capital region, almost ¾ of Iceland’s population live in and around Reykjavík.
Iceland is often referred to as a land of fire and ice which one can witness in its extraordinary nature. Europe’s most sparsely populated and second largest island offers unique insights into the relationship between humans and their natural environment. Living just below the Arctic Circle and on top of an active volcanic zone requires its people to live with the extremes that nature throws at them. This is reflected in the Icelandic mindset, where the phrase þetta reddast (“it will all work out okay”) is more than a saying, but the country’s unofficial motto and a way of life. Icelanders always maintain the firm belief that everything will be fine in the end, no matter how big the problems may be.
In this spirit, whatever Iceland may throw at you, don’t forget: þetta reddast!

University Campus

The campus is located conveniently within walking distance from the city centre of Reykjavík. It is served by several public bus lines and near the BSÍ bus terminal that operates one of the privately run airport buses.

Reykjavík is a city to recharge, restore and refuel. It’s a city surrounded by incredible nature – but at the same time, a city full of life. Life in Reykjavík combines the advantages of a small place while also being a capital city and most important urban area in the country. Stunning nature and the sea are never far away, while Reykjavík hosts major cultural events, sports activities, musical events and performances, along with a vibrant nightlife in the pubs and bars.


It is important to keep in mind that Iceland is expensive, and if you are planning to study in Reykjavík you have to consider your budget for living expenses.
The minimum support criteria for an individual living in Reykjavík is ISK 212,694 per month (approx. EUR 1,400.00) according to the Welfare Division of Reykjavík City.
However, this amount does not necessarily reflect actual living costs, which can vary greatly depending on your lifestyle and spending habits.

Rough estimates of living costs for a single person:
– Housing, including utilities: typically ISK 100,000/month.
– Food and daily expenses: ISK 50,000/month.
– Books and other study materials: ISK 40,000/semester.
– Local public transportation: ISK 6,000/month.
– Leisure activities: ISK 30,000/month.


The University of Iceland does not provide or guarantee housing for students. The supply of on-campus housing is limited and students often live off-campus. Reykjavík is an expensive city and monthly rent for an individual is typically from 100,000 ISK (approx 725 EUR) and up. Due to the high demand for student housing in Reykjavík, finding a room or apartment on your own can take up some time and effort. It is important to take this into consideration and start your search early. You may also want to consider looking together with fellow ISLANDS students for shared accommodation.

Leisure Activities

Studying at a university involves more than attending lectures and completing assignments. The University of Iceland is conscious that social life is also an important part of university life. An overview of leisure activities offered through university organisations is presented here.

In the dark and short winter days you may be rewarded with stunning displays of the northern lights, and will come to love the neverending light as mid-summer approaches.
There are few things better for mental, physical, and social health than the outdoors and exercise. The plentiful outdoor pools are a perfect place for that, whatever the weather—and soaking in the hot tub is beyond compare not only during a snowstorm! The city of Reykjavík alone has eight public pools (called Sundlaug), and the rest of the country plenty more even in the remotest towns.

Public Transport 

The University is very conveniently located for public transport and many bus routes have stops close to a number of University buildings. The Icelandic word strætó means ‘bus’. It is, furthermore, easy to get around on foot or by bike.

Language Courses

If you want to learn basic Icelandic to help you with everyday communication situations, you can use the free Icelandic Online courses offered by the University of Iceland. The University now offers six online Icelandic courses based on sound second language acquisition research and innovative instructional practice combined with the relevant technology. The goal is to provide an interesting, entertaining and effective online language learning environment. Icelandic Online allows anyone with Internet access the possibility of participating for free in a global community of learners of Icelandic.