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.

Culture & 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

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

Explore the Programs Available in Iceland