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Skoða vefinn á Íslensku

Information for exchange and international students

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Welcome to the Iceland University of the Arts

The three main values of the Iceland University of the Arts are curiosity, understanding, and courage, all of which you will need as you embark on a new phase of your life in a new country. On this page you will find some information to help you navigate on this journey.

IUA Campuses

Department of Architecture
Department of Design
University Office
International Office
Department of Fine Art
Department of Performing Arts
Department of Arts Education
Studios for dance/performing arts
Department of Music

Borgartún 1 
Film department


Orientation days are held during the first week of every semester. The programme is organised by the Student Services and the International Office. It includes introductory meetings, campus tour, crash course in Icelandic and a reception. We encourage all new students to take part in these activities wich serve as a platform for students to meet each other and a tool towards adapting to a new environment. Further information about the programme and schedule will be sent by email to all new students in mid August.

Accommodation and Cost of Living

Student accommodation is not provided at the IUA. Most students find rooms/apartments with private landlords in the city or through rental services. A Facebook group is set up for students to exchange information about housing. Students may be entitled to housing benefits. More information here.
It is important to keep in mind that Iceland is expensive and you have to consider your budget for living expenses. The published minimum-support criterion of the Welfare Division of Reykjavík City is ISK 180,550 per month for an individual.  However, this amount does not necessarily reflect actual living costs, which can vary greatly depending on your lifestyle and spending habits.

Here are rough estimates for an individual living in Reykjavík:
Housing, including utilities: ISK 130,000/month and up
Food and daily expenses: ISK 56,000/month and up
Local public transportation: ISK 6,000/month and up
Leisure activities: ISK 30,000/month and up

Registration and Student Residence Permits

Citizens from EU/EEA/EFTA countries do not need to obtain a student residence permit to study in Iceland. Full-time students staying in Iceland for longer than six months, should register with the Registers Iceland. Through this application (A-271 (EU-nationals / A-257 Nordic nationals) you will receive an Icelandic ID number “kennitala”.
Exchange students staying for less than 6 months, are not required to register their legal address in Iceland. Should you need to obtain an Icelandic ID number (e.g. in terms of employment), can obtain a System ID number through the Iceland Revenue and Customs (through application form RSK 3.30).
Citizens of countries outside the EU/EEA/EFTA area must apply for a residence permit in Iceland if they intend to stay longer than 90 days. This applies also to Erasmus students who do not hold an EU/EEA/EFTA passport. A residence permit in another EU/EEA country is not valid for a study period in Iceland exceeding 90 days.
Please note that the process of obtaining a student residence permit takes time and effort so we urge you to read the information and instructions on the website of the Directorate of Immigration carefully.

Financial Support

The IUA does not offer scholarships but students can look into whether they are eligible for support from the Icelandic Student Loan Fund.

Health Insurance

Everyone who has been legally resident in Iceland for six months automatically becomes a member of the Icelandic social insurance system, regardless of nationality.
Citizens of countries outside the EU/EEA/EFTA are required to obtain private insurance during the time they are waiting to become health insured in the social insurance system. Please note! Students will only become legal residents once their resident permit card has been issued. For information on the exact day you become insured in the social insurance system, please contact after you have received your resident permit card.
Citizens from EU/EEA/EFTA countries are advised to apply for entering the social insurance system upon arrival. Further information here.


EU/EEA citizens must present their European Health Insurance Card when using healthcare services in Iceland.
There are 15 Healthcare Centres in the capital area where you can seek medical assistance. There are also late afternoon walk-in hours during weekdays for those without an appointment.
The medical service provider Læknavaktin operates outside opening hours, on weekends and public holidays. Tel. 1700 and 1770.
Dental services in Iceland are provided at private dental practices. Dental Emergency Care is provided at Tannlæknavaktin.
Please note that dental services are not part of the public health insurance system.
The accident and emergency unit for accidents, acute illness, poisoning and serious injuries is located in Landsspítalinn University Hospital, Fossvogur. Tel. 543 2000.
Emergency Number: 112

Transport in Reykavík

To get around Reykjavík you can use the public transport system strætó. If you are planning to use the bus on a daily basis you can purchase a student bus card. Students who have obtained a “kennitala” can purchase a student card here. Exchange students who are only staying for one semester and have therefore not obtained a “kennitala” have to purchase their student card at the Strætó office, Hestháls 14, (bus stop Vesturlandsvegur/Viðarhöfði). Remember to bring your IUA student card with you or a certificate of enrollment.

Learning Icelandic

At the Iceland University of the Arts, the main language of instruction at the BA level is Icelandic, while all MA studies are conducted in English (except Arts Education and Vocal/Instrumental Education). Though you will find that you can quite easily get away with speaking English in Iceland, we encourage you to learn our language as a part of your experience of living in Iceland.The IUA offers Icelandic courses in both autumn and spring semester. These are courses in spoken and written Icelandic, focusing on basic social situations, everyday needs and simple social transactions which students experience in their everday life in Iceland. Students will also gain an understanding of the basic features of the grammar of Icelandic and get a deeper insight in Icelandic culture and society. Please, not that the places may be limited so make sure to register on time. Information about schedule and how to register will be sent by email to all international students at the beginning of the semester.

The University Centre of the West Fjords offers an annual intensive course in August on different levels.

Support, services and contact information

In addition to the orientation days, we offer information, advice, support and guidance throughout the year. This includes a beginners course in Icelandic (autumn and spring semester) and advanced level (spring), field trips to cultural institutions, general information on study progress, information and advice on making mobility abroad (for studying or training), as well as student and career counselling.

Departmental Coordinators

For information on study progress or learning agreements (exchange students), please contact the relevant study department:
Architecture & Design: Hafdís Harðardóttir:
Fine Art: Guðrún Lárusdóttir:
Music: Sunna Sigurðardóttir:
Theatre and Performance: Marinella Arnórsdóttir:

Student Counsellor

Students can make an appointment with the student counsellor regarding educational and personal matters.
Ragnhildur Ísleifs Ólafsdóttir,

International Office

For information on mobility abroad, scholarships and partner institutions:


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