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Children's Social Life​

  • Birthdays are important to most children. ​
  • Most classes have rules on birthdays and the best way to get information on them is through the parents Facebook group for the class, for example. ​
  • Children in Iceland start visiting their friends and classmates and having friends over at an early age. Some schools have organised friend groups within classes. ​
  • It is natural to accompany children at first on such visits and to obtain the telephone numbers of the friends' parents. ​

Teenagers' Social Life

  • A social life with their peers is important to teenagers.​
  • Leisure centers are operated in districts and municipalities and are places where teenagers can meet. Employees are present when the centers are open. ​
  • In primary school, teenagers often participate in various activities related to their interests, in addition to which entertainment events are held throughout the school year. ​
  • The school camp in Reykjaskóli in Hrútafjörður is for children in 7th grade of primary school. Children stay there for a week, learning, playing, and working.

Secondary schools

  • Children who finish primary school (10th grade) have the right to attend secondary school. ​
  • Secondary schools and colleges offer 3–4-year studies. ​
  • In secondary schools and colleges, matriculation examination can be completed. That is the prerequisite for studying at University. ​
  • In secondary schools it is also possible to finish vocational or trade studies. ​
  • The Ministry of Education, Science and Culture publishes the Icelandic National Curriculum Guide for Secondary Schools on the basis of legislation for that educational level.
  • The state pays all costs related to the operation of state-run secondary schools.​
  • Tuition fees must be paid in private secondary schools. ​
  • Students must buy their own books and pay a confirmation fee. ​
  • Several schools have specific schools/courses for young people of foreign origin. ​
  • Most people who finish primary school choose to attend secondary school to learn more. ​
  • Most jobs in a modern society require education at a secondary or university level. ​
  • The high educational level of nations improves the quality of life of individuals, increases economic growth and creates new jobs. The government encourages young people to obtain an education, both boys and girls. ​
  • Secondary school dropout rates among people of foreign origin are significant in Iceland. It is important for young people to finish their secondary education and to make use of all possible support in their studies. ​

​​Support and Social Life

  • It is natural to ask for and make use of the support that is available. ​
  • There are student counsellors in every secondary school. They can assist people in finding a suitable area of study and provide support for students that are having difficulties with their studies. ​
  • Some schools or associations offer volunteer homework assistance.​
  • A friend system is sometimes in place in the schools, where older students assist new students.​
  • The social life in secondary schools is lively. Several clubs are operated, choirs, drama clubs and entertainment events are held. No alcohol is permitted at any events held by the secondary schools' student associations. ​

 Higher Education

  • People who have finished their matriculation examination from secondary school or college can attend university. ​
  • Official universities in Iceland are the University of Iceland, University of Akureyri, Hólar University College, and Agricultural University of Iceland.​
  • Private universities are Reykjavík University, Bifröst University, and Iceland University of the Arts.​
  • All universities receive state funding in line with the number of students and the composition of courses available, but only private universities may charge tuition fees. ​
  • Some university courses have an entrance exam or only a certain number of students that can continue to the second year. ​
  • In most fields however, the number of students is not restricted and a minimum grade of 5 is required to continue studies. ​
  • Many people complete their university degree in Iceland. Most of them are women. ​
  • All universities have a registration fee, and private universities also have tuition fees. Students pay for all educational materials themselves. ​

Financing University Education

  • The Icelandic Student Loan Fund provides students with student loans for the duration of their studies. The loan is dependent on income and academic progress.
  • Student loans allow people to attend university irrespective of their financial situation or background. ​
  • Many students also work part-time with their studies. ​
  • Student Housing has apartments available for rent to students. The rent there is cheap. There is a waiting list to get a Student Housing apartment.
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