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​​Foreign Students​

  • The University of Iceland offers a diploma in Icelandic as a Second Language as well as a BA Icelandic program for foreign students.
  • To enter the diploma program, you must pass the TOEFL exam in English. ​
  • The enter the BA Icelandic program you need a matriculation examination and a good foundation in Icelandic. ​
  • It varies in other schools within the universities whether requirements are made for status assessments in Icelandic or English for foreign students. ​
  • It is best to get an appointment with a student counsellor at the school in question to look at the possibility of studies and/or to have your previous university studies assessed. ​

Assessing Studies and Certificates From Other Countries

  • If you have completed your studies or studied at a foreign school, you can apply to have your studies assessed with the ENIC/NARIC office.
  • If you have a professional title, you will need an operating licence from the relevant Ministry. ​
  • The Europass website has a summary of professional titles in Iceland. See
  • When a formal assessment is made the applicant must hand in an application form, as well as a certified copy of the diploma to ENIC/NARIC who will then respond to the application with a formal letter. ​
  • Authorised vocational education from abroad is assessed at IÐAN education center (except for electronics).

Continuous Education/Adult Education

  • Lifelong education is an increasingly important part of an adult's life. ​
  • Some people graduate from secondary school, vocational education or university later on in life. Others change their occupation and learn something new or add to their secondary education. Many attend both leisure courses and work-related courses every year. ​
  • Technological advancement, new jobs and job automation affect the lives and work of adults. The need to keep up with innovations and adding to their education is great. ​
  • Lifelong learning centers are operated all over the country and offer Icelandic courses, language courses, leisure courses, secondary school level education for adults, etc.
  • Lifelong learning centers also offer free educational and vocational guidance for adults.
  • Special language schools offering Icelandic courses are also operated.
  • Specialised schools like computer schools, massage schools, commercial driver's license courses, accounting courses and more are operated.

The Education and Training Service Centre (ETSC) Study Programs

  • Schools with quality certification from the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture can offer special study programs that are subsidised by the Education Fund and are relatively inexpensive. ​
  • An example of such a program is Menntastoðir where adults learn math, Icelandic and other subjects as preparation for the Keilir Preliminary University Studies or preparatory studies at Reykjavík University. After which, people can apply to university. ​,

  • The study programs are divided into work-related studies and general studies and the curricula can be found on the Education and Training Service Center's website,

Study Programs for Immigrants

  • ETSC study programs specially designed for immigrants are:​
    • Reading and writing in Icelandic, designed for those who need to learn and practice reading and writing, as well as computer training and foundations in Icelandic. ​
    • Icelandic Culture and Society, designed for people with some foundation in Icelandic (level 3-4) with an emphasis on Icelandic studies, social studies and computer training.​
  • Other study programs have sometimes been adapted by the lifelong learning centers for people with Icelandic as a second language. A short vocational training has also been linked to the study programs. ​
  • Job seekers are offered various courses to strengthen themselves in the labour market. The Directorate of Labor oversees those services and is in collaboration with several educators. ​

Skills Assessments(Validation of non-formal and informal learning)

  • Real competence is the combined skills that an individual has acquired in various ways, such as work experience, internships, leisure-time studies, school studies, social work, living abroad and family life. ​
  • A skills assessment is a confirmation and assessment of an individual's real competence and makes skills and knowledge visible by evaluating them against formal education or the needs of the industries. ​
  • A skills assessment is performed in certain predefined professions. It is conducted by lifelong learning centers around the country. ​
  • Requirements are to be 23 years of age or older, and to have at least three years' work experience in the field to be assessed.

 Educational and vocational guidance

  • Study and career counsellors meet the individual on their terms and help them find a direction in their studies or work based on interest, skills and strengths. ​
  • It can be good to talk to a study and career counsellor in order to increase self-awareness, analyse areas of interest, set goals, get information on study programs and receive assistance with job seeking. ​
  • Study and career counsellors often teach study techniques in schools and support students. They also provide services regarding skills assessments. ​
  • Study and career counsellors work on all educational levels. In lifelong learning centers, interviews are free of charge for individuals. ​


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