Icelandic Government Scholarships

The Icelandic Ministry of Education, Science and Culture awards annually a number of scholarships for studies in Icelandic as a second language at the University of Iceland, Reykjavík. The scholarship program is administrated by the Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies. Approximately 15 scholarships are available for the period from September 1st 2014 to April 30th 2015. The scholarships are intended for students of modern Icelandic. Students who have completed at least one or two academic years of university study and with some prior knowledge of Icelandic or other Nordic language will be given priority. Preference will, as a rule, be given to a candidate under 35 years of age.

Icelandic as a second language is comprised of both theoretical and practical fields of study. On the one hand it is a language course, where students are trained in speaking, reading and writing modern Icelandic. On the other hand it delves into the more academic aspects of the Icelandic language, literature and history of Iceland. Subjects covered include morphology, syntax and phonetics of modern Icelandic. The students read both old and modern literature and learn about the history of Iceland from settlement to modern times. Additionally, students are introduced to translations. 

Nationals of the following countries are eligible

Czech Republic
Faeroe Islands
United Kingdom
United States of America
How to apply

Students from these countries, with exception of students from USA and Canada, can apply directly to the Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies, Sigurður Nordal Office, Box 1220, 121 Reykjavík, Iceland. Application must be made on a special application form:

Application should include the following documents (in English, Icelandic or other Scandinavian languages):

  • CV
  • university transcripts / copies of diplomas
  • two letters of recommendation
  • language certificate

The applications must reach the Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies by February 1, 2014. Email applications are not accepted.

A special committee in Iceland evaluates the applications and its decision will be announced to the candidates by March 2014.

If a scholarship recipient wishes to extend the scholarship for an additional year he/she has to apply to the Institute before February 1. No one will be granted a scholarship for more than three times.

Please notice that for the application to be valid and complete, applicants also need to apply to the University of Iceland before February 1, 2014. For further information go to:

The Scholarship

The scholarship covers registration fees at the University and a monthly stipend of approximately ISK 130.000 – that should cover room and board for one person, payable at the beginning of each month, September to April. A room will be available for rent in one of the University dormitory.

It is important that grant recipients arrive timely in Iceland. The autumn term begins in the end of August. An introductory session with new students will be held before the beginning of the academic year where the organisation and requirements for the study programme will be presented. A special introductory session for those who want to take the admission tests will be held at the end of August.

Icelandic as a second language, at the University of Iceland, School of Humanities

Information on the current programmes of study and examination procedures is available at the University’s website (the programme may be subject to change).

As a rule, foreign students holding the Icelandic Ministry of Education, Science and Culture scholarship are expected to follow the programme in line with their previous knowledge of Icelandic, whether they intend to complete the BA-degree or not.

The first-year in Icelandic as a second language, B.A. programme, is designed for students with some prior knowledge in the language. The candidates must have a working knowledge of English, since English will serve as a second language in teaching.

Students that begin their studies in autumn are required to pass exams at the end of the term. The student must pass these exams to be able to continue their studies for the spring term of the programme and it is expected that students pursue their studies diligently to the end of spring term.

Students with considerable prior knowledge of Icelandic may move directly into the second year by passing examinations held in August.

Icelandic Government Scholarships