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International Summer School in Modern Icelandic Language & Culture

Dates: July 131, 2024
Application Deadline: February 15 of each year

Each year the Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies, in cooperation with the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Iceland, organizes an International Summer School in Modern Icelandic Language & Culture. Two kinds of programs are offered: on-campus and online. On-campus classes are held in Reykjavík, the capital of Iceland, at the University of Iceland campus near the city center. Online language classes are held as live streams via Zoom, and recordings of online lectures on culture, history, art and literature are accessible through the university's intranet.

Although the summer school is primarily intended for university students of language and literature, anyone interested in the language and culture of Iceland is welcome to apply. Applicants must have completed at least one year of university level studies. Additionally, applicants may not be residents of Iceland.

Approximately 40 participants are accepted to the on-campus program and approximately 10 to the online program. Language classes are taught in two groups, organized around the participants’ previous knowledge of Icelandic, which will be determined through an online placement test given before the start of the summer school (see Prerequisites below).


Completion of the course Icelandic Online 1, which is available free of charge on the website of the Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies, is a prerequisite for participation.

Participants’ Icelandic language skills will be determined with an online test following the deadline for applications. The placement test takes about one hour and must be completed within a 10-day period after it opens in late February or early March. All applicants will receive information about it via e-mail in due time.

The application deadline is February 15 each year. All applicants will be contacted by e-mail with further instructions after this date.

Course Description

Participants will receive 80 hours of instruction in language and cultural studies organized into four classes per day. This breaks down as 70 hours of instruction in grammar, language exercises and reading, and 10 hours of lectures about modern Icelandic society and culture.

As part of the on-campus program, two excursions are planned to sites of historical and geographical significance. In addition, participants will have the opportunity for guided tours at the National Museum, the Culture House, and the Alþingi parliament. (Note that these plans are subject to change due to COVID-19 restrictions). 

The online program, however, does not include the excursions and museum visits.

Classes are scheduled five days a week, Monday through Friday, in the morning and early afternoon. Attendance is mandatory. Note that restrictions due to COVID-19 may be in place during the program.

Teaching for the online program is organized according to the different time zones of participants, but most likely they will be scheduled in the afternoon hours in Iceland, which will enable participants from other time zones to take part during the morning (Americas) or afternoon/evening/night (Europe and Asia).

The language of instruction is primarily Icelandic, but English will serve as a secondary teaching language.

Participants in the on-campus program have access to the university's computer labs during the day. The university's wireless network will also be available for them. 

Participants in the online program will need to ensure that their own technology is in working order, including a PC and a reliable Internet connection as well as peripherals like headphones, microphone and webcam.

A certificate will be granted upon successful completion of the on-campus summer school (the program's credit may count up to 10 ECTS at the BA level). However, for the online summer school a certificate will be granted upon successful completion of the program and the credits may count up to 5 ECTS at the BA level. In order to successfully complete the program participants must score a minimum grade of 5 (on the scale of 1 to 10 where 1 is the lowest grade and 10 is the highest) on the oral and written exam. 

Tuition Fees

The tuition fee for the on-campus program is approximately EUR 750, while the fee for the online program is approximately EUR 550 (please note these amounts are subject to change and based here on calculation as of Nov. 29, 2023). The tuition fee for the on-campus program covers instruction, lectures, photocopied teaching materials and excursions. The tuition fee for the online course covers instruction, lectures and online teaching materials. Please note that tuition fees are non-refundable.

Register for program with credit card payment here.

On-campus registration fee for International Summer School 2024 (to be advised later).

Online registration fee for International Summer School 2024 (to be advised later).

Accommodation for International Summer School 2024 (to be advised later).


For the in-person program, basic and varied accommodation, usually with shared facilities (including spacious but shared bedrooms) can be arranged for those who wish. (Availability may be limited and we may not be able to accommodate all participants, but we will try to assist everyone).

Participants arriving early will need to arrange for their own accommodation until July 1, when the summer school accommodation will become available. This accommodation will be available until noon on August 1.

Meal plans are not available, but lodgers in university accommodation have access to kitchen facilities. Please note that smoking is strictly prohibited.

The fee for summer school accommodation is the equivalent of about EUR 820 (the fee is subject to change as the calculation was made in May 2023). Payment is due in ISK at the same time you confirm your registration in the summer school. Payment is made online using the institute’s secure system (see link above).

Please note that summer school accommodation is for participants only. It is not possible to accommodate family and friends of participants.

Participants will receive their address and directions to their accommodation along with the rest of their course information before arriving in Iceland. Keys will be provided upon arrival by either the owner of the accommodation or the institute’s staff.

Application form