Visit to Akureyri, Iceland

I can definitely recommend visiting Iceland in September.

The small idyllic town of Akureyri has 12.000 inhabitants and is located in Northern Iceland directly by the sea. It is encompassed by mountains already tipped with snow and the ski season takes place right up until late April.

The following faculties offer training at the University of Akureyri: School of Health Sciences, School of Humanities and Social Sciences and School of Business and Science. Furthermore, a unique master´s programme is offered which is of great importance internationally: West Nordic Studies and Polar Law.

For students training to become teachers, all subjects taught in primary schools (from years 1-10) are offered. 

The university was only founded a few years ago, therefore the buildings are bright and welcoming, adequately equipped and up-to-date with technology. However, you cannot rely on the computer and the internet to work all the time. You often have to improvise!

The view of the mountains behind the university is impressive.

    

Over half of the students are enrolled externally and only go to the university a few times over the course of the semester. “Blended Learning” is on the agenda. The lecturers record their lectures and discussions and students mostly work on their tasks from home.

I had the opportunity to spend a few hours in a primary school in Akureyri. All ten year groups were based in a new building with big halls, wide corridors and almost no traditional classrooms. Two year groups are always taught together as a class. They are supervised by a team and teaching support personnel. Integration is currently proving to be the biggest challenge at the university. A few children have difficulties with the language.

The return journey over Rekjavik is highly recommendable.

Mag. Michaela Ziegler

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