There is an old Icelandic proverb that sums up this country's attitude towards education rather beautifully; "Better wise language than well-combed hair". Without even trying, it manages to sum up perfectly the priority put on education here.
The University of Iceland does not charge tuition fees, but the annual registration fee is ISK 75,000. Deadlines and application processes can vary, depending on applicants' citizenships and the type of studies applied for.
In general, for bachelor level education, an applicant in Iceland needs to have completed a high school examination/matriculation exam or equivalent. Higher education institutions may, under their own discretion, take applicants without such an examination if they deem them to have a comparable level of maturity, knowledge and experience for the course they are applying to. For some subjects, however, there may be additional entry requirements and/or entrance exams set by the university. Typically, these are in subjects such as the medical sciences, economics, and law.
Students enrolling in post-graduate education should possess a good bachelor’s degree in a subject that corresponds closely to the post-graduate degree being applied for.
Admission requirements can differ between universities. There is no central admissions system in Iceland and applicants must apply directly to the university. Application deadlines for international students differ between universities but usually fall in the spring. Some universities also require an application fee for certain international students.
No matter the reason, paying high tuition fees can be a source of stress for many. However, there are many options for financing your studies, including the use of scholarships. There are various scholarship opportunities available for international students looking to study in Iceland. Depending on your country of origin and the level of studies, there are different options for funding. To explore what scholarship options are available, check this scholarship database.
EU/EEA/Swiss citizens are not required to obtain a visa but need to register with the local authorities within 90 days of their arrival. Generally, all non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens must hold a student visa along with a residence permit. The visa has to be obtained before traveling to Iceland. Upon arrival in Iceland, you are able to apply for a residence permit.