Iceland: Renewable Energy, Technology, and Resource Economics (Summer)

“The program gave us a unique opportunity to learn about renewable energy and sustainability through our coursework while simultaneously exposing us to an environment where our knowledge was overwhelmingly applicable. There is nowhere else in the world that allows for such open exploration of renewable energy practices both in and outside of the classroom."

-- Evan Blom, program alum

Study, experience, and understand how Iceland's abundant energy resources are harnessed and managed.

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This program explores all aspects of renewable energy: from its sources in nature, to its technological utilization, to its social and environmental impacts. With lectures from interdisciplinary faculty, students investigate what it means to create a sustainable society, with Iceland serving as the primary case example. Students enjoy extraordinary access to experts, unique experience in the field, and exemplary support from program staff.

Learning from the Icelandic experience
Iceland is a world leader in developing the use of renewable energy. While this is partly attributable to the country's ample endowment of geothermal and hydroelectric resources, Icelanders have also made unique economic choices, valuing the social benefits of energy independence differently than much of the world. Students gain insight from the Icelandic experience that can be applied elsewhere.

Exploring Reykjanes geothermal power plant

Exploring the Westfjords, Reykjavík, and Landmannalaugar
The program is based in the Westfjords region where students will study at the University Centre of the Westfjords and experience life in the tight-knit community of Ísafjörður amid dramatic fjords and mountains.

The program also spends time in Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik, the center of policymaking, where students meet with firms, agencies, and activists shaping the course of renewable energy in Iceland.

During the excursion to Landmannalaugar, students will take in amazing landscapes of Iceland’s highlands and witness powerful geothermal forces

Students on this program gain a thorough and deep understanding of critical topics in renewable energy, technology, and resource economics and policy. The Individual Study Project gives students the opportunity to delve into their own academic interests while conducting research with support from experts in the field. Review complete program syllabi.

Learning Icelandic language and culture
Students become familiar with Icelandic through the language course, designed for learners of all abilities. Learning Icelandic—which is distantly related to English and a language that has changed very little in the thousand years since Iceland was settled—provides additional insights into Icelandic culture and elucidates course topics. Students discover more about Icelandic culture during the homestay in Ísafjörður.

Why study renewable energy in Iceland, the #1 ranked nation on the Environmental Performance Index, as reported in The New York TimesThe SIT Iceland program director explains in her own words.

A conversation with Iceland alumna Nneka Walker (Birmingham-Southern College)
Learn how Nneka is incorporating themes from the program back into her coursework and life in the US.

Costs Dates

Credits: 9

Duration: 7 weeks

Program Base: Ísafjörður

Language Study: Icelandic

Prerequisites: Previous college-level coursework or other significant preparation in engineering, economics, environmental studies, or related fields, as assessed by SIT. Read more...


View Student Evaluations for this program:

About the Evaluations (PDF)

Summer 2013 Evaluations (PDF)
Summer 2012 Evaluations (PDF)
Summer 2011 Evaluations (PDF)

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Mailing Address:
PO Box 676, 1 Kipling Road
Brattleboro, VT 05302 USA

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