Icelandic is the language of Iceland, spoken by the 330.000 inhabitants of Iceland. It’s related to the other Nordic languages, and is closest to Faroese. It is famed for being an intensely conservative language not having changed greatly since Iceland’s settlement in 874AD. It also has a reputation for being particularly difficult to learn. Icelandic can appear daunting at first, but with a lot of practice and some hard work it is doable. And what better opportunity to learn this beautiful language than while you’re studying here? Whether you’re here for a year exchange or for a full 3 year programme there’s undoubtedly some Icelandic you can make use of. But don't worry you never fully manage to master it, English is spoken fluently and widely in Iceland.
Icelandic Online is an online language programme run by the University of Iceland which teaches the basics of Icelandic, and is a good introduction to the language before you arrive.
The University of Iceland
The University of Iceland offers more intensive courses for those who want to master the Icelandic language by offering a full BA programme in Icelandic as a second language, and a shorter practical Icelandic for International Students course. More information on both can be found here.
The University of Akureyri
The University of Akureyri offers a 6ECTS course every semester in Icelandic for its international degree seeking students and exchange students. The focus is on giving students a comprehensive insight into the Icelandic language, especially written and spoken Icelandic.
Mímir is a learning centre which offers courses in beginners, intermediate and advanced Icelandic for foreigners throughout the year. You can find more information on their website, here.
University of Iceland - The Árni Mangússon Institue
The Árni Magnússon Institute organises an international summer course in modern Icelandic and Icelandic culture in July every year. It is open to anyone but it primarily intended towards university students of languages and literature.
University of Iceland and University of Minnesota
This joint course is offered to students in North America. It consists of three weeks taught at UoM and then three weeks tuition at the University of Iceland. It is also run by the Árni Magnússon Institute.
University of Iceland and Nordkurs
This summer school ordinarily runs in June and is open to Nordic students. It is a 4 week course concentrating on Icelandic language and culture, also run by the Árni Magnússon Institute.
This course is for young people of Icelandic descent living in North America. Students will learn Icelandic language, and about Iceland’s history and culture as well as connecting and strengthening ties with relatives in Iceland.
The University Centre of the Westfjords
The University Center of the Westjfords hold a number of summer schools in Ísafjörður and Núpur, of varying lengths and intensities.
- Beginners A1-A2 is a three week course designed to meet the needs of students who want to learn Icelandic and experience life in a small Icelandic town.
- Crash Course A1 is a one week course in Ísafjörður held three times a year, in winter, spring and summer. It is designed for students who want a short, intense instruction in Icelandic language before going on to study In Iceland.
- Intermediate A2-B1 is a two week course is designed for students who already have a basic knowledge of Icelandic and wish to improve it.
- Advanced B2 – are two one week courses which emphasis special advanced Icelandic skills which students can combine and take both courses if they wish, or just choose one. These courses are designed for prior learners of Icelandic.