Course descriptions

Photo: Bela Bergemann
Photo: Bela Bergemann
1 of 2

In this three week course learning the language and culture will be the priority. The course will prepare students for daily life in Iceland and participation in the university community. It is therefore ideal for both university students and others that want to be able to participate in daily life in Iceland. The course includes 96 hours of varied and interesting instruction, as well as exciting excursions and day trips.

The students will be taught basic Icelandic and vocabulary through lectures and exercises. They will also achieve reading and writing skills up to CEFR level A1-A2. Conversation exercises will include language games and problem-based learning in real situations. Pronunciation exercises will take many forms.

This is an exciting summer course, in the magnificent surroundings of the remote Westfjords, and will increase students' skills in Icelandic. Participating in everyday life in a small community in the countryside is an especially pleasant way to get a feeling for Icelandic society.

The University Centre of the Westfjords has several years of experience in hosting field schools for foreign students and offering courses in Icelandic language and culture. The University Centre also offers an international, cross disciplinary master's program in Coastal and marine management.

For more information please contact

Photo: Bela Bergemann
Photo: Bela Bergemann

The course begins on Monday evening, 30 July 2018, with an orientation, and concludes with a final party on Friday evening, 17 August 2017. August 18 is a travelling day. The 2016 schedule will give you an overview over the course. 

As you typically need to spend one overnight in Reykjavík on the way to Ísafjörður from abroad (see Getting from Reykjavík), you should book your flight to Iceland so that you arrive in Reykjavík no later than the evening of  29 July 2018 (Sunday). Please note that any overnight stay in Reykjavík is your own responsibility.

One of five classes that attended the Icelandic Summer School in 2008. Photo: Manuel Reitter.
One of five classes that attended the Icelandic Summer School in 2008. Photo: Manuel Reitter.

The preliminary schedule found in a link below gives you an idea of what each day will be like. Each morning, you begin with traditional classroom instruction, where you work through Icelandic grammar and vocabulary. In the afternoon the teaching takes on different forms with sessions focusing on specific themes. We offer a wide variety of topics and teaching methods including group work, problem-based-learning, self-directed learning, and conversation and pronunciation practice. In the evenings, films and lectures in simple Icelandic are presented. In all, there are 39 hours of class teaching and 50 hours of other teaching.

The course focuses on your ability to communicate and therefore we will not focus on grammar training. Instead, we want to give you the opportunity to use the Icelandic that you learn in the course immediately.

2017 schedule

Classroom learning in the morning, Mon/Tue - Thur/Fri, 09-12:
 Basics of grammar and vocabulary taught through lectures and exercises. Exercises in reading and writing skills up to CEFR level A1/A2/.

Teaching in the afternoon, 14-16 or 16-18:
 In the afternoon we offer a variety of teaching, including lectures, choir, pronunciation, conversation, language games and  problem-based learning. A detailed description of this teaching will be available at course start.

During week III there will be a focus on Gísla saga. You will be introduced to the famous saga in simple Icelandic, and you will watch an acclaimed stage version of Gísla saga, performed as a one-man production by Elfar Logi Hannesson.  A visit to one of the settings of the saga, where you will have an opportunity to use your Icelandic, will give you a strong impression of the place.