Wednesday 7. August 2013

A Large Number of Students Study Icelandic

[mynd 1 h]On Monday afternoon August 5 the Icelandic courses at the University Centre formally began. This year the University Centre welcomes the largest group of students so far or a total of 166 students. The students will be living in the Westfjords for the next three weeks studying Icelandic language and culture.

This is a substantial increase from last year when 115 students participated in the Icelandic courses. Due to the large number of students the University Centre has had to expand its contracts with various companies and organizations in the area that service the Icelandic courses such as contracts with bus companies, catering and the local theater company. Because of the increase some students had difficulties in finding accommodation in Ísafjörður but in the end everyone found a roof over their heads for the three week period.

[mynd 2 h]Most of the students, or 85, come to Iceland as Erasmus and Nordplus exchange students and will study at various universities in Iceland during the next academic year. The University Centre of the Westfjords has organized a course for Erasmus and Nordplus students since 2008 so this is the sixth year that the course is held in the Westfjords. The Erasmus and Nordplus exchange students live and study at Hotel Núpur in Dýrafjörður during the course although they also attend classes in Ísafjörður at the University Centre. Other students attend courses at the University Centre, these courses are a three-week beginner’s course, an two week advanced course, a one week beginner’s course and a course on Gísla saga and classical Icelandic. These students are a mix of exchange students that are not coming to Iceland as Erasmus or Nordplus exchange students, students that will attend their master’s studies at the University Centre and other interested students that simply want to learn Icelandic.

In the past few years the University Centre has specialized in organizing summer courses in Icelandic for foreigners and is in a unique position in Iceland when it comes to such course offering. The pleasant increase of students shows that the Icelandic courses at the University Centre have become well established and that they have an opportunity to thrive and prosper even further.