Iceland offers a combination of intriguing landscapes from rugged coastlines, glaciers and hot springs to geysers, volcanoes and lava deserts. And then look up to enjoy the spectacular aurora borealis—the Northern lights. No wonder Icelanders enjoy an outdoor life: swimming in hot springs, skiing, and horseback riding. Iceland also offers a rich literature tradition of poetry and sagas to enjoy cold winter nights. Much of the power and heat in this country is generated naturally—90% of Icelandic houses are heated by hot springs,

In general the atmosphere in Icelandic schools is creative and supportive. During the school day you’ll have a great opportunity to make new friends and you’ll also have the option to join a variety of school clubs including photography, sports, mountaineering, and cooking.

A photo posted by bálint zsófi (@bzsoofii) on

Host Family & Community

Whether you live in the capital Reykjavik or in the countryside,  you’ll be in a coastal community. Some host families live in isolated areas, so you may have to travel a bit to school or to see friends.


High school runs from Monday through Friday (8 am to 3 pm). Icelandic, Danish, and English are all required and students choose one additional language to study. The relationship between teachers and students tends to be casual and friendly as a part of a general atmosphere of creativity and support. You can join one of the many clubs at school such as photography, cinema, radio, and choir or do activities like mountaineering, modeling, and cooking.

A photo posted by AFS Iceland (@afsiceland) on


Icelandic is the language of Iceland. English, other Nordic languages like Danish, and German are widely spoken. Having a basic knowledge of English will be helpful. AFS will help you find language courses in the first few months and provide materials for you to study before your exchange.


Dinner is the most important meal of the day when the whole family to gets together. Icelanders eat a lot of seafood, lamb, cheese and skyr, the local version of yogurt. Boiled potatoes accompany most meals. Thanks to Iceland’s many greenhouses, a wide range of fresh fruits and vegetables are also available.

Icelandic breakfast, skyr 😊#iceland #exchangeyear

A photo posted by Lily (@__lilinka__) on

Let AFS guide your intercultural adventure

Year Exchange PROGRAM

Program Date: August 17, 2018 – June 16, 2019
Birth Date Range: February 17, 2000 – December 17, 2002

During your time in Iceland you’ll have the opportunity to make lots of new friends, learn a new language, and gain an intimate understanding of this ancient and rich culture. By living with a host family and attending a local school, you’ll be completely immersed in Icelandic society, which is extremely progressive and egalitarian.

Program dates may vary and are meant to help with general scheduling only.
All programs, prices, and travel dates are subject to change without notice.
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and programs are filled first-come, first-serve.

Apply Now!