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Conversation with Emily on Postsecondary Education in Iceland: International Officer, Stúdentaráð – Háskóli Íslands, University of Iceland (1)

September 1, 2020

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 25.A, Idea: Land of Fire and Ice: Islandia, Snelandia, and Insula Gardari (1)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightjournal.com

Individual Publication Date: September 1, 2020

Issue Publication Date: January 1, 2021

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 962

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract

Emily is the International Officer in the Stúdentaráð – Háskóli Íslands at the University of Iceland. She discusses: personal background or story; individual narrative lead into becoming a part of the University of Iceland; the position of the International Officer at the Stúdentaráð Háskóla Íslands; tasks and responsibilities; prospective international students; and the primary and secondary further information important for attending the University of Iceland.

Keywords: Emily, International Officer, Stúdentaráð – Háskóli Íslands, University of Iceland.

Conversation with Emily on Postsecondary Education in Iceland: International Officer, Stúdentaráð – Háskóli Íslands, University of Iceland (1)

*Please see the footnotes, bibliography, and citation style listing after the interview.*

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: What is the personal background or story for you? 

Emily[1],[2]: I am half Icelandic and half German, but grew up in Sweden. In Sweden I attended the German International School, which quickly gave me insight into the importance of international work and friendships. After graduating, I moved to the Netherlands and took the first year of the Bachelor program Liberal Arts and Sciences. From there I moved to Berlin to work and take some time off school / university to find out which academic field interested me the most.

Jacobsen: How did this individual narrative lead into becoming a part of the University of Iceland?

Emily: The University of Iceland was not my first choice. Even though I had spent most summers of my childhood in Iceland, I never thought I’d move here full-time. In the summer of 2013, I started working as a tour guide in Iceland and did this every summer thereafter. I decided to study psychology in 2017 and got accepted to the VU Amsterdam. I went back to Berlin after spending my summer in Iceland working, to pack my things and get on a train to Amsterdam. Even though this decision seemed appealing, my gut feeling told me to go back to Iceland. So I called the course registration office, luckily I had already applied but never accepted my study offer, and asked if they’d still have me – one week before courses started. They told me yes, given that I’d show up in person by the end of the week to enroll and pay my tuition. Long story short: by the end of the week I had cancelled my plans to go to Amsterdam, booked a Friday flight back to Iceland and was sprinting into the admissions office two minutes before closing. Today, I am very glad I had a change of heart and came to Iceland!

Jacobsen: How did you earn the position of the International Officer at the Stúdentaráð Háskóla Íslands?

Emily: During my three-year program in psychology at the University of Iceland, I was active in my student association and was thereby introduced to student politics. By the end of my studies I applied to the position of the International Officer of the Student Council. Being half Icelandic, but at the same time sort of belonging to the group of international students, I have gained insight into both “worlds” within the university and know some of the challenges that students from other countries might face during their studies. Also, having been an international student at the University of Tilburg in the Netherlands is a great source of inspiration for, for example, the development of the mentor system at the University of Iceland.

Jacobsen: Now, within the remit of the International Officer station at the Stúdentaráð Háskóla Íslands, what tasks and responsibilities come with the position?

Emily: The International Officer of the Student Council acts as a contact person for all international students, both exchange students and those who have moved to Iceland, as well as students of the University of Iceland applying as mentors for exchange students. The International Officer oversees the International Committee, that consists of students of the university, and works closely with the International Office. Together, they organize many events for international students and help them become a part of Icelandic student life. The International Officer also ensures that the rights of foreign students are taken into regard both by the university and the student community.

Jacobsen: As prospective international students look to the University of Iceland, what should they primarily keep in mind about Icelandic culture and attending the university? Even things like demographics, for example, there are only a few hundred Canadians registered in all of Iceland based on the census data.

Emily: The University of Iceland is attracting more and more international students each year, creating a big community of curious travelers who explore the island together. However, due to language barriers, it is sometimes tricky to mix them with the larger group of local students, as some courses are only available in Icelandic. Since the increasing group of international students is quite new to the University of Iceland, it is still adapting to this growing group of international students and will add more courses in English over time. Only last week, the University of Iceland alongside its eight partner universities of the AURORA alliance, have been granted financial aid from the European Commission, which will promote the internationalization at home, as well as mobility of AURORA university students. The University of Iceland has been an active member of the AURORA network, advocating sustainability and research, diversity, inclusion, and societal engagement.

But coming back to international students who are new to the University of Iceland, the advice that I give everyone coming to Iceland is: give it time. Both Icelandic words and friends will come naturally, and you’ll be surprised how many cozy events are happening during the cold and dark winter days. 

Jacobsen: Where can students find the primary and secondary further information important for attending the University of Iceland?

Emily: Both https://english.hi.is/ and http://student.is/node/142 are great sources of information for all students of the university. Otherwise, I recommend liking facebook pages, such as Háskóli Íslands, Stúdentaráð Háskóla Íslands, and International Student Life at the University of Iceland, as well as joining resembling facebook groups.

All international students will also have the opportunity to apply for a mentor, which will help them integrate in the local student community. There will be 1-2 mentors of the University of Iceland overseeing groups of 5-8 international students, which is a great start to finding friends at the university. And I definitely recommend taking part in all activities during the Orientation Days at the beginning of the semester!

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] International Officer, Stúdentaráð – Háskóli Íslands, University of Iceland.

[2] Individual Publication Date: September 1, 2020: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/shi-1; Full Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2020: https://in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/.

Appendix II: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. Conversation with Emily on Postsecondary Education in Iceland: International Officer, Stúdentaráð – Háskóli Íslands, University of Iceland (1)[Online].September 2020; 25(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/shi-1.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2020, September 1). Conversation with Emily on Postsecondary Education in Iceland: International Officer, Stúdentaráð – Háskóli Íslands, University of Iceland (1). Retrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/shi-1http://www.in-sightjournal.com/shi-1.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. Conversation with Emily on Postsecondary Education in Iceland: International Officer, Stúdentaráð – Háskóli Íslands, University of Iceland (1). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 25.A, September. 2020. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/shi-1>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2020. “Conversation with Emily on Postsecondary Education in Iceland: International Officer, Stúdentaráð – Háskóli Íslands, University of Iceland (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 25.A. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/shi-1.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “Conversation with Emily on Postsecondary Education in Iceland: International Officer, Stúdentaráð – Háskóli Íslands, University of Iceland (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 25.A (September 2020). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/shi-1.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2020, ‘Conversation with Emily on Postsecondary Education in Iceland: International Officer, Stúdentaráð – Háskóli Íslands, University of Iceland (1)‘In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 24.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/shi-1>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2020, ‘Conversation with Emily on Postsecondary Education in Iceland: International Officer, Stúdentaráð – Háskóli Íslands, University of Iceland (1)‘In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 25.A., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/shi-1.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “Conversation with Emily on Postsecondary Education in Iceland: International Officer, Stúdentaráð – Háskóli Íslands, University of Iceland (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 25.A (2020):September. 2020. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/cooijmans-1>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. Conversation with Emily on Postsecondary Education in Iceland: International Officer, Stúdentaráð – Háskóli Íslands, University of Iceland (1)[Internet]. (2020, September 25(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/shi-1.

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In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at www.in-sightjournal.com.

Copyright © Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 2012-2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees co-copyright their interview material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

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