Háskóli Íslands (University of Iceland), Iceland

The University of Iceland, or Háskóli Íslands in Icelandic, was founded in 1911. It is Iceland’s oldest and largest higher education institution. Located mostly in central Reykjavík, the University has about 14,000 students and welcomes more than 1,300 international students each year.

University of Iceland website

Who can go?

Postgraduate research students (at PhD level) in the School of International Relations.

You can go for a semester or a full academic year. You should discuss precise periods with your St Andrews supervisor and host as periods may be flexible but must be at least 3 months in duration to meet Erasmus+ programme requirements.

The exchange is run by the School of International Relations. Interested students should discuss the opportunity with their supervisor and contact the School’s study abroad coordinator.

How to apply

You should discuss the opportunity with your supervisor and request an application form from your School’s study abroad coordinator

If you are selected to participate in the exchange, St Andrews will nominate you to the University of Iceland. You will be required to complete the University of Iceland’s application process.

Please apply in a suitable time for your application to be considered and processed before the nomination deadline for University of Iceland. The deadlines are:

  • 15 April for Semester 1
  • 15 September for Semester 2.

Current students can contact study abroad coordinators to find out more. 

Your studies

Before arriving at the University of Iceland, you will discuss and get approval for your research plan from your supervisor and your School’s study abroad coordinator. 

Each academic year at the University of Iceland is divided into two semesters, each lasting thirteen weeks:

  • Semester 1: mid-August to third week of December
  • Semester 2: early January to June

There are slight differences in the academic calendar in the different faculties. Students are issued with a university ID card and have full access to the university network, library facilities, computer rooms and study areas. 

Passports and visas

You should ensure that your passport is valid for the duration of your trip, and for at least six months after you return to the UK. You should scan your passport and keep a copy for your records.

If you are a European Union national, you will not require a visa and may enter the Schengen countries with your passport or national identity card. Please note that you may have to comply with legal obligations, such as registering your address with the local authorities.

If you are an international student who has a visa to study in the UK, and you have any questions about the implications of studying or working abroad whilst matriculated at St Andrews, you should consult Student Services by emailing advint@st-andrews.ac.uk. You can also check our Passports and visas page for further information.

About the University

The University of Iceland, or Háskóli Íslands in Icelandic, was founded in 1911. It is Iceland’s oldest and largest higher education institution. Located mostly in central Reykjavík, the University has about 14,000 students and welcomes more than 1,300 international students each year.

The Faculty of Political Science is an independent faculty within the School of Social Sciences. It offers doctoral degrees in Gender Studies and Political Science. The Faculty of Political Science is also well-known for its research expertise and teaching in International Affairs, Journalism, Nordic Studies, Public Administration and Small States Studies.


As an exchange student, you will not pay tuition fees to your host university, and will only be liable for your normal St Andrews tuition fees.

Research Council students should make sure that they have their funding body’s permission to study abroad, notifying them particularly for any mobility grants that they may be receiving.


The Office of International Education assists accepted exchange students in finding accommodation for the academic year/semester. Students will be given access to a database with available accommodation. Students can then choose the accommodation they prefer from that list and contact the chosen landlord directly. All accepted students will get access to this website on the same date.

Types of housing available:

  • Rooms in student dormitories (very limited number)
  • Rooms in guesthouses with access to kitchen and bathroom
  • Shared apartments/ flats with other students
  • Rooms in private houses

Please note that St Andrews is unable to guarantee housing at any of our partner institutions.

Travel and transport

The international airport is located in Keflavík, a 45-minute drive from Reykjavík. The fly bus operates between the airport and the bus terminal (see schedule online). From there, you can take a bus or a taxi to your destination.

The most economical way to travel around Reykjavík is by bus. Reykjavík’s buses, yellow in colour, can be caught at bus stops, marked with the logo “S” for “Strætó bs.” You can buy a Green Card (Græna kortið) which gives the holder 30 days of unlimited travel.

Student support

The International Office is available for Exchange student support. The Student Counselling and Career page for Iceland is a useful resource for students, as well as a Mentor System.

Orientation Days for International Students are held at the beginning of the semester, and are organised by the International Office and the Student Council. The programme includes courses, organised walks around campus, as well as receptions with music and light refreshments. The aim is to introduce students to the support services offered, meet fellow students, and help them adjust to a new culture.

Please be aware that student support services will be different across all of our partner universities.


Global Office
University of St Andrews
Bute Building
Westburn Lane
St Andrews
KY16 9TS

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 2245
Email: studyabroad@st-andrews.ac.uk