New students’ guide

Here is some useful information both for students considering moving to Iceland and those of you who are already here!

HERE is a more detailed list of essential information about living in Iceland.


The Student Union (Félagsstofnun stúdenta) manages student housing that only UI (HÍ) students have access to. The goal of the institution is that students can rent suitable and well-located housing at a reasonable price. Here is their information.

Student Building Society (Byggingafélag námsmanna) also operates student housing that students of the University of Iceland can apply for.

If you are moving to Iceland, these tips here might be helpful!

The Student Card

You can use your Student Card as an ID and a discount card. You can also apply for a version that grants access to one building of your choosing.

You can apply for a card at the service desk at Háskólatorg or online in Ugla. International students often have to wait until receiving their Icelandic ID-number (kennitala) before they can go to the University Centre (Háskólatorg) to receive their student card and credentials to access their UGLA profile.

All valid discounts accessible with the card are visible here.

The Student Gym

Háskólaræktin is probably one of the cheapest gyms in Iceland, since the annual fee is only 10.000 ISK. You can buy a card at the service desk of Háskólatorg. A card will get you into any advertised classes in the gym and also gives you access to the sauna.

The Gym is open Mondays – Fridays from 07:00 – 22:00 o’clock and on Saturdays from 08:00 – 18:00 o’clock. The gym is closed for holidays, New Years Eve and for six weeks in the middle of summer.

Groups can also rent the gym hall for 2.500 / 3.500 kr. per 45 min. The supervisor is Birna Úlfarsdóttir, you can reach her via email

World Class Vatnsmýri also offers students a 30% discount on all cards with the Student card.

P.S. look here for more student clubs like the University Student Dance Group!

Learning Icelandic

Similar to Nordic languages
Icelandic/Íslenska is the language of Iceland. Icelandic has the reputation of being a difficult language to learn, however with much practice and work it is doable.
For more information, click here.

Here is a list of Icelandic language courses offered in Iceland:

Mímir Símenntun
Mímir learning centre offers courses in Icelandic as well as other language. It has both intermediate and advanced Icelandic.
For further details and prices, please visit:

Icelandic Online
This online programme is run by the University of Iceland.
To learn more about Icelandic Onlineclick here.

The University of Iceland, Icelandic as a second language.
What is Icelandic as a second language?

Icelandic as a second language, BA, 180 ECTS
Icelandic as a second language, Major, 120 ECTS
Icelandic as a second language, Minor, 60 ECTS
Icelandic as a second language, Practical Diploma, 60 ECTS

This post comes from the DISE Handbook.

Entertainment in Iceland

Swimming pools
There are a couple of public thermal pools in Reykjavík. The pools offer steam baths, saunas, hot tubs and jacuzzis. Click here, to see find the nearest swimming pool. To learn more visit,

SAMbíó is located in three places in Reykjavík area. Kringlan mall, Álfabakki, Egilshöll.
Smárabíó is located in Smáralind mall
Laugarásbíó is located in Laugarás
Háskólabíó is located in Hagatorg
Bíó Paradís is located in Hverfisgata

The National Theatre of Iceland
The Reykjavík City Theatre


Bonus tip! At the Student Cellar there is always something going on – and the place for cheap food and drinks, be sure to check that out!

Text: Mary Ann Divinagracia

Office 365

Here you can download a free version of Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneDrive, OneNote, Planner, Access and Skype for business.

Wireless internet WiFi on campus (eduroam)

To access the internet at the UI, you must connect to eduroam. Here are instructions on how to connect to wireless internet on campus.

Print quota

You must have printing quota in order to print at the University. Print quota can be purchased at the service desk at Háskólatorg or online on the left-hand side of Uglan (the owl) under: Computer Services > Print Quota.

Printing black and white costs 1 print quota

Printing in colour costs 5 print quotas.

There are three colour printers in the school: in the computer room at Háskólatorg, Árnagarð and Stakkahlíð.

Group work facilities

Students have access to group work facilities in open areas of the school at Oddi, Gimli and Háskólatorg. There is also a room right outside the Student Cellar that is ideal for group work.

You can also book rooms at the National Library for free. The National Library has four rooms that can accommodate 6-10 people. Group work facilities can be booked here.


Students are granted various discounts on goods and services so make sure you always have your Student Card with you and that you ask if they have a discount for students! It’s more common than you might think.

A list of the discounts is available here.

Food on campus

Háma is located in various parts of the University, selling various foods and snacks. They always serve warm soup for lunch and offer more lunch options in specific buildings, such as Háskólatorg, Tæknigarður and Læknagarður.

Students with the Student Card get a discount on the lunch or soup of the day in Háma.

Student Career Center

Student Career Center (Tengslatorg) is a platform set up by the University of Iceland, there they connect students with possible careers. If you are lucky you might land a summer, part time or a full time job there!
To sign up, you have to go trough Ugla online.