Are there communities for expats in Iceland?

hallgrímskirkja reykjavík

First, a word of advice: for those considering moving to Iceland, or for those who already live here, there’s much to be said for learning the language and integrating into the community. We recommend seeking out opportunities to speak Icelandic where possible, as living as part of the community will likely make your stay in Iceland much more rewarding.

That being said, we recognize that there’s a time and place for wanting to socialize with people from home, or else just a more international milieu.

Many of the major social media sites will have what you’re looking for.

On Facebook, there are two large communities for expats in Iceland: Away from Home – Living in Iceland, a private group, and The Expats’ Lounge Iceland, a public group. Both communities are relatively large and active, and are a good place to look for events such as pub trivia nights and meet-and-greets, as well as more practical information concerning visas, education, childcare, and more.

While neither of these communities are explicitly oriented towards expats in Iceland, Reddit also hosts two large communities centred around Iceland. The community r/Iceland focuses on Icelandic residents and is therefore mostly in Iceland, but many foreign residents also post and discuss current events, ask questions, and so on. The community r/VisitingIceland is geared towards tourism, but many lifelong visitors and foreign residents also use the community.

All Things Iceland is the website and podcast of a notable expat living in Iceland. Many foreign residents have found her content useful, so this may be a good place to begin looking for expat communities in Iceland as well.

There are also several YouTubers who talked about their experiences living in Iceland as an expat.

There’s no one way to become a member of an expat community in Iceland, but some of these resources may serve as a beginning point for your research. In addition to these resources, it bears mentioning that those who work for more international employers may find community through their job, and parents may also find communities through connections to other families through their preschools, for example.

Future (or current) expats may find our guide to house- and job-hunting in Iceland useful.

Which languages are required to work as a nurse in Iceland?

Nurses Hospital Landsspítalinn við Hringbraut

For some years now, there has been a shortage in healthcare professionals in Iceland. In fact, despite the relatively high standard of public healthcare, Iceland has some of the lowest ratios of nurses and general practitioners to the population in Europe, meaning that working in healthcare in Iceland is a high-demand field.

Partially in response to these staffing shortages, previous requirements to speak Icelandic have been lifted in the last years. There are, however, some things to keep in mind.

The Icelandic Directorate of Health issues licenses to practice as a registered nurse in Iceland. On the application for applicants who have studied in an EEA country or Switzerland there is no specific requirement regarding language requirements. However, the applications are only available in Icelandic and English on their website. Applicants who have studied in countries outside the EEA or Switzerland are required to submit a course syllabus, or a detailed description of the classes concerned, in Icelandic and English.

In addition to that, individual employers can require job applicants to speak Icelandic. It varies between hospitals and institutions. If you have specific questions, it’s best to refer them to the employer in question.

If you are interested in a career in healthcare in Iceland. you may find the following resources helpful:

Committee on Icelandic Language Established

school children

A committee on the Icelandic language has been established in line with Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir’s previous proposal.

The proposal emerged out of the coalition agreement for the current parties, which emphasised the need to support the use of Icelandic among young people, and to support immigrants and their families in Icelandic learning.

Read more: Need for Better Icelandic Language Education

There has also been increasing dialogue in recent months around language learning for foreigners, with some saying that much still needs to be done to make Icelandic as a second language more accessible.

The committee will be headed by the Prime Minister, the Minister of Culture and Trade, the Minister of Education and Children’s Affairs, and the Minister of Social Affairs and Labour Market. Together, the committee will work to create and implement an action plan to address the shortcomings of Icelandic education and language promotion.

“The Icelandic language is invaluable to Icelandic society. However, the language faces challenges in rapid technological and social changes we must respond to. We must increase access to and dissemination of Icelandic content and promote teaching for diverse social groups, as well as ensure the future of Icelandic in the digital world,” said Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir in a statement.

The Prime Minister will speak further on the matter at the “Icelandic Is for All of Us” forum today at 16:00, held on the occasion of the Icelandic National Language Day, which takes place this week.

For further coverage of this important topic, see Nothing to Speak Of, now open to all readers.