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Island to Mainland
Culture, History, and Environment in Iceland


Welcome to
UVM-GO Iceland

A learning experience for incoming first-year students to UVM 

Current Offering: July 31 – August 4, 2024

Located on a rift between tectonic plates and being one of the geologically youngest lands on the planet, Iceland (both the island and the nation) sits at the crossroads of Europe and North America as well as between the Arctic and temperate realms. While these characteristics have given rise to many economic challenges, it has also provided fertile ground for the emergence of Iceland’s unique culture and people. In this UVM GO experience, Dr. Joaquin Nunez and Andrew McCracken from UVM’s Department of Biology will partner with Dr. Áki Jarl Láruson, a local expert, to tour the island and explore how Icelanders have built a unique relationship with their ecosystem, balancing the need for sustenance with sustainability.

Meet your guides

Erosion and Snow

Explore Iceland

Our experience will start in the Reykjanes peninsula where we will visit the many natural vistas near Sandgerði, including Krýsuvík, in southern Iceland. Next, we will travel to Reykjavík, the northernmost capital on Earth. There we will explore several aspects of Icelandic culture and history, including visits to the University of Iceland, the Natural History Museum in Reykjavík, the Hof of the Ásatrúarfélag, and more. After the capital, we will embark north to visit the bucolic town of Hólar, where we will visit historical sites such as Hólar University (established in 1106), and Hólar Cathedral (built in 1050). This day will also allow opportunities for a serene hike around Hjaltadalur. Lastly, we will return to the capital for sightseeing opportunities near the Tjörnin in downtown Reykjavík, before returning to the USA, ready to tackle the academic year.

8/1 2024

Visit Southern Iceland

After landing in Iceland our journey will take us to the southern regions of the country. We plan to explore Sandgerði and its surroundings, including the Krýsuvík National Park and its unique geothermal ecosystems. We will close the day with a visit to the Marine & Freshwater Research Institute in Hafnarfjörður.

8/2 2024

Visit and explore the capital city

Next, we will go to the capital, Reykjavík. There we will explore the Natural History Museum, the National Museum as well as the Hof of the Ásatrúarfélag. In the afternoon we will visit the University of Iceland to meet and socialize with local students. 

8/3 2024

Visit Northen Iceland

On this day we will visit the northern town of Hólar. There we will visit Hólar University to meet and socialize with students. We will then visit the Hólar aquaculture facility to continue learning about sustainability. The rest of the day will have opportunities to visit the historic Hólar cathedral as well as to hike the serene vistas of Hjaltadalur.

8/4 2024

Return to the capital

Our last day will start with breakfast in  Hólar before heading back to the capital. Upon arrival, we will have ample opportunity to explore the city center at our leisure, as well as reflect on our adventures, before heading back to Vermont.

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