Engage in your own unique combination of opportunities while traveling through and settling into Iceland.
ENVIRONMENT & NATURE
With only one native land mammal—the arctic fox—and large stretches of harsh and inhospitable terrain, sparsely-populated Iceland is not exactly a mecca for biodiversity. It is, however, an amazing destination for those interested in experiencing a spectacular, otherworldly geographical landscape characterized by an abundance of lava fields, active volcanoes, glaciers and glacial rivers. And while terrestrial animals might be rare, the sea is teeming with fish and whales, while the skies are full of seabirds.
Experience the dazzling Northern Lights during a drive through the Reykjavik countryside. Join a sea tour of breathtaking Breiðafjörður Bay, discover its iconic islands, and gain a firsthand look at its abundant birdlife. Then, enjoy an up-close look of the Great Geysir, Gullfoss Waterfall and Kerio Volcanic Crater Lake or visit the Herring Era Museum to understand how Siglufjörður’s renowned fisheries recovered from the devastation caused by overfishing.
HISTORY & CULTURE
Originally settled by Norse noblemen, commonly referred to as Vikings, in the 9th century, Iceland was an independent country until the 13th century. Then, it became part of Norway and later, Denmark before regaining independence in 1918.
Icelandic culture continues to maintain strong ties with its Viking roots, with values including independence and self-sufficiency taking pride of place and a majority of people still professing belief in aspects of traditional mythology such as the existence of elves. Starting with the Icelandic sagas and the Edda, Icelandic literature has a proud tradition. Chess has also been a popular pastime since the time of the Vikings, and remains so today.
Explore the National Museum of Iceland and gain insight into Icelandic history and cultural heritage. Then discover the enchanting Jólahúsið (Christmas House) and learn about the role of Icelandic folklore in contemporary society, or stroll through the picturesque town of Húsavík, the oldest settlement in Iceland.
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Iceland is not only one of the world’s most economically productive countries per capita, it’s also one of the world’s greenest economies. This designation is hardly surprising considering that Iceland is the only nation to source nearly 100% of its electricity and heat from renewable energy.
Once a poor country that relied heavily on its natural resources, Iceland is now one of the world’s most developed countries with a diversified economy that includes thriving biotechnology, finance, manufacturing sectors.
Engage in a company visit to a fishery to understand this industry’s role as a cornerstone of the domestic and international economy. Then, learn about the manufacturing and exportation of Icelandic spirits during a guided distillery visit and product tasting, or explore a geothermal power plant and engage with local government officials to gain insight into Iceland’s commitment to environmentally sustainable energy sources.
SOCIAL & GENDER EQUALITY
Iceland follows the Nordic model, offering a comprehensive system of social welfare that guarantees access to quality healthcare and education for its citizens who enjoy one of the world’s highest qualities of life. Income inequality also occurs at a lower rate than that found in almost any other country. Iceland is celebrated for its commitment to gender equality, and is considered one of the top places in the world to be a woman.
In keeping with the nation’s commitment to progressive social policy in other areas of public life, same-sex couples have long enjoyed protection and official recognition, having been given the ability to legally register their partnerships in 1996.
Visit a series of local companies to learn about the strategies Icelandic corporations are implementing to ensure gender parity in all levels of management. Then, visit the Center for Gender Equality and gain insight into the institutional mechanisms, policies and legal frameworks aimed at promoting gender equality in every sector of society or participate in a conversation about female leadership in the private sector.