Living In Iceland As A Foreigner

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Living In Iceland As A Foreigner – So you want to go to Iceland? Reykjavík is the city of Sigur Rós, a stunning landscape and an innovative technological and cultural scene. It also has geothermal pools, long summer days and less pollution.

With more and more people coming to make Iceland their second home every day, it is currently a hot spot for tourists and expats.

Living In Iceland As A Foreigner

Living In Iceland As A Foreigner

But wait, before you go ahead and pack your bags, remember that life here is not a fairy tale. Prices are exorbitant, most jobs pay poorly, fresh produce is a distant memory and for non-EU citizens, immigration laws are strict.

Working For A Foreign Company In Iceland

Iceland has the advantage of being close to America and Europe and you can see many influences from both sides. Icelanders love their burgers and the latest Apple gadgets, but also their Nordic fashion. Across from the creperie is a Dunkin’ Donuts.

Kennitala – There is a magical personal number called Kennitala; This is your identification number, similar to your social security number. All registered residents of Iceland, either temporary or permanent, have a Kennitala and you need to do something: open a bank account, go to the doctor, borrow books from the library, etc.

Weather: Iceland is near the Arctic Circle, which means long days in summer and long nights in winter. Summer is the best time to visit as most shops and roads are open and the countryside is ripe for exploring, but winter is cozy with the northern lights!

In general, the weather changes drastically from day to day and even hour to hour, giving rise to a local saying: “If you don’t like the weather, wait 5 minutes.”

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It usually doesn’t get above 65 degrees F even in summer, so pack lots of clothes and plenty of layers to stay warm! A windbreaker is a must if you’re venturing anywhere outside the city.

Safety: Iceland is very safe. As a single woman, she often walked the streets at night without any worries.

Pools – Every city in Iceland has a heated pool, and downtown Reykjavík has three! An Icelandic pool is unique in that it is heated by geothermal energy and most of them are outdoors. So you can enjoy a sauna even when it’s snowing!

Living In Iceland As A Foreigner

Icelanders bring their families here after work to sit in the hot water and chat about the latest politics.

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Language: If you don’t speak Icelandic, don’t worry! Almost everyone in Reykjavík speaks English, and you can get by even if you’re monolingual.

Don’t be afraid to try Icelandic – it’s hard, but it’s a fun and beautiful language. You can enroll in classes at a language school or at the University of Iceland.

Cost of living: Say goodbye to variety of products, as Iceland in the cold north has a limited selection away from almost everything. Apart from lamb, seafood and dairy, most items have to be imported so fruits and vegetables are scarce or sometimes of poor quality.

Electronics, furniture, liquor and restaurants are expensive. There are also high taxes, foreign currency restrictions and crazy rental prices. The grocery tab is still affordable, so there you have it!

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A standard tourist visa is valid for 90 days, so if your goal is a summer in Iceland, great. Please note that it is very difficult for US citizens to immigrate to Iceland if you intend to stay longer than 3 months. Ideally you should have dual citizenship – problem solved and no questions asked.

Otherwise, you will have to go through the lengthy process of obtaining a work permit, applying for university studies, or settling down with an Icelandic or EU/EEA spouse.

Getting a job in Iceland can be challenging because of laws that give priority to both Iceland and EU citizens. It helps if you have a special skill; If you’re a programmer or a brain surgeon, great!

Living In Iceland As A Foreigner

If not, your only hope is primarily networking and personal connections. Travel to Iceland for a few months on a tourist visa and try to find a sponsor.

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If you’re lucky enough to get a job, you’ll need to get a company to sponsor your work permit, and you’ll need to get that permit without being in the country, which means the company has to be willing to wait—however many weeks—for you. Required for processing.

International applications to the University of Iceland close in February each year, so if you miss the cut, you’ll need to reapply next year! Find out if you are in March or April and if you have your acceptance letter, you can apply for your student permit at the Directorate of Immigration.

This permit requires a lot of paperwork, including a bank statement and an FBI background check, and is only valid for 6 months, so you must reapply every semester (unless you are a candidate for a doctorate).

Accommodation in Reykjavik is a challenge! Housing is scarce and you will always be competing with locals, students and other expats. Everyone wants to live in District 101 (downtown) where all the bars and best restaurants are, so if you’re one of them, expect to pay top dollar.

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Single rooms can go up to 80,000 ISK, if not more. West of the city center is Vesterbajar, another somewhat trendy neighborhood. If price is a factor, choose a nearby but much less expensive neighborhood like the 105. Cost is largely unregulated and landlords can charge whatever they want.

Additionally, landlords are turning their spaces into huge profits through Airbnb, bringing locals onto the streets. The Legislature has recently been in place to change this, but so far this is the situation.

Reykjavík is so small that you can walk everywhere in the city center. However, if you live in the suburbs, for example, take a bus pass or a bike.

Living In Iceland As A Foreigner

Bike and bus traffic slows down a lot in the winter, so be aware of that. If you want to travel anywhere in Iceland, you need a car or a lot of patience to deal with the almost non-existent intercity buses.

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The good news is that there is a thriving expat community! Young people from all over Europe, Asia and America flock to Iceland to live a relaxed lifestyle and win the Mullah.

I recommend joining some Facebook groups where you can ask questions of experienced expats and find the best hairdressers. A great place to start is the Facebook group Far From Home – Living in Iceland!

There are plenty of events to keep you busy, such as concerts, organized meetings and board game nights and poetry readings.

Currency: Take out your checks and cash – Icelanders pay only by card, even for small things. The bus is still the only one that officially accepts cash.

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Grocery Shopping – Do all your shopping early – grocery stores close around 6pm and everything closes for holidays or bad weather.

Get outdoors: Take advantage of the great outdoors and beautiful scenery while you’re here – there are many beautiful hikes just 30 minutes from the city center, some easily accessible by bus.

Weatherproof: Bring plenty of weatherproof clothing, rain boots, windbreaker and layering options to protect you from Iceland’s unpredictable and temperate climate. But you can buy them in Iceland, the quality is much higher, but so is the price.

Living In Iceland As A Foreigner

I’m Wailana Kalama, a freelance travel writer and editor from Hawaii, USA. I have traveled to 38 countries and lived in Saudi Arabia, Japan, South Korea, Iceland, Oregon and Morocco. I currently live in Stockholm and have partnered with The Blonde Abroad to bring you the best tips and guides for traveling abroad and living as an expat around the world! Passionate nature lover, traveler and adventurer. Victoria traveled halfway around the world with a single backpack and tent. Finally, he landed in Iceland and decided to build a new home in Reykjavík.

Hnífsdalur Made Her An Author

How to get to Iceland? One of the most searched queries on Google in recent years. The fairytale-like islands of the north are becoming a popular travel destination, but what if you want to get there? What to do before you go to Iceland? Here’s everything you need to know before settling in Iceland.

Iceland is known for being a great place to live: a safe, beautiful and welcoming country with a strong community and high standard of living. Who wouldn’t want to live here? But before you start packing, make sure you do your research thoroughly, otherwise you could be in a difficult situation.

I vividly remember about four years ago, on a sunny spring afternoon, when I bought my ticket to Iceland. I’m about to spend two amazing months in the most beautiful place on earth – just me, my backpack and my tent. I believed that the greatest adventure of my life was ahead of me. I don’t know about this life choice

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