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Icelandic Education System
The ministry of Education, Science and Culture oversees all schools in Iceland. Icelandic education is divided into four steps:
Primary school (6-16) - compulsory
Secondary school (16-20)
Higher Education (20+)
Day parents / Kindergarten / Pre-school (age 0-6 years)
For children younger than 1 year the only option is Daycare/Day parents which take care of children in a private home. Daycare centers usually take care of children aged 10 months to 36 months. Operating hours of Daycare is usually weekdays only, and the maximum stay for a child is 9 hours a day. Since Daycare is privately run, prices can vary between Daycare centers. Part of the cost is repaid by your local municipality if the Daycare center is an authorized one. You may expect to pay 150-250 Euro pr. Month yourself for 8-9 hours of daycare.
Pre-School / Kindergarten
All children over the age of 1 year have the right to for a place in a pre-school, however it is completely optional and parents decide if the child goes to pre-school, however pre-school is regarded as the first step of education in Iceland and the vast majority of children go there. The local municipality subsidizes part of the cost of having your child in pre-school, but you must also pay for a part of it. In almost all cases there is a waiting list for a place in pre-schools, so you must send in a application well before time. You apply for a place in pre-school at your local municipality and may expect to pay 150-250 Euro pr. Month for 8-9 hours of Pre-School.
Compulsory Schools / Primary School (age 6-16 years)
All children aged 6-16 are obliged by law to attend school and the schools are all free. Many Primary schools have after school programs / day care for a small fee. What schools are available to your child is directly linked with where you live, most municipalities have 2 or more Primary schools and in most cases the one with the shortest distance is recommended. Overview of schools
Secondary schools / College
All students who finish Compulsory school may sign up for further education with a Secondary School, which schools are available depend on the location of legal domicile and final grades from compulsory school. Registration for Secondary schools takes place online via an electronic form on Menntagátt (website is currently under revision) , it is recommended to apply for at least two different schools (if the first selection does not accept your application). All documents regarding previous schools and grades must be submitted along with the application electronically. Registration begins every year on May 15.
Iceland has seven Universities, the two biggest being located in Reykjavik, Reykjavik University and The University of Iceland. Click Overview of schools in Iceland and select Universities and a list of all universities in Iceland will be shown.
Application to Universities goes directly through each schools webpage.
Students must have a Secondary school / College diploma and there may be application requirements to some programs. In some cases you must verify your previous studies and that must be done through the Icelandic ENIC/NARIC office - Contact: ina AT hi.is or by phone +354 525 54 52
Information about programs/courses in English:
University of Iceland
Icelandic Academy of the Arts
Admission fees vary between Universities from 270 Euros pr. Semester to 1200 Euro and above, information about tuition can be found on the Universities website.
Finance your Higher education
Many Universities offer some sort of grants and bonuses for students. There is also LÍN or Icelandic Student Loan Fund, which grants students loans to support themselves during their education. After finishing your studies a payment plan will be set and the loan must be repaid.
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