Information_booklet

Document Sample
Information_booklet Powered By Docstoc
					                                     CONTENTS
1. Welcome .................................................................................................... 2
2. University of Iceland .................................................................................. 3
    Academic Calendar ................................................................................... 3
    Course Catalogue ...................................................................................... 3
    Language of Instruction ............................................................................ 3
    Subjects and Credits ................................................................................. 4
    Summer Courses at the Sigurður Nordal Institute .................................... 4
    Phone Directory ........................................................................................ 4
3. Arrival ........................................................................................................ 6
    Residence Permit ...................................................................................... 6
    ID Number and Domicile ......................................................................... 6
    What to pack ............................................................................................. 7
    First things to do ....................................................................................... 7
    Orientation Meeting .................................................................................. 8
    Accommodation........................................................................................ 8
    Working in Iceland ................................................................................... 9
    Introduction to Iceland ............................................................................ 10
4. Student services ....................................................................................... 11
    University Library .................................................................................. 11
    University Computing Services .............................................................. 11
    Student Council ...................................................................................... 11
    The University Counselling Center ........................................................ 12
    Student Services ..................................................................................... 12
    University Bookstore .............................................................................. 13
    Foreign Student Association ................................................................... 13
    International Day .................................................................................... 13
5. Welfare .................................................................................................... 14
    Health Issues ........................................................................................... 14
    Cafeterias ................................................................................................ 15
    Sport and leisure ..................................................................................... 15
6. Finance ..................................................................................................... 16
    Cost of living .......................................................................................... 16
    Banks ...................................................................................................... 16
7. Practicalities ............................................................................................. 17
    Public Holidays....................................................................................... 17
    Shops ...................................................................................................... 17
    Buses ...................................................................................................... 18
    Laundry .................................................................................................. 18
    Telephones & Post Offices ..................................................................... 18
    Time........................................................................................................ 18
8. Important sources of information ............................................................. 19
    Contacts .................................................................................................. 19
    Useful websites ....................................................................................... 19
1. Welcome
Welcome to exchange/foreign students at the University of Iceland
On behalf of the staff of the Office of International Education I welcome you
to the University of Iceland. We are glad that you have chosen the University
of Iceland as your exchange destination and we sincerely hope that your stay
will be academically rewarding and that you will have only good memories
of our country.
Living and studying in a foreign country can be very rewarding but also
demanding. The culture and the conditions can be different from what you
are used to. It is the task of the staff of the Office of International Education
to assist you in every way within our capacity to make your study and stay in
Iceland as fruitful and enjoyable as possible.
Based upon experience, we have gathered together in this brochure the
answers to the questions most frequently asked by foreign students. If you do
not find answers to your questions or if you need assistance, please feel free
to contact us and we will do our best to help you.
Ms. Karítas Kvaran, Director
Office of International Education
University of Iceland




                                                                               2
2. University of Iceland
The University of Iceland is a state university founded in 1911. During its
first year of operation 45 students were enrolled. Today, the University of
Iceland serves a nation of approximately 300.000 people and provides
instruction for 9.400 students studying in eleven faculties.
In addition to the major faculties there are numerous research institutes
attached to the University. With its 412 tenured teachers, some 1.800 non-
tenured teachers, and about 421 researchers and administrators, the
University of Iceland is the largest single workplace in the country.
As a modern, diversified and rapidly developing institution, the University of
Iceland offers opportunities for study and research in more than 160 degree
programmes in the humanities, sciences and social sciences, and in
professional fields such as theology, law, business, medicine, odontology
and engineering.


Academic Calendar
The academic year is divided into two semesters, autumn and spring, each
semester lasting thirteen weeks. Classes in the autumn semester generally
start around the 1st of September and last until the first few days in
December, and in the spring semester usually from the first week of January
to the second part of April. At the end of each semester there is generally
about one week off and then two weeks of exams. The Academic calendar
can also be accessed on the internet at:
http://www.hi.is/page/Academic_Calendar


Course Catalogue
The course catalogue, (Kennsluskrá), is published each academic year in
Icelandic and in a shorter version in English:
http://www.ask.hi.is/page/askcourses.


Language of Instruction
The principal language of instruction is Icelandic. Textbooks are mainly in
English and Icelandic. Some departments offer courses in English and allow
foreign students to take their examinations in English during the first
semester of study. There are also some Master’s degree programmes taught
in English.




                                                                            3
Subjects and Credits
SOCRATES-ERASMUS and other guest students may take a combination of
courses and subjects from different departments. Lectures, seminars and
required reading material/ curriculum will prepare the student for
examinations in a subject at different levels. 15 credits (einingar) represent 1
semester’s full workload. The maximum credits per semester a student is
allowed to take is 20. Please note that 1 credit (eining) equals 2 ECTS
credits.
          15 einingar (credits)   30 ECTS 1 semester         ½ year
          30 einingar (credits)   60 ECTS 2 semesters        1 year

Summer Courses at the Sigurður Nordal Institute
The institute holds summer courses in Icelandic and Icelandic studies in
collaboration with the faculty of Humanities at the University of Iceland. For
further information contact the Sigurður Nordal Institute, Þingholtsstræti 29,
P.O. Box 1220, 101 Reykjavík, tel. +354 562 6050, fax: + 354 562 6263,
email: ulfar@hi.is, website http://www.nordals.hi.is/


Phone Directory
Faculty/Coordinator                      number              e-mail
International Coordinator
          - Erla Björk Atladóttir        525 4469            ebjork@hi.is
Faculty of Humanities                    525 4400
          - Guðrún Birgisdóttir          525 4262            gb@hi.is
Faculty of Odontology                    525 4871
          - Guðrún Ívars                 525 4871            givars@hi.is
Faculty of Economics and
Business Administration                  525 4500
          - Kristín Klara Einarsdóttir   525 4501            kke@hi.is
Faculty of Engineering                   525 4645
          - Pálmi Jóhannesson            525 4645            palmi@hi.is
Faculty of Law                           525 4386
          - Ásta Edda Jónssdóttir        525 4386            astaj@hi.is
Faculty of Medicine                      525 4881
          - Þuríður Pálsdóttir           525 4881            thpals@hi.is
Faculty of Nursing                       525 4960
          - Bergþóra Kristinsdóttir      525 4986            bergthkr@hi.is
Faculty of Pharmacy                      525 4353
          - Ragnhildur Steinbach         525 4353            rs@hi.is
Department of Physiotherapy              525 4004
          - Ásta Jóna Guðjónsdóttir      525 4004            astagudj@hi.is


                                                                              4
Faculty of Science                        525 4645   palmi@hi.is
          - Pálmi Jóhannesson             525 4645   palmi@hi.is
Faculty of Social Sciences                525 4502
          - Sigurbjörg Aðalsteinsdóttir   525 4503   sigurada@hi.is
Faculty of Theology                       525 4348
          - Ásdís Guðmundsdóttir          525 4348   asdisg@hi.is
Regular foreign students
          Gísli Fannberg                  525 5256   gf@hi.is




                                                                      5
3. Arrival
Residence Permit
All citizens who come to Iceland for the purpose of study, need a residence
permit if staying longer than three months in Iceland. Some need to obtain
the residence permit before arriving, some can apply after they arrive.
1. Citizens of Nordic countries that plan to study in Iceland have to bring
“Internordisk flytteattest” if staying longer than 6 months. Nordic citizens do
not need work permit.
2. Citizens of the European Union and the European Economic Area, who
plan to stay longer than three months in Iceland, need residence permit. The
permit may be obtained after arriving in Iceland for most of the EU and EEA
countries. The residence permit is applied for at the Icelandic Directorate of
Immigration, http://www.utl.is, Skógarhlíð 6, 105 Reykjavik, tel. +354 510
5400. EU and EEA citizens do not need special work permit, only residence
permit.
3. Citizens of countries other than EU and EEA, need a visa before entering
Iceland. Some nationals outside EU and EEA, are exempted from the
obligation to carry a visa on arrival in Iceland for a stay of up to three
months in all within the Schengen area. The total stay within the Schengen
area must not exceed three months in any period of six months. (See on
website http://www.utl.is which countries are part of the Schengen
agreement). The residence permit is applied for at the Icelandic Directorate
of Immigration. The residence permit must be obtained before entering
Iceland.
If a residence permit is granted, the applicant shall, upon arrival in Iceland,
register his domicile with the National Registry (Þjóðskrá)
http://www.statice.is, Borgartúni 21a, 150 Reykjavik, tel. +354 528 1000. All
citizens should bring a valid passport, which is valid at least three months
after the scheduled departure.



ID Number and Domicile
It is essential for all students/ foreigners to get an Icelandic Identification
Number upon arrival. Go to the office of Statistics Iceland (Hagstofa Íslands)
upplysingar@hagstofa.is, www.statice.is, Borgartún 21a, 105, Reykjavík.
Bring your passport and a certificate proving you are going to work or study
at an Icelandic institution. Apply for registration at Statistics Iceland
National Registry (Þjóðskrá), and you will be given an ID number. The ID
number is necessary if you want to register as a student, have a scholarship
paid, open a bank account, get a tax card, etc.


                                                                             6
Any person intending to stay more than six months in Iceland must be
domiciled in the country. This also applies to foreign nationals working in
Iceland, even if their stay is less than six months. To register your domicile
in Iceland you will have to go to Statistics Iceland National Registry to fill
out a form and show a valid residence permit along with your passport.


What to pack
The climate in Iceland varies and the daily weather is often unpredictable. It
can be very windy and wet, even during summer, when the temperature is
generally 10-12C°. Autumn and winter are windy, dark seasons, usually cold
during the day and at times below freezing. You will need warm clothing –
warm coat and waterproof shoes or boots are advisable. In Iceland we can
never trust the weather. Remember that there is no such thing as bad
weather, only a poor choice of clothes. You might need to bring sheets, a
blanket and towels (ask your landlord). Bring with you some information and
pictures from your country/ university for the International Day held at the
University of Iceland.
Remember to pack
         Adaptor for electrical appliances (220V, frequency 50Hz)
         Cash or travellers cheques
         Tickets and insurance papers
         Acceptance letter
         Traveller’s insurance
         Passport
         Camera


First things to do
         Get an Icelandic ID number
         Register at the University of Iceland
The first thing to do after you arrive is to obtain an Icelandic ID number
(kennitala) at the Icelandic Statistics Office (Hagstofa Íslands), the address
is: Borgartún 21a. Be sure to take with you the letter of acceptance from the
University of Iceland or from the Office of International Education.
You will need to register at the Registration Office (Nemendaskrá) -
http://www.hi.is/stjorn/nemskra/starfsfolk.html at the University as soon as
possible after obtaining your Icelandic ID number. The office is located on
the ground floor of the Main Building. Bring with you your Icelandic ID
number, letter of acceptance from the University or from the Office of
International Education, and a copy of the form E-111 or E-128.


                                                                            7
Upon arrival it is necessary to have handy the standard letter of acceptance
from the University of Iceland. If you are an exchange student coming from
the EU countries you have to have an acceptance letter from the Office of
International Education. Others also need a residence permit (see page 5).
The international airport is located in Keflavík, a 45-minute drive from
Reykjavík. Fly bus runs in connection with flights to the Bus Terminal, BSÍ,
see schedule at www.re.is. From there you can take a bus or a taxi to your
destination. A valid passport is necessary for everyone. You will need
Icelandic currency to pay for the bus and taxi. Do not change all your money
into Icelandic currency at the airport, as the exchange rate is the most
expensive there.


Orientation Meeting
At the beginning of each semester there is an orientation meeting for visiting
students at the University of Iceland. The aim of this meeting is to introduce
the practicalities of living and studying in Iceland. Representatives from
various university departments give presentations on the services offered to
the students and information on what is expected of the students.
Among other things, a representative from the International Office provides
information on how to obtain the necessary ID number, residence permits,
university registration, and a medical insurance. In addition, representatives
from the Student Counselling Service, University Library, University
Computing Centre, the Student Union and various university departments
attend this orientation meeting to give the visiting students a good vision of
what to expect at the University and of life in Iceland.


Accommodation
The Student Service Centre (Félagsstofnun stúdenta) runs student
dormitories, but the number of applicants far exceeds the number of rooms
available. The application deadline is June 1st. Students can get more
information and fill out the application form on the website
www.studentagardar.is.
The Student Council runs a housing information service (Húsnæðismiðlun
Stúdenta). Lists of available rooms and apartments/ flats for rent are
available upon request. Usually this housing is not furnished. To get the lists
you need to contact the Student Council by sending an e-mail to: shi@hi.is.
The Office of International Education (OIE) assists foreign exchange
students in finding housing. Students who would like to make use of this
service need to fill that out on their online application form. The types of
housing that are available are:

                                                                             8
        Rooms in student dormitories (very limited number)
        Rooms at guesthouses, with access to kitchen and bathroom
         (sometimes double rooms)
        Shared apartments/flats with other students
        Rooms in private houses
The Office of International Education only reserves rooms for exchange
students. The monthly rent can vary depending on the form of housing, but
in general it is from about: 30.000 – 35.000 ISK per month. The student is
personally responsible for the room he/she rents. If the accommodation
reserved by the OIE is accepted, students are required to pay two month’s
rent in advance (one month as insurance).
The students rent the rooms on their own responsibility and once they have
confirmed the room to their landlord the contract is binding so it´s
important to have all the information necessary before confirming the room.
Upon arrival, or during the stay in Iceland, if a student rejects the room
reserved by OIE he/she must find other accommodation on his/her own.
If a student has to leave earlier than planned, the owner of the rented
property must be notified as early as possible, at least one month in advance
and students cannot expect to get their insurance payment back.


Working in Iceland
Work permit
Individuals with a student residence permit do not automatically have the
right to work in Iceland, although there are certain situations where an
individual may be able to apply for a work permit - contact the Directorate of
Labour – Vinnumálastofnun, Tryggvagötu 17, vinnumalastofnun@vmst.is,
515-4800,- for further information.
Income Tax
Everybody earning wages in Iceland is required to pay income tax. There is a
certain minimum amount per month that is not taxable. Anything exceeding
that is taxed at the 36.72% tax rate.
The employer is responsible for payment of the tax and deducts the
appropriate amount from the salary of the trainee. In order for the employer
to deduct taxes, the employee has to be issued a tax card from the Internal
Revenue Office (Ríkisskattstjóri), Laugavegur 166, 105 Reykjavík,
www.rsk.is, which he presents to his employer. The student is obliged to file
a tax return with the IRO, which must be done not less than one week before
the student's departure.




                                                                            9
Scholarships are not subject to taxation if they do not exceed the minimum
amount, but you might have to show the granting body a tax card. Principal
public bodies which foreigners must contact in order to gain basic rights:
Icelandic Directorate of Immigration (Útlendingastofnun): Residence permits
and visa; Directorate of Labour (Vinnumálastofnun): Work permits;
Reykjavík Municipal Hospital and Reykjavík Health Care Centre: Medical
certificates; Statistics Iceland (Hagstofa Íslands): ID number, registration of
residence.


Introduction to Iceland
“Introduction to Iceland” is a recreational program organized by The Office
of International Education (OIE) for foreign students and visiting teachers at
Icelandic institutions of higher education. The aim of the programme is to
give our visitors a taste of Icelandic history, culture and daily life. This we
try to accomplish through excursions to interesting sites, lectures by
prominent individuals in their fields, and visits to cultural institutions.
“Introduction to Iceland” has proved very successful and popular among our
foreign guests.
The programme includes, for example a day excursion to the
southern part of the island to monitor the annual sheep round-up (a
traditional event each fall), a day excursion to the historic
Borgarfjörður, horseback riding tours and lectures on Icelandic
topics. If you do wish to receive e-mails about the events during your
stay in Iceland register your e-mail on the programs mailing list:
http://www.ask.hi.is/page/introice




                                                                           10
4. Student services
University Library
The University Library is the main library for staff and students at the
University of Iceland. The library is the National Library of Iceland as well
as a University Library. It is located in a building called Þjóðarbókhlaðan.
The building’s four floors and basement cover a total of 13.000m3 with
capacity for 900.000 volumes plus seating for 700 visitors.
Opening hours:                 14. August – 20. May:
                               Mon, Tue, Thu. 8:15-19:00
                               Wed. 8:15-22:00
                               Fri: 8:15-17:00
                               Sat. 10:00-17:00
                               Sun. 13:00-17:00
                               21. May – 13. August:
                               Mon. – Fri. 9:00-17:00
                               Sat. 10:00-14:00
                               Sun. Closed


University Computing Services
The University Computing Service (Reiknistofnun HÍ) plans and operates
network services for the entire University, including internet access, and
operates public access computing laboratories with access to networked PC’s
for students. Students are given usernames for the computers at the
Registration Office.


Student Council
The aim of the Student Council (SHÍ) is, in short, to guard the educational
and cultural interests of students as well as their general welfare. In addition,
various services are offered to students. Because of the diverse role of the
Student Council, the SHÍ office is often a place where students start their
search when looking for information and ways to sort out their affairs.
The Student Council of the University of Iceland is a democratically elected
representative body of students from most of the University´s departments.
The Student Council defends student interests, both towards the University
and towards the government. The Student Council demands equal
educational opportunities and adequate educational and social conditions for
students. The Student Council meets approximately every four weeks;
between meetings work continues in six committees, both by an elected
board, and by the staff at the SHÍ office.


                                                                              11
A part of the services the Student Council offers is directed towards the
needs of foreign students. The aim is to make foreign students feel welcome
and to help them to adjust to student life in Iceland. At the Student Council
there is an international officer who takes care of various matters regarding
foreign students. Foreign students can turn to the International Liaison
Officer, with any kind of questions. If you need to contact the International
Officer, please send an e-mail to foreign@student.is or shi@hi.is.
The International Liaison Officer has regular office hours at SHÍ:
Mondays - Friday 9 – 17.
Contact Persons - The Student Council provides all foreign students with a
contact person. The contact person is an Icelandic student who helps foreign
students to get adjusted and involved in student life.
International Parties - In the beginning of each semester there is a welcome
party for foreign students organised by SHÍ and the Association for Foreign
Students (Félag erlendra nema). Parties are also held on various occasions
during the semester in order to bring Icelandic and foreign students together.
Language Exchange - The language exchange is a service for both Icelandic
and foreign students to enable them to practice a foreign language. A student
can ask to get in contact with another student who speaks a certain language
that he/ she wants to practice. Students can wish to practice a foreign
language and/ or offer their assistance to someone who wants to practice
their native language. Students can register for language exchange at the SHÍ
office.
Icelandic Christmas Dinner - The Student Council offers foreign students
the chance to experience Christmas the Icelandic way. Foreign students who
spend Christmas in Iceland can receive an invitation to a Christmas dinner
with Icelandic families.


The University Counselling Center
The University Student Counselling Centre - NHÍ (Námsráðgjöf) at the
University of Iceland provides educational and career counselling and
counselling on how to improve study habits and techniques. The Centre also
assists disabled students, evaluating their special needs and devising ways to
meet these needs. Students with psychological problems can seek short-term
therapy. Tel.: 525 4315, email: ima@hi.is


Student Services
The Student Service Centre (Félagsstofnun Stúdenta) provides various
services for students at reasonable prices. The Centre runs student
dormitories (Stúdentagarðar), the University Bookstore (Bóksala stúdenta),


                                                                          12
the Student Coffee Shops on campus (Kaffistofur FS) and Student Day Care
Centres (Leikskólar FS). Tel.: 570 0850 – Fax: 570 0855 – www.student.is


University Bookstore
The main role of the University Bookstore (Bóksala Stúdenta) is to provide
books for the courses taught at the University of Iceland. The bookshop also
offers a wide selection of scholarly and scientific publications in various
fields, as well as novels and escape reading. It is one of the best bookshops
in Iceland and can be searched on the Internet at www.boksala.is. The
University Bookstore is situated in the Student Service Centre
(Félagsstofnun Stúdenta).


Foreign Student Association
Most fields of study have Student Associations. These associations organize
social events among students within the faculties. Student Associations often
work together in organizing bigger social events like discos, oratoria, sport
events and other leisure activities. Almost all Student Associations issue
some sort of publications.
There are also several cross-disciplinary associations at the University,
among them the Foreign Student Association. Other organizations include,
for example, the Association for Students with Dyslexia and the Association
for Homosexual and Bisexual students.
If you need any further information about any of the associations do not
hesitate to contact SHI at shi@hi.is.


International Day
International Day is held once a year, after Christmas, in the Háskólabíó
(The University Cinema). Icelandic and foreign students at the University of
Iceland present information on studies as exchange students and more. Bring
with you some information and pictures from your country/ university to
share at the International Day celebration.




                                                                         13
5. Welfare
Health Issues
The University of Iceland does not have an obligatory insurance policy;
however, all exchange students from non-EU/ Nordic countries are strongly
encouraged to purchase general insurance (accident and liability) prior to
their departure for Iceland. Contact your own international office for further
advice on where to take out an insurance policy.
Nordic Countries
Nordic students are advised to bring the European Health Insurance Card
(EHIC). This is a proof that you are entitled to health insurance at home. (For
further information or in doubt see the website of the State Social Security
Institute http://www.tr.is ). A visit to the doctor costs 600 ISK in the daytime
and 1.750 ISK from 16:00 (4pm). When visiting the doctor you are advised
to bring a valid passport along with the EHIC. In order to pay the lower
amount you have to visit your local Health Care Clinic. Ask the Office of
International Education for advice.
EEA/EU Countries
European students must bring the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).
This is a proof that you are entitled to health insurance at home. (For further
information or in doubt see the website of the State Social Security Institute
http://www.tr.is ). A visit to the doctor costs 600 ISK in the daytime and
1.750 ISK from 16:00 (4pm). When visiting the doctor you are advised to
bring a valid passport along with the EHIC. In order to pay the lower amount
you have to visit your local Health Care Clinic. Ask the Office of
International Education for advice.
Other Countries
Students from non-EU/ EEA/ Nordic countries should have health insurance
from an insurance company in their country that is licensed to operate in
Iceland, or buy insurance from an Icelandic insurance company. The cost of
insurance is approximately 12.000 ISK.
Upon arrival in Reykjavík the health authorities require that all students in
need of a residence permit (except students from the Nordic countries and
West European countries) visit the Health Centre, at Barónstígur 47, 101
Reykjavík. The purpose of the visit is: Blood test and Tuberculosis test.
Three days after your visit to the Health center you need to go there again.
The costs of these medical tests vary depending on where you are from:
6.700-21.200 ISK and you need to make an appointment by calling: +354
585 1300.




                                                                            14
Cafeterias
There are several cafeterias at the University, offering warm and cold meals.
Students can purchase breakfast and lunch from 9 – 15:30 on weekdays
during the semester and in the cafeteria in the Oddi building from 8 – 18 on
weekdays and 8 – 15:30 on Saturdays.


Sport and leisure
A variety of activities and entertainment are offered throughout the year. A
selection of art galleries, theatres, cinemas and museums offer a varied
programme of entertainment. There is a considerable number of pubs and
cafés. Restaurants are often rather expensive but take-away is available for a
good price. Service charges are always included in the price (i.e., no tipping
expected).
On the University campus there is a Sport Centre for students. Public
swimming pools are most often outdoors in Reykjavík and use water from
natural hot springs. Many swimming facilities have saunas. All pools are
open weekdays from 07:00 – 21:30 and weekends from 08.00 – 19:30. The
one closest to the University is Vesturbæjarlaug at Hofsvallagata.
There is an indoor ice-skating facility in Laugardalur, where it is possible to
rent skates. There are two ski centres close to Reykjavík, Bláfjöll and
Skálafell. Information on buses to the ski areas is available at the Bus
Terminal, BSÍ, tel.: 591 1000. Skis can be rented at the centres.




                                                                           15
6. Finance
Cost of living
The estimated cost of living in Iceland is about 900 US dollars per month
(65,000 ISK., May 2006) for one person. You should expect to pay between
30,000 and 35,000 ISK per month for a single room with access to kitchen
and bathroom and at least 45,000 ISK for a small apartment.
Following is a rough estimate of expenses for a single person living in
Reykjavík:
                                                            ISK
Bus fare from Keflavík Airport to Reykjavík                 1100
Overnight stay at a hostel (members/ non-members)           1700/ 2050
Access to Swimming Pool                                     280
Movie Ticket                                                800
Theatre                                                     2900
Daily Newspaper                                             220
Public Bus Ticket                                           250
Bus Card valid for a month in Reykjavík                     5000
1 loaf of bread                                             280
1 litre of milk                                             120
10 eggs (1 carton)                                          300
Glass of beer (0.5l)                                        700
Bottle of wine                                              1000-2500
Lunch at a restaurant                                       1500-2000
Dinner at a restaurant                                      2500-3500
1 litre of petrol/gasoline                                  120

Banks
Both Landsbanki Íslands and KB Banki have branches close to the
University. Landsbanki has a branch in the same building as the University
Cinema, Háskólabíó, and KB Banki operates a branch office inside Radisson
Sas Saga Hotel (opposite the library). Banking hours are Monday –
Friday: 09:15 – 16:00. A bank account with a debit card is recommended.
To open such an account, you will need to produce your ID number and
student identity card or other valid identification. You should also bring two
passport photos. You can pay directly with the debit card in most shops and
for services, as well as withdraw money in banks or at automated cash
machines. The major credit cards in Iceland are VISA and Eurocard/
Mastercard. They are widely used and accepted throughout the country.




                                                                          16
7. Practicalities
Public Holidays
1 January, New Year's Day
Maundy/ Holy Thursday
Good Friday
Easter Sunday
Easter Monday
First day of summer, usually third Thursday in April
1 May, Labour Day
Ascension Day
White Sunday
White Monday
17 June, National/ Independence Day
First Monday in August, Bank Holiday
24 December, Christmas Eve, from noon
25 December, Christmas Day
26 December, Boxing Day
31 December, New Year's Eve, from noon


Shops
Food in supermarkets is generally cheaper than food sold in the smaller local
shops. The main supermarkets are Bónus, Hagkaup, Nettó, 10-11, Krónan,
and 11-11. Bónus opens at noon, but general shopping hours on weekdays
are from 09:00 or 10:00 – 18:00, and on Saturdays from 10:00 – 14:00 or
16:00. Some shops are also open on Sundays. The Kringlan shopping mall is
open Monday – Wednesday from 10 – 18:30, Thursday from 10:00 – 21:00,
Fridays from 10:00 – 19:00, Saturdays from 10:00 – 18:00, and Sundays
from 13:00 – 17:00. The Smáralind shopping mall is open weekdays from
11:00 – 19:00, Thursdays 11 – 21, Saturdays from 11:00 – 18:00 and
Sundays from 13:00 – 18:00. The shops called 10 – 11 and 11 –11 are open
longer, as their names indicate. 10 – 11 at Hjarðarhagi (close to the
University) is open 24-7.
Wine, liquor and beer can only be bought at the state liquor outlets called
Vínbúðin. They are open on weekdays from 10:00 – 18:00, and some are
also open on Saturdays from 10:00 – 16:00. There is one in the City Centre
in Austurstræti and also in Kringlan and Smáralind, among others.
Website: http://www.vinbud.is




                                                                         17
Buses
The most economical way to travel around Reykjavík is by bus. Reykjavík’s
buses, yellow in colour, can be caught at bus stops, marked with the logo “S”
for “Strætó bs.”. You can buy a Green Card (Græna kortið) which gives the
holder 30 days of unlimited travel. The card can be bought at Strætó
terminals and Kringlan shopping mall. If you use coins you must have the
exact fare (250 ISK) because the driver is not permitted to give change.


Laundry
There are no laundromats in Iceland. However, it is possible to have your
laundry washed for you (charge per kilo) at several washing and cleaning
services. In some housing, students have access to a washing machine and in
some they can have their washing done for a certain fee.


Telephones & Post Offices
There are two types of public telephones in Iceland, coin-operated and card-
operated. A telephone card (símakort) can be bought at all post offices and at
the University Bookstore. Phone call charges vary depending on the time of
day, the day of the week and the distance of your call. Post Offices are open
on weekdays 8:30 – 16:30, although some are open until 18:00.


Time
Iceland is on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) throughout the year and does
not go on daylight saving time. When it is noon in Reykjavik during the
summer it is 08:00 in New York City, 13:00 in London, 14:00 in Paris, 14:00
in Oslo, 14:00 in Luxembourg, 14:00 in Rome and 21:00 in Tokyo.




                                                                          18
8. Important sources of information
Contacts
Institution                             number             e-mail
The State Social Security Institute     560 4400           tr@tr.is
Immigration Office                      510 5400           utl@utl.is
Internal Revenue Office                 563 1100           rsk@skattur.is
National Health Service                 560 4400           upplysingar@tr.is
Office of International Education       525 4311           ask@hi.is
Registration Office                     525 4309           nemskra@hi.is
Statistical Bureau                      528 1000           upplysingar@hagstofa.is
Student Counselling Centre              525 4315           nhi@hi.is
Student Job Centre                      570 0888           atvinna@fs.is
Student Services                        570 0700           fs@fs.is
University Bookstore                    570 0777           boksala@boksala.is
University Computer Centre              525 4745           help@hi.is
University Student Counselling Centre   525 4315           ima@hi.is
Police – Ambulance – Fire alarm              112


Useful websites
BSÍ bus tours – www.bsi.is
Reykjavík - practical information and events - http://www.visitreykjavik.is/
Daily news from Iceland -Iceland Review - http://icelandreview.com/
Destination Iceland - http://www.dice.is/
Hostelling in Iceland - http://www.hostel.is/
Iceland - http://www.interknowledge.com/iceland/
Iceland explorer 2004/2005 - http://www.explorer.is/
Icetourist - http://www.icetourist.is
NAT.is - travel guide - http://nat.is/
National and University Library of Iceland - http://www.bok.hi.is/
Rent a car in Iceland - http://www.travelnet.is
Reykjavik excursion - special interest tours - http://www.re.is/
University of Iceland – www.hi.is
Vigdís Finnbogadóttir Institute of Foreign Languages
http://www.vigdis.hi.is
Weather forecast for Iceland - http://www.vedur.is/
What's on in Iceland - http://www.whatson.is/




                                                                         19
______________________________________________________________

Editor: Erla Björk Atladóttir, International Coordinator for the University of Iceland at
the Office of International Education
Photo on front page: Guðrún sv. Guðmundsdóttir


                                                                                     20

				
DOCUMENT INFO