This Dialogue offers opportunities to learn about a wide range of volcanic, glacial, and plate tectonics processes based on 8-9 locations around Iceland. The effects of past, and present, climate change are apparent in marine terraces around the coast, and from study of rapid recent glacier retreat. If you can cope with weather-driven uncertainty; spending most nights in a tent and sleeping bag at campgrounds; and don’t mind hiking short to long distances to get to and from our study sites each day, this could be an interesting program option to consider.

Application Procedure

  • Application Open: October 15, 2016
  • * Priority Deadline: November 22, 2016
  • Application Deadline: February 1, 2017
Submit to GEO
  • GEO Application: All applicants must complete the GEO application. This is the first step for applying to any program.
  • $500 non-refundable deposit: Deposits must be paid through NUPay. Be sure to select the appropriate summer term.
  • Photocopy of Passport: This is to be given to your faculty leader after acceptance.
  • Faculty Interview: Faculty will schedule interviews with applicants of interest to determine acceptance. The interviews can occur anytime between the priority and final deadline.
  • Essay Questions: Answer each question in 2-3 paragraphs (completed online via GEO application).
    • What are your personal and academic reasons for wishing to participate in this Dialogue of Civilizations program?
    • How will the program further your academic and career goals?
    • What is your previous travel and language experience, if any?
    • What courses have you taken which are directly relevant to the program?

Applications are not considered complete until deposit is received. This deposit will be applied to the full cost of the program.

* Priority Deadline: All students that apply by the priority deadline will be considered for admission, as all dialogues remain open until the priority deadline. After the priority deadline, applications are reviewed on a rolling basis until the program fills. Programs are subject to close anytime between the priority deadline and the application deadline when a program receives the maximum number of students.

Update My Travel Plans on MyNEU
Once you have been accepted into the program and your the flight and accommodation details have been shared with you, you are required to create an entry in My Travel Plans for the trip. Please be sure to enter the following pieces of information:
  • Personal and Emergency Contact Info
  • HealthTravel Info: Dates, flight and accommodation details, etc.
  • Passport Details: Passport number, Expiration date, Passport Country of issue, etc.

Please refer to this step-by-step user’s guide for directions on how to navigate the My Travel Plans system.

Should you fail to complete this step as directed, you may be prevented from traveling, may not receive credit for courses, and/or may be excluded from participating in other Northeastern global programs.

Eligibility Requirements

Studying abroad requires a valid passport. You may also need a visa and/or other travel documents. It is your responsibility to ensure that all your documents are valid and appropriate to the nature of your program.

Minimum Requirements
  • Minimum Cumulative GPA: 2.5
  • Minimum Semesters: Minimum of 2 completed Northeastern semesters at the time of program start date. NUin students are eligible to apply during their first semester on the Boston campus. Transfer and Global Pathways students contact GEO program coordinator for eligibility.
Other Requirements
  • ENVR Coursework: Some prior ENVR coursework preferred but students without this background may also apply.


  • ENVR5201 - Geologic Field Seminar : Consists of two parts: an intensive classroom study of aspects of geology associated with a particular field setting, and an intensive field investigation. Examples include carbonate petrology and reef ecology, then field studies in the Bahamas; glacial geology and volcanology, and field studies in Iceland; or stratigraphy of the U.S. Southwest, followed by field studies in the Grand Canyon.
  • ENVR5202 - Environmental Science Field Seminar Abroad : Offers an intensive environmental science field study experience associated with a particular off-campus geographic setting, such as Iceland, Newfoundland, Bahamas, etc. Offers students an opportunity to learn the principles of field study, to learn to recognize and record significant data, and to reach conclusions about a range of field-based problems being studied.


Northeastern Tuition: $11,680
  • Tuition covers 8 Northeastern credits.

Dialogue of Civilizations Fee: $2,500
  • Round-trip airfare from Boston, housing for program duration, International Security and Emergency Support, as well as some local transport, excursions and group meals.

GEO offers scholarships and grants for students studying abroad on Dialogue of Civilizations programs. Please visit our Scholarships page for more info!


Iceland’s location on an active plate boundary (the Mid-Atlantic Ridge) and its location near the Arctic Circle makes it a great destination for environmental field study of young lava flows and volcanoes; older, uplifted and more deeply eroded rocks to the east and west sides of the active rifts; and study of both modern and ancient glacial processes. Volcanic landforms and eruption styles differ, depending on whether magma erupts on land, beneath the ice, or flows into water, and we study examples that formed in each environment. Glaciers erode the landscape, transport and deposit sediments, and melt gradually to form rivers (much of Iceland’s electricity derives from hydropower). This is a field-based experience, and most days involve some or much hiking to get to and from the study area for that day. We spend most nights in tents in campgrounds, and Iceland is known for having occasionally windy and rainy weather.


  • Campgrounds: Most of the nights we stay as a group in campgrounds at these locations: Reykjavik, Myvatn, Egilsstadir, Hofn, Skaftafell National Park, and Skogar (downhill from the 2010 volcanic eruption site). Each campground has easy bus access (to minimize the distance you need to carry your gear), bathrooms with showers, etc.
  • On-Campus: Generally at Holar University College, we are given two one-story buildings to ourselves, with 5-6 rooms apiece, with kitchen, bathrooms and a living room in each building.
  • Mountain Hut: We are not yet sure (as of late September) if we will have access to this hut (Dreki Hut) during our stay. If we do, it is an A-frame building with bathroom and kitchen, and stacks of mattresses that are spread out at night on the floor. The location, near Askja Caldera and the 2014-2015 eruption site, goes well with the rustic nature of the accomodations here.

Host University or Organization

Iceland has many tour companies. We contract with Guðmundur Jónasson Travel in Reykjavik to organize our in-country travel (they provide a high-clearance bus and Icelandic driver for the duration of our trip), museum entry and other fee-based activity tickets, and setting up campground/room accomodations for us.

Faculty Advisor