Programs by Country: Iceland + Traditional

REYKJAVIK: Reykjavik University – Sustainability in Iceland

Traditional | Reykjavik, Iceland

Study Abroad Coordinator: TBD (

Dates: Summer I

The purpose of this course is to explore sustainable development and its implications by studying the economic history of Iceland, particularly with regard to the part played by renewable energy and commercial fishing, land use and tourism from the 20th century onwards.  Iceland offers an interesting case for study.  This volcanic island was first settled in the 9th century, and over the course of a few hundred years of human activity, the long term equilibrium of the island was disrupted causing severe environmental degradation.  By the turn of the 20th century Iceland was one of the poorest countries in Europe.  Over the course of the last hundred years, utilization of Iceland‘s considerable resources has allowed a remarkable transformation of the country, which now enjoy‘s a standard of living among the best in the world and is considered a leader in the sustainable use of natural resources.  The relatively small size and simplicity of the Icelandic economy makes it particularly understandable and suitable for analysis.

Video from 2014 Program!