A country island located in the North Atlantic Ocean, between Europe and North America, Iceland is incredibly popular with tourists. It is home to some of the world’s largest glaciers and most active volcanoes, earning the title “Land of Fire and Ice.”

Iceland is also known for its midnight sun as it is located in the arctic circle. During the summer solstice, usually between June 20th to 22nd, the sun sets a little after midnight and rises again at three in the morning. From May to July, you’ll also experience 24-hour daylight here.

Indeed, this stunning country of beautiful contradictions and other-worldly sights attract tourists from around the world. Besides tourists, international students find this Nordic nation an excellent place to pursue higher education. If you want to be one of them, here are some of the best scholarships in Iceland for international students to get you started.

Best Scholarships in Iceland

1. New Student Grant and HR Presidential List at Reykjavik University

  • Scholarship Link
  • Scholarship Amount: Equivalent to first-semester tuition fees
  • Eligible Degree: Bachelors

Reykjavik University attracts outstanding students through its New Student Grant, one of the best scholarships in Iceland for international students. The university selects awardees based on exemplary performance in upper secondary school. To apply for this Iceland scholarship, students must be starting their undergraduate studies in the autumn semester. Once selected, the successful applicant will receive grants covering their first-semester tuition.

Additionally, the university offers other scholarships to help students during their succeeding years of study. The HR Presidential list grants full tuition coverage the next semester. To earn this award, the student must complete 30 credits or more per semester and achieve the best scores during the examination.

Meanwhile, Bachelor’s of Science in Sports Science students may also be eligible for high-achieving athletes grants. It covers tuition fees up to six semesters. Considering these grants, you can start and complete your undergraduate studies at Reykjavik University financially-worry free.

2. The Green Program Alumni Scholarship

The Green Program Alumni Scholarship, also offered at Reykjavik University, aims to attract graduate students and researchers to find better ways to meet the world’s demand for sustainable energy. To be eligible, applicants must be Green Program alumni applying for the Iceland School of Energy at Reykjavik University. Upon selection, successful candidates will receive partial fee scholarships up to US$5,000.

The program will select four applicants to receive this scholarship in Iceland. If you’re interested and meet the eligibility requirements, make sure to include in your Iceland School of Energy application personal statement that you want to be considered for the Green Program Scholarship. And if you have more questions, don’t hesitate to drop an email to the university’s admissions office.

3. Education for Sustainable Energy Development Scholarship

The Education for Sustainable Energy Development (ESED) scholarship, from Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership (GSEP), is one of the best scholarships in Iceland for international students. Specifically, the GSEP looks for outstanding students from developing countries to pursue research and development of sustainable energy.

Since it started in 2001, the program has awarded over 140 scholarships, out of more than 900 applications, to successful candidates from 37 countries worldwide. And annually, the GSEP selects approximately ten students to support in their studies. It provides up to US$10,000 per year for up to two years to successful awardees.

To be eligible for this scholarship, applicants must take master’s level studies in sustainable energy fields or other relevant areas, such as public policy, law, and economics. Additionally, they should pursue at least one school year of full-time studies, starting in the autumn semester. If you’ve already started your first year of studies, you can still apply for this scholarship and receive the award on your next year’s level.

4. University of Iceland: The Watanabe Trust Fund

  • Scholarship Link
  • Scholarship Amount: US$1,700 per month
  • Eligible Degree: Bachelor’s, Masters, Ph.D.

In 2008, the University of Iceland received a generous endowment of US$3 million from Mr. Toshizo Watanabe for his gratitude after receiving scholarships to complete his education. The endowment started the Watanabe Trust Fund, promoting goodwill between Iceland and Japan. It aims to strengthen the academic collaboration between the two countries by supporting students and staff in their academic endeavors.

This way, applicants from Japan looking to study at the University of Iceland can apply for this scholarship. Through the trust fund, students and staff from the university can also apply for overseas studies or research funding at a Japanese university.

Additionally, applicants can apply for undergraduate or graduate courses at the University of Iceland. Upon selection, successful applicants will receive monthly payments to cover their maintenance costs at the University of Iceland, approximately US$1,700. However, the grant does not provide tuition fee coverage or travel expenses for student applicants.

5. Robert S. McNamara Fellowships Program

The Robert S. McNamara Fellowships Program of the World Bank targets economic researchers from developing countries. Successful candidates of the fellowship program have a unique opportunity to work with World Bank’s research economists in policy-relevant projects. Besides studying in Iceland, successful fellows can work for eight months at the World Bank in Washington, D.C.

Besides the valuable professional experience, research training and writing opportunities, the fellows will receive a competitive compensation package of $42,750. The amount comes after income taxes and payable in monthly installments. The program will also assist applicants in their visa applications.

To apply for this scholarship in Iceland, applicants must come from World Bank Group member countries, with a preference for those from developing countries. Moreover, they should have completed Master’s level studies or are currently pursuing Ph.D. studies in Economics or related fields. Furthermore, applicants must not be over 35 years old by the start of the fellowship and are willing to relocate to Washington.


I hope that this article on the best scholarships in Iceland for international students was helpful. Make sure to also check out the Available Programs in Europe!

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