Living and studying in the city of Reykjavík

The three main values of the Iceland University of the Arts are curiosity, understanding, and courage, all of which you will need as you embark on a new phase of your life in a new country.


Orientation days are held during the first week of every semester. The programme is organised by the Student Services and the International Office. It includes introductory meetings, campus tour, crash course in Icelandic and a reception. We encourage all new students to take part in these activities wich serve as a platform for students to meet each other and a tool towards adapting to a new environment. Further information about the programme and schedule will be sent by email to all new students in mid August.

Accommodation and Cost of Living

Student accommodation is not provided at the IUA. Most students find rooms/apartments with private landlords in the city or through rental services. A Facebook group is set up for students to exchange information about housing. Students may be entitled to housing benefits. More information here.
It is important to keep in mind that Iceland is expensive and you have to consider your budget for living expenses. The published minimum-support criterion of the Welfare Division of Reykjavík City is ISK 180,550 per month for an individual.  However, this amount does not necessarily reflect actual living costs, which can vary greatly depending on your lifestyle and spending habits.
Here are rough estimates for an individual living in Reykjavík:
  • Housing, including utilities: ISK 80,000/month and up
  • Food and daily expenses: ISK 50,000/month and up
  • Local public transportation: ISK 6,000/month and up
  • Leisure activities: ISK 30,000/month and up

Registration and Student Residence Permits

Citizens from EU/EEA/EFTA countries do not need to obtain a student residence permit to study in Iceland. Full-time students staying in Iceland for longer than six months, should register with the Registers Iceland. Through this application (A-262 (EU-nationals / A-257 Nordic nationals) you will receive an Icelandic ID number “kennitala”.
Exchange students staying for less than 6 months, are not required to obtain “kennitala”. Should you need one (e.g. in terms of employment), please contact the reception in Þverholt or Laugarnes and bring your passport with you.
Citizens of countries outside the EU/EEA/EFTA area must apply for a residence permit in Iceland if they intend to stay longer than 90 days. This applies also to Erasmus students who do not hold an EU/EEA/EFTA passport. A residence permit in another EU/EEA country is not valid for a study period in Iceland exceeding 90 days.
Please note that the process of obtaining a student residence permit takes time and effort so we urge you to read the information and instructions on the website of the Directorate of Immigration carefully.


EU/EEA citizens must present their European Health Insurance Card when using healthcare services in Iceland.

Click here for more information about

  • Healthcare
  • Transport in Reykjvík
  • Support, services and contact information