Jump to: navigation, search
Iceland.jpg Imsic.jpg
EU location ICE.png
City Reykjavik
Languages Icelandic (but people speak English at the hospitals)
Currency (how much is a Bigmac?) The Icelandic Krona
Time zone Greenwich
Number of Doctors and beds per 1000 people Enter numbers
Member of IFMSA since... 1957
Number of incoming students per year 20-24
Who are our NEO's Linda Björk Kristinsdóttir (NEO-in), Perla Steinsdóttir (NEO-out)
Our official website / Forum / Facebook group
Come for exchange!

Welcome Note

We welcome every medical student to Iceland, the land of contrasts, the land of fire and ice. In general we can proudly say that students staying with us in Iceland have been very pleased with their stay. We have english speaking doctors and since our hospitals are all university hospitals there is a atmosphere of teaching all students, during rounds and just all the time. There are planned case sessions for young doctors and students a few times a week and the availability of specialists and young doctors is quite good for learning.We have provided fine accommodation in students house. The students have also been quite happy with our social program which is better described below. We also have weekly cafee/bar meetings after hospital hours where the committee meets with the present students to see if everything is going smoothly. But we meet with the students also much more often since we throw parties every weekend or trips.



Iceland is a Nordic European island country situated at the confluence of the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. The country has a population of about 320,000 and a total area of 103,000 km2 (40,000 sq mi), which makes it the most sparsely populated country in Europe. The capital and largest city is Reykjavík, with the surrounding areas in the southwestern region of the country being home to two-thirds of the country's population. Iceland is volcanically and geologically active. The interior consists mainly of a plateau characterised by sand and lava fields, mountains and glaciers, while many glacial rivers flow to the sea through the lowlands. Iceland is warmed by the Gulf Stream and has a temperate climate despite a high latitude just outside the Arctic Circle.

Our health care system

Icelandic people are quite proud of our health care system which we say is one of the best in the world. All major operations are in general free for Icelandic people as well as foreigners living here or traveling since our government takes care of this and issues of insurance are quite good here. Getting service at the hospital only requires a minimum cost of a few thousand Icelandic kronas.

The hospitals

We have two hospitals in Reykjavik. They're both owned by the government and are University hospitals. There's the Landspitali at Hringbraut and Landspitali at Fossvogur which are both close to the centre. They have different departments so we usually have students at both hospitals every summer.


Our medical education

Icelandic students can start medical studies after finishing high scool, which people usually finish at 20 years old. The medical faculty only admits 48 persons per year for whole of Iceland and the students have to take an exam in the summer before studies to get admitted. Hence the top 48 students get in every year. The studies are 6 years. First 3 years mostly pre academical classes and then the later 3 years are clinical and teaching in most part takes place in the hospitals as it is both classes and clinical work. In our final year the students have 2 months of "free" period where people can go wherever they want and work as medical students, in Iceland or abroad. They find a project and get it valuated by the medical faculty. After 4th year then students can work as assistant doctors in the hospitals and after finishing 5th year many students go out in the country to relive doctors at the smaller towns of Iceland for the summer, working at clinics around Iceland.

Cultural differences

Icelandic culture is very similar to Western Europe and there are no major cultural difficulties we have come upon. The majority of Icelanders are part of the national Christian Church but we have as well a community of Muslims and Catholics. We have around 30 thousand Polish immigrants as well as smaller number of immigrants from Thailand, Vietnam and Phillipenes. There is very little, if any, prejudice or violence for example against homosexuals or different ethnic or religious groups.

Accommodation & Boarding

We provide acommodation where the students (12 each month) live to gether. We also provide one hot meal per day at the hospital.

Social program

We're proud of our social program which has been really good the last years. We plan a welcome party for the first or second weekend after arrival of the students. Then we have a weekend trip where we camp in one of the beautiful sites in Iceland. Example of the places we have visited during this trip recently are the Westman Islands, Landmannalaugar and Skaftafell. Usually we also take stundents on a one day trip if possible. We usually go to the Golden Circle which includes Thingvellir (national park), Gullfoss (the great waterfall) and Geysir (where the geysers are, which the international word for erupting hot water springs is derived from). Then we also plan an international evening (usually saturday night) where every student and the people of IMSIC prepare a meal typical of their country. Then everyone gets to taste the food (and alcohol) of different countries, but that evening has always been really good since we have been having people from all over the world doing electives in Reykjavik. Please note that the scedule you will get sent in the spring is a draft and dates may change since we try to choose dates when most of the students can go and when people in the committee or contact persons are available.


Local & National transportation

There are buses from the airport and the students are picked up at the bus station and driven to the student's house. Their contact person also shows them where the hospital is and their department.


In the time of the electives (july and august), during the summer there is usually around 15 degrees Centigrade during the day. During good days it goes over 20 degrees. We incourage students coming to Iceland to bring warm clothes only for the weekend trip since it can get cold during the nights in the tents out in the countryside.

Social life

Reykjavík nightlife is famous (and maybe infamous) for the long opening hours of bars and pubs in the centre of Reykjavík. Most bars and cafes are open until 1 a.m. during work days and until 5 a.m. during weekends. We have lot of cafes and the centre of reykjavík is full of life during summer, especially during sunny days when you will see groups of young people as well as older for example at "Austurvöllur", a grassy square in front of the Icelandic Parlament where the statue of Jón Sigurðsson, a Icelandic independence "fighter" and hero, stands and looks over the crowd.

Exchange Conditions

Please read well the exchange conditions on this website:

A good command of English is compulsory for a clinical clerkship in Iceland. Swedish, Danish and Norwegian is also spoken by many health professionals in Iceland.

Working Conditions Working hours are 4-8 hours/day on weekdays depending on the department. We cannot guarantee our incoming students their department of first choice. Students may rotate between their choices.

We recommend surgery departments for students that donґt speak english fluently.

Period July – August

Reykjavik – capital of Iceland, 2 major hospitals Application documents & deadline The SCOPE Application Form Letter of motivation. Copy of passport 1 photo Insurance certificate language certificate Certificate from medical university

We prefer digital documents. Send them to

Certificate that applicant is MRSA negative. The student should not enter a hospital after the test is taken. Mantoux test or x-ray is also needed.

Students are asked to send the Card of Confirmation as soon as possible and give us information about date, arrival time and flight number.

Students need to fill out the students handbook to get certificate.


Cities offered for exchange

Reykjavik - <-- this is your source page for the city page