According to regulations no. 654/2009 upper secondary schools should have an orientation plan for students whose first language is not Icelandic. If required, this plan also applies to Icelandic students who have lived abroad for a long time and are lacking skills in Icelandic.
All applications go through the Directorate of Education (Menntamálastofnun) on this website. Applicants can seek assistance from the study programme manager if needed.
If students apply directly after graduating from an Icelandic elementary school their grades from that school are automatically included in the application. Parents or guardians may be asked to sign a consent form granting the school permission to request further information from the elementary school.
Municipalities (sveitarfélög), the Red Cross and other organisations can sponsor applicants, for example in the case of refugees. It is important that the school stays in contact with the sponsors during the students’ time at the school.
The school offers a special programme for students with other native languages than Icelandic, that may suit the needs of some applicants. Others may need classes in Icelandic as a second language (ÍSA) that they can attend alongside their other studies. The Study Lab offers assistance with studies and is available to all students.
The school does not offer courses in every language but assessment tests in various languages are held in upper secondary schools on a regular basis. Students can sign up to take them and get the credits towards their degree.
A study programme manager, headmaster or student counsellor summons new students under 18 and their parents/guardians for an interview. The school provides an interpreter if the family wishes. The purpose of the interview is to:
If necessary, the students take an assessment test in Icelandic to determine their skill level for proper course placement. The students’ studies are planned out for the first semesters in accordance with their interests and abilities, this includes determining if and how the Study Lab could be useful to the students.
Students starting school in the Icelandic as a Second Language programme get an introduction to the school at the start of the semester. This introduction covers the campus, the support services of the school (student counsellors, the Study Lab, etc.) the study programme, Inna and more. A special orientation meeting is held for the parents of these students.
All new students meet on a regular basis with their supervising teacher for the first school year to keep track of their attendance and progress.
Foreign students must meet the same requirements as Icelandic students. Various services are available to help them meet these requirements. For example taking tests in the Study Lab, extended time for tests or taking tests orally instead of written ones. Foreign students who have not studied a Nordic language are exempt from taking those courses and take other courses instead.