International cooperation

STUDENT COUNCIL INTERNATIONAL OFFICER

International students at the University of Iceland make up a diverse group. Although only one-fourth of them are exchange students, the university directs information and support for international students almost exclusively to those engaged in short-term exchange programs. As a consequence, a large group of international students are not getting the care and assistance they need. Röskva wants to change this. Röskva is pleased that the position of International Officer has been added to the Student Council’s Student Rights Office. The International Officer will act as a representative for international students. Röskva will follow along to ensure that this endeavor is successful from the start.

STUDY ABROAD OPTIONS

Studying abroad is an important way for students to broaden their horizons. Röskva wants students in all departments to have the opportunity to study abroad. Currently, few University of Iceland students study abroad. Röskva urges the university to do a better job of informing students of study abroad opportunities and encourages everyone to study abroad regardless of personal situation, e.g. students with children. To that end, more support could be offered in the form of higher grant amounts.

BUILDING MORE CONNECTIONS WITH FOREIGN UNIVERSITIES

Röskva believes studying abroad can be an important part of a student’s academic career and encourages the university to build additional connections with foreign universities, pursuing agreements for both student and instructor exchanges. Röskva would like to point out that this is especially needed for graduate programs. Röskva wants to see continuing collaboration between the Aurora Student Council and the University of Iceland Student Council with the goal of improving student services and strengthening the Student Council’s operations.

RÖSKVA’S INTERNATIONAL OFFICER

We aim for our international officer to be the voice of international students, advocate for them, and ensure that their needs are addressed.

LANGUAGE

We strive to be inclusive and to encourage international students to participate, and one of the ways we do that is by making information available in English as much as possible.

CULTURE

We aim to introduce Icelandic culture to those who are interested and find that one way to do that is to host cultural events for international students.

EXCHANGE STUDENTS AND INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

We aim to take into consideration the fact that some students are here for one semester and others for a longer period.

International affairs in SHÍ

Social Integration:

Röskva demands that international students are provided a free, elective introduction course in Icelandic.

Language difficulties can be the most substantial social barrier international students face, making it harder for them to actively take part in both the social and academic life. Therefore, Röskva encourages the University to provide an introduction course to Icelandic free of charge to international students each semester, that is not meant as a part of the academic degree but extracurricular.

The University of Iceland should provide a framework for social life amongst international students to unfold and prosper.

Röskva believes that a healthy social life is one of the foundations of wellbeing in an academic environment. International students often land outside the margins of the University social life. Guidance counselors must be able to provide information on social life for international students. The University should provide a platform for international students to integrate socially.

Institutional Integration:

International students should be faced with a transparent application process.

All relevant documents and forms should be accessible and available in English. The University of Iceland should ensure that international students are easily able to seek out all necessary information during and before their stay.

The University of Iceland should provide all student-services in Icelandic and English.

The increasingly international nature of the University of Iceland makes it necessary to provide all student-services and information in English as well as Icelandic. It is especially important that documents pertaining to the admissions process are available in English, as most international students are not fluent in Icelandic.   

International students should be met with strong support in relation to living conditions.

Coming from abroad, international students lack the connections and social safety net of their Icelandic counterparts. This makes finding housing more difficult. Therefore, the University should provide international students strong support in finding a place to live. In a housing market as volatile as in the Reykjavík area, international students are in need of more support. Furthermore the university should provide support for finding a job and inform students on the nature of the Icelandic job market, e.g. by pointing them in the direction of relevant third party organizations like unions.