When many people think of Iceland, they think of volcanoes, glaciers, and desolate landscapes. Sure,
there are many fantastic natural wonders on this Nordic island nation. They’re close-by no matter where
you live on the island, but there’s much more to Iceland than you might think. Its capital, Reykjavik, is home to over 300,000 people and is known for culture and technology. If the prices are in your budget, and you can find a good job, Iceland is a great place. There is Dunkin’ Donuts, burgers, and a mix of fashion representing the Nordic way and traditions from Europe and the Americas. Iceland is also noted for its safety. People can walk the streets at night without having to look behind their backs, and parents even park their babies outside the restaurants.
Will I Understand Everyone?
Icelandic is the local language, but you don’t have to be an expert to live here. In fact, speaking English is
just fine, because most people on the island do. There are, however, plenty of opportunities to practice
Icelandic, as difficult as it is, at the University of Iceland or from local classes. But don’t feel pressured
into trying to be hip in Reykjavik if your Icelandic vocabulary is limited. What you will quickly learn and understand is that people here love the outdoors. Geothermal energy is put to good use here, even in the capital. There are three hot pools downtown, and every town on the island has one. Even if the snow is falling, you can enjoy a hot bath outside!
How Cold Is It?
The summers are not hot, and the winter nights are long. Near the Arctic Circle, Iceland has extremely
variable weather. Storms pass by quickly all year long on their trek across the North Atlantic. In the
summer, the temperature does not usually rise over 65°F. Summertime is pleasant and people stroll the
shops and explore the countryside. In the winter, however, the Northern Lights offer spectacular natural shows.
How to Move Here Permanently
Tourist visas are easier to obtain than citizenship, and are good for 90 days. That means staying in
Iceland for the summer can be a great time. Immigrating to the island, for U.S. citizens, is difficult.
Unless you limit your stay to three months or get a dual citizenship, the process of becoming a permanent citizen of Iceland is difficult. You’ll need a work permit and apply to a university. Then again, you can marry someone from Iceland or a European Union country, Norway, or Liechtenstein. Employers prioritize Icelandic and European citizens, unless you have a highly-specialized skill. The more you network and connect, the better. An effective way to get started here is to spend a few months on a visa, network with the locals, and find a sponsor. That said, it can take a long time to get a work permit, or even a student visa. A permit with the university involves a lot of paperwork, plus an FBI background check (not a concern if you’re patient and not a criminal). If you can afford it, find a place to live/work, tolerate the cold and love the scenery and culture, Iceland can be the ideal place to live.
About the Guest Author
Apex Window Werks is a home window glass repair and window parts repair company located in Chicagoland area. Apex is a Better Business Bureau A+ company and it is listed in Angie’s List too. Visit their website for more details about their services.
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