Study Abroad

SIT Iceland: Climate Change and the Arctic

  • Location: Ísafjörður, Iceland
  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • Language of Instruction: English
  • Class Eligibility: Juniors, and seniors


COVID-19 Protocols and Travel Warnings

You can read about this program’s COVID-19 safety protocols at this link, then read the CDC Travel Warning and U.S. State Department Travel Advisory at the respective links. For more information about Haverford College Study Abroad and the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak, read the Study Abroad homepage here.

*If interested in applying, contact the study abroad office ASAP! Space is limited!*

Students gain the opportunity of a lifetime to experience firsthand the climate change that is occurring in the Arctic. Students not only learn about the different topics within climate change, but also gain insights and real life experiences into the physical, social, and economic effects of these changes. The program is designed as a mobile and nomadic platform with temporary homes across Iceland. Excursions include Geysir, a geyser that’s been active for 10,000 years, and Akureyri, described as the capital of North Iceland. Students also visit highlands, waterfalls, black sand beaches, geothermal fields, rugged coastlines, fjords, volcanoes, and a deserted village in the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve. A 10-day road trip following the Ring Road takes students around the entire country. Stops include the largest glacier in Europe and its lagoon, the geothermal area around Lake Mývatn, and the island of Grimsey within the Arctic Circle.

  • Visa:

    Students with US passports will need a student residency permit for Iceland. Students will also need to obtain an FBI background check as part of the student residency permit application. SIT will send more information regarding the residency permit after acceptance.

    Non-US Citizens should consult with SIT and the Office of International Student Support before applying to the program.

    Study Abroad & Applying for OPT Policy 

  • Fees: Students pay Haverford tuition, room, and board directly to Haverford College. Haverford will then be responsible for submitting payments to the program.

Previous college-level experience in engineering, earth sciences, sustainability, environmental policy, sociology, biology, geology, geography, chemistry, archaeology, and/or environmental science/studies.

Space is limited on this program and it fills up quickly. Early applications are strongly encouraged.

Academic Credit

Students are required to enroll in all 4 courses. Major, minor, and concentration transfer credit will only be granted for courses in which students received a grade of a C or above. This program has been approved by the Environmental Studies department. Students will receive natural science, social science, and humanities divisional credit.


Courses will focus on climate change and the arctic and will address carbon management, renewable energy systems, the consequences and impact of climate change, and climate modeling. Students are required to complete an independent research project that allows them to incorporate their classroom academics with the real-world experience they will gain.

Climate Modeling and Carbon Management
The Arctic: Changing Ecosystems and Resilience
Research Methods and Ethics in the Arctic
Research Project in Arctic Climate Protection

In addition to coursework on climate change and research methods and ethics, students learn conversational Icelandic and Finnish and examine the ways in which these languages reflect the socio-cultural identities of the places they are spoken. 

Course Highlights

Environmental Science, Environmental Studies

Note: Changes occur frequently. Students are responsible for finding the classes they need and consulting the official site of the institution.

Review the Full Academic Requirements for Studying Abroad


In-country orientation is held for students briefing them on information about safety and health while living and studying in Iceland.

Number of Students


Housing/Meal Plans

Homestay only. Students will live with a host family in Ísafjörður, the capital of the Westfjords region, for three weeks. Host families are usually close to the University Centre of the Westfjords, where classes are held.  All meals are covered either by SIT directly, through a stipend, or through the homestay.

When on excursions, including in Finland, students will stay in hostels.

Haverford students may not opt for independent off-campus housing – that is, housing not arranged by the program.


Additional Resources

View Scholarship Information

Apply to Study Abroad!

  • PDF
  • Program List


  • Semester
  • Science/Math/Pre-Health/CompSci Approved


  • Semester I: Mid-August to late December
  • Semester II: Mid-February to late May

Application Deadlines

  • Semester I: March 15
  • Semester II: September 15

Faculty Contact