Anonymous asked: i am from turkey. i am a geomatic engineer. can i live in iceland permantly? i know that there is some issues with goverment in iceland. i heard that you dont love turks. so is it true?
Since you are from outside the EU/EEA/Schengen, you need to acquire a working permit, which basically means you need to find an employer that would like to hire you. I could imagine that there is demand geomatic engineers in Iceland. Maybe not always, but definitely when large projects, dams etc. are being constructed. You can read a bit more about residence permits etc. in previous questions.
Traditionally Icelanders don’t like Turks. That however is all built on a big misunderstanding and is history. I don’t think that would cause you any trouble, although it may be an interesting conversation starter. The thing is that in 1627 a group of Moroccan pirates under a Dutch commander working for the Ottoman Empire attacked several villages on the south coast of Iceland and took people as slaves. These poor people were then sold as slaves in Algeria and Morocco. The event was quite devastating, particularly for the Vestmannaeyjar islands and Grindavík, where about half of the populations were kidnapped.
The thing is the event is known in Iceland as “Tyrkjaránið” or the Turkish Abductions, even though there were no actual “Turks” involved. But of course they were under the Ottoman Empire. After this event, Turks were of course not particularly popular in Iceland (not that they really came to Iceland anyways). Also many Icelanders believe that there was a forgotten law still in place, until recently, that said that it was legal to kill Turks. This is actually an urban legend and not true at all.
The story of “Tyrkjaránið” is quite amazing and it would definitely come up in conversations with Icelanders if you move to Iceland. But I’m sure it won’t affect you negatively at all, just a nice conversation starter.
ibelieveinsoulmates asked: Hi! I was wondering if you could help me. I am French and study Intercultural Management & International Business at a Master's level. I would absolutely love to find an internship in Marketing/Event planning in Iceland! But since I don't speak Icelandic, is there any chance for me to find a internship at all? I'm especially interested in working for Promote Iceland. Do you have other tips to share with a future intern? Also, thank you for running such an awesome blog! :)
Glad you like the blog.
I’m sure you can find something. Still I would say that internships are much less common in Iceland than in much of Europe for example. Virtually all students have had summer jobs or worked alongside their studies, often in areas very relevant to their studies. Finding a summer job may therefore be a good option for you as well.
For an internship that fits you, I don’t think not knowing Icelandic is much of a liability.
Promote Iceland is a reasonably large organization and could definitely be an option. Of course it could be a good idea to leverage your French. I don’t know if Promote Iceland has a French focus. There are several companies, particularly tourism companies that would benefit from a French speaking intern. The first one that comes to mind is Icelandic Mountain Guides, my former employer. They have a special focus on France and I know that they have had interns before. Icelandair customizes their marketing to several international markets, including France. I’m sure they even have a Paris office. Perhaps the French embassy in Iceland could give you tips on companies that market themselves towards France.
In any case, put together a convincing cover letter, tailor it to each company, show that you both have passion and that you will do more good than be in the way. I know fx. that Icelandic Mountain Guides regularly get requests from abroad about internships and they would like to accept many more of them than they do, but they generally fear that it will take up too much of employee’s time. I reckon it’s the same elsewhere. Convince them otherwise.
Gangi þér vel!
javigonbus asked: Hello! I read somewhere in the internet that it was very difficult to get a job as a foreigner in Iceland... Is is true? if it is, then why? I'd really like to live in Iceland in the future, but if there's no jobs, it would be a very big problem... anyways, I love this blog! and Thank you :)
Being a foreigner will have both advantages and disadvantages when finding a job in any country. Typically the bonus is that you know a language most locals don’t know and the downside is that you don’t know the language of the locals.
Now pretty much all Icelanders are fluent in English, but the work language in almost all companies is Icelandic. That said, if you have valuable skills, you can of course outweigh your lack of Icelandic.
Unless your a programmer (always in demand) the easiest industry to find jobs in without knowing Icelandic is probably the tourism industry. Tourism in Iceland is very seasonal and requires a lot of extra hands in the summer.
You might find some relevant info in other questions that have been asked, particularly those tagged with immigration.
Do keep in mind though that unemployment is high after the financial crisis. Compared to most countries though it is low. It also fluctuates, due to tourism and other seasonal work. It is 4.4% right now, but was almost 9% in May.
Anonymous asked: Hello. Im Handy Gui. An 18 year old girl . I was wondering where i can get a volunteer work in Iceland? :)
There are a few options. Some of them depend on where you come from. The only one I have personal experience with is SEEDS. They are volunteers for the Icelandic Environmental department. They do all sorts of work, but mostly lay and maintain hiking paths in the national parks.
I’ve lived right next to the SEEDS volunteers which are working in the Skaftafell national park and met some of them. Despite doing some pretty hard work, I think they are quite happy. They get some days off every now and when, during which they have free access to an apartment in Reykjavík. They also get some minor weekly allowance which they say is enough for their booze.
A quick google search also turns up Worldwide Friends, which seems to be doing something similar. However, I known nothing about it.
coeurdelhistoire asked: I have been seriously thinking about moving to Iceland with the intention of working there long enough to get a handle on the language. While English is my first language, I'm also fluent in French and semi-fluent in a few other languages. I was wondering if this could be considered helpful in finding a job in the tourism market?
And a completely unrelated question, Welsh (and other Gaelic languages) seem very similar to Icelandic/Norwegian/Swedish. Is this just a coincidence, or do they have a similar structure?
Of course all language skills are well appreciated by tourism companies. For any tourism job, English would be an absolute necessity. Other languages sought after languages are French, German and Spanish. We get plenty of visitors from these countries and they often avoid English. Knowing Icelandic is always a plus but definitely not a requirement.
With some language skills it should be possible to find a summer job in tourism. Winter jobs are harder to come by as there are much fewer travelers in winter. Young people from Nordic countries should check out Nordjobb to find a job. Others are probably best off contacting companies directly. Icelandic Mountain Guides have a bit of a French emphasis and maybe some sales jobs or guiding.
Icelandic and Gaelic have some minor relation yes. Although Iceland was probably first settled by Vikings, it had probably been visited often by the Papar from the British Isles. The Scandinavian Vikings also had Gaelic slaves they’d picked up on the way. You can read more about the Norse Gaelics and their influence on the language on Wikipedia.
mycardiganromance asked: I'm from the US but my dream is to move to Iceland one day. How easy is it for someone to become a citizen? I'm trying to learn the language but I'll probably never be fluent. Is it hard to adjust?
To become a citizen you must live in Iceland for 7 years, marry an Icelander or convince the parliament to speed it up for you. You can get a permanent residence permit earlier (4 years) by fulfilling various requirements, including 150 hrs of Icelandic courses or passing an Icelandic language test.
If you are coming to work you need to be “essential” in some way. I think its basically if you can find work, you can get a work permit.
If you are coming to study, all you need to do is be accepted by a school or university. I’m pretty sure you are allowed to work alongside your studies.
Everything is easier if you come from a European Economic Union country and there are nearly no restrictions if you are a citizen of a Nordic country.
You can read all about immigration and visas on the website of the Directorate of Immigration. It’s a pretty clear and understandable website, but there are some broken links probably because they recently moved immigration roles between ministries.
Icelandic is tough to learn, not only because the language is complicated, but also because everybody in Iceland speaks English. It probably is hard in the long term to live there without being able to at least read Icelandic, but plenty of people live there for many years without speaking Icelandic.