Location: Places >> Europe >> Iceland
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Life in Iceland
Posted January 19th, 2013 - 8:04 pm by from Prague, Czech Republic (Permalink)
Hello there fellas!
I have a very serious question of utmost importance for you people. I am considering moving over to Iceland after I finish my education (that's about 6 years from now) aaaaand, I need to know if it is a good idea or not, since I do not posses any knowledge of the people. Should I dig into their language? Only 300 000 people or so speak it! Or should I go for Norwegian? And, the most important question - are there the earthships allowed? Can you own your own hot spring? What about the people there? Of what sort they are, if I can put it like that?
I really do need answers to those questions and I hope you are the right guys to answer me:)
Thanks a lot!!!!

Posted January 21st, 2013 - 6:04 am by from Quebec, Canada (Permalink)
I'm speaking from a very outsider point of view, since I went there only three weeks...

Buuut. Considering the amount of Polish people in Iceland, I can believe that you do not legally need to speak icelandic to live there. And you probably already know that most people can understand English.

However, I can say for sure that people will deeply appreciate that you try to learn Icelandic as much as possible. Norwegian won't really help you. At all. And depending on your field of work, it may be a problem that you do not speak Icelandic.

I believe Icelanders are opened to outsiders, but they are proud of their culture and their land. Don't go live in Iceland to have a hot spring in your backyard. Live in Iceland because you wish to live through their culture and add to it through who you are. Embrace Iceland as much as you can. Become Icelandic as much as you can.

I guess it's all common sense. But yeah. Think twice about what you really want from Iceland. But you'll have 6 years for that =)

Posted January 21st, 2013 - 10:32 am by from Reykjavik, Iceland (Permalink)
First of all, why do you want to move here? You claim you have no real knowledge of the people or culture and according to your profile you have never visited? I would think you should do a few weeks trip at a minimum before deciding to settle down. Also, a lot can change in six years.

But... if you are still excited about the prospects, some thoughts:

As Maxime said, whether Icelandic is an absolute requirement or not depends on your field of work. Pretty much everybody in Iceland is proficient in English.
Then again, it's pretty much common sense that the more direct contact you have with customers the more you need to know the local language - though there are exceptions, e.g. hostel receptions and such. Knowing the language of course opens up more doors, otherwise you might be limiting yourself to low-paying jobs.

Norwegian is as useful as Polish in the Czech Republic, that is, they are related but still WAY different. Most people would prefer English to Danish (which is a requirement from the age of 12 in grammar/elementary/primary school, English being taught from the age of 9, in some school earlier).

If you are not willing to contribute anything to the local socitey (say, by learning the basics of the local language and integrating into the culture) why should the society contribute anything to you? You could start here: http://icelandiconline.is

I don't there are any laws against earthships per se. But buying up land isn't that simple for foreigners. We Icelanders are quite protective (undestandably I would say!) of our natural resources. Thermal energy is the way to go here, solar energy could work during the brief (end of june till beginning of august) summer - can't see it work during the short (in terms of sunlight) days of winter.

I don't mean to be overly negative, but to me your idea seems a bit vague and random - that's all :)