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ESN Newsletter May 2013

A"Letter"from"the"board Dear%ESN’ers!% We%the%board%want% to% thank% you%all%for%an%amazing% and%eventful%semester.% We%hope% we% speak%for%everyone%when%we%say%that%a%lot% of%good%memories% have%been%made%these%couple%of%months.% New,%interesting,%weird,%fun%people%entered%our%lives,%whether%we%wanted%to%or%not,%many%of%whom%we’ll% keep%in%touch%with%for%years%to%come.%With%them%we%travelled%a%magical%land%full%of%elves,%hidden%people% and%monsters;%a%land%with%a%warm%name,%Iceland.% During%our%travels%we%saw%peculiar%creatures%called% Icelanders,%speaking%a%foreign%language,%wearing%“lopapeysur”%and%eating%sheepFheads. Yes,% many%adventures% were% had.% The% trip%to% Þórsmörk% and% the%ski% trip%to% Akureyri% is%something%we’ll% remember% forever,% and% of% course% we% can’t% forget% the% everfun% Thursday% parties.% We% ate% some% freaky% food,%but%hopefully%by%now%the%smell%of%rotten%shark%from%the%Þorrablót%has%left%your%mouths!%The%crazy% snow% storm% in% March% wasn’t% a% nice% way% for% Iceland% to% welcome% you,% but% at% least% we% saw% how% uncontrollable%the% weather% can%get.% In%the% end%most% forgave%Iceland%for% the%weather,%since%it%made%up% for%it%with%an%incredible%green%lightshow%known%as%the%Northern%Lights.%The%list%could%go%on%and%on,%but% these% are% just% a% few% of% the% incredible% experiences% we% added% to% our% list% and% hopefully% have% made% us% better%people%for%it. We%would%just%like%to%use%this%opportunity%to%say%thank%you%for%all%the%wonderful%times%we%had%together% and%hope%that%we%played%our%part%well%in%making%this%exchange%as%awesome%as%it%could%possibly%be.% lorem ipsum dolor met set It’s%often%hard%to%say%goodbye,%but%we’ll%leave%you%with%this:

quam nunc parum

2009

SEE%YOU%SOON!


This% year% the% University% of% Iceland% and% Reykjavík% University% had% over%500%students%from%36%countries%on%exchange.% Here%are%some%interesting%facts:

• 385%students%arrived%in% the%Fall)semester% • 258%studied%at%the% University%of%Iceland • 127%at%Reykjavík% University Most%students%came%from:% Germany,%France%and%Spain

• 152%students%arrived%in% the%Spring)semester • 108%studied%at%the% University%of%Iceland • 44%at%Reykjavík%University Most%students%came%from:% Finland,%Germany%and% Sweden/The%Netherlands


AIESEC&Iceland&&&ESN&Reykjavík Last% month% AIESEC% Iceland% &% ESN% Reykjavík% met% up% to% discuss% a% partnership%to%benefit% both%organizations.% The%outcome% we%believe%is% a% great%one.%% AIESEC% is% an%organization% that% is% a%perfect% compliment% to% ESN% in% that% after% a% semester% or% 2% abroad% ones% needs% to% focus% more% on% the% professional%aspect%of%their%future.% %AIESEC%looks%to%do%just%that,%finding% internships%and%the%opportunity%to%find%a%job%for%enthusiastic%individuals% ready%to%embark%on%their%illustrious%careers. The% partnership% between% both% organizations% enables% AIESEC% Iceland% members%to%be%apart%of%the%ESN%Reykjavík%network.%%Both%organizations% would%work%together%to%put%science%trips%together%for%students%aiming%at% international%friendly%companies.%% ESN% Reykjavík% will% also% be% promoting% AIESEC% events% that% pertain% to% international%students%through%the%ESN%Reykjavík%facebook%group.%% We% feel% that% this% partnership% allows% both% organizations% to% expand% international% awareness% within% Iceland% to% the% international% students% and%should%be%a%joyous%venture.


Student’s&Experiences When%I%first%told%people%at%home%I%was%going%to%Iceland%for%5%months,%I%can%still%call% to% mind% their%shocked% faces:%“Ow% my% god,% don’t% you%need% special% equipment% for% that?”%F%completely%convinced%I%was%going%to%live%in%an%igloo.%Although%not%having% to%build%my%own%snow%hut,%there%were%some%cultural%shocks%which%I%had%not%taken% into%account:%going%unsuspectingly%to%the%supermarket%and%finding%sheep%heads,% packed%whale%and%other%bloody% things;%running%hysterically%to% the%swimming%pool%in%bikini%while% it’s% minus% 5%degrees;% having% a% clear%sky% and% lovely% sun% while%waking% up,% going% outside% and% still% freeze%to%death%because%of%the%wind;%discovering%that%Eyjafjallajökull%is%pronounced%with%two% t’s%in% the%word;%being%seen%as%a%cavewoman%when%I%wanted%to%blow%my%nose%in%public,...%Despite%some%of% these%unexpected%surprises,%I%still%loved%every%bit%of%what%Iceland%had%to%offer.%It%truly%felt%like%being% on%top%of%the%world,%geographically%and%metaphorically. Ine)Huybrechts)7)Belgium

I% think% that% moving% to% Reykjavik% to% study% was% a%great% idea.% I% originally% moved% here% to% learn%about%geothermal% power,% but%I% think%the% biggest%lesson%Reykjavik% taught%me%is%how%to%relax.% Icelanders%are%kind,% the%weather%is%mild,%there%are%no% dangerous%animals,%and%noFone%is%in%a%rush.% For%example,% the%city%doesn't%really% start%moving%until%10am.%The%music%scene%here%is%also%amazing%(per%capita)%and very%vibrant.%It%is%hard%to%pick%a%favourite%memory,%but%in%general%it%would%be%catching%up%with%my% Icelandic%friends%to% get%drunk% and%play%music,% or%wasting%entire% mornings%at%the%pool.% The%only% advice%I%have%for%future%exchange%students%is%to%not%bother%getting%any%cash%from%an%ATM.%There% is%no%need%for%paper%money%as%everyone%accepts%credit%cards,%even%the%waffle%wagons. Samuel)Perkin)F%Australia

My%stay%has%been%fabulous.%I%have%got%plenty%of%reasons%to%love%this%country%and% people% here.% I% was% lucky% to% get% the% chance% to% be% on% exchange% at% Reykjavik% University.% It%was%an%immense%pleasure%to%be%here%from%both%professional%and% personal% points% of% view.% For% all% the% courses% that% I% took,% I% liked% the% course% structure%and%content%very%much.%To%add%to%it,%it%was%a%great%opportunity%to% learn% from% the% seasoned% professors.% I% couldn't% have% expected% anything% better% during% this% exchange%program%and%I%am%really%happy%to%be%associated%with%RU. I%made%some%good%friends% in%and%out% of%the%university.%I%was% honored%by%being%invited%to%some% special% occasions% in% Icelandic% families% like% Ferming% and% Easter% family% dinner.% I% have% lived% in% several% countries% before% but% the% warmth% and% affection% received% by% Icelandic% people% is% unparalleled.% I% have% lot% of% unforgettable% memories% to% take% from% this% experience.% I% still% have% almost%15%days%in%Iceland%which%I%have%kept%for%traveling%and%living%more%of%Icelandic%culture%in% the%way%it%is%supposed%to%be%lived%and%I%am%so%much%coming%again%to%Iceland%as%soon%as%possible. I%sincerely%thank%you,% Shishir,%Sigrún%and%the%whole%team%at%ESN%for%putting%up%a%great%show%for% all%the%exchange%students.%Kudos%to%the%whole%ESN%team!! Nitin)Singal)F%India


I%came%into%Iceland%with%high%expectations%from%the%country%and%it%exceeded%all%of% them.%Saying%that%the%last%four%months%have%been%ridiculously%amazing%would%be%a% major% understatement.% From% walking% behind% a% waterfall,% to% taking% baths% in% hot% streams% by% the% snow% and% trying% out% snowFboarding% for% the% first% time;% I% have% created%uncountable%memories%that%will%never%go%away.% Being% a%big% nature% lover% and% also% being% someone% who% loves% getting% indulged% in% the% nightlife,% I% cannot%think%of%a%better%place%that%I%could%have%picked%for%my%semester%as%an%exchange%student.%My% time% here%has% been% quite% educational% too.% Icelandic% culture% is% very% unique%from%anything%I%have% seen% in% Oklahoma% or% Bangladesh,% from% how% people% make% new% friends% to% the% dating% scene.% Learning% about% it% all% has% been% very% fun% and% enlightening.% The% university% atmosphere% is% very% different%from%the%US.%This%semester%has% definitely%been%a%relaxed%one%compared%to%my% previous% ones,% and%this% has% allowed%me% to% learn% more%outside%the% classroom.% The%overall% experience% has% really%helped%me%grow%as%a%person. I% feel% blessed% to% have% had% the% opportunity% to% come% here% and% have% so% many% breathtaking% experiences.% In%the%process,%I%have%made%friendships%with%wonderful% Icelanders%and%people%from% all%over%the%world%that%I%hope%will%last%a%lifeFtime.%I%can%go%on%forever%about%my%time%here,%but%long% story%short:%Iceland%has%been%awesome%to%me%and%absolutely%unforgettable. Nadir)Nibras)7)Bangladesh

One%motivation%for%me%to% go% on%an% exchange% to% Iceland% was% in%the% first% place%an% idea%of%getting%a%different%perspective%on%energy%planning%in%a%country%that%in%many% ways% seems% quite%similar% to% my% own.% Though,% after% getting%a%clear%message% from% the% landlord% to% never% close% the% windows% (just% turn% up% the% radiator)% and% experiencing%the%pleasant%upshot%of%living%on%top%of%a%hot%active%geothermal%system in% terms% of% swimming% in% a% 50°C% hot% river% on% regular% basis.% I've% however% started% to% rethink% the% benefits%of%just%this%energy%planning%perspective. It% is% hard% to% think% about% Iceland% without% thinking% about% mountains,% amazing% landscape% and% perfectly% clear% northern% lights,% and%of% course%I% too% had%my% expectations.% By% this% point% however,% Iceland,%or%maybe%rather%Fjallið%Nemendafélag's%Fjallasnigillinn,%didn't%need%many%days%to%impress.% Through% Fjallið% Nemendafélag,% I've% got% to% experience% (with% my% still% fairly% poor% Icelandic)% some% rather%fun%and%fascinating%science%trips.%(The%science%trips%I'm%used%to%from%Norway%generally%have% a%larger%amount%of%long%serious%presentations,%and%slightly%less%'being%lifted%in%a%lift'Factivities%:)) However,%my%favorite%part%of%the%stay%so%far%has%to%be%all%the%music%and%concerts.%From%the%pleasant% “Aldrei% fór% ég% Suður”% festival% in% the% amazing% (and% scary% roadFwise)% Ísafjörður% to% the% endless% amount%of%large%and%small%concerts%with%local%and%large%bands%around%Reykjavik. When%I%walked% home% from% a% spontaneous% concert% with% my% roommate% last% night,% we%stopped%to% gaze%at%yet%another%superFjeep,%and%talked%about%what%we%would%miss%about%Reykavik.%We%came%up% with%numberless% ice% cream%booths,% unlimited%access% to% thermal% pools,% panorama% articFmountain% view,%and%last%but%not%least%all%the%fun%people,%both%local%and%other%exchange%students.%The%number% of%cool%people%would%seem%to%be%never%ending. Astrid)Ånestad)F%Norway


Why%Iceland?%When%you%are%studying%anything%related%to%Earth%Sciences,%Iceland% is% the%perfect% place%to% do% your% exchange...or%as% my% friend%said%“Iceland% is% porn% for% a% geologist”.% So% far,% Iceland% hasn’t% disappointed%me,% although,% an% erupting% volcano%is% still% on%my%toFdo/seeFlist.% I%fell% in%love%with%Reykjavík% the%moment% I% stepped%out%of%the%bus...my%love%for%Icelandic%music%has%grown%10x%times.... I%could%easily%live% in%HÍ%because%it%has% everything% from%morning%coffee,% interesting% lectures%and% comfy% couch%to%good%food%and%cheap%beer...and%Reykjavík’s%nightlife%is% never% boring.%The%thing%I% still%don’t%get%after%more%than%nine%months%living%here%is%the%whole%itFisFrudeFtoFblowFyourFnoseF inFpublic%and%the%habit%of%not%answering%eFmails... But%this%is%Iceland.% Nothing%is%normal%in%Iceland.%Everything%and%everybody%is%a% little%crazy...like% the%weather. Maria)Laidla)F%Estonia

What% to% say% about% Iceland% :o)% It% has% definitely% become% my% home% away% from% home.% The% Icelanders% are% welcoming,% uncomplicated% and% easy% going% people.% I% can’t% but% help% to% stick% a% “happy% label”% on% the% whole% nation.% “þetta% reddast% allt”%(Everything%is%going%to%be%fine)%seems%to%be%a%bit%of%a%national%motto%here. The%biggest%challenge%has%been%trying%to%learn%the%language%but%this%has%also% been%one%of%the%funniest%challenges.% I%do% quite%regularly%get%lost%in%translation%because%I%think% a% word%has%the%same%meaning%in%Faroese%and%Icelandic%:o)%My%favorite%thing%about%Reykjavík%is%it’s% cozy%atmosphere%and%that%nature%is%always%close.% If%you%want%to%see%the%Aurora,%you%just%look%up% into%the%sky. Karin)Christiansen)F%Faroe7Islands

I%chose%Iceland%because%in%my%mind%it's%paradise%for%geologists.%I%thought%that%it% would%be%a%great%opportunity%to%see%and%touch%all%the%beauties%but%not%even%in% my%wildest%dreams%did%I%expect%that%it%could%be%so%divine.%Sliding%down%a%crater,% skipping% on% a% glacier,% night% swimming% in% the% ocean,% crossing% a% glacial% river,% admiring%the%polar%lights,%exploring%blue%ice%caves,%amazing%waterfalls,%geoF thermal% fields% looking% like% something% from% Mars,% picturesque% coasts% with% adorable% seals% and% puffinsF% these% were% only% small% pieces% of% the% great% adventure% I% experienced.% Once,% I% was% also% completely%covered%by%a%huge%wave,% which%was%both%thrilling%and%extremely%funny.% All%of%those% things% made% me% feel% the% huge% power% of% nature,% like% nowhere% else% in% Europe.% Besides% all% the% miracles%of%nature%I%must%mention%also% the%local%people%who%are%very%friendly.%Life%goes%calmly% here,%without%rush.%And%of%course%I%met%wonderful%people%and%share%great%moments%with%them%F% journeys,%dinners,%parties%and%other%eruptions%of%energy.%Iceland%will%always%remain%in%my%heart% and%I%will%surely%come%back%here… Marzena)Biernat%F%Poland


ESN International ESN% is% a% European% wide% student% network% currently% representing% over% 424% Higher% Education% Institutions% from% 36% countries.% Although% the% main% focus% of% ESN% is% placed% on% current% exhange% students% the% network% also% works% with% the% reintegration% of% homecoming% students.% Many% local% sections%have%been%set%up%by%former%exchange%students,%who%understand%the%issues%and%challlenges% faced%with%in%a%foreign%environment.%Being%a%part%of%ESN%in%your%home%country%enables%you%to%keep% contact% with% an% international% environment% along% with% helping% other% students% in% their% new% environment.% Luis) Huete% was% on% exchange% in% Iceland% and% then% joined% the% ESN% section% in% his% University%when%he%came%home.%He%agreed%to%answer%some%questions%for%the%newsletter.

What) was) your) experience) with) ESN) Reykjavík) like? When% I% was% in% Reykjavík% I% enjoyed% all% the% ESN% activities,%and%I%tried%to%go%to%most%of%them.%I%also%liked% the% people% in% ESN% and% they% became% my% friends.% I% helped% them% to% make% the% activities% easier% and% they% asked%me%to%join%them%as%a%collaborator.%I%participated% in% activities% like% Þorrablót% and% decorating% parties.% It% was%awesome%to%help%you%make%those%things%possible. How) has) your) experience) been) with) your) ESN) section? It% has% been% 2% years% that% I’ve% been% a% member% of% ESN% Carlos% III.% second% as% secretary,% I’ve% been% section% delegate% at% the% annual% general%meeting% of% ESN,% and% I% have%made%many%erasmus%friends%in%Madrid.%Now%I’m% going% to% leave% ESN,% but% it% has% been% an% amazing% experience. Why)did)you)choose)to)join)ESN)back)home? When%I%came%back%I%had%a%hole%inside%me.%Some%people% call%it% postFerasmus% syndrome.% I% knew% there% was% an% ESN%at%my%home%university%so%I% decided%to%join%it% so%I% could% continue% doing% what% I% liked% so% much% back% in% RVK. Did) ESN) RVK) help) you) adjust) to) life) in) the) ESN) Network?) Being% in% ESN% RVK% introduced% me% to% this% world,% and% made% me% undertand% that% we% are% very% different% but% very%similar%as%well.

Would) you) recommend) this) to) people? I% absolutly%recommend% it,%if%you% loved% your% erasmus% experience% and% you% want%others%to%feel%the%same,%this%is%the% best%way.

If) you) are) interested) in) joining) your) ESN) section) you) can) contact) our) National) Representative,)Ólafur)Páll)at)Olafur@esnreykjavik.com,)and)he)can)put)in)a)good)word)for) you.)


The&unofficial&Survival&guide&to&Iceland We%asked%you%(students%who%have%been%on%exchange%the%academic%year%of%2012F2013)%to%give% recommendations,%along%with%your%favorite%nature%spots,%restaurants,%cafés%etc.,%for%the%newF comers.%This%is%what%you%said. • Live%downtown%in%101%or%105 • Take%a%trip%around%the%country • Rent%a%car%for%daytrips%it’s%not%expensive • Participate%in%trips • Rent%a%cabin%with%friends • Go%snowboarding/skiing%in%Akureyri • Start%planning%trips%early • Buy%a%card%to%go%swimming • Go%to%“Kolaportið”%flea%market%on%weekends • Lighthouse%at%Grótta%for%Northern%lights • Iceland%Airwaves%music%festival • Check%out%the%nightlife%downtown • Learn%some%Icelandic • Take%your%studies%seriously • Make%friends • Try%hitch%hiking

Guesthouses GestFinn%F%gestFinn.com Loki%F%loki101.is Butterfly%F%butterfly.is Baldursbrá%F%hostelbookers.com Njarðargata%37%F%studentrent101.blogspot.com Salvation%Army%F%guesthouse.is Three%sisters%F%threesisters.is Aurora%F%aurorahouse.is House%of%Spirits%F%houseofspirits101.com Gamli%Garður%F%hotelgardur.is Guesthouse%101%F%iceland101.com Flóki%F%hotelfloki.is Thor%F%tgh.is

Restaurants Icelandic%Fish%&%Chips Tapas%Barinn%Good&quality/price&ratio Laundromat%for&Breakfast Fish%Buffet Rub23 Hamburger%factory Hereford%steakhouse Vegamót Bæjarins%Bestu%Hotdog&stand&by&the&harbour Ruanthai%good&price Devitos American%Style Vitabar


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Jogging%by&the&shore Bouldering%at&Klifurhúsið Mountain%climbing

Bars Kaffibarinn Celtic%Cross Dillon Hemmi%og%Valdi Stúdentakjallarinn English%Pub Harlem Ölsmiðjan Thorvaldsen Austur B5 Backpackers Zimsen Karaoke%Bar Reykjavik%Backpackers

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Gym%at&the&Universities Swimming%at&Sundhöllin Football%with%friends Rugby%at&Valur,&Vodafone&

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47%%Walking 29%%Bus%tickets 12%%Bus%card 12%%Rent%a%bike

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Bónus%cheap Krónan% Hagkaup&more&variety 10/11%expensive

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Groceries%

Things%you%would%like%to%have%known%before% coming%to%Iceland: • How%expensive%life%is%here • The%rate%of%currency%changes%often • Icelandic%people%speak%good%English • Waterproof%clothing%is%a%must • Air%conditioning%is%opening%a%window%or%turning%the%heater%on/off • Public%transport%is%not%included%for%students • You%need%a%doctor’s%prescription%for%most%basic%medicine • It’s%really%windy • Shops%close%early%(18.00) • Not%all%phones%work%here,%you%need%an%unlocked%one • Alcohol%is%sold%in%liquor%stores%only,%not%in%supermarkets • The%standard%size%of%a%beer%glass%is%0.5%L • Alcohol%is%expensive,%keep%your%Duty%free%alcohol • Book%hostel%for%the%first%weeks%here%early • The%cost%of%textbooks%is%up%to%400%Euros • Limited%food%choices%at%the%University%cafeterias% %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

Where%you%used%your%ESN%card%the%most %%%%%%%%%%At%ESN%parties%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%Rub23% %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%Café%Babalú %%%%%%%%%%Blue%Lagoon%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%Volcano%House%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%Celtic%Cross %%%%%%%%%%FlyBus%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%Tapas%barinn%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%ESN%trips


I

ESN Discounts

ESN% Reykjavík% is% proud% to% announce% its% latest% partnership% with%Sixt%Car%Rental%Company.%Are%you%planning%an%adventure% soon?% Consider% using% Sixt% for% your% travelling% needs.% Sixt% provides% ESN% card% holders% with% a% 15%% discount% on% their% entire% fleet% of% vehicles.% Check% out% is.sixt.com% and% book% your% adventure%today! Visit% http://esnreykjavik.com/partners%for% more% information% about%our%partners

Upcoming Events 11.05%F%Give%a%Little%Love 18.05%F%ESN%Final%Party

Give)a)Little)Love On%May)11th)we%will%join%the%Multi7Cultural) parade.)We%will%parade%down%Laugavegur%in% our%country%colours.%Starting%at% Hallgrímskirkja%at%12.00,%ESN%will%have%faceF paint%and%viking%helmets%to%add%to%the%spirit!% During%the%parade%we%will%pass%out% compliment%cards%and%give%out%FREE%HUGS.% Afterwards%we%will%have%a%barbeque)at) Nauthólsvík%with%free%burgers%and%beer%for% those%who%participate!

Join%us%and%spread%the%love!


ESN Reykjavik newsletter May 2013  
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