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03/06/2022 - 09:05

UI students headed to the US for summer courses and research

UI students headed to the US for summer courses and research - Available at University of Iceland

13 undergraduate students at the University of Iceland are heading to the United States this summer to study and work on research projects at top ranking universities; Caltech, Stanford, and Columbia, thanks to the partnership agreements UI has with these institutions.

The University of Iceland has been collaborating with these three universities for several years, but due to the pandemic, we have not sent any students in the past two summers. We are delighted that University of Iceland students once again have the opportunity to travel to the US and study at these prestigious universities. The students have all visited the Rector's Office in the last few weeks and their enthusiasm and excitement for the summer programmes was evident.

Seven University of Iceland students will be going to Stanford University in California, for the International Honors Program. They are:

  • Ásthildur Gyða Garðarsdóttir,  philosophy student
  • Elín Halla Kjartansdóttir, economics student
  • Elínborg Ása Ásbergsdóttir, industrial engineering student
  • Hildur Theodóra Viðarsdóttir, economics student
  • Magnús Símonarson, economics student
  • Nadja Oliversdóttir, chemical engineering student
  • Steinunn Björg Böðvarsdóttir, industrial engineering student

This is the tenth time that students from the University of Iceland will take part in the eight-week International Honors Program. The Stanford IHP is an extremely diverse and highly sought-after program that introduces UI students to a unique academic community. Students can apply to have credits transferred to UI. Stanford University is one of the best universities in the world and offers a wide range of subjects. 

Three students will be going to study at Columbia University in New York this summer:

  • Hanna Margrét Jónsdóttir, mechanical engineering student 
  • Hilmir Örn Ólafsson, economics student
  • Snærós Sindradóttir Bachmann, art history and theory student 

The University of Iceland and Columbia have had a partnership agreement for summer program since 2015. Students can select between two six-week blocks. Students can apply to have credit transferred from their studies at Columbia to their University of Iceland programme. Students have also used this unique opportunity as a way to prepare for graduate studies in the US. Columbia University is an Ivy League university, one of eight prestigious universities in the US that rank among the finest in the world.

UI students can also apply for exchange studies at Columbia in the autumn or spring semesters thanks to the partnership agreement between the two institutions. This autumn, Bjarki Sigurðarson, Master´s student in strategic management, will be heading to Columbia.

Three University of Iceland students will be participating in a summer project at the California Institute of Technology, Caltech:

  • Brynja Marín Bjarnadóttir, mechanical engineering student
  • Jón Kristinn Magnússon, electrical and computer engineering student
  • Þórhallur Auður Helgason, computer science student

They will all receive a scholarship of almost USD 7,000 from the Kiyo and Eiko Tomiyasu Fund. Dr. Kiyo Tomiyasu was a world-renowned electrical engineering academic, who played a key role in establishing the partnership agreement between Caltech and the University of Iceland in 2008. Kiyo and his wife Eiko were very supportive of Icelandic students at Caltech, so the University of Iceland awards these scholarships in their names. 

Brynja, Jón and Þórhallur will participate in a ten-week Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program at Caltech. The students will carry out a research project under the guidance of an experienced mentor.  Since the partnership agreement was signed, over 30 UI students have taken part in the SURF program at Caltech. Many Caltech students have also completed SURF projects here at the University of Iceland under the guidance of UI professors.  Caltech is one of the best research universities in the world, as evidenced by their position in international rankings. 

The seven students visited the Rector's Office recently and met Jón Atli Benediktsson, Rector; Friðrika Harðardóttir, Director of the UI International Division; and Hafliði Sævarsson, project manager at the International Division. 
Snærós and Hanna visited the Rector's Office to chat with Jón Atli Benediktsson, Rector of the University of Iceland, and Friðrika Harðardóttir, director of the UI International Division, about the summer programme.
Brynja Marín Bjarnadóttir, Jón Kristinn Magnússon and Þórhallur Auður Helgason received scholarships from the Kyio and Eiko Tomiyasu Fund. Pictured with them are Jón Atli Benediktsson, Rector of the University of Iceland; Friðrika Harðardóttir, Director of the International Division; Hafliði Sævarsson, project manager at the International Division; and Pétur Ástvaldsson, project manager at the Rector's Office.