UMD: A Globally Connected University

UMD-Spring Break: Iceland: The Land of Fire and Ice: Sustainability, Climate Change and Renewable Energy Systems (ENME)

Reykjavik, Iceland
Terms Offered: 
Spring Break
Program Type: 
Credit Type: 
Minimum GPA: 
Non-UMD Students Eligible to Apply: 
Graduate Students Eligible to Apply: 
EA Advisor:
Language of Instruction: 

SU 19 Iceland
The looming negative consequences of global climate change are making it necessary for countries around the world to implement innovative and sustainable solutions to avoid ecological catastrophe. With its stunning mixture of geology and northerly location, Iceland, the "land of fire and ice" is uniquely poised to lead the charge. Today, almost 100 % of the electricity consumed in this small country of over 300,000 people comes from renewable energy sources. 

Through a wide variety of activities students will get to witness and experience first hand the innovative and sustainable solutions that Iceland has employed, as well as the natural wonders they are tasked with protecting. The course will explore the generation, use and impacts of both geothermal energy and hydroelectric power. Students will also acquire critical global capabilities in the area of technology and engineering by immersing themselves in Iceland's historically rich language and culture. 

More so now than ever, engineers must be prepared to combat climate change, this course will help provide them the inspiration, skills and confidence to face those challenges head on.  

By participating in this program, students will have the to opportunity to:

  • Explore innovative solutions to global climate change
  • Analyze the generation, use and implications of renewable energy technologies 
  • Explain the many uses and benefits of geothermal energy aside from energy generation
  • Acquire an understanding of Iceland's culture and green economy
  • Compare and contrast the benefits and drawbacks of a variety of "sustainable" technologies

*There are need-based scholarships available for this program. Please contact the Office of Global Engineering Leadership for additional information once you have completed your program application.

You must be in good academic and judicial standing and you must not have any registration blocks to participate in this program. The minimum GPA for this program is 2.75.

UMD and Non-UMD sophomores, juniors, seniors and graduate students are eligible to apply. 

Prerequisite: Physics 260 or equivalent. Undergraduate students must have 60+ credits by the end of fall in order to be eligible for this program.

If you are interested in this program but do not meet the eligibility requirements, reach out to the Program Leader (listed in the Contacts tab) to discuss your interest in the program.

After you commit to the program, Education Abroad will enroll you in the following three (3) credit UMD course:

  • ENME407: Sustainability, Climate Change and Renewable Energy Systems (3 credits)

ENME407 is approved for the following:

  • BIOE: Breadth Elective
  • BSIS: Approved Upper-Level Major Elective
  • ENAE: Out of Major Technical Elective
  • ENCE: Out of Major Technical Elective 
  • ENEE: General Technical Elective (EE) or Category F elective (CE)
  • ENFP: Technical Elective
  • ENME: In Major Technical Elective

*CHBE and ENMA students need to request permission of the department. Please see your Academic Advisor.

The credit you earn during this program will count as resident credit. This course is also approved for the Sustainability minor. 

Students will stay in a modern accommodation located in the heart of downtown Reykjavik in close proximity to many shops, restaurants and grocery stores.  Students will share rooms with their classmates and will have access to private or shared bathrooms, towels and free Wi-Fi.

Please refer to the following resources for funding study abroad:

Financial Aid
Financial Commitment, Withdrawals and Refunds Policy

**Costs are for 2023. Costs for 2024 will be updated. 

*This program qualifies for eligible Pell Grant recipients to apply for the Gilman International Scholarship. Online applications will open in mid-August and are due Thursday, October 6, 2022, at 11:59pm PT.

This is a non-refundable fee to submit an application.
Education Abroad Fee
This is a non-refundable fee charged to your account when the application status changes from "Accepted to "Committed." This includes services provided by Education Abroad such as registration, billing, advising, risk management, and pre-departure orientation.
International Health Insurance
This coverage is required and complements students' regular U.S. primary health insurance coverage.
Housing (included in program fee)
This fee represents the housing provided during the program.
These are the instructional costs which include tuition, in-country transportation, course related activities, group meals, and teaching services.
This fee is charged to your student account and is based on our program deadlines. Please direct any additional questions to the Office of Student Financial Services and Cashiering.
Meals (estimate)
Roundtrip airfare (estimate)
In-Country Transportation
Course materials
Incidental expenses
Trip cancellation insurance (optional)

*Non-UMD graduate students will need to pay a $75 application fee to the UMD Graduate School to participate in this program.


PLEASE NOTE: All University of Maryland study abroad programs are financially self-supporting and, therefore, subject to cancellation due to low enrollment.

Michael Galczynski is a Program Co-Director Leader and a Senior Lecturer in the Keystone Program at The University of Maryland. Mike has taught a wide variety of engineering courses, including study abroad programs in Australia, Czech Republic, Greece, Italy and Costa Rica. Mike is excited to share his passions of sustainability and traveling with students in the magnificently beautiful country of Iceland!

Dr. Natasha Andrade is a program Co-Director Associate Chair for Undergraduate Programs, and Senior Lecturer in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. Natasha has specialized in teaching undergraduate courses with a focus on Environmental Engineering and is particularly interested in sustainable development and renewable energy. While her primary focus is instruction, she also enjoys leading research in her discipline.

For course, itinerary or in-country information, please contact the Program Leaders. For general questions or assistance with applying, contact Education Abroad.

As a part of this program, you will engage in the following activities:

  • Visit geothermal and hydroelectric power stations.
  • Immerse yourself in Icelandic culture by visiting museums, interacting with local Icelandic guides, and sampling some of Iceland’s finest foods.
  • Explore the capital city of Reykjavik and learn about its history and architecture.
  • Experience some of Iceland’s most breathtaking natural wonders: Gulfoss Waterfall, Strokur Geysir, Tjingvellir National Park, The Secret Lagoon, Mount Kirkjufell, Sólheimajökull Glacier and many more!
Term Year Application Deadline Admission Notification Program Start Program End
Spring Break 2024 10/01/2023 10/11/2023 03/15/2024 03/24/2024