Iceland is a place of amazement for volunteers of all backgrounds. Iceland’s geography is both unique and formidable, with the fault line that the nation rests on gradually widening – resulting in volcanic activity and earthquakes up and down the divide. Bright summer nights, and the mystic and beautiful Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) in winter grace volunteers with wonder. 11% of the country is covered by glaciers, including Vatnajökull, the largest in Europe. Icelandic sagas from the 13th century provide a historical record for the country, one of the smallest in terms of population with only 310,000 inhabitants. As a volunteer in Iceland, you may be surprised to find somewhat mild temperatures throughout the year, thanks to the ocean gulfstream.
United Planet is the US and Canadian partner of the International Cultural Youth Exchange, or ICYE. As a volunteer in Iceland, you will be hosted by AUS, ICYE’s Icelandic partner organization. AUS has been organizing home stays and volunteer projects in Iceland for more than fifty years in an effort to promote experiential learning.
Volunteers support local organizations that assist people addicted to alcohol and other substances. The project aims to help people to overcome their addiction and start a new life. It is not only a great opportunity for volunteers to work with people within a different cultural context, but also to give those in the organization the chance to meet other young people.
Volunteers work with people living with physical and mental disabilities and work to give each person the opportunity for personal growth in a creative working environment. Volunteers work closely with local community members as well as with other participants in the project from different cultures and nationalities. It is a great chance to learn more about different ways of life while being a part of local life.
Volunteers work at a local clinic, which emphasizes the learning of preventive measures in order to avoid various illnesses and to adopt a healthier lifestyle. The main role for volunteers is in assisting at the clinic, and tasks can range from work in the greenhouse and assisting in the kitchen to helping patients directly and working in the youth center.
Volunteers assist elderly citizens in a local organization. The main activities consist of building and maintaining the comfortable atmosphere of the institution and looking after the residents. The philosophy of the organization puts special emphasis on providing the best care for the residents and fulfilling the physical, social and spiritual needs of each individual.
Iceland’s winter takes place between September and April and it is a very there is little to no sunlight during that time. It is during their winter when visitors are able to experience the phenomenon of the aurora borealis, or the Northern Lights. The Northern Lights are one of the Several Natural Wonders of the World and are sight that should not be missed while you are in Iceland.
Akureyri is a town in northern fishing port in Iceland and it is Iceland’s second largest urban area. During the last weekend of August, The town of Akureyri celebrates the town’s birthday with annual celebrations. There are multiple events that make up the celebration including skating, movies, concerts with traditional Icelandic songs, and dance performances.
The festival emphasizes the beauty of Reykjavik by illuminating the city during the annual winter lights festival. Because Iceland’s winter is so long and dark, the festival showcases beautiful light shows to add a bit of brightness to a normally dark time. This is a beautiful time to visit Reykjavik and witness the beauty and happiness the Winter Lights Festival can bring. This is an annual festival that typically takes place during mid February.
Caves have a long history in Iceland as being shelters for both people and animals during the harsh times of winter. However, now caves are typically explored by many people in Iceland. Caving tours allow you to explore some of the deep and cavernous caves of Iceland like Vatnshellir cave or Buri cave. Go and explore one of the numerous caves in Iceland and see the beautiful mysteries that lie within them.
United Planet Quests are designed to be immersive, authentic, comprehensive and provide you everything you’ll need to succeed. The program elements allow you to engage fully with a new culture, forge strong relationships, and challenge yourself. Most importantly, we partner with the community to ensure your experience will be important, relevant and helpful to the community you serve.
|Start Date||6 month fee||1 year fee||Early Bird Deposit Deadline||Regular Deposit Deadline|
|August 2016||$10,195||$13,495||Monday, March 21, 2016||Monday, May 23, 2016|
|January 2017||$10,195||$13,495||Friday, August 12, 2016||Friday, September 16, 2016|
We want you to succeed. That means having in place the support our volunteers need. We don’t just drop you in country and hope for the best. We provide training before you leave … language exposure … 24/7 in-country support … support for your host family … accommodations, meals and airport transportation … activities and excursions. The whole idea is to make the experience successful and productive for you and the host community, and we have found that these things are crucial. Remember that we are a non-profit, mission-driven organization – we wouldn’t spend money on something that wasn’t important.