How to make friends in Iceland

We have been talking about loneliness when you are abroad, let's now talk about how to make friends (locals and other expats) when you're living in Iceland :top:

Which are your best tips to meet people and to make friends in Iceland??

Thanks in advance for your participation

It is quite difficult to "penetrate" the social circles of Icelanders, even if you have an Icelandic partner, so expect to befriend other foreigners first when you move here.  It's not to say that it can't be done, but it takes a long time and effort to prove to them that you're worthy of friendship.

To meet other expats, you should consider taking some Icelandic courses.  This can be accomplished through part time morning or evening courses at the Intercultural Center or a few other locations.  This link lists some options: http://www.ahus.is/content/view/23/19/lang,en/

You can also enroll at the University of Iceland for far less money than it costs to enroll at an American university.  At this time, a year of tuition costs the equivolent of $500 (45.000 ISK).  There you can join a program called "Practical Icelandic for Foreigners" or the "Icelandic for Foreign Students" BA program.  This option can seem a bit daunting though if you're older than 30 as most other students in the programs are around 23. 

Otherwise, there is a book club that an Iceland Review reporter nicknamed the "Viking Wife Book Club" since it is comprised of mostly foreign spouses who are desperately seeking the company of others in similar situations.  They have a Facebook group:  http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id= … 0657021543

Otherwise, you can try to find a job.  That is increasingly getting difficult to do now -- especially for foreigners -- but that is the best way to try to force your way into Icelandic life and social circles.   

You can also email your embassy in Reykjavik (if your country has one in Iceland) and inquire about social gatherings.  The US Embassy, for example, held a large party for the 2008 US elections and they also organized a Thanksgiving event for the Yankee expats. 

If all else fails, go to a bar and drink with the locals.  It's amazing how much chattier Icelanders get with a little booze!

leave the contact information and encourage the people who like to make friends to contact you.
Klinger.anna[at]yahoo.com, welcome friends from Iceland to contact me,so that I can get the chance to know more about Iceland. Thank you so much. Please PM me.

The new expat network Iceland may help as well ;)

one way I have discovered to get to know more locals is to join a choir. There are dozens of choirs in Reykjavik (and most smaller towns too) and they generally are very social groups with trips and parties and lots and lots of Icelanders. It's also an excellent way to practice Icelandic- the songs improve pronunciation, and at least in my choir the people are generally really nice and patient with my occasional linguistic disasters. Plus, it's a very deep-set tradition here so you get a great feel for Icelandic culture too.

I know one other guy here who's moved often and he always joins music groups when he arrives in his new country. Seems to be working well for him too.

Another way is to join one of the sports groups. There are usually groups who meet to play football once a week, and most of the pools have a regular running group that meets in the late afternoon to run and then hang out in the hot tub afterwards. Both groups socialize after work and based on the people I know who're part of them, they'd be very happy to have new people and speak enough English to make it possible even if your Icelandic skills aren't quite conversational yet.

Hi folks,

Having been in Iceland for less than a week so far, I have found it quite easy to make friends and get to know people here. OK, it helps that my girlfriend has lived here all her life and she has lots of friends, but this aside it's been fairly easy anyway. I was Invited to a party over the weekend and found that the main subject of conversation if you are english is football. It also helps to know a little about music and talk about what you do for a living as long as it is nothing to do with the banks!!!!

Just thought I'd share my discoveries from my first week here.

Cheers.

Hey Guys,

My name is Bandula Idamegama and I am a Sri Lankan man aged 54+ and am a banker by profession. My interests are: progressive politics, gender issues, reading and meeting and exchanging ideas and networking with like-minded persons from around the world - sex is immaterial I don't believe in any religion and I would call myself an existentialist with a decidedly rationalist bent. I know Iceland has the world's narrowest gender gap and I have been trying to find a  Icelandic e-pal with similar interests for quite sometime now , but so far, I haven't had any success and I don't know why. By the way, I go as Bandula Idamegama on Facebook and my email address is

So, I would like to invite Icelanders to write to me.

Looking for a better friend

Hello ADILJACK -> Could you please introduce yourself? :)

Thank you,
Aurélie

I would love to hear from anyone on this subject. I am thinking of moving to Iceland from the States. Would live to meet some people and possibly have some connections and insights to the areas :) kacibray[at]yahoo.com  please put Iceland in the title so I know it's not junk mail.

We are seeking to make friends with other couples who are either in Iceland or moving there.

first of all i would like to get a friends from all over the world and of course it will be so nice to get a friend from Iceland because i have never met or even get real friend from there and it will be interesting to know that part of world there and to let my mind keep in touch with that culture and even feed my curious to know much things about their life .[/b][/b][/b]

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