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Iceland: The Land of Happiness

Last updated on 15 Aug 2018

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Photo by Frank Denney on Unsplash

By Rebecca Isjwara

Knowing how stressful university can be, wouldn’t it be great if you could go through it with the maximum amount of happiness possible?

In fact, it’d be great if you could live in a happy place while pursuing your degree, right?

You’re in luck: Iceland is one of the happiest countries in the world!

So you should definitely add it on your list when coming up with places on where to study, work, or even live in the future.

Despite its harsh weather conditions and small population size, people in Iceland have managed to keep their chin up and smile through turbulent events such as the 2008 financial crisis.

What exactly is the secret behind their happiness?

There are a lot of different factors, and here are 5 of them:

1. Equality

Iceland is known for championing equality, and gender equality is definitely on the forefront.

Around 40 years ago, on October 24, 1975, to be exact, 90% of women in the country decided to go on a strike to demonstrate the importance on their roles for the nation. Overnight, most women in the country stopped their daily chores and work (going to the office, doing the dishes, taking care of their children), and went to march in the streets instead to campaign for equal rights their male counterparts have.

In effect, the women completely paralysed the country and it did not take a lot of convincing for the men in power to give the women what they deserve.

2. Relaxing bodies of water

In order to combat the cold, harsh weathers of Iceland, its inhabitants hang around warm bodies of water, known as neighbourhood pools.

Heated by the state-of-the-art geothermal network, hot tubs are readily available for people in Iceland to dip in and socialise with their neighbours and friends. You might have heard of Blue Lagoon, which is well-known amongst tourists who would love to feel a quintessential Icelandic experience. Locals are more likely to spend their time in their respective neighbourhoods instead, which is not surprising, as nearly every neighbourhood would have one.

Researchers credit these pools for boosting Iceland’s happiness as it promotes social interaction, which improves levels of mental and social wellness amongst its citizens.


For information about application, fees and visa to study in Iceland, click here!

Untuk info mengenai application, biaya, dan visa kuliah di Islandia, klik di sini!


3. Iceland-Quality Education

Most schools in Iceland are operated by the government, as private schooling is quite rare.

Compared to other developed countries, Iceland has a low rate of students attending private schools as the quality of the public institutions meet Icelandic parents' standards.

Starting from when a child is two years old, parents can opt to leave their kids in an educational day-care as to eliminate the need of a babysitter or a parent having to leave their job to look after his/her children. Despite the parents' lack on involvement in their children's educational lives, students are guaranteed a quality education as Iceland frees parents from their kids' tuition up till they are sixteen.

After that, education is no longer compulsory for children but they all have the right to fight for a spot in secondary school and above, with spots granted to candidates based on merit.

Along with this level of education quality comes a highly educated society - the nation has a 99% literacy rate, which is an amazing feat for any country!

4. Paid paternity leave

By law, each parent is entitled to a three-month paid leave (non-transferable) upon the birth of their child.

After that, each couple is granted three months to share between the two in whatever way they choose.

The result?

Father-child relationships seem to have developed better, and gender equality is more apparent in the workforce after a father takes his leave.

The reason for the former is that the father takes on more childcare and household responsibility during the early stages of his child’s life, and that has a long-term effect on how he behaves around the house in the years to come. Each parent receives around 80% of their regular income when on leave.

5. Prevalence of renewable energy

Iceland hosts the world’s largest geothermal heating system, with 65% of primary energy needs coming from it.

Hydropower takes 20%, and fossil fuels take the remaining 15%. In a commercial household sense, 85% of them are heated with geothermal energy. Iceland is the perfect example of how a country is able to use its natural resources to its advantage and puts it into good use to benefit its inhabitants.

Not only does renewable energy lower the amount of emissions, but electricity bills are a lot cheaper than the European average as well (some testimonials claim that because heating is so cheap, Icelanders would open a window then the house gets too hot instead of turning the heating down).


For more information about studying in Iceland, click here.

Untuk info lebih lanjut tentang Kuliah di Islandia, klik di sini