Leo – University of Iceland – Iceland
Semester 2, 2022
Bachelor of Fine Arts
Exchange – a perfect way to travel, learn and explore both a new world and yourself within.
My name is Leo Fitzgerald, I study Fine Arts at QUT and I travelled to Iceland for my Exchange Semester Abroad.
Many of the photos I took were of the breathtaking landscape and most of them within the blog are during SUMMER! Iceland is not only known for its sights but its amazing art culture. Everywhere you look in the city there are beautiful art sculptures and museums. Also, embrace Icelandic music – “of monsters and men”, for example, is Icelandic!
5 interesting Cultural shocks for me!
1. Electronic ID / Kennitala
What an amazing system. After having it activated, I have been able to do so many things with just my phone number!
2. Pedestrian Traffic Signals / Traffic Lights
I find it odd that for traffic lights you have Red -> Orange -> Green for cars but nothing similar for pedestrians. Only Red and Green. In Australia when pedestrian lights are ending it goes from green -> flashing red -> red.
3. Max speed limit of 90. And low speeds of 30/40 in the city.
I suppose where I come from the roads are more often wider and much more forging in the country if you find yourself leaving the route. However, it is still weird to find so many restrictions, especially on the more well-maintained roads.
4. Weird opening times
One particular place I went to was open from 17:00 – 22:00. A doctor’s office, which I have never seen before for that type of establishment. I had assumed it was open in the morning and rocked up to discover it wouldn’t be open for another 6 hours. Next time I will look more carefully online first.
5. Pool Etiquette
I have never experienced showering naked in a room full of strangers before coming here. We have showers at the pools back in Australia but it is typically for the end of your swim to wash off chlorine/chemicals or to change and the stalls are much more
private. Separated by partitions and usually lockable doors. Additionally in the pools I have visited here so far, there are a large amount of different temperatures. For me, this is bizarre as I am much more used to large pools that are not heavily temperature controlled or not heated at all in the summer.
If you are thinking of going on an exchange, do it. You get financial support from the university and from the government and the best time to travel is while you are studying without the stress of working.
Find out how you can apply for exchange via the QUT Student Exchange website.