Why I Chose ISE

Open Letter from ISE Grad Student Rachel Brophy


REYKJAVIK, November 13 - At ISE, the fall semester is wrapping up. Our second year students are hard at work on their research projects, our first year students are wrapping up their exams and our prospective students are putting together their applications. The winter holidays are just around the corner and so too is the new year. With many of us cautiously hopeful for the new year, we wanted to reground ourselves, and asked our students to recall what attracted them to ISE in the first place. Second year student Rachel Brophy gave us this open letter to anyone looking to start at ISE, and we just had to share it.


Hi! My name is Rachel Brophy. I'm a second-year masters student at the Iceland School of Energy and am currently working on my master’s thesis. Going back a few years, I was an undergrad at the University of Scranton, in Pennsylvania. As many other students in undergrad, I struggled with finding a major that was important to me. I started my journey as a criminal justice major, however I quickly found out that was not the right fit for me. I decided to switch to environmental science, which was a very large change from arts to science.

About a year later, now a junior in college, I started learning about sustainable energy and quickly fell in love with it. In my senior year I decided to apply to The GREEN Program and this is where my life began to change for the better. The GREEN Program allowed me to travel to Iceland and learn first-hand about sustainable energy. I first went to Iceland in December of 2018 and despite the darkness and excessive cold that I was not normally accustomed to, I fell in complete love with Iceland and the beauty around it. During this 10-day trip, I enjoyed many hikes, swimming in geothermal hot springs, and meeting people from all over the world who shared the same interests as myself. Things I never thought I would be able to do or see in my life.


However, The GREEN Program was not all fun and games. We all went on this trip to learn and study about sustainable energy. To do this, we took our first trip to Reykjavik University and attended several lectures about hydroelectric, geothermal, and nuclear energy all given by faculty working with the Iceland School of Energy. Sitting in those lecture halls learning about all the things I was so passionate about was a truly eye-opening experience for me. I knew the first day I went to Reykjavik University that it would not be the last.

70888487_2520165378040996_7647787705501220864_oOnce The GREEN Program ended, I went back to Scranton University deeply saddened that my time in Iceland was over. It was in that moment, I decided that I would go back to Iceland and continue my education in Sustainable Energy. About a month after my trip, I decided to apply to Reykjavik University for an Iceland School of Energy programme. The programme was set to start in July 2019, about two months after my graduation of undergrad. To the shock of my parents, I made the choice in just three months to uproot my entire life as I knew it and start my next journey in Iceland. I can say with full belief that this was the best choice I have ever made for myself.

The Iceland School of Energy has opened so many doors for me and many others. There is something very special about feeling you are where you are supposed to be in life, and for me that was Iceland. The first year I spent in Iceland was the best time of my life, I have met some of the best people I know in this programme and now have a family back in the states as well as in Iceland. This programme allowed me to follow my dreams and has completely lived up to my expectations, through the amazing lectures, the field trips, and the opportunity to spend these two years studying something I love more than anything.



About Iceland School of Energy

By bringing together the best from industry and academia, Iceland School of Energy provides a unique, and comprehensive training for its students. A wide range of courses taught by the very best in their field open a broad spectrum of possibilities for students and allow for individual study designs. Focus is put on close collaboration with industry experts while maintaining high academic quality of the work.

Full-time graduate studies

Short programmes and professional development