Student profiles

A few of ISE's students answer some questions about their study experience and living in Iceland.

  • Andrés Laverde in Westman Islands

Current Students

Andrés Laverde, Colombia

Andrés Laverde, Colombia

Sustainable Energy, Class of 2022

Name:  Andrés Laverde
Age: 21
Hometown:  Bogotá, Colombia
Academic Background: B.Sc. Geosciences, Los Andes University , Colombia
Major & Class: Sustainable Energy , Class of 2022

Could you share with us a little bit about where you are from and your academic journey before Iceland?

I studied Geosciences at Los Andes University in Colombia and since the beginning of my bachelor's I grew a big interest in volcanology, energy and sustainability. During my last year, I focused on research regarding volcanology and geothermal resources.

Why did you choose Iceland School of Energy for your graduate studies?

Due to my great passion for volcanoes, I started looking for master's programs in volcanology and, during my research, I became more interested in geothermal energy. Iceland is a privileged country when it comes to geothermal resources and it is a dream place for every geologist. For this reason, I found a great opportunity with the program at ISE, where I could direct my path towards geothermal energy and, at the same time, expand my knowledge in sustainability and policy making.

So far, how has your ISE experience been? What has been the most rewarding part of this entire experience?

One of the most remarkable things about the ISE experience is to get to know classmates from all around the world, with different backgrounds and perspectives. This is an outstanding way to learn, not only in an academic aspect, but regarding cultures and lifestyles. Even though these difficult times hindered many in-person activities, my learning experience at ISE has been great and fulfilling.

What do you enjoy about living in Iceland?

My favorite thing about Iceland is its nature with black, white and green contrasts: the lakes, the landscapes, the mountains and especially the volcanoes are what I enjoy the most in Iceland. I feel lucky that I got to see a volcano grow as a “baby volcano” and see lava for the first time in my life.

How would you describe life in Reykjavik?

Even though there are no skyscrapers or densely populated centers, Reykjavik is a multicultural cosmopolitan city, with many places to visit and a beautiful Nordic architecture. Also, quietness, safety and quality of life is something that I would not trade for anything.

So far, what has been some of your most interesting experiences living in Iceland?

Traveling around Iceland is an experience that everyone should have in their life itineraries. Iceland has several places to visit that can take your breath away. Seeing the northern lights for the first time was truly breathtaking. Every night that the forecast was favorable, I go out with my roommates and friends to watch the spectacle, and it is crazy to think that Icelanders are already used to this beautiful phenomenon. However, being able to see a volcano grow up, with the lava fountains and flows, has been the best experience of my life, particularly for being a geoscientist passionate for volcanoes.

What advice would you give someone who has never been to Iceland before?

Bring food that you like from your country, learn Icelandic and expect sudden weather changes and impressively strong winds. Everyday can be a day for adventure with proper boots and a good raincoat. Sunscreen is also very important during sunny days. Overall, enjoy to the fullest everything that Iceland has to offer, especially nature, people and quality of life.

What are you planning to work on with your master's thesis project?

Apart from volcanoes, sedimentary basins are a good environment for geothermal energy generation since the energy of the Earth is available everywhere. I am going to create a thermal model of a sedimentary basin in Colombia. This will be done in order to develop a large-scale geological and thermal structure of the basin and assess the geothermal potential of the region.

What are your plans after you graduate?

I plan to gain more experience in the geothermal field, working in energy o consulting companies. After I acquire more knowledge of the industry, I would like to return to Colombia to apply all the things that I learn. I am willing to contribute to the development of more sustainable ways of generating energy by using geothermal resources.

To all the potential students and professionals of the world considering graduate studies, why should they choose Iceland?

Iceland is internationally well known for its high human development index and quality of life. Additionally, the Icelandic society strongly promotes equality, inclusion and safety. During the time I have been living in Iceland I have clearly noticed the stability of its society in general, being a peaceful and happy country, with amazing people and customs. Enjoying life in Iceland is very easy.



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.

Iceland School of Energy is part of and accredited by the School of Science and Engineering at Reykjavik University in Iceland.

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