Student profiles

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

Current Students

Liz Ernst, United States

Sustainable Energy, Class of 2019

Name & Major: Liz ErnstSustainable Energy
Age: 25
Hometown: Itasca, Illinois, United States
Undergraduate Background: B.A. in Ethics and Public Policy from the University of Iowa

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

I became vegan in 2015 and it opened my eyes to the world and the science of sustainability. I also first came to Reykjavik on a 10 hour layover from Paris and fell in love with the city. So when I decided to get my masters in Sustainable Energy, I found the program at ISE and knew it was for me.

Where do your main interests lie?

My interests lie in sustainable urban development. I would love to work for projects building sustainable cities from the ground up.

How does the ISE program allow you to combine your interests with your work here?

I don't have a background in Science or Technology. The ISE program allows me to learn about Sustainable Energy and development from a technical perspective.

Where would you like to go after completing your studies here?

I would like to work for a company like ReGen Villages who specialize in developing sustainable villages. Another option I'm open to is possibly starting a PhD.

So far, how has your ISE experience been?

I would have to say, eye opening. Going back to school at 25 is a very different experience than my undergraduate degree. I have enjoyed getting to know people from all over the world. It has always been my dream to live abroad, and here I am.

What part of the program are you looking forward to the most?

I am looking forward to the internship and I am excited to have to opportunity to work for a company in the field I am interested in.

How have you coped with the culture shock of moving to Iceland?

Skype calls with my family and friends back home make it easier, as well as trying to be as open to new opportunities as possible. I also find having a routine is also quite helpful.

So far, what has been your strangest experience in Iceland?

Going to the pharmacy and not being able to buy Nyquil or Dayquil whist having a 102 F degree fever. 

What do you enjoy about living in Iceland?

Reykjavik is a very unique city. I enjoy the small town feel despite it being a capital. I like that I can walk or bike anywhere. It's like living in a very international village.

How would you describe life in Reykjavik?

Easy going.

How is studying at ISE different from where you studied before?

Classes and class times are much more scattered throughout the day and week. Not a single one of my classes has a text book, and what is expected of the students is much more open ended than American universities.

What is something you have done here that everybody should do?

Invested in a good bike.

What is something you wouldn't recommend to anyone coming here?

Try to buy something online and have it shipped here.

What is the most useless thing you brought?

Flip flops.

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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