Student profiles

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

Current Students

Nataly Castillo Ruiz, CO

Sustainable Energy, Class of 2019


Name & Major: Nataly Castillo RuizSustainable Energy
Age: 24
Hometown: Bogotá, Colombia
Undergraduate Background: B.Sc. in Geoscience from Universidad de los Andes

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

Although I have a very strong interest in geothermal energy, I was looking for a masters program that would give a better basis of the energy industry as a whole and how to approach projects sustainability. The ISE program had all the things I was looking for - a very engaging education in geothermal but also other subjects that show the overall context of energy. 

Where do your main interests lie?

My interests lie mainly in geothermal, in particular in conceptual models, reservoir management and project development.

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

As I mentioned before, my focus is on geothermal energy, it's conceptual models and project development.  The ISE program classes provide me with more valuable knowledge than a much more specific program in geophysics for example. This is very beneficial for me since I want to work on the project construction and development phase of geothermal plants, which involves more that the exploration phase on a geothermal project.  Here, I have the opportunity to do some training in energy economics, energy policies, energy technology's and environmental impact, all of which are key for me.  I consider this knowledge as necessary basic general concepts that an energy industry project developer professional must have. 

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

I am very open to possibilities.  What I know for sure is that I want to develop experience that I can take back to my country eventually in furtherance of improving Colombia's geothermal development. 

So far, how has your ISE experience been?

It has been fantastic. I really like the working environment and the commitment that teachers have with the student's learning process. I liked the dynamic that the summer school created in our group. Not only for the personal relations we build as colleagues but also because I feel the transition of starting study again was very smooth for us compare to other exchange students. 

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

The upcoming geothermal modules. 

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

I can't say I have been having such a big shock, more like an interesting experience of understanding how the act and react to many things. I actually like the people and the place so far. It feels kind of early to say but I really like the people and the environment so far. (they do salsa!!)

Regarding the cultural shock, I can say I was happily surprised by the good attitude Icelanders have for trying Latin rhythms. On the other hand I must say the currency and life cost is a huge shock to me.

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

They do breaks at the theater in the middle of the movies. 

What do you enjoy about living in Iceland?

The mix of the natural environment and the city.

How would you describe life in Reykjavik?

Very organic, peaceful. 

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

I would say the dynamic is different. I like that the group is very diverse not only on professional backgrounds but also in social and cultural. I love learning about how different people do things. Working in groups here has make me see opportunities and methodologies I never thought about before. 

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

Rent a car and drive. Driving a couple of hours from Reykjavik in any direction will bring you to amazing places.(after checking at the weather forecast of course)

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

Going to the Listasafn Museum.

What is the most useless thing you brought?

A sleeping mask.

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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