Student profiles

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


Selma-Penna Utonih, NA

Sustainable Energy Engineering, Class of 2017

Name and Major: Selma-Penna Utonih, Sustainable Energy Engineering
Age: 25
Windhoek, Namibia
Undergraduate background: Environmental Engineering, University of Science and Technology Beijing

Why did you choose Iceland School of Energy?

I choose the Iceland School of Energy due to my keen interest in the Energy sector. I knew studying at ISE would offer me a unique opportunity to study Sustainable Energy Engineering in a unique location like Iceland which would further my knowledge in this growing sector. I also chose ISE because the way the Master's program is set up, it would offer a rare opportunity to connect and train with industry professionals not only from Iceland but around the world.

What is your favorite class trip?

My favorite class trip was during our summer school period to Hellisheidi and Nesjavellir geothermal power plants. It was such a great learning experience for me as it was my first time ever visiting a geothermal power plant as we have none in my home country. The absolute best part of that trip was the wonderful hike we took, where I got to enjoy the sheer beauty of Icelandic landscapes and got to connect with other students from all over the world.

Can you tell me one interesting /surprising fact you have learned about Iceland during your studies?

The most interesting thing I learned was how environmentally conscience and dedicated the country is to using renewable energy sources for primary energy use and their continued successes within the geothermal energy industry is remarkable.

Can you tell me one strange thing about Iceland?

Mosquitoes don't exist here! Which coming from a country like Namibia where mosquitoes can be quite the annoyance during summer, this is a strange but wonderful thing about Iceland.

What do you enjoy about living in Iceland?

Since I have been here I enjoy almost everything about living here. The people are friendly and helpful, it's a peaceful country and the scenery is breath-taking with so many wonderful tourist attractions to explore.

How would you describe life in Reykjavik?

Serene but at the same time lively especially in downtown Reykjavik there is always something fun going on. It's also quite convenient as everything essential is within reach.

What do you find different about being a student at Iceland School of Energy compared to where you have studied before?

Firstly, I get to study in English! I did my undergraduate degree in Beijing and all of my classes were taught in Mandarin (Chinese). All of my textbooks were also in Chinese and thus studying at ISE is a breath of fresh air because I get to fully grasp what I'm being taught in class without having to spend long nights translating lecture notes. The close relationship between students and faculty members at ISE is to be greatly commended; it's a very open relationship where students can easily contact faculty members and get advice and guidance on pretty much any situation encountered.

What advice would you give to somebody planning to come and study at Iceland School of Energy?

Bring enough good quality warm winter clothes and invest in a good sturdy pair of hiking boots. Also when it comes to your Student Visa application process make sure you have a checklist with you and make sure to collect all the necessary documents well before the due time. Lastly, don't forget to bring a camera along with you to capture all the fun moments you will have here.


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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