Learn Icelandic for Free* with Union Reimbursement

May 11, 2024
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Man, Icelandic courses can be expensive. If only there was a robust system of institutionalised entities whose raison d'être was the support of its working-class members in navigating the tumultuous waters of a capitalist society.

Oh hey, I found some! Most Icelandic unions (like Efling, VR, BHM, etc.) subsidise the cost of Icelandic courses by 75-100%. That means that, depending on your union, you might get your Icelandic classes for free*!

Every union is different, so make sure to always check with your union about specifics.

*It's not free, free: your union is paying for it, and you pay union dues. But that's close enough to free as to not matter! 

If you're not in an Icelandic union, check out our self-study course: it's a more economical option to learn Icelandic.

The Basics

While every union is unique like an itty-bitty snowflake, there are some generalities that hold for all or most unions.

  • Most subsidise 75-100% of the cost of learning Icelandic.
  • All subsidise up to a maximum amount per time period (for instance, “up to 130,000 ISK per year”, or “up to 180,000 ISK per two years”).
  • Some require you to have been a member for a specific amount of time, but many unions waive this requirement for learning Icelandic.
  • Most will still subsidise your studies even after you quit the union, for up to some amount of time.

All of this varies with unions. Check with your union!

What You Need

Your union generally wants to see two things:

  1. A bill
  2. A proof of payment

Here at Icelandic made easi(er), you receive the bill by email through the complicated process of *checks notes* telling your teacher you want to buy some classes.

The proof of payment is even easier: it can simply be a screenshot of your online bank, showing that you've made a money transfer.

As an example, here's a screenshot of my online bank proving I paid my water bill.


If you're unemployed and don't have a union, you might be eligible for support from Vinnumálastofnun (Directorate of Labour). They'll cover the cost of learning Icelandic with any “accredited learning institution”. 

That means specific schools that are on the Directorate of Education's short list, like the Tin Can Factory, Mímir, and Múltíkúltí, but unfortunately doesn't include Icelandic made easi(er) as of 2024.