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Fulbright Iceland Valsson

Fulbright Iceland Valsson

Icelandic grantees 2024-2025 with the Minister of Higher Education, the U.S. Ambassador, Fulbright Iceland ED and the Chairman of the Fulbright Board at the reception on May 17

Icelandic Grantee Reception

On Friday May 17, the new group of Icelandic grantees of the Iceland-U.S. Educational Commission were honored with an afternoon reception at the historic House of Collections’ reading room in downtown Reykjavik. With 18 grantees, this was one of the largest groups in recent years to be selected for awards, including seven students and seven scholars receiving Fulbright grants, for graduate study or research, and the four students who are attending summer programs at U.S. universities this summer. In addition to the grantees and their guests, the Minister of Higher Education Áslaug Arna Sigurbjörnsdóttir, U.S. Ambassador Carrin Patman, and members of the Fulbright Iceland Board of Directors were in attendance.

Fulbright Forums

All our U.S. grantees end their grant periods by giving final presentations about their projects and experiences in Iceland. Two Fulbright Forums were held in April and May here at the Commission for those fellows and scholars who ended their grants in the spring or are staying through the summer. In all, ten Fulbright fellows and four scholars discussed topics ranging from gyrfalcons and biomimetic micro-climates to Arctic soundscapes and teaching Jazz in Reykjavik and Corfu.

You can watch all the recordings from this year Fulbright Forums on the Fulbright Iceland YouTube page.

Fulbright fellow Garrison Gerard presenting his research at the Fulbright Forum in May

Grantee Enrichment Events

Since our last newsletter, the Commission had the pleasure of hosting a number of grantee enrichment events for our U.S. grantees. The grantees visited Noztra creative studio to paint their own pottery in February, which gave them a change to break away from their academic endeavors and practice their creative muscles. In March, the Commission took the grantees for an Icelandic production of the Disney musical Frozen at the National Theatre of Iceland and even though all the dialogue was in Icelandic, the grantees had no problem enjoying the spectacle of the excellent show. The highlight of the spring enrichment events was undoubtedly horseback riding through Mosfellsdalur, a beautiful green valley located about 30 minutes from Reykjavik. There the grantees spent an afternoon getting acquainted with the unique breed of the Icelandic horse, which has developed since the Viking settlement to adapt to Icelandic conditions.

U.S. Fulbright grantees getting ready for horseback riding in April

Anniversary Coffee with Old Friends

With all that has been happening over the past months and the move last fall, we decided to keep the 67th anniversary celebrations of the Fulbright Commission low-key. We used the opportunity to invite former staff members to an afternoon coffee at the new premises. These dedicated individuals, who are doing important work elsewhere, predominantly in education in some form or other, remain an important part of the Fulbright Iceland family and are a vital resource when it comes to amplifying the Fulbright voice and our grant opportunities. We find it important to maintain ties and friendships with these lovely people, who remain fans of the Fulbright mission.


Current and past Fulbright Iceland staff, from left to right: Dísa, Pétur, Belinda, Hjördís, Sandra and Guðrún