Experience Iceland

Sustainability Through Community

Program Overview

Travel to the Land of Fire and Ice to learn about “Sustainability Through Community.” Experience life at Solheimar eco-village, one of the world’s oldest and unique sustainable living communities. Experience, up close and personal: glaciers, volcanoes, and geothermal hot springs while exploring Iceland, one of the most remote, geologically unique, and environmentally friendly countries in the world.

Check out this 2018 Video Link of Punahou School Students’ perspectives on sustainability and their CELL experience.

Current Iceland Programs

Approximate Program Dates:  May 8 to 22, 2023

  • Length: 2 weeks
  • Credits: 3 credits through Northland College or one of CELL’s direct credit partners
  • Cost: $4,900 USD, plus airfare from your hometown (students book their own airfare – check with CELL before booking)
  • Courses: contact CELL for a full syllabus. Click here for course descriptions.
    • Sustainability: Secrets of Simplicity (SCD 272 – Northland College Credit)
CELL’s Custom Abroad Programs are the perfect supplement to your curriculum! We’ll work with you to craft a unique field experience for your students – one that balances academic standards with hands-on experience in some of the world’s most interesting countries and with leading sustainability focused organizations like Ashoka, Heifer International, Friends of the Earth, Northwest Earth Institute, Solheimar Eco-Village, and others. Our Custom Abroad Programs are a variation of our traditional study abroad programs. The key difference is that you get to participate. The dates for our custom programs are worked out with input from you!  Learn more.
To view a custom 2018 Iceland program with the Punahou School from Hawaii, click here.

More Details

What will you learn during your CELL Icelandic adventure? A lot! But there is a WARNING in order here: This experience may change your life forever! Here are a few things to look forward to:

  • Live and learn in one of the world’s oldest and unique eco-villages – Solheimar
  • Learn how one life, your life, can make a BIG difference in the world and develop a leadership action plan to prove it
  • Volunteer in a zero carbon emission greenhouse and help grow the organic food you eat
  • Live a carbon neutral lifestyle and plant several thousand trees that will sequester the carbon you employ during the program
  • Learn about Viking history while visiting Viking settlements and museums
  • Spend the night in a magical Icelandic turf house – right out of a Tolkien book
  • Learn about Icelandic’s mystical mythology; and you may even see a troll slinking behind the mountains
  • Learn how Iceland’s culture, language, history, geology, geography, isolation and remoteness have crafted an independent people who “don’t know they can’t do things”
  • Hike in some of the most captivatingly beautiful landscapes in the world
  • Explore Iceland’s beautiful capital city – Reykjavik – and taste some of Iceland’s famous cuisine
  • And along the way, take time to reflect deeply on how this experience resonates with the core of who you are.

Solheimar Eco-Village

Keflavik Airport

Blue Lagoon

Westman Islands

Mount Hekla

Þingvellir National Park

Gullfoss and Geyser

Skaftafell National Park








Our Partners in Iceland

Solheimar Eco-Village

Solheimar, an eco-village of about 100 people renowned for its international, artistic, and ecological atmosphere. Solheimar is the first self-sufficient community of its kind in the world, where people with special needs and those without live and work together in a community committed to environmental sustainability.

Andri Snær Magnason

Andri Snær Magnason is an Icelandic writer, born in Reykjavik on the 14th of July 1973. His most recent book Tímakistan won the Icelandic literary Award and is nominated for the Nordic Council Children’s book Award. Andri has written novels, poetry, plays, short stories, essays and CD’s. He is the codirector of the documentary film Dreamland.

Birgitta Jonsdottir

Before Birgitta Jonsdottir became a member of the Icelandic Parliament in April 2009 she worked as a writer, artist, activist, web developer, designer. This website is an artistic work in progress since 1995, it is not a website of your traditional politician since Birgitta is everything but your traditional politician, she is a poetician.

Hannes and Kristin: Icelandic Turfhouses

The Icelandic Turf House: the Jewel of Arctic Architecture.


Hordur is a quintessential local Icelandic farmer who raises Icelandic breeds of sheep, cows and horses. He has a micro-geothermal power plant that provides energy for his farm and home. Hordur is a gregarious, fun-loving Icelander who opens his heart and home to CELL Groups. During our time in Iceland we will visit Hordur’s farm, local micro-geothermal and hydro power plants, meet his family and have a traditional Icelandic meal.

Pali and Rosa

Pali and Rosa are two amazing Icelandic guides who CELL has partnered with for seven years. Pali grew up in remote Isafyordur in the Northwest part of Iceland where he started his career as a fisherman. Today, Pali is an accomplished writer, journalist and guide with a great sense of humor. Rosa is an incredible Icelandic artist who has had art exhibits across Iceland and Europe. Her art is inspired by the unique beauty of inspiring Icelandic land- and sea-scapes. Rosa and Pali are married and have a passion for sharing Iceland’s spectacular natural beauty with others!

The Hekla Forest Project

The main objective of the Hekluskógar project is to restore native birch (Betula pubescens) woodlands in the vicinity of the active volcano Mt. Hekla.

Up close and personal with the Northern Lights.

“It was possibly the greatest three weeks I’ve ever experienced in my life! It was a whirlwind experience as we were constantly doing things to fit everything we possibly could in.”
Ashley Thibeault (University of Maine - Orono)

CELL Iceland