And Still Feel Discriminated Against Sometimes

Laura, a Canadian in Iceland: “My experiences as a foreigner here. It’s kind of hard to decide whether people look down on foreigners or not. It’s weird to look the same as people here (ie. fair-skinned and Caucasian) and still feel discriminated against sometimes. It’s not completely unusual to get a fairly friendly greeting which switches to aloofness if they figure out that you don’t speak Icelandic. Having said that, 99% of people are friendly if you get past that momentary reserve, and especially if you ask for help. Icelanders speak fantastic English, for the most part, which is more good than bad- it’s effortless to be a tourist here, but on the other hand, if you’re actually trying hard to learn Icelandic (this is what I hear from students who have come expressly for that purpose), it can be frustrating when they switch to English.”