The Faroe Islands is a country with only one university. This is what it’s like

For one thing, it’s free


Bartal moved away from the Faroe Islands to study computer science at Royal Holloway. The stories of his homeland are idyllic making the Faroe Islands seem like nothing short of a paradise. Countryside, tranquility and humility are all on offer, and it won’t cost you £9,000 a year to go to the only university in the entire country: UArctic.

Bartal is a clever guy. During his first year he was already aiding pHD research and has already found a paid job in his computer science field. The idea of coming to Britain and voluntarily paying way more for university may seem odd, but studying here has allowed Bartal to specialise, which he couldn’t have done back home. As UArctic is the country’s only uni, the computer degree is very general, teaching you web design but little else.

bartal

Bartal busy at work

That’s not the only difference between the UK and life in the Faroes.

Living arrangements

No matter where you live in relation to uni, I bet you’ve moved out. In the Faroe Islands? No chance. It’s extremely rare for students to move out of their family homes.

faroehome

Goodbye home

Degree choice

At UArctic, you get a general degree covering the basics but without the range of modules and specialisms we get in the UK. It’s a big reason why students from abroad are attracted to the wide range of choice you get within a specific field.

lake

This or Virginia Waters? (Photo: Stig Nygaard)

Culture

Britain is known worldwide as a cultural melting pot. Wherever you go, you’re sure to find people with different opinions and lifestyles, not just nationalities. No doubt this attracts anyone looking to “find themselves” and solidify what you, not your family, believe in.

In small islands like the Faroe Islands, you know everyone. Bartal says: “You reach a hive mentality as you’re always with the same club of people.” It’s not uncommon for most adults to still be friends with the people they met in primary school.

Drinking

In the UK, a massive amount of us go to uni to study, and many of us pick our degree almost at random and then drink the years away.

“In the Faroe Islands, we drink like fish” says Bartal. So maybe that doesn’t change so much.

northen

Can you see the northern lights from your uni? (Photo: EHRENBERG Kommunikation)