Get the information you need for academic planning and connect with experiences to develop the knowledge, skills and attributes that employers are seeking.

This resource is meant as a guide to provide suggestions throughout your time at university (refer to the Academic Calendar for a complete list of program requirements). Develop a plan and timeline that suits you best. Make intentional choices for your courses and work experiences.

  • Student spotlight

    “Icelandic is a beautiful language that has remained relatively unchanged since the Viking age and is still a living language today. The department of Icelandic Language and Literature offers a fascinating cultural experience that broadens the mind and Icelandic literature contains some of the most timeless stories from the medieval world.”

    Noel Braucher, Icelandic student

Icelandic at UM

As a student studying Icelandic in the Faculty of Arts, you will learn about the Icelandic language and the rich variety of literature and culture. Be prepared for career opportunities in research and teaching, translation and interpretation, writing and publishing.

Studying any new language is an opportunity to open a door to a new culture and new ways of looking at and thinking about the world. This is especially true in the case of Icelandic because of the language’s antiquity and isolation. The courses offer a glimpse into the mindset of those pre-Christian settlers, their mythology, society and worldview. Learn about the contributions Icelandic immigrants played in the establishment of Manitoba, the impact in politics, religion, in producing art and in international espionage.

Skills you will gain by studying ICELANDIC

  • A comprehensive knowledge of the Icelandic language (writing, speaking, reading, listening and translation).
  • The ability to communicate effectively in Icelandic and apply language skills in the workplace
  • An understanding of the relationship between language and culture.
  • An in-depth understanding of the historical and cultural context of modern Icelandic society.
  • The ability to critically evaluate text, media and other cultural forms and independently research new areas of information, such as the influence of Icelandic medieval writings and mythology on modern culture and artistic media.


Year 1 - 30 credit hours


Course requirements:

Major Program: ICEL 1200 (ICEL 2200 if you have superior language ability).

To do this year:

  1. Know the requirements for your degree. Meet with an academic advisor in the Faculty of Arts to help you plan your program.
  2. If you need academic support, visit the Academic Learning Centre for workshops or to meet with a learning skills instructor.


Start planning your career:

  1. Meet with a career consultant to generate career ideas based on your interests, values, personality and skills.
  2. Research occupations that match your skills and interests.
  3. Set up a UM Connect account to view job postings and register for workshops and events.
  4. Explore your Experience Record, an official record of university-approved activities.


Link experiences to your career interests. Options include:

  1. Student groups from various ethnocultural backgrounds, the Arts Student Body Council and Arts Student Body Council.
  2. Volunteer for UM Orientation events or with the Icelandic department to volunteer for Evening of Excellence, Open House and other events on campus to help welcome new students to campus while gaining experience.
  3. Student work opportunities including Work-StudySTEP Services or Federal Student Work Experience Program.
  4. Experiential education opportunities such as Community Engaged Learning programs and the Student Leadership Development Program.


Considering international opportunities? Visit the Language Centre and check out the International Centre website to learn more international opportunities for UM students.

There are exchanges with the University of Iceland available. Check out undergraduate scholarships through the Canada-Iceland Foundation. Consider the Arni Magnusson Institute's Summer Language Program in Iceland. 

Explore communities and cultures you want to work with: Visit Migizii Agamik, the International Centre or learn about local agencies via 211 Manitoba. Consider becoming a community member/representative for community boards and advisory councils.

Year 2 - 60 credit hours


Course requirements: ICEL 2200, plus additional credit hours from Icelandic Studies courses*.

To do this year:

  1. Meet with an academic advisor and career consultant to map out your options.
  2. Consider these special topics courses: 
    ICEL 2410 - Infinite Worlds: Norse Mythology in the Modern Age
    ICEL 2400 - Icelandic Folktales in a European Context
    ICEL 2410 - History of the Viking Age and Icelandic Music and its History (Note - some special topics courses are offered every other year)
  3. Research scholarships and awards offered by the department.
  4. When choosing a minor, take courses that will open opportunities.


Investigate your career options:

  1. Look at sample job postings to ensure you have the qualifications upon graduation.
  2. Develop employability and essential skills sought by employers.
  3. Explore supports available to entrepreneurs for business planning including the Stu Clarke Centre for EntrepreneurshipWorld Trade Centre Winnipeg, and the Manitoba Government.
  4. Create a LinkedIn profile to network with professionals.

Expand your network:

  1. Join the Career Mentor Program to learn from professionals.
  2. Attend career fairs to connect with employers.
  3. Develop professional connections with professors by applying for an Undergraduate Research Award.


Explore student research opportunities: Apply for a research assistant position, Undergraduate Research Award or inquire about research assistant positions. Participate in the Undergraduate Research Poster Competition.

Gain practical experience by volunteering: The New Iceland Heritage Museum, Icelandic Camp, the Scandinavian Centre, the Icelandic Festival in Gimli,  the Logberg-Heimskringla newspaper, the Icelandic-Canadian Magazine, the Markerville Museum in Alberta or the Icelandic National League of North America.

Check out student job opportunities with: Winnipeg International Storytelling Festival and Folklorama.

Find opportunities to market yourself: Attend the International Saga Conference organized by the Árni Magnússon Institute or the University of Leeds International Medieval Congress.


Develop global career skills and expand intercultural learning: Consider a student exchange, My World Abroad or SWAP for a “working holiday”. Volunteer in Iceland with support from Seeds: volunteering for Iceland or the European Voluntary Service.

Staying local? Check out a spring or summer Community Enganged Learning experience; visit the New Iceland Heritage Museum or take part in the Gimli Film Festival both in Gimli, MB. Consider learning a new language and culture through the Language Partner Volunteer Program.


Year 3 - 90 credit hours


Course requirements: 18 credit hours in Icelandic Studies numbered at the 2000, 3000, or 4000 level*

To do this year:

  1. Confirm eligibility to graduate with an academic advisor and declare intent to graduate in Aurora.


Market your skills: Develop your resumé and cover letter and refine your interview skills.

Start job search 9 months in advance: Contact Career Services to refine your job search and self-marketing strategies. You can visit the office up to 6 months after graduation.

If you are continuing on to a professional program: Finalize your application materials and search for funding and awards to help finance your continuing education. Contact your department to find out how their awards deadlines are advertised.

Considering graduate programs? A provisional year may be required to compliment this three year degree.


Search for job opportunities online: Check out Association of Manitoba Museums, Job BankFind My JobIndeed or other search engines or other search engines.

Use your networks and connections: Inquire about unadvertised job openings (the “hidden job market”).

Ensure you have references in place: Ask your professor for a reference or a letter of recommendation if you’re applying to a professional program.

Assess your resumé: Identify any gaps in experience and fill them through volunteering, work placements or internships such as the Post-Secondary Recruitment Program.


Did you travel abroad? Become an exchange mentor for the International Student Mentorship Program, join the exchange student community at the University of Manitoba or write an article about your experience.

Participate in the multicultural opportunities on campus: Participate in the Intercultural Development and Leadership Program or take part in Graduation Pow Wow.

Prepare to work in a multicultural environment: Visit Canada’s National Research Centre for Truth and Reconciliation on campus. Get access to LinkedIn Learning through the Winnipeg Public Library and take courses to develop your cross-cultural intelligence.

What do employers want?

Industries such as business, communications, education, government, health and law would value an Icelandic major in combination with the employability skills that are highly sought after by employers. These include:*

  • Written and oral communication
  • Cultural competency
  • Continuous learning
  • Analytical
  • Critical thinking
  • Teamwork
  • Problem solving
  • Digital technology

Attain skills through your classroom education and take advantage of experiential education opportunities.

*Information has been adapted from Employability Skills 2000+ and Workplace Education Manitoba – Essential Skills.

Get one-on-one help

  • Meet with a career consultant

    Meet with a career consultant for a confidential discussion about your career goals, job search, resumé/CV and interview preparation.

    Contact Career Services at or call 204-474-9456 to make an appointment.

  • Talk to an academic advisor

    Talk to an academic advisor who will guide you to resources to help you make important decisions for your future. Advisors are specialized, often by program, faculty/school or unit.

    Find your advisor

Continue exploring


Select a Career Compass

Use Career Compass as a guide to develop a strong connection between your studies and your occupational choices. It will provide you with suggestions for academic and career planning specific to your program.

Information for career counsellors

Contact us

Department of Icelandic Language and Literature
357 University College
220 Dysart Road
University of Manitoba (Fort Garry campus)
Winnipeg, MB R3T 2M8