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UVM Travel Study
Office of International Education

Iceland: Exploring the Therapeutic Effects of Icelandic Thermal Springs

Course Location
Iceland
Program Dates
Spring Break 2020
Travel Dates: 3/6/2020 - 3/14/2020
Credit
RMS 191 – 3 credits
Instructor
Karen Westervelt and Susan Kasser
Cost
Please see below for more information about costs associated with this travel study program.
Prerequisites
Interest in integrative health, human physiology and health science. Due to the high level of interest in this course, students with majors in the health professions will be given priority. This course is primarily for advanced undergraduates in their junior or senior year. Graduate and continuing education students are also welcome to apply. Instructor permission required for all. Please contact the instructor for further consideration. PHYSICAL PRE-REQUISITES: Ability to hike for 3 hours on uneven winter terrain and ability to swim.

No syllabus provided; please contact the instructor.

Course Description

Iceland is famous for its geothermic hot springs and pristine nature. Travel with us to Southern Iceland as we explore thermal springs and the health benefits they offer. We will spend a week immersed in life at Iceland’s NLFI Holistic Health Clinic world renowned for integrating traditional rehabilitation services including medicine, psychology, physical therapy, and occupational therapy with complementary therapies including yoga, Tai Chi, water/ land exercise, thermal baths, geothermal mud treatments, acupuncture, massage, mindfulness, and the European renowned treatment of Kneipp therapy to promote health. We will stay at NLFI Integrative Health Clinic in the town of Hveragerdi, known as the hot springs capital of the world where thermal waters and mud are used for to promote health in a natural environment and with healthy lifestyle. During our stay at NLFI we will be served their own organically grown vegetables and fish, observe and experience the therapeutic treatments offered, study the physiological effects of exposure to thermal waters, and take a daily trek through the Icelandic countryside. A typical day will involve spending the mornings learning from European Medical Doctors and health care providers about the special hydrotherapy treatments used to promote good health and the treatments prescribed for various medical conditions ranging from arthritis to cardiovascular disease. After learning about each treatment we will experience it first hand with a relaxing soak in the thermal pools, indulging in a geothermic mud treatment or participating in a yoga class. Our afternoons will be spent trekking across the pristine natural landscape of Southern Iceland often to a natural thermal pool for a relaxing dip. Evenings will be spent in group discussion about the physiology of the day’s treatment.

Highlights of our travel in Iceland include visiting : 1) Visiting/staying in the Hverargedi town, the hot spring capital of the world. 2) Working with clinicians at the NLFI clinic who provide a top quality comprehensive healthcare by integrating traditional and complementary interventions into rehabilitation, 3) visiting the Iceland’s natural geothermal pools (Hrunalaug, Fontana and Blue Lagoon), 4) The Golden Circle of Iceland which includes the Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the geothermally active valley of Haukaladur with Strokkur Geyser and Gullfoss waterfall. If we are lucky we will be treated to a good show of Iceland’s Northern Lights, which are often visible in the spring.

Come explore the geothermic hot springs of Iceland and discover the therapeutic benefits of an Icelandic holistic approach to health.

Travel Study Costs and Fees

Program Fee: $2,507*

If you are admitted to the course, you will receive an email asking you to accept or decline the spot. To accept your spot, you are required to fill out the commitment deposit form and submit a $500 non-refundable deposit within 48 hours. For more information about payment policies and procedures, view the Travel Study Payment Policy.

Included:

  • In-country transportation
  • Student housing accommodations
  • Cultural activities and excursions arranged by the lead instructor
  • Most meals
  • Supplies/materials

Not Included:

  • College tuition and fees**, see UVM Student Financial Services
  • Airfare, estimated cost $760
  • Cancel for any reason flight insurance (strongly encouraged)
  • Baggage fees
  • Vaccinations and any associated costs
  • Meals to/from Iceland, estimated cost $60
  • Passport fees
  • Personal and entertainment expenses
  • Optional excursions
  • Anything not specified as included in the program

*Trip cost subject to change due to unanticipated changes.

**Travel Study courses are regarded as normal UVM courses and as such, normal tuition and fees apply.

Country Information

Visit the U.S. Department of State website for information regarding country health, safety risks, and laws for Iceland.