Westfjords Iceland

Research Expedition, 2018

Research in Iceland's western fjords

This research expedition will focus on developing and publishing a cultural and field guide to the Westfjords Iceland. The primary focus will be to conduct research on the island's natural environment and historic culture. The ultimate goal of this publication is to provide travelers with insight into the majestic world they will be traveling through. This will include information on the island's geography, geology, wildlife, plants, marine life, natural resources, economy, historic and current culture, as well as tourism and its impacts. 

This internship offers you the opportunity to complete pre-trip investigative research, conduct action research for 1 week in Iceland and spend 3 months wrapping up your research from your home or university during the summer or fall semester. Field research in Iceland will be 8 days. There will be two separate teams in order to cover all of the western fjords: Team 1 early-July / Team 2 early-August, 2018. Specific dates will be assigned corresponding to the team each intern is assigned to.  

What this internship offers you:

1. Become a contributor in a Global Treks publication.

2. Gain experience designing, researching, collecting, and synthesizing data.

3. Experience traveling abroad and immersing yourself in another culture. 

4. The opportunity to participate in and complete a collaborative project with fellow researchers.

5. Build an impressive resume with job experience that will set you apart from other candidates.

     What you can expect

We work with each intern/researcher to set up an individualized topic of research. Throughout the duration of your internship, you will work closely with your assigned program director and research director to guide you through the entire process. To begin, you will spend 10-15 hours per week for the fist couple of weeks working remotely from home or school researching your assigned topic. You will then spend 1 week in the summer conducting action research in Iceland. It is during this time you will investigate your research topic and document what you discover through surveys, observations, interviews, literature reviews, and photographs to include in the publication. You will then spend 10-15 hours per week for the next 2 months after the field portion developing your contribution to the book. You will work with our office team and editor to get assistance and feedback on your chapters content and grammar. 



Check out a the video of a previous research expedition to Reykjavik during the summer of 2017.

Position Details

-We are looking for students in all majors. Focus areas include creative writing, investigative journalism, anthropology, wildlife, plants, marine life, natural history, tourism, economics, geology, geography, GIS, as well as students interested in the making of a documentary of the expedition. 

- Mobile Research from any location (3 months/10-15 hours per week)

- Action Research in Iceland (Two teams: 8 days of field research early-July / early August.)

-Interested in earning college credit? We will work with your university to ensure that you receive 3-6 credits for your contribution to the cultural and field guide. Credits can be applied to summer or fall semester. 


1. Conduct field research to gather information on the Westfjords of Iceland. 

2. Develop and publish a cultural and field guide specific to the westfjords of Iceland. 

3. Summarize and convey the information on the area's remote natural environment and cultural history for the general reader. 

4. Collect high quality photographs to include in the publications and documentary of the expedition. 


THE research base

Our team will be renting a local's house in the countryside of western Iceland. Three bedrooms and two bathrooms will be shared (3-5 researchers per bedroom): women, men, and guides will be in separate bedrooms.  The beds will be a mix of single beds and queen size beds. Two vehicles will be used for group transport for day excursions to the Westfjords and throughout west Iceland. 

travel Costs: $2,300

Travel costs include lodging, supplies, food, local transportation, and access to educational, natural history, and cultural centers. Once you pick you up from the airport will not not have to send any money except on souvenirs or personal items.  

*Airfare transportation to Iceland is not included. We are more than happy to help you book your flight. Flights typically start at $350 depending on your location. We will meet you at the Keflavik airport (airport code KEF) with our company shirts on and a sign that says Global Treks.

**We are happy to assist with scholarship applications and working with your college.

*Interested in an intern position but not traveling? Please fill out an application to be considered for a position helping in with documentary making, marketing, and the publication process. 

Iceland Expedition Activity Descriptions

Expeditions with Global Treks are unlike any other field research experience on earth. The research we conduct is hands-on, relevant, and applicable to each intern’s academic and career goals. The places we explore are far beyond the realms of a standard classroom. But, what’s it like to live the experience? 

After arriving at the airport and meeting with your team, today is spent acclimating to your new home abroad.  Orientation is provided to your research base and surrounding area. The team spends time getting to know one another and the week’s agenda is outlined in detail.

Research days are absolutely PACKED to the max. Interns work collaboratively as they visit various locations around the country collecting data. Specific data collection techniques match each specific research project. For example, geographers and biologists will collect data via interviews, GPS data point collection and observational species surveys. Anthropology and cultural studies projects will focus more on participant-observations, interviews, photography and collecting film footage. 

Interviews are conducted with professionals, government officials, business owners and employees, everyday citizens and local villagers. Interviews provide depth to the publication by representing as many perspectives as possible for the audience reading the publication. Interns work together throughout their time together to collect data and organize the publication. 

Each evening, researchers work with their guides and directors to expand field notes, learn new field techniques, set goals for the following day and attend various research or writing-related workshops. Each day’s agenda is reviewed the prior evening and intern’s are held accountable daily for their field notes and progress.

Iceland Activities and Places We Will Visit

The Golden Circle: this loop contains many points of interest our team will visit throughout the week. The geologic and geographic points of interest are also deeply connected to Icelandic history and culture. 

Dynjandi: this breathtaking waterfall, located by Dynjandisvogur bay, is truly a highlight in the westjords. Dynjandi mean thunderous, which is quickly understood when standing near this tall waterfall. There also also 6 smaller waterfalls below this site. 


Hornstrandir: in a nature reserve along a dramatic coastline. It is full of numerous plants, birds nesting int he steep cliffs, and a healthy population of native fox. 



Rauðisandur: is a large beach of endless red sand located among the coves of the westfjords. The nearby coves also contain beaches of red, black, yellow, and white sands which transform in color hues depending on the daylight and weather. 



Látrabjarg: is a site of dramatic cliffs home to birds in unfathomable numbers. It is one of the largest bird nesting cliff in Europe. Puffins can be spotted here as well as a native fox looking for a quick meal. 



Reykjavik: the cultural and economic hub of Iceland is located in the southwestern peninsula of the island. The first and last night of the week will be spent here and you will have access to local businesses, restaurants, religious places of worship, cultural centers, and seasonal festivals. 


Turf Houses: traditional turf houses made of wood, stone, and sodare scattered around the coastline and countryside.




Geothermal Hotsprings: Scattered across the country are unique geothermal hotsprings rich in the minerals of silica and sulfur, which attract people from around the world for their suspected healing powers for all sorts of skin ailments. 

Ready to Apply?

Still have questions? Please email us or visit our FAQ for additional information. 

What past interns have to say about their experience:


 "Working with Global Treks will help to set me apart from other candidates whether it be in the working world or in furthering my graduate education because it is such a unique opportunity to have the chance to travel, experience the world, and write about it."

Bryan K. | Texan State University

"This trip was much more than I expected. I know that this is what I am going to do the rest of my life. I have learned more in this one week than I have in one year of college."



"I found these expeditions to be such great experiences that I decided to do two in one summer. I can honestly say I learned a ton from the guides and my peers that I will take with me back to school. If you want an experience you’ll never forget apply for an adventure internship!"