GEST Welcomes the 2021 Cohort

18 August 2021
Fellows 2021 exploring downtown Reykjavik during Orientation
Fellows 2021 exploring downtown Reykjavik during Orientation

It was with a great pleasure that the GEST team welcomed its 2021 cohort to Iceland in August. The fellows arrived over a period of two weeks, and the teaching started on the 13th of August, after three days of orientation that was partially online. The 2021 cohort consists of twenty fellows from 15 countries. This year, for the first time, fellows from China, Egypt, Mexico, Mongolia, Namibia, and Nepal are joining the programme.

The 2021 programme, originally planned for January – May, was postponed to autumn in order for the semester’s teaching and other activities to progress in a relatively normal fashion, with the University of Iceland operating with less social restrictions than last winter. The majority of the invited fellows were able to change their plans and join the programme in Iceland for the autumn semester. The 2022 GEST programme will run from January to May, as it usually does.

These first weeks have been busy for the fellows. Some of them had to stay for few days in quarantine while those who were fully vaccinated could enjoy some beautiful weather and start exploring the University campus and Reykjavík immediately. Last week was dedicated to orientation, where the fellows got to know each other, the programme, the campus and Reykjavík city centre. After completing one full day of classes last Friday, the fellows participated in the Reykjavík Dialogue this week, which was dedicated to renewing activism to end violence against women. The dialogue was hosted by RIKK and the Prime Minister’s Office and attended, either online or in person, by a large number of prominent activists and academics from around the world.