Haedagardur 31, PC 108, Reykjavik, Iceland


U3A Reykjavik





U3A Reykjavik is an association of over-50s who want to continue learning and sharing their knowledge with others. Founded in 2012, it was the first U3A (University of the Third Age) association in Iceland. It belongs to an international movement of Universities of the Third Age and is also a member of IAUTA (International Association of Universities of the Third Age). This movement based on lifelong learning has shown its importance for improving older adults’ quality of life. All this is achieved by providing education and promoting active aging. U3A Reykjavik activities are carried out through lectures or seminars given by members or guest speakers, and also through courses, through groups which deal with topics chosen by the members themselves or even through study trips. No requirements are needed to participate in the activities. At the U3A Reykjavik, students can improve the quality of their "third age" through learning, communicating and exchanging points of view in a pleasant social environment with people with whom they share interests while acquiring new ones and establishing new bonds both in Iceland and abroad. Since March 2018, the association has 536 fifty-to-ninety-year-old members between, with an average age of about 70. Among its members we can find an incredible baggage of experience in very diverse fields. U3A Reykjavik was the promoter and one of the partner universities in the "Erasmus+ BALL" (Be Active through Lifelong Learning) project −successfully concluded in 2016 after the presentation of the guidelines and recommendations on how to prepare better for the arrival of the third age. The book Towards a Dynamic Third Age has been widely disseminated around the world with great recognition. The BALL project received the Erasmus+ quality award in Iceland in November 2017. Currently, the complementary project "Catch the BALL" is being carried out, which will end in June 2018. This project consists in implementing the most important recommendations of BALL and U3A Reykjavik has a key role in it because of the creation of the web portal "Warehouse of Opportunities for the Third Age". U3A Reykjavik has established extensive and important connections throughout the world, as well as close links with various associations, companies and interested institutions responsible for providing its members and employees with new opportunities that allow them to have an active and pleasant "third age". U3A Reykjavik is an appropriate institution to carry out a project like the one proposed here. U3A Reykjavik has managed to provide a new and alternative forum for people approaching or experiencing the "third age" and who want to keep a stimulating and active life in learning. Since its creation 4 years ago, this association has successfully organized seminars, conferences and study groups. The contact with relevant people within the field of preparation for retirement provides knowledge and experience. This guarantees the necessary resource base to complement the solid practical knowledge and experience available in the association. Among the professionals belonging to the association we can find social workers, psychologists and experts in human resources. All of them have a broad experience in issues related to third age. Icelandic heritage has been a frequent topic in the U3A Reykjavik activities carried out in lectures, study trips and tours, which have made it possible to show this country’s multi-faceted history since the first settlements and the Middle Ages to more recent times. The links/connections that other countries have with the Icelandic heritage have also been dealt with within this topic. To which must be added some studies and lectures on Reykjavik and its archaeological sites. All this experience is of paramount importance for the Project.