Reykjavik, September 2023, we had this fantastic training week where students from the Netherlands, Lithuania and Iceland came together. It was a mix of learning, cultural experiences and fun.
The first day started at FB college, where the group got a tour of the school and played some icebreaker games to get to know each other and understand the local nursing program. Then, the group went for a pleasant walk in Elliðarárdalur to see the local scenery and had lunch at the school cafeteria.
As the swimming pool was opposite the school, an after lunch dip was a must. A dip in the Breiðholt swimming pool introduced everyone to this popular Icelandic leisure activity. From steaming in the hot pots to visiting the Mörk nursing home, the day brought many new experiences. After the first nursing home visit, the students, teachers and partners were dropped at Harpa Concert Hall, where they could enjoy and explore some of Reykjavik’s scenery.
The following day was all about exploring the role of music in healthcare. The group started at LHÍ (university of the Arts) to learn about the therapeutic power of music. Together with some well-known musicians and music therapists, they prepared their second nursing home visit. Central to this second visit, would be a musical activity, allowing the students to directly witness the incredible impact of music.
After this inspirational and moving morning at the nursing homes, the group went back to the hostel for some lunch, as the afternoon was dedicated to the Golden Circle tour. The group was amazed by some of Iceland’s natural wonders, such as the Geysir and Thingvellir national park.
The last training day was quite similar, beginning with a session at LHÍ to recap the impressions of the previous day and preparing for the last nursing home visits. These visits were motivational, moving and even a bit emotional, seeing what music can do for people and how it can bring them together.
The afternoon was filled with free time for the students, who decided to make the most of it by unwinding at one of Iceland's many serene lagoons. The training week ended with a dinner - students got a taste of the global at Hard Rock Café, while the teachers and partners had their own gathering downtown.
This week has left some lasting impressions. The beautiful country of Iceland and most of all the impact of music, seen first hand during the musical activities in the local nursing homes. We can't help but anticipate the continued growth of this project and the positive impact it will have on both students and nursing homes in the future!