My University: Áslaug Arna Sigurbjörnsdóttir

What are you studying and for how long have you been a student at the University?

I‘ve always been very interested in societal matters, law permeates many aspects of society and I had an opportunity to work at a lawfirm the year I took a break from my studies after graduating from Verzló. After that I was convinced that I wanted to study law.

What is the best course you have attended?

I‘d say that penal law with Jón Þór Ólason was the best course, because it was both fun and academic, and later I worked in an environment which was very related to the course as a police officer.

What is the best thing about the University of Iceland?

I think the best thing about The University of Iceland is the people and the social life, I‘ve met invaluable people here.

What means of travel do you use in order to get to and from school?

I use a car and I find it vital. I have at least not found a way to organize my life such that I‘m able to use other means of travel.

Do you work with school?

I‘m not on payroll, but I do a whole lot of unpaid volunteer work for the Independent Party. I‘m the secretary of the Independent Party so I take care of many duties for the party. The secretary of the Independent Party is a kind of second vice president, is responsible for internal services, attends party meetings, and much more.

If you weren‘t studying law, what would you be studying?

Economics or engineering, I think. I was very interested in math in high school so it‘s maybe a bit strange that I‘ve chosen the law department.

If you were studying abroad what country, place or school would be your choice?

I‘d be very interested to go to the United States to study and of course preferably to Harvard or Stanford. Though also to Britain where I stayed for five months studying English. Cambridge was a wonderful town to live in. I was enchanted by the place and I‘d love to go there again.

How do you relax in order to forget about school?

I often forget that I’m in school about every day. I have so many things to do every day that I would maybe need to focus more on remembering to tend to school. Otherwise I find it best to relax when I’m home in the evenings. I can be alone with myself and preferably not do anything, I love that.

What leisure reading material is on your nightstand now?

There are three books on my nightstand now. The book The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves by Matt Ridley, the biography of Malala Yousafzai and Seablindness by Ragnar Jónasson. These are all books I want to read so I let them lay before me on the nightstand to remind me to make time to read something else than the books in the law department.

On average, how much sleep do you need?

Usually I need around seven to eight hours, but that’s when there’s a lot to do and when I’m possibly sleep-deprived, I’ll often sleep considerably longer.

Are you an “A” or a “B” person?

I would consider myself an A person. I like waking up early and often fall asleep as soon as I go home in the evenings. Very seldom do I manage to keep myself awake over TV shows, for example, late in the evenings.

If you could choose any three individuals to have a chat with in the hot tub*, who would you take with you?

I guess I’d want another hot tub chat with my late mother, Kristín Steinarsdóttir. It’d also be fun to meet up with powerful women such as Beyoncé and Margaret Thatcher. It could become a lively and fun trip to the hot tub, though I always enjoy the most to go to the pool with my friends and have a properly-sincere and honest chat about daily life and strife.

If you could change three things about the University of Iceland or the law department, what would you change?

First I would want that the lectures to be recorded and made accessible for registered students in the Ugla. Secondly I think the teaching could be a lot more varied than merely in lecture form. Thirdly, I’d want the area between the University and the Student Basement (Stúdentakjallarinn) to be open for longer, I’ll never understand why the door needs to be locked so early.

Finish the sentence: “When I was little…”

I was being babysitted by a 12-year-old girl and I jammed my finger so badly that I lost a bit of my little finger.

*It is very common for Icelandic people to meet in the hot tub at the local swimming pool and talk about everything under the sun...


Interview: Kristinn Pálsson

Translation: Guðmundur H. Bjarnason

Photo: Håkon Broder Lund