Fifty is just a number!

This is not a joke. I take my decision to study Advertising in this University very seriously“.  Ragnar‘s statement at the beginning of this interview is by no means unwarranted. He is aware that his case is quite unique. The reason? For us southern Europeans, his Icelandic origin evokes the image of exotic landscapes of an almost lunar texture, legends of powerful warriors, volcanoes burning next to the ice. But it is not that…

Nor the fact that since 2008 he has lived in Denmark, Australia, Brazil, the USA, Cuba and Mexico: “I am a citizen of the world, the roots of oneself can be wherever you are“.

Ragnar, a student from Iceland at CEU Valencia
Ragnar has just joined our Faculty of Humanities and Communication Sciences

He left Iceland six months before the crisis that ten years ago led to the collapse of his country’s financial system. There he had worked as a freelance, producing documentaries, presenting television shows and writing in different national newspapers. Today, at age 50, he starts his degree in Advertising and Public Relations.

Two months ago you did not even know if you were going to be able to study with us …

I was one of the last to be accepted. Throughout my life, the best things have come as a surprise. It is an adventure, an exciting personal challenge. I take it very seriously, it’s no joke: I am where I want to be right now and doing what I want.

You are studying our Pathway to Advertising, what do you think of this path?

It is one of the reasons why I chose CEU Valencia. I think it’s a great idea. For international students to be able to take a first course that combines teaching in English with the improvement of Spanish leads to a rapid integration in the following years.

Overview of Reykjavík
Ragnar has left Iceland for sunny Valencia

What other things attracted you and made you choose us as your home for the next four years?

I learned about the university through the Internet. I found it a place that showed professionalism. From the first contacts with the Admission staff until my arrival, the service has been excellent. Knowing the professors has confirmed my opinion, the welcoming, the attention and the service on a personal level could not have been better.


In an international university like ours, a citizen of the world like you must feel like a fish in the water …

Creativity is related to change, to risk. Moving is part of being creative. I am in an open country, with more hours of sun and more life on the street than in Iceland, and in a university open to the world. In a few years I will be able to do an Erasmus+, improve my knowledge of Spanish and when I finish my training I will be able to work in Spain and anywhere in Latin America. I am passionate about Spanish culture, in contrast to mine. I know that this experience will allow me to explore different ways of seeing the world and being in it.

Your speech seems to match very well the studies you have chosen.

Definitely! Although I have a degree in Television Production, in communication I have had a self-taught education. I have never studied Advertising. What attracts me to these studies is precisely its open and multidisciplinary character, how it takes references from all the creative fields and how it combines them. The really exciting thing is knowing that knowledge in other areas can be applied in communication at any time.

Ragnar with professor José Martínez and some of his classmates
Ragnar with professor José Martínez and some of his classmates

Ragnar talks to us after his first class of Anthropology, and it almost seems necessary to ask him if his name has any special meaning: “Soldier of the gods“, he tells us. It sounds as resounding as pronouncing his name, as his determination when he talks about his age: “My clock does not fully accept how old I am, it’s just a number“.

Good luck, Ragnar, þakka þér fyrir and welcome home!


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