Whether you’re a current student looking for a change of scenery or a future student searching for housing from afar, determining where you’re going to live is vital part of the school-abroad experience. There is a need for the right space: that sense of home. I recently moved from Fantoft – student housing about 20 minutes outside the sentrum (city center) by bybanen (light rail) – to the sentrum itself. While my experience in Fantoft was positive, especially with my flatmate, my classmates, and other friends I found living there, I’m extremely happy with my move. So how do you decide what’s right for you?
Student housing may be a great choice for you:
- If you’re an international student you get a housing guarantee assuming you follow the instructions and meet the housing deadlines.
- It is definitely less expensive than finding a place yourself.
- You may be grouped with a charming flatmate or group of students sharing a kitchen, this can be a good way to make new friends in a new country.
- It is easy to navigate choosing a place online with SiB’s (Studentsamskipnaden i Bergen) site, the site is in English, and you can trust that SiB is offering what they display online.
- SiB Housing offers 4396 units, ranging from student villages with large student populations, to smaller housing units in neighbourhoods in the sentrum.
What if you’re interested in something other than student housing?
The reasons for my move were very specific to me. I love to walk, I prefer to get everywhere I can on foot and I will walk as my commute, as well as my entertainment, that is how much I love to walk.
- Will you walk up a mountain? Yes I will. Well, that’s not impressive, every Norwegian, their toddler and their grandma does that! (Grandma runs it.).
- Will you walk in the city? Absolutely.
- Will you walk in the rain? Come on, it’s Bergen. I will walk in the rain.
- Will you walk in the snow? In the snow, feeling low, all aglow, with a bro, stubbed my toe… on my feet I will go, I will walk. let’s all go.
There were great places to walk around Fantoft, but I really wanted walking to be my primary mode of transport, without having to rely on bybanen to get me home. While bybanen is rather reliable, I just prefer to leave it to my feet. So I moved into the sentrum and now live at the base of Floyen where I can walk up a mountain any ol’ time I please. I’m really happy with my new place. So how did I find it? Or, more importantly, how do you find one of your own?
The following websites are similar to cragislist (if you have that in your country, if you don’t… they’re like classified ads online). Finn is in Norwegian, so have the translating add-ons for your browser fired up and ready. On hybel it looks like you can choose from several languages, including English. They both offered tailored searching, you can look for a specific price range and choose specific neighborhoods.
- finn.no offers not only apartments, but also goods for sale – from guitars to boats, and it even has a free section, check it out!
- hybel.no offers housing only.
Additionally, it may be worth posting or scrolling through posts in expat group pages on Facebook. Here’s one for expats in general. You might look for groups specific to your country of origin, as there was an American one, for example. Most of these are closed groups, ask to join to see what they have to offer!
And you might even try asking your Bergen buddy from Buddy Bergen if you signed up for one. Buddy Bergen does not say they can assist with finding a place to live, but you never know what your Norwegian buddy might recommend (they know the good stuff)!
Did I miss a way to find a place to stay? Have your say… below!