One way to find your niche while you are studying abroad in Bergen is to get involved in a student organization or attend event sponsored by a student org. (Also, if you want to make Norwegian friends and you haven’t yet, Julien S. Bourrelle, author of The Social Guidebook to Norway, would argue that joining some type of activity or group is imperative.) If you didn’t arrive on time in the fall or spring, you may not have had the benefit of the Student Organizations Open House, this was an event where a large sample of the available student organizations all gathered together to provide information and encouragement to join them. In case you didn’t or couldn’t make it to the open house, I thought I’d spend several posts highlighting some organizations you might be interested in joining. But you can also search out organziations on your own:
Find Student Organizations
- You could consider choosing the student organization you’d like to join, by seeing if it competed for (or won) the student parliament’s prize for international student inclusion (read more about the prize here).
- Or, go UiB’s ‘Student Organizations and Activities’ Page or Student Bergen to link to other possibilities!
Image: Copyright UiB, http://www.uib.no/en/student/49008/student-organisations-and-activities
Erasmus Student Network
Today I thought I’d start with one you may be familiar with, ESN Bergen, part of Erasmus Student Network. If you are from the EU, maybe you already know about this non-profit European student organization designed for international students. In Bergen, ESN arranges social activities in order to make your stay fun and get you connected with other students. There are actually eight chapters of ESN in Norway, so even if you’re traveling within the country, you might find some international student activity to get involved in. Each semester ESN Bergen different social events and trips are offered. And you don’t have to be an EU student, any international student is welcome.
If you aren’t there now, sadly you’re missing a magical guided winterland trip to Saariselkä, a small ski resort in the Finnish Lapland (260 kilometres beyond the Arctic Circle), including possible reindeer-sightings, Arctic Ocean swims (yikes), and Northern Lights opportunities!
Other activities ESN organizes include “Sea Battles”. Image: http://www.scanbaltexperience.com/ESN-SeaBattle
If you are around this weekend, you might want to contact them and see about joining for a hike up Blåmanen (east of Fløyen). The hike is listed as starting at 12:00 on 28th February. Looking for more information? You can always check out their facebook group, their ESN FB page, or subscribe to their mailing list here.
Looking for something more involved? How about a trip to Iceland! From April 5th- April 10th 2016 (6 days/5 nights) you could explore Reykjavik, ride Icelandic-horses, “watch Icelandic Whales”, or just soak in the customary hot spring thermal baths. This trip has limited openings, so if you’re interested, act fast! Read more here, or book here.
For more opportunities, check out their list of events here.
You may also just want to explore ESN’s student guide for handy tips about Bergen, including information on useful apps, shopping, groceries, nightlife, transportation, hairdressers! It even has a helpful ‘history’ section.
If you wanna join this organization that strives to provide opportunities for cultural understanding and self-development via the principle of ‘students helping students’, I’m afraid you missed their recruitment period for spring semester. However, if you’re sticking around, they recruit twice a year. You can be a part of event planning, PR, Social Programmes or much more. Read more about the committees involved in keeping ESN running smoothly, and how to join, here.
Wanna keep track of what ESN is up to?
Or follow them on Twitter @ESNBergen
Find out more about what ESN does internationally: