One incoming student recently commented and asked about getting into the Sentrum (city center) from the airport upon arrival and where to get all those needed comfort items for one’s new abode. I am so pleased to have a question I can help answer (often, understandably, folks comment to ask about admissions, and sadly that is not my area of… for lack of a better word… expertise). This is the first time someone has asked me a question that I can actually weigh in on in a blog! So, I couldn’t wait to post about it.
Really? I’m excited about explaining public transit and shopping? In an unprecedented moment (because I prefer walking to public transit, and well, anything to shopping) yes! Yes, I am. This post will address getting into town from the airport as a new student, and later this week I’ll address which stores (and other venues for purchases) offer all those household items you might need while being friendly to a student budget.
Don’t wander the streets of Bergen, lost… read this blog, or ask a stranger for directions, they tend to speak excellent English. Photo: Stand Hiestand
OMG, I’m coming to Bergen! Now, how the hell do I get into town?
This is an excellent question. While the commentator who inspired this blog had clearly already been exploring the information available on the UiB site for new students such as the ‘Before Arrival’ information, and had already learnt about the extended SiB hours August 1st – 10th of August for picking up a key for student housing, said commentator wanted to be prepared for how to navigate to SiB (Student Welfareorganization). There are several options, but if you are a new student coming into Bergen for the first time here are the best steps for you:
1. Get here on a plane.
This part is up to you; you’re so on top of it, you probably already have your ticket!
On your way out of the airport, you may want to grab some cash at an ATM, and maybe even buy a little something (yes, it will seem overpriced) so you can have some change (10 kr increments) for a luggage locker later.
2. Get your luggage and get yourself on a Flybussen
Flybussen. It’s the airport bus.
a) There are generally several lined up at the airport as you walk out of ‘Arrivals’, get on in the first one.
b) Have luggage? You’re gonna wanna stop at Busstasjonen (the bus station). This Flybussen stop is called Bergen busstasjon, perr. N.
c) Let the driver know what stop you want (Bergen busstasjon – or just the central bus station) and (s)he will tell you when you’ve arrived there.
You can buy your Flybussen ticket on the bus (but you may need cash or a credit card with a chip and a pin code), or you can buy your Flybussen ticket ahead of time online and print it or have it on your phone.
Flybussen runs regularly, but you can micromanage your schedule here:
3. Drop your luggage at Busstasjonen (the bus station)
Ok, the bus driver told you to get out. You are now abandoned on a street corner next to a large brick building, what now?
a) Enter the Storsenter (this is the shopping center that’s attached to the bus station), get on in there!
b) Buy something to get change if you haven’t already – or see if they can break your Norwegian cash (NOK, or kroner, kr) at the information desk.
c) Put your luggage in the lockers that are down the long hallway that extends from the main entrance of Storsenter (main entrance pictured below). Keep in mind the lockers may not be able to accommodate very oversized luggage.
4. Walk to the Student Center/SiB Housing Desk
It’s only a 10 minute walk, but be warned, this walk is up a pretty sizable hill, it is likely you will not want to be overburdened with luggage to carry (see Step #3).
The image below shows the UiB’s instructions for getting from Storsenter to the Student Centre. If you’d rather have a slightly longer but maybe just a little less hilly version, you could walk this way.
Once you arrive at the Student Centre, the SiB Student Housing Desk is straight in front of you as you walk inside. You’ll probably have to take a number and wait to talk to a representative.
If you are journeying in to grab keys for your new student housing, remember these important details:
The Student Housing desk for SiB is open the following extended hours 1 August – 10 August.
Monday-Friday: 08.00 – 20.00
Saturday – Sunday: 14.00 – 20.00
Student Centre. Image: http://wushu.no/2011/10/
5. Head to your new home
Are you at Fantoft? You’re probably at Fantoft. Check out the directions to Fantoft here. Remember, if you’re not clear on how to get to your new student housing, ask at the SiB desk!
You may want to check out the attachments section of the Arrivals Information page for a handy PDF of these and other instructions!
Living in Fantoft? There is a lake nearby for strolls, runs, and reflections. Photo: Stand Hiestand
Curious to see the Student Centre and some of the faculties of UiB before you arrive? Take a look in this video made by UiB:
(At about minute 2:36, you can see ‘Bjørn Christiansens Hus’ (home of the Psychology Library, the very place where I sit and type these words)
Stay tuned for the next half of my answer to the incoming student who was kind enough to ask a question. In that post I’ll suggest some ways to get the household supplies you need to make your new living situation ‘koselig’ (“cosy”, but really beyond cozy, read more here.)
This summer I’m also hoping to write some posts on the attractions of Bergen so you can get excited about things to do, see, and places to go when you arrive. So, if you have specific questions, please, comment below!
Have you already arrived? If you are a long-time Bergen resident or a native Bergneser, write in and share your tips!