International Student Blog

What’s Fun 2017

Hei hei again new international students! This week I wanted to update a post offering ideas of what to do and where to go for fun in Bergen, including highlighting an upcoming volunteer opportunity!


Get Active

Norwegians tend to be an active and outdoorsy people. You can encounter them frolicking through the mountains like obnoxiously well-coordinated gazelles – this sight happens with enough frequency to inspire (or depress) some of the less than graceful foreigners (myself included)… and possibly some of the less graceful Norwegians. I have chosen to feel inspiration. I try to get outside most days and up Fløyen at least a couple times a week, and enjoying the nature is enough to distract me from my clumsy embarrassments.

Many many other opportunities for outdoor activities await. Current students and other Bergen-dwellers, have any activity suggestions? Feel free to comment below!


Check out my blog “I’ve arrived in Bergen, now what?” for some student opinions on outdoor and other activities.


Get Involved

A great way to meet Norwegians is to get involved in some type of community group, festival or project. Norwegians not only have a tradition of “dugnad”, or voluntary community efforts, but often tend to make friends by being involved in these types of activities or other groups. If you can’t find a community project to work on, you can volunteer at one of the many festivals that occur throughout the year, or join a student group.

Check out being a volunteer or just attending some of the following festivals:


Featured: Borealis Festival

As mentioned above, the Borealis Festival is coming up soon (in March)! It is a great opportunity to volunteer and get involved in a Bergen cultural event.


Borealis, an experimental music festival, celebrates “the music that falls between the gaps”. The festival features new musical experiments from Bergen and internationally. Borealis is an annual event in Bergen. Each March, its concerts, installations, talks and films take over art galleries, concert halls and warehouse spaces.  In 2017, Borealis will take place 8th – 12th of March.

Those with adventurous ears may want to sign up and  become a volunteer:

  • Get to know the city!
  • Become an insider of this exciting festival!
  • Meet new people!


Borealis organizers are seeking people to work with tickets, technical, office, information, transport, catering and other fun tasks. Read more about volunteer opportunities at Borealis or sign up here. Interested? Find out more Wednesday 8 February at Landmark. Snacks, a raffle and an introduction to this year’s programme will be on the table!





Try joining an organization:

Not ready to be a joiner?


Get out on the town


bergenshalvøyen sentrum natt nordnes skansen dokken laksevågImage:

Sometimes it is necessary to splurge on a coffee, meal, or beer at a coffeeshop, restaurant or bar. Here’s a short list of some of my favorites:

    • Kaffemisjonen – their coffee is delicious
    • Nirvana – not much for ambiance, but definitely my favorite kebab in the city (beste kebab i byen!)
    • Henriks øl og Vinstove – my favorite bar in town
    • Una – while a little more expensive, is a bar with a pleasant atmosphere – and they have some food options, at least part of the day
    • “Mikromandag” (Micro-Monday for reduced prices on microbrews), or just hanging out any ol’ day at the bar, cafe, or event spaces at Kvarteret
    • Trekroneren – Okay, more of a late night snack, you can’t sit down here. It’s Bergen’s best sausage (pølse) stand!
    • Bien – has my favorite fish ‘n chips.
    • Colonialen Litteraturhuset (the cafe at the Litteraturhus) has awfully good breakfast… and other meals as well, of course!
    • And there’s always the all-you-can-eat (59krFrokostbuffé (breakfast buffet) at Ikea – I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite food, but it is reasonably priced! Read more in my past blog Did you know about this?!



Alternately, you could stimulate your brain with an academic event or public lecture


Other entertainment

Of course there’s all sorts of other options, including:



  • A movie at the Kino, perhaps? No, not cheap, but a large amount of English language selection.






There’s a lot of music venues in Bergen, some examples include:

  • Grieghallen – for classical, opera, etc
  • USF – a variety of musical genres play here, including Jazz
  • The Garage – primarily rock and contemporary music
  • Hulen – again, contemporary


54858856Hope you get out there and have some fun! Image:

What did I leave out? Let me know below!

3 comments for “What’s Fun 2017

  1. Robert Phan
    13. August 2017 at 10:43

    Dear Sir/Madam,My name is Robert Phan and I am a Vietnamese citizen who recently arrived here in Bergen to do my degree on a scholarship programme at the Bergen Business School.
    Sir/Maam,since I will be here for 2 years I would really like to learn Norwegian and also I would very much like to interact with the local Norwegian and I am looking for any volunteer works that allows me to mix and learn more about the local people here and learn as much as possible from them.
    Should there be any volunteer work that I can volunteer for can be in any governmental/non governmental organization,hospitals,government office,fire brigade,red cross society,farm work,old folks home,spastic children and any festivals or Norwegian cultural events.
    My main object is to learn more about Norway by interacting with the local Norwegian people and also at the same time to repay back to the society in anyway I can.
    So,should there be any openings please let me know as it would be really appreciated.
    Thanking you in advance and hope to hear from you.
    yous sincerely
    Robert Phan

    • Stand Hiestand
      16. August 2017 at 12:18

      Hi there! I removed some of your contact information so I could reply to you without making your details public 🙂
      Congratulations on your scholarship and I hope your time studying in Bergen will be a great experience for you! It is excellent that you want to learn Norwegian and volunteer in order to integrate into the culture here! While I can’t offer you specific openings I’m happy to direct you to a couple resources I hope will help. You may want to take a look at this blog I wrote about volunteering in Norway for some ideas of where to look for volunteer opportunities. And, of course if you have the opportunity to do so at your school, I would recommend studying Norwegian through them. However, if you need other ideas of where to study Norwegian, either for free or fee, you can check out this Student Bergen Page. I hope this information is a helpful jumping off point and I hope you will find a good fit for you both when learning Norwegian and volunteering! All the best!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *