Cinnamon Buns, Snowflakes, Joggers and Beautiful Wooden Houses

Esther Kelliher BCL (International) 3, studying at the University of Oslo, Norway

Oslo – a city filled with cinnamon buns, snowflakes, joggers & beautiful wooden houses.

Oslo is an amazing city to live in and if you study here on your year abroad you are guaranteed to have the best year.  Here are my top tips to help you figure out the basics.

Getting there:  You should be able to find cheap flights on Ryanair to Rygge Airport (for example I was able to get my flight home for only 69 cent!). From there you take an express bus to Oslo – once you arrive at the airport there will be two buses to Oslo city centre waiting outside, so no fear of getting lost. The bus ride will take around an hour. Once you arrive at the bus terminal look for a shop called Seven 11, it’s here that you will be able to buy a travel card (Ruter card).  A monthly pass is 410 NOK and you can use it for all metro lines, trams, buses and a few boats. If you are living in Kringsa or Sogn take Line 6, Westbound.

Accommodation:

There are two main student villages that you can live in: Kringsa or Sogn.  I currently live in Kringsa and love it. The metro is only a two minute walk from my apartment. It’s a 15 minute metro ride to National Theatre where the law faculty is situated. The best part of living at Kringsa is the lake, situated only a five minute walk away, here you can go jogging, swimming, cross country skiing etc. There is also a food store called Kiwi situated in Kringsa village.

ID number:

When you arrive you will have to get an ID number, this will allow you to open a bank account and work. To get an ID number you have to go to the tax office and bring your passport and accommodation contract with you. The remaining form that you have to fill out will be provided for you at the tax office.

University life:

You will be studying modules at Masters level. The standard here is high, but if you keep up with the reading it isn’t too stressful. As a native English speaker you’re automatically at an advantage anyway, you just need to tip away at it throughout the year. It also looks good when you’re applying for internships and traineeships to say you have already studied at Master’s level.

Internet:

You will need to bring a router box with you for internet.

Money:

You will not be able to take out NOK in Ireland, but you will be able to take out NOK at the airport.

Weather:

It’s an amazing experience being in a country where seasons actually exist! Summer here is lovely, bright blues skies and many days are spent by the lake. Snow comes around mid December – mid March. It can drop to -18 degrees so bring lots of woollies with you and a good pair of shoes so you won’t be slipping on the ice!

Social Life:

If you are worried about meeting people here, don’t be. The Buddy Programme held at the start of the year is brilliant – you will be divided into small groups of around 15-20 and there are numerous events and activities organised for you during that week. Also, the majority of the students in your classes will be international students, which makes it a lot easier to meet people in a similar position to you.  I would also recommend taking a Norwegian language class as one of your modules, it is a lot of fun and a great way to meet people. However, you don’t need to worry about the language barrier as everyone here speaks English perfectly.

Few extra tips/notes:

-Oslo is a VERY safe city, which is one of my favourite things about living here.

-Taxis are very expensive – the starting rate is €10.

-Bring a sleeping bag with you for the first couple of nights – you will then be able to go to Ikea and get duvets, pillows etc. once you have settled in. There are two areas in the city in which you will be able to get a free bus out to Ikea.

-If you are looking for a cheap place to buy groceries take the T-bane to Gronland – it is a lot cheaper to shop in this area.

Oslo Law Faculty

The Law Faculty

Oslo Boat Trip

Boat trip organised for law students as part of Buddy Week

Oslo Trolltunga Hike

Trolltunga Hike

Oslo Sognvann

Sognvann: (The lake behind Kringsa Student Village)