Birthday week in Bergen – what I got up to and tips for the first week!

By Tali Hamshaw, University of Bergen, Norway

I arrived in Bergen on the 10th August feeling terrified and wondering why I had decided to put myself through this. But what I thought would be a difficult first week of adjusting quickly turned into one of the best weeks!

I didn’t have the smoothest of starts as after a few minutes of tears when my mum left me in Fantoft, I went to the kitchen to get some water and got locked out of my room. Tip number 1 – the rooms in Fantoft accommodation lock automatically after you leave the room so don’t leave your key in your room like I did!

On my first full day here I went to a welcome talk where I met lots of other international students and got the opportunity to sign up for fadder week (mentor week).

Over the first weekend I played a lot of cards, went on my first hike up Ulriken and went swimming in the fjords whilst getting to know people.

On the first Sunday after I arrived there was a recycling fair at Fantoft where they have a sports hall full of furniture and kitchen stuff for free and you can take 5 things each. Tip number 2 would be to get there early to queue if there is something specific you want as there is usually about 2000 students queueing an hour before so all the good stuff goes quickly.

View from the top of Ulriken!

Tip number 3 and my biggest piece of advice for the first week here in Bergen would have to be to go to your fadder group! This is a mentor group you can sign up for with most subjects at the university and the group will organise activities and nights out for ‘Fadder week’ which is like the UK’s Fresher’s week. It can be intimidating at first since the groups are made up of majority Norwegian students, however, it’s a great way to meet Norwegian students since you likely won’t be studying with them. My group were all so friendly and since it was my 20th birthday in the first week of being here, they all celebrated with me.

Tip number 4 – don’t buy club night tickets before you arrive in Bergen as you can get into clubs all week for free with your fadder week wristbands so no one ends up going to the other events and I wasted money on a few of these.

Tip number 5 and another important piece of advice would have to be to just say yes! Try and go to all activities and events you get invited to with new people as it may be exhausting being so busy but it will be worth it when you have those memories and have formed new friendships. Overall, I have had the best first week here in Bergen and am excited to see what the rest of the year will bring, hopefully more of the same! :))

the best fadder group ever xxx
time for a swim!

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