Survival guide for new students

Survival Guide UIT Arctic Norway

If you are moving to another country for studies, packing can be a stressful process. You have the basics (passport, ticket, winter clothes) and your documents such as your acceptance letter (Offer of Admission), passport, academic credentials (for non-exchange students for verification), health insurance card (for EU students)… Check this essential packing list or ask your institution if you are not sure! – But you still can’t shake that feeling that you’re forgetting something…

Well, worry no more! We have compiled this list from our former and current students of the most important things a new student needs to buy or bring so that you can REALLY survive student life.

The weather in Norway is generally very variable and can change dramatically within a few hours. Despite the high latitude (Alta, Harstad, Narvik and Tromsø are 60˚ N), the climate is quite “mild” with moderate temperatures both in winter and summer. The temperature is seldom lower than -20˚C in winter and seldom more than +20˚C in summer.

For any outdoor activities, here are some of the essential items to include:

  • Woolen underwear (long johns)
  • Woolen jersey
  • Fleece jacket
  • Wind- and waterproof trousers and jacket (waterproof ski pants and jacket will be fine)
  • Woolen socks
  • Gloves/mittens (preferably wind- and waterproof)
  • Woolen hat and scarf
  • Waterproof hiking shoes/boots
  • Spikes
If you are not able to bring warm clothes from your home country, it is important to have enough money to buy suitable clothing for the different seasons. 

Norwegian Kroner (NOK) is the only currency accepted in Norway.

Money can be exchanged at Oslo Airport Gardermoen. There is an automatic teller machine (ATM) at all airports. You need approximately NOK 500 to pay for your taxi from the airport and food for the first few days. You should bring this amount in cash or the equivalent in Euro from your home country in case your credit card does not work. All banks (except those at airports) are closed during weekends.

Please note that owing to bank fees it may be cheaper to use your credit card instead of exchanging money. Major credit and debit cards, such as Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Diners, are widely accepted throughout Norway. Please be advised that Eurocard is not as widely accepted in Norway.

Campus Tromsø: There is now virtually only one place in Tromsø to exchange foreign currency (including euros) and that is the Chief Post office. The Post Office charges an exchange fee of NOK 75 (as of 2015). The Tromsø Tourist Information Office can exchange small amounts (maximum NOK 1000) free of charge, but offers a less favorable exchange rate.

Norway runs on a 230 V system and a 50 Hz frequency. The power outlets take a C or F European standard plug with two round pins. Converters can be bought at most airports and luggage shops and are also available at certain stores, but you may wish to bring one from home just in case.

The tap water in Norway is very pure and clean and is often better than bottled water. It is safe to drink, but in the larger hotels we recommend letting the tap run a bit first until the water gets cold. Fluoride is not added to Norwegian tap water and only very small amounts occur naturally. Most pharmacies in the city sell fluoride tablets if you require these.

If you require urgent medical assistance, the emergency department at the University Hospital of Northern Norway is the best option.

Tromsø: Contact details for “Legevakten” in Tromsø: +47 77 62 80 00, Sykehusveien 30. For medical emergencies and life-threatening illnesses, call 113.

Harstad: Contact details for “Legevakt Harstad": +47 77 06 30 00, St. Olavs gate 70, 9406 Harstad. For medical emergencies and life-threatening illnesses, call 113.

Alta: Contact details for “Legevakt i Alta": +47 78 11 61 17, Dr. Kvammes vei 21, 9510 Alta. For medical emergencies and life-threatening illnesses, call 113.

Narvik: Contact details for “Legevakt i Narvik": +47 76 94 30 00, Sykehusveien 1, 8516 Narvik. For medical emergencies and life-threatening illnesses, call 113.

There are several pharmacies located around all Norwegian city centers and the shopping centers.

During the orientation programme, Debut WEEK International, students may be asked to make a cultural presentation of their country (or region of a country, if there is a large student group). Consider bringing something to display, show or use in a presentation to the other students.

Please make sure to bring various documents and forms of ID – make sure to double-check if you’re not sure. This includes things like:

  • Valid passport (all students) or ID card (only EU nationals)
  • Your acceptance Letter (Offer of Admission)
  • Your academic credentials (non-excahnge students only).
  • Health Insurance Card (exchange students)
  • Your tenancy agreement for student housing

These documents will ensure that you can get enrolled (semester registration) and settled in quickly. Students attending Debut WEEK International will be assisted with semester and police registration.

If you have an unlocked mobile phone, you can purchase a pre-paid card at convinient stores and kiosks like Mix, 7 Eleven and Narvesen. A monthly subscription requires that you have a Norwegian ID Number if you are staying in Norway for more than 6 months.

Please remember to register your Norwegian phone number on Studentweb, as the administration sometimes sends SMS to inform you of lectures, examinations, etc.

Page administrator: Moustapha Babikir
Last changed: 15.03.2018 13.31
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