Tips and advice

Mastering your settlement in Norway: 5 tips for your first weeks at BI and Norway

Making your life easier when embarking on this new adventure

Name: Julian Cubillos
Home country: Colombia
Bachelor's degree: Industrial Engineering / Universidad Nacional de Colombia
Current program: Msc in Business Analytics

It's been a year since I started my life in Norway. I still remember the roller coaster of emotions I was living then. With all the things going into your mind, the settlement process in Oslo might be overwhelming. For this reason, I want to share 5 quick wins that you can apply from day one. Hopefully, these will make your life easier in this new adventure you are embarking on.

Schedule your appointment with the Police ASAP!

It is crucial to schedule an appointment with UDI as soon as possible. In this appointment UDI collects all the required information to provide you with a social security number and a residence card. These are essential for many reasons, from opening a bank account to accessing healthcare and employment. I recommend visiting UDI website as soon as you arrive to Norway and booking the earliest available appointment. Secure that appointment and keep checking frequently (especially at midnight) as you might find an earlier date.

Did you get unfurnished accommodation? Don't worry about it

Furnishing your studio or bedroom can be terrifying, however it's a wonderful chance to personalize your place and make it feel like home.  Here you will find 3 options if you are on a tight budget:

  • Join your student village Facebook group: you will find affordable items, or even find them for free.
  • Finn.no and Facebook Marketplace: These websites will help tons. Save your searches and activate notifications so you can be the first to jump on good deals.
  • For brand-new items, IKEA is a classic option in Oslo.


Student room

Enjoy the social activities for students.

Between mid-August and mid-September, there will be tons of activities for students in Oslo.

The agenda starts with "Buddy Week" at BI. This will be the starting point to shape new friendships. Do not stick only to the activities planned by BI: try to organize other activities with your colleagues.

For more activities, "Studentslippet" in early September offers free events for students. This is organized by all universities in Oslo. Enjoy cultural, social, and sports activities, and meet new friends. Spaces are limited, so sign up fast for activities on the website.

Get familiar with the language

Understanding the language and culture will help you a lot in your adaptation process. For this, starting to learn Norwegian is an excellent way to gain insight into customs, traditions, hobbies and news in the country.  Here, you will find 3 sources to practice Norsk from day one:

  • NRK.no: News/Radio and TV.
  • Lær nork nå: Podcast about different topics in Norway.
  • Deichman Library: Public library. Participate in Language Cafés or borrow books, movies, etc.

Oslo sentrum

Things to keep in mind when applying for part-time jobs or internships

Remember that the work culture in Norway might be different from that of your home country. Here are some tips:

  • Apply early. When it comes to academic or professional applications, being among the first applicants is good practice, as there are often limited spots available.
  • For internships some companies release their announcements in September of your first year for internships the next summer or fall. So, prepare your CV and motivation letter from day one. Do not forget to adjust your CV according to the Norwegian market. If you are in doubt, look for feedback from BI's Career Counseling service.

Hopefully these tips will help you adapt to your new life in Norway. Enjoy every moment and be patient. Finally, good luck with your studies at BI!