Ffinlo introduces Bergen

22 December 2016 13:31

(updated: 22 December 2016 13:45)

Ffinlo introduces Bergen

Reposting Ffinlo’s first blog post where he gives a short insight into Bergen and NHH.

Nordlys Bergen
Northern light over Bergen

About the author

Name: Ffinlo

NHH Alumn - MSc in Energy, Natural Resources and the Environment.

I was born in the Isle of Man, which is where my name comes from (it’s celtic), and I did my Bachelors in Environmental Policy with Economics at LSE, so I can call myself a Londoner too. I have particular interest in the alternative energy side of things, which was one of my main reasons for picking this profile, but have also became interested in Econometrics over the first semester at NHH.

I will be writing this blog to share my experience here at NHH and of Norwegian culture as a foreigner

Written by: FFinlo

In my first blog entry, I will introduce you to the elemental city of Bergen and give an international students’ first-hand view; it’ll be a long entry!

Over my blog entries I will try to cover what you need to know about Bergen’s great social life, meeting Norwegians, hiking, NHH societies, the possibility of exchange and of course, studying and the energy and environmental industry.

I’d not visited Norway before I arrived, but had heard many things about the city and the country. For someone from the Isle of Man, a place with very visible Viking heritage and much history, it was a place mentioned in many folk tales, and has made an indelible mark on our culture. Still, I came to Norway completely afresh, but was not disappointed; the view from the plane as we flew down into Bergen airport was a sight I will not forget for many years, breathtaking. Compared to England, a very flat country, it looks almost a world away, even though it is only a 2 hour flight. The people themselves were also very welcoming, and the first week at university was fantastic. They put great effort into organising a welcome week to integrate you into NHH society; we were assigned into mixed groups of internationals and Norwegians, and we set off into the city to experience it firsthand; each day had a new event. I felt really welcomed, at a time when I was in a new country, knowing few people, and that was very important; they could not have done it better.

As a student here, you will spend a lot of time in and around Hatleberg, the halls nearest NHH. It is perfect for getting to lectures on time, but you may get caught up will the social life there and not visit the city, which you really need to get to know.

Hatleberg student hall
Hatleberg student hall

Alternatively, you could live in Alrek (like me) or even Fantoft, and see much of the city on your daily commute (generally reaching NHH 10 minutes late, as standard). NHH is made up of two main buildings. The main building has a great view over the bay; Even the view from the library (right) is stunning. As the sun begins to go down, and it’s not obscured by clouds, we see amazing sunsets from the top floor window, making it really difficult to focus on econometrics.

Sunset from NHH
Sunset from NHH

There is also the tantalising chance of seeing the Nordlys, aka the northern lights. They normally aren’t seen as far south as Bergen, but whenever there’s a powerful solar flare you can see them as far south as Northern England. Last month, there were rumours of being able to see them one night, so we formed a group of Night-hikers, deciding to hike up the mountains behind Hatleberg when the nights were long and the snow was deep. This was a Friday night, so we had ladies begging us to join them in Klubben, but our minds were set, so we started our trek. With head-torches and gin on hand, we climbed to a high point, and stared out over Bergen, a beautiful sight at midnight. We weren’t lucky that night, but hiking in the dark through the snow is something you should try once in your life. The night after, though, we were lucky, and the Nordlys were visible from Hatleberg. I missed them, however, as I was watching a film at USF, a cheap place to watch old movies in the city centre. The photo’s I’ve seen from that night are brilliant, though faint. When you get the chance, though, it would be well worth heading further north to see them for real.

Bergen byfjell
Ulriken Mountain hiking

You might be wondering about the city itself. It is a small (by some standards) coastal city, one which is very liveable, surrounded by mountains and opening up onto the fjords. It manages to have a good sized city centre while feeling spread out, not claustrophobic unlike bigger cities such as London (my other source of comparison). It is hard to see where the city ends, and where nature begins. You will, however, have heard about the weather; it is true that it rained for 85 consecutive days. This month has been different, though. We’ve had about two days of rain, as the rest has either been beautifully clear or heavy snow. However, this isn’t normal, in Fall we had many days of rain, but not as much as I had expected; the weather was nice enough to go hiking up Ulriken, where the above was taken. However, you should take the advice of the Bergener’s themselves: “there is no bad weather, just bad clothes.” I know this to be true, for I invested over the holidays in a genuinely waterproof coat, and the weather no longer bothers me! I can’t stress enough, be prepared for Bergens weather, and you’ll have a great time. Coat, waterproof pants, shoes that can withstand ice, and of course a rifle to fend off bear attacks, should you go to Fantoft (a journey to Fantoft does seem like an expedition to the unknown).

I will sign off here, as this might be too much to take in! If you have decided to come here to NHH, either to study or for exchange, you will have a great time.

I hope I’ll see some of you in Klubben next year!