f a c e s o f t h e u n i v e r s i t y o f b e r g e n

Faces Logo asgeir jetta pal sarah
Faces Logo2 asgeir jetta pal sarah


Founded in 1946, The University of Bergen has approximately 17,000 students. They come from all over the world since classes are offered in both norwegian and english. We interviewed both norwegian and international students about their veiws on the city and student life.




Founded in 1070 AD, Bergen is the second largest city in Norway. It has a long tradition of naval trade and is referred to as "the city between the seven mountains." It is known for always raining and every year, Bergen has on average more than 2,000mm / 80in of rainfall.


Asgeir is a 22 old from Trondheim, Norway who is currently living in Arna. This is his 7th semester at The University in Bergen and he is getting his masters degree in Natural Language Processing.


Describe yourself as a person. How would your friends describe you?

Forward thinking?... Outgoing is good, sure... Reliable. I’m like a car or something. The first word other people say when they describe me is tall. They'd say I'm fun, and hopefully something like loyal-ish.

What’s your favorite food, color, and animal?

In regards to food, there are so many good things! Potetball or rather raspeballer. My favorite color is navy blue. And my cat would kill me if I don’t say my favorite animal is a cat, but let me say penguin.

How is the culture in Bergen different from Trondheim?

Hmm... Culture... Can you define culture? I haven’t lived in Trondheim for 4 years so part of that is hard to answer because I left Trondheim before I became a student. I’m a part of a different social culture here since I am connected with students. In regards to dialect, here I can actually understand what people are saying!

What do you think about Bergen?

It rains as much as they said it would. It’s very nice.

How is student life? Is there anything that you would improve?

Student life is fine. I would have liked if UiB had more interdisciplinary projects.

What’s your favorite local watering-hole in Bergen?

Kvarteret. I go there with "Manskor," the UiB’s men's choir, all the time.


Sarah Spencer is 20 years old from Melbourne, Australia. She is an exchange student at UiB, living in the city center of Bergen. She's working towards a bachelor's degree in psychology back home, but is focusing on humanitarian studies while on exchange. Now in her 4th semester, she is learning about Norwegian history, geography, art, and theater.


How would you describe yourself?

I’m friendly, outgoing, talkative, and sociable.

What type of music do you listen to?

I like rap, hip hop, jazz, reggae... a little bit of everything.

What are your favorite activities to do here, outside of academia?

BSI dance groups. I really like going to the dance classes, going to the gym, a bit of reading...

What’s your favorite food, color, and animal?

Food: Curry.

Color: Yellow.

Animal: Maybe like a white lion or a white tiger. Something abstract...

Is there a different culture in Bergen than where you’re from?

Yes, let me think, I feel like Bergen, has a bit more nature and mountains. People here are into nature are more outdoorsy.

What do you like about Bergen?

I really love it here, it’s quaint. I really like the student culture; it is a big student city. People have been friendly so far.

Do you understand Norwegian? Do you like Norwegian culture?

No. I only understand random words, but not fully. The culture is unique and interesting. I would love to learn more.

Where do you like to hang-out in Bergen?

Legal is a pretty cool bar. Hulen is also pretty fun. I like hanging out in the mountains.

How is student life? Is there anything that you would improve?

It’s really really good! I am enjoying it. ESN, the international exchange Erasmus student network, really helps with social events. They create opportunities to hang out more. They have a buddy system in Bergen, but unfortunately there’s a long waiting list.


Pål Jødal is a 22 year old student from Oslo, Norway studying History. In his 5th semester, his current residence is in the city center of Bergen. He is enrolled in 2 classes, learning about the top five world religions.


How would you describe yourself?

I’d like to say “pliktoppfyllende,” meaning dutiful or conscientious... And maybe a little stubborn too.

What’s your favorite food, color, and animal?

Food: Sushi maybe.

Color: Orange.

Animal: Dog.

What type of sub-culture, if any, do you identify with?

I have no idea really... Maybe I’m a bit of an old timer when it comes to music, but I don’t want you to write down “hipster” for that reason.

What brands are you wearing?

I don’t actually know any of my brands, but if I go shopping it’s usually H&M.

Favorite activities outside of school?

I’d like to say drinking beer with friends... but I do play a lot of guitar.

Are there any cultural differences between Oslo and Bergen?

Their public behavior. People are more open here. It’s easier to talk to and meet other people.

What do you think of Bergen?

I really like it. I think it’s splendid. I have no intention of going back home.

Did you have a positive experience participating in "fadderuke"?

Yeah, I was actually in the “fadderstyret” this year so I can’t say I have had any negative experiences.

What bars do you frequent in Bergen?

Lately its been Scotsman. You get to dance in a very chill environment. Tidi too, but there are no girls there.

How about social media... Are you registered on any social networking sites?

Yeah, I’m a member of Facebook, YouTube ect. But I don’t use Facebook as it should be used... It’s more of a thing I check when I’m on the toilet.

Are there any aspects of social media that you find negative, or disruptive to your social life?

No, not anything.

Does social media play a role in your academic life?

Ehm, No I wouldn’t say so.


21 year old Jetta McFarlane from Melbourne, Australia, is an exchange student in her 6th year. She is living at the Alrek Student Hostel. In Australia, she is double majoring in science and the arts. At UiB she is taking Scandinavian politics, International organizations and the EU, and Norwegian culture and history.


How would you describe yourself?

I like to be busy. I like being social, knowing a lot of people. I like talking, laughing and just being happy and friendly.

What’s your favorite food, color, and animal?

Food: pumpkin soup.

Color: Blue.

Animal: Horses. I like how they smell.

What are doing when you're not in school?

So here, it would be hiking. I love the nature here! The water, trees, and rocks. The Norwegian trifecta.

Are there cultural differences between Melbourne and Bergen?

I think so, yeah. The people here are a bit more reserved, so it’s not as friendly, but since it’s a smaller city people might be more friendly. It seems very relaxed.

How are you liking Bergen so far?

I really love Bergen because it’s close to nature. Because Melbourne is a metropolis there is a big difference and here there is more nature and I think that’s better.

Have you learned any Norwegian?

I can speak a little bit of Norwegian but I’m not taking a Norwegian course. I knew I was going to study here so I taught myself the basics before I came. It’s hard to learn ‘cause there are so many people here that speak English well.

How do you like UIB and your classes?

I really enjoy them, though I think it’s strange that the lectures are not compulsory. But it’s cool that they trust you enough to show up. Norwegians trust students to do their work, but in Melbourne it is a lot more strict.

How is student life? Is there anything that you would improve?

Tricky question... I really enjoy living on campus since it gives me access to a lot of social opportunities. Though, I’d like to participate in more long term activities in order to socialize with the Norwegian speaking students, instead of attending one time events. There are a lot of things to do in the early weeks, but later on it can be hard to socialize after fadderuke and formal social events. Students might still need more planned activities later in the semester as well.

Did you enjoy "fadderuke"?

Yeah I really did. I like that there was a big push to make the groups mixed with both international students and Norwegian students.