University of Bergen

The University of Bergen (UiB) was founded in 1946 but its academic roots can be traced back to 1153 with the Bergen Cathedral School. There are about 17,000 students enrolled across seven faculties on three campuses. UiB is the largest marine university in Norway and hosts the largest climate research hub in Scandinavia. More than 300 courses at the university are taught in English.

Academic highlights

UiB teaches science, social science, psychology, law and maths at its main campus and has separate campuses for medicine and dentistry and for humanities and the arts. It’s renowned for research into climate change, marine studies, developing countries, geo-biology and petroleum research.

Location

UiB is located in the city of Bergen, on Norway’s south-west coast about seven hours west of Oslo. It is surrounded by fjords and mountains and is known in Norway as “the City of the Seven Mountains".

Did you know?

The number of red deer inside the Bergen city limits is so large that the city government has to carry out an extensive hunting program to keep the number at an acceptable, sustainable level.

Restrictions

Units in Medicine and Dentistry are not available to exchange students. For more information, please see their restrictions here.

Language requirements

Courses available to exchange students are taught in English, therefore no Norwegian proficiency is required.

Disciplines available

Fine art, music and design

Humanities

Law

Mathematics and natural sciences

Psychology

Social sciences

  • The listed disciplines are not necessarily exhaustive and other fields of study might also be available at the university.
  • Approval to study particular subjects at any institution is always at the discretion of the departmental/discipline and faculty advisers in your managing faculty(ies) and subject to available places at the host campus

See Bergen's unit catalogue here.

If you cannot find any unit guides after having done your own research, you can follow the process as outlined here.

Students are required to study 30 ECTS per semester.

Full time equivalents

  Semester Year
  Minimum 18 Monash Points Maximum 24 Monash points Minimum 36 Monash points Maximum 48 Monash points
Standard 22.5 ECTS 30 ECTS45 ECTS60 ECTS

Exchange program terms

Bergen 'Spring' semester (Monash Semester 1): early January – late June
Bergen 'Autumn' semester (Monash Semester 2): early-August – late December

See Bergen's Academic Calendar here.

Accommodation

All exchange students at University of Bergen are guaranteed accommodation via an agreement with the Student Welfare Organisation.

The University of Bergen offers advice on accommodation here.

Visa

International students moving to Norway must apply for a residence permit for studies, also called a study permit. Monash students are strongly advised to apply for their Resident's Permit before leaving Australia as applying after arrival in Norway can involve long delays. Your Norwegian host university will assist you with the supporting documentation.

Monash Abroad can only provide general information - always check with the relevant Consulate/Embassy and consider advice that is right for you.

For more information on visas, please refer to the Embassy of Norway here

The University of Bergen also provide some advice on visas, which can be found here.

Health and insurance

When travelling on a Monash Abroad approved program, you are automatically covered under the Monash University Student Travel Insurance policy.

Orientation and extra-curricular 

There is an introductory program available to international exchange students. Find out more here.

Bergen has many student organisations and activities. Find out more here.

Language

As an exchange student, you have the option of taking a Norwegian language course before semester starts or during the semester. Find out more here.

Tuition

Tuition fees for this program are waived by the host institution. While on exchange you remain enrolled at Monash and continue to pay fees to Monash University. Find out more here.

Cost of living

One semester abroad will generally cost you approximately AUD$10,000 – $15,000, however this varies depending on destination and your individual living standards.

Monash funding

Find out about Monash Abroad Travel Scholarships here.

Find out about Monash University Travel and Placement Scholarships here.

Australian government funding

Find out about the Overseas Higher Education Loan Program (OS-HELP) here.

Jetta McFarlane

Bachelor of Arts (Global)/Bachelor of Science, S2 2015

Study Experience

UiB's approach to teaching is different to Monash, classes weren't compulsory and the main assessment was an exam at the end of semester with no assignments. This meant studying was more self-driven and I had more flexibility to travel during semester. UiB also has a number of Norwegian language and culture units specifically for exchange students that helped me become more immersed in Norwegian society.

Culture

Going on exchange to Norway was a wonderful opportunity to learn a second language in a low pressure environment as Nynorsk/Bokmal is the primary language but everyone is also fluent in English. Also Bergen is a much smaller city than Melbourne, but with numerous universities, so it has more of a student atmosphere – and lots of student clubs/activities. Norwegian culture is very outdoors oriented and the city is surrounded by mountains and the ocean, so hiking, skiing, swimming, fishing etc, were all encouraged.

Benefits of Exchange

UiB has a great reputation for international development studies so it was an excellent opportunity for me as my major is international studies/global development. My minor is politics so it was also informative to do classes on European/Scandinavian politics in Europe to get a different perspective to Monash courses.

Career Benefits

Studying overseas helps build your confidence and teaches you to make friends quickly, as well as how to communicate well to people from various cultures - all of these skills will be valuable in my career and have been great talking points in interviews. I've already had as employers recognise the worth of international experiences.

Money and Budgeting

Exchange to Norway can be intimidating because of the high cost of living, but it was possible on my student budget as UiB's university housing was relatively cheap and student discounts for transport/gyms etc are decent. Use minipris tickets and be prepared to shop at supermarkets/IKEA. Also join student clubs for cheap activities and discounts, and make sure to buy duty-free going into Norway.

Top Tips

  • Live in UiB housing – It’s easier to make friends and you'll have more people to do things with (trips/dinners/parties ect.), which can save you money.
  • Be prepared! - Things will seem expensive, plan so you have enough money to not worry about spending, you're there to enjoy the experience!
  • Make local friends - it is easier to just hang out with exchange students, but local students are your path to really understanding the culture and immersing yourself, plus you'll have accommodation when you want to go back and visit!

University of Bergen

  • Program type: Semester exchange
  • Location:
    • Nygård (main)
    • Årstadveien
    • Møllendal
  • Program periods: Semester 1, Semester 2
  • Study level: Undergraduate and Postgraduate

Find out more