BI Norwegian Business School: A Guide
- Join a society or a sport
Compared to Exeter you’ll find the amount of societies ridiculously small, but it is an easy way to get into a group of people from all groups at school. A couple will not provide any type of social interactions but most will give you a starting point to start your BI journey.
Pro tip: Bar Society will train you to be a bartender at KROA (the student bar) and give you discounts and free beer (which is very appreciated considering Norwegian prices). They are also a bunch of open minded, very fun people – highly recommend. My only regret is to not have joined sooner. There is also something inexplicably cool about serving at the student bar and telling people you work there.
- Join the gym
You might be like me and be short breathed by step 5 of the stairs, but joining the gym made me into a gym bunny really fast, and believe me when I said I wasn’t meant to be one. Ever. The good thing about the gym is that it gives you a purpose in winter when daylight makes itself missed and will also give you the opportunity to get out of your room and interact with people that also joined.
Pro tip: Find a class out of the high number of classes offered and tell people about it! It took one of my friends to talk about the Cardio and Strength Class and by the week after there were a solid group of six girls going religiously!
- Sign up for BI-nners. All of them.
This is the perfect opportunity for you to get FREE FOOD. Yes, free food in Norway, you read right! The meals are at the top floor in a very nice dining area and mostly international students go. You sit a big tables and generally come out with new friends at the end of it.
Pro tip: Invite people to go with you every time and hopefully you’ll end up with a 20-person table like I did by the end of the semester.
- Don’t miss out on KROA
As cheesy and potentially awkward a Pub Quiz sounds, the ones at KROA will generally give you another excuse to go have some fun with people after class on Tuesdays. On Thursdays they have their big night before everyone else goes out, it’s THAT time of the week where you’ll find everyone and meet some more!
Pro tip: The KROA and BBA run quizzes are the best ones (always in English) and on Thursdays ask for the KROA Special and Smor Sure Shots.
- Get a BI cup
Granted this will only apply to big coffee or tea drinkers. The thermos cup is a tad expensive, but leak proof (tested and approved by yours truly), cool-looking and practical. It will allow you to get your addictive beverage of choice for way, way, way cheaper!
Pro tip: Get it in the first semester, I only did it in the second semester and I cry a little every time I think of all the money I could have saved.
- Splurge on Fadderullan
So Fadderullan, aka Freshers, aka intense lack of sleep, aka reason why you’ll be broke for a month after it, is one of the fondest memories I have of Oslo and would do it 100 times over. The concerts, the drinks and activities are pricey. BUT the concerts are some of my best memories and it’s your year abroad… Just do it!
Pro tip: You don’t need to be drunk very night, I surely wasn’t and enjoyed spending my cents in concerts to be there regardless. FOMO is real. Nonetheless chose wisely, not everything is worth a splurge. Pick your battles.
- Pick your accommodation carefully BSN or Bjolsen are the safe bets and where the party’s at. BSN is right behind BI and is filled to the rim with international students as it is BI’s accommodation. Flats are generally shared by two people (I have witnessed the most intense bromances known to man and sisterhoods come out of those flats). BSN have massive rooms and bigger beds and a rooftop in summer which is the ‘place to be’ as soon as temperatures hit above 15 degrees.
Bjoslen on the other hand is 15 minute walk/7 minute bus from school and is very comparable to Birks Grange Village self-catered. Flats are shared between 4 or 6 and bathrooms are en-suite.
Pro tip: If I had to chose again, I would chose BSN purely for the rooftop and bigger bed factor on top of the international environment. But Bjolsen allows you to live with Norwegians for a year which I wouldn’t switch for anything! Up to you! But whatever you do, do not move to Bjerke, Sogn or Kringsja, trust me on this one.
- Don’t over do it with uni
Yes, grades count, yes, it’s always nice to do well at uni. Unless you are desperate to get straight A’s I would avoid taking overly complicated modules. It’s not worth it. Pick things that will interest you enough to listen in 3 hour long lectures and if you can avoid exams, do.
This is purely so that you get somewhat of a sense of freedom when having to decide between school work and a trip or something fun!
Pro tip: Studying at BI is actually very pleasant because of the massive windows. If you ever get bored of it, coffee shops in winter are a great option for a balance of cosy and calm-ish environment. In the summer, find a friend that lives at BSN and hit the rooftop (I do not take responsibility of the degradation of levels of concentration).
- Travel, travel, travel
There are so many ways to travel for cheap. Sure, an overnight bus sounds like hell, but nothing beats 20 pounds both ways to Stockholm. And nothing beats seeing the Northern Lights for 90 pounds.
Pro tip: Flixbus and Swebus are your best friend. Use code UNDER26 with Norwegian Airlines for cheap flights!
- Be open to everything
This is to be taken lightly, of course don’t go and join a cult! But be open, curious, try new things and above all don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone. You’re on your year abroad, you’re already outside of it. Might as well enjoy it fully.Good luck and enjoy every minute. One last piece of advice?
Don’t run on ice.