Friday, November 10, 2006

Student Life on Svalbard

Pictures from UNISS.NO
There is an excellent website produced by UNIS: the University Centre in Svalbard.
It has several sections which would not be part of the typical university prospectus of a university in the UK.
The Student life in Svalbard website has lots of tips for living at 78 degrees North. Here are some of the interesting ones as they relate to our topic:
For example, here are the student halls of residence in Nybyen (picture by T Jansson)
"As Svalbard is in the Arctic, it tends to be quite cold from time to time. So you definitely need to bring at least one pair of warm trousers and one warm jacket. And gloves. And goggles are helpful. And a scarf. And because it is cold, it also sometimes snows.... so bring your ski's or whatever downhill stuff you have. But really, didn't you think of those things yourself?

If you have, bring your laptop. Because - finally - there is an internet connection in every room.!

If you're a student at UNIS, why not get in touch with us ? We'd love to hear what life is like for students at UNIS.

"There are 3 kilometers from Nybyen to UNIS, so many of us prefer to use a bike. Sometimes it may be a little cold and you may find yourself blowing off the road. It's a good idea for winter to buy a face mask and some goggles. Be careful at the turn at Svalbardhallen, the road is often slippery. Watch out for reindeer and birds, since they have no fear. Watch out for cars. They show no fear either. It is quite cheap or free to bring a bicycle by plane. It is a good idea to wrap some carton around it as it may get some rough handling on the plane. It is also possible to buy a second-hand or even a new bicycle in Longyearbyen. Check the board at the reception at UNIS, the post office, or Svalbardbutikken. A useful second-hand bicycle will cost you a few hundred NOK. You need reflectors, and according to law and safety you should use lights when it gets dark. Buy some blinking diode."

Melk = Milk
Brød = Bread
Knackebrød = Crisp bread
Ost = Cheese
Brunost = Norwegian brown cheese made from goat milk. It tastes strange, but good.
Lutefisk = Traditional Norwegian fish soaked in lye. KEEP AWAY!
Finnbiff = Reindeer in bags. Easier than shooting one ourself, but more expensive
Øl = Beer
Vin = Wine

I also like the reviews of the places to eat and drink.

Huset (5)
Beneath old mine 1. One-in-all. Cafeteria with disco, restaurant, cinema, kiosk, beautiful girls and strong boys, only a short distance from Nybyen. Be there before midnight, otherwise you will pay 50,- NOK for entrance and 15,- NOK for wardrobe (obligatory if you bring a jacket) to some of your fellow students. Normally immune to bribes... The cafeteria is the town's dining hall and offers fast food for reasonable prices, but has little atmosphere considering that there is no service and an angry voice will shout a number when your food is finally ready. The restaurant is more comfortable, but incredible expensive. This is the place to invite your family to buy you a dinner.

Café Fruene
Located in Lompensenteret (8). Very good food. Even better cakes. And everything to reasonable prices.

Cafe Busen
Located in Lompensenteret (8). A little more expensive than the cafeteria at Huset. It seems to be the town's lunch hall. OK food. Service like Huset. Large cups of coffee with refill option. "Busen" is the name of the miner. The concept is the former canteen in Nybyen (Stormessa) when Longyearbyen was a real mining town. If you do not have the appetite of a miner, you can order half portions of the main courses. The cups lack handles. The reason is that the miners didn't mind that the cups were hot and it was easier to drink this way.

Carlsberger Pub. (8)
Extensive opening hours because of a Danish bartender who enjoys working a lot.

Spitsbergen Hotel (2)
Situated on top of Haugen not far away from the school and the sports hall. The restaurant, "Funktionærmessen," is relatively expensive and features delicious nouvelle cuisine Arctic specialties like whale carpaccio. If you aren't in the mood for eating a full dinner, many students like to relax in the "leather paradise" of the bar. It is decorated with a fireplace, bil-liards table, many nice prints and maps, and a "library." Really cosy place.

SAS Polar Hotellet (4)
Restaurant Nansen Quite formal. You pay a lot and get little. The cheesecake is excellent, but quite expensive. If you are hungry, go somewhere else. There is an exceptional view towards UNIS, good to watch students on their way home, blowing away in the wind. Try the breakfast buffet. Nice place for the family visit.

Barents Pub (4)
Small and informal pub. OK. Not good at serious drinks.

Kroa (3)
The inn, located behind Basecamp, with 'trapper-style' decoration. Nice place, if you like dead animals hanging on the wall and driftwood furniture. Quite expensive food, but large portions. Most students order pizzas - be sure to try Gruve 1. Classic Pizza. Small place, expensive but good pizza and kebab restaurant. Delivery service for rich and lazy ones.

I think I need to apply for a PhD at UNIS. Anyone want to sponsor me ?

1 comment:

Edda said...

My Mame is Edda, I´m from Iceland and I´d really like to get in contact with a student at UNIS. I really like all the great information on the various webpages, but I´d like to ask at few more questions to a student before I start writing a silly email to the University
Please Contact me at or at MSN: