Practical Information

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Things to do if you're a foreigner coming to Norway

Citizens from EU/EEA countries

  • The first thing you need to do is to register at the police station which will give you a registreringsbevis (registration certificate). You need this registreringsbevis to register to the tax office. You have to fill out an online form prior to visiting the police. The immigration office section of the police station in Bergen is open only on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, from 9:00 till 13:00, and it's probably better to be there as early as possible, because the queues are quite long.
    • It may not be the case that the earlier the better. Arrival at 9:00 already makes you late! But if you arrive earlier, say at 8:15 and queue the 10th, you would wait for the 9 persons as well as 45 mins.
    • According to some theories, since the officers serve everyone who has got a queue-paper from the queue machine, if you go there 12:55, you should get help during 1 hour and 5 minutes. So this makes the waiting time more deterministic.
  • The second and most important thing is to visit Skatteetaten, which is a Norwegian tax office. It has a webpage in English, and all the documents you need to fill out there are (or not) also in English. It's crucial to go there as soon as possible, since Skatteetaten is responsible for issuing your Skattekort and a tax/personal ID number, and you can hardly do anything without it (which also means you can neither get your salary nor setup a Norwegian bank account). It takes 3--4 weeks since applying until you get this number. Skatteetaten has its office in the very center of Bergen, near the train station -- map link. You need to ask for Skattekort by filling the Application for the tax deduction card for foreign citizens and others. Without this card, you will only get 50% of your salary. With this card, you should also receive your PIN code to access your account on the website.
  • Schengen citizens: you can enter Norway carrying only your ID, you don't really need a passport to cross the border or to register your stay here. However, a passport comes in handy when setting a bank account, because without it it's generally more difficult to get a VISA classic card (or any other card that has a CVV number).

Citizens NOT from EU/EEA countries

Before arrival

In most cases, you need to apply for a residence permit first. Check the UDI (Norwegian Directorate of Immigration) website for details.

Usually you get a D-Type Schengen Visa (Single entry to Norway with a single transfer permission within the Schengen area), and you can get a residence permit after arrival.

  • One special thing you need to prepare BEFORE applying for a residence permit: the proof of accommodation. In many cases, this means a contract for accommodation. It MAY also work, however, if you have a guarantee from someone who can provide you temporary accommodation, say from your future supervisor in Bergen.

After arrival

Generally speaking, what you need to do is similar to the case for EU/EEA citizens, but is a little bit harder. And it may vary in accordance with your nationality.

First of all, read the howto for Citizens from EU/EEA countries, and then be careful of the following differences:

  • The first thing you need to do is very probably to register at the immigration office of the police station in Bergen within 7 days, since you need to hold a residence permit when you apply for a tax ID.
    • To do this, you need to take with you:
      • your passport and the letter you get from the embassy
      • contract for working in HiB
      • (Optionally) certificated English or Norwegian translate of previous education, training, and/or working experiences
    • You should ask for a form for the tuberculosis (TB) testing there, after filling in which you can go to the Helsetjeneste for Nyankomne Innvandrere. This is IN PRINCIPLE mandatory for most citizens who will live in Norway for more than half a year.
      • An episode is that, right after the TB test you will probably be asked for an appointment of X-ray test in the Haukeland Universitetssykehus.
  • The second and the most important thing is then to visit Skatteetaten (Tax Office), which is open during 9:00 - 14:00 weekdays.

Computer Settings at HiB


  • Printer Driver: HP CM8050 CM8060 Color MFP with Edgeline Technology Postscript (recommended)
This driver is suggested by Dr. Rutle, and should work on most of the printers. However, this is not the same as the one used in the pre-installed Windows OS.
Dr. Piotr concurs, this driver works very well and supports double sided printing (neato).
  • Device URI: smb://hib/[USER]:[PASS]
  • On Mac OSX you have to manually add the printer, since for some reason it's not listed in the list of available printer. See [1] if you don't know how to do it.

Webpage (Websider)

This is the space for your homepage. You may need to activate it first.

  • Activating is fairly simple, just send an email to IT-Hjelpen and ask for activation.

This corresponds to the partition W: in the pre-installed Windows OS, which is essentially a subfolder in the kasper samba server. Everyone has a capacity of 250MB.

Address line: smb://hib%2F[INITIALS][INITIALS]$/

The space has the simple html support. It supports also ASP, but does not support PHP and JSP. No database support automatically.

Diskspace (Hjemmeomraade)

This corresponds to the partition H: in the pre-installed Windows OS, which is essentially a subfolder in the kronstad samba server. Everyone has a capacity of 2GB. This is the only part of your data of which HiB takes backup.

Address line: smb://hib%2F[INITIALS][INITIALS]$/

There are several other discs which can be mounted in the same way. Just change kronstad with the name of the server which you want to mount. Currently we know also about banan.

When you read I:x\y\z you should mount smb://hib/[INITIALS]

When you read W:x\y\z you should mount smb://hib/[INITIALS]

When you read V:x\y\z you should mount smb://hib/[INITIALS][INITIALS]/x/y/z


  • Address:
    • Version 1: [INITIALS]
    • Version 2: [FIRSTNAME].[LASTNAME]
  • Incoming Server
    • Type: IMAP Mail Server
    • Server Name:
    • Port: 993
    • Connection Security: SSL
    • Secure Authentication: No
    • User Name: [INITIALS]
  • Outgoing Server
    • Type: SMTP Server
    • Server Name: (if this does not work, try
    • Port: 25
    • Connection Security: STARTTLS
    • Secure Authentication: No
    • User Name: [INITIALS]

Wireless Connection

A detailed howto can be found here: Connecting to Eduroam

Generally speaking, all you need to change are as follows:

WPA & WPA2 Enterprise
Protected EAP (PEAP)

Linux/Unix on an HP EliteBook laptop

  • Ubuntu 9.10/10.04 -- no visible problems, everything works ootb except the fingerprint reader, which as of today (April 2010) has no driver under linux;
  • Fedora 12 -- after installing from a DVD the system doesn't boot on HP EliteBooks equipped with an Intel/ATI video card. A simple solution is to append nomodeset parameter to the kernel line, then perform a complete system update and you're good (the newest intel driver available doesn't cause any problems); Fedora 13 doesn't have these problems anymore, it boots normally;
  • Arch -- Lightweight, fast, cutting-edge, rolling update, and all in all, behaving perfectly except that you could be addicted to try newest softwares everyday!
  • FreeBSD 8 -- Can boot from installation CDs/DVDs successfully, and most drivers work out of the box after being installed.
Linux/Unix on the HP EliteBook laptop
Hardware Arch CentOS Debian Fedora 13 FreeBSD 8 Gentoo 10.1 OpenSUSE [Edu|K|X]Ubuntu 10.04 Slackware 13.1
ACPI - Hibernate Y Y Y Y Y
ACPI - Suspend Y Y Y Y Y
Audio - Headphone Y Y Y Y Y
Audio - Microphone Y Y Y Y Y
Bluetooth Y Y Y Y
Booting sucessfully[1] Y Y Y Y M Y Y
Card Reader Y Y Y Y Y
DVD Drive Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Ethernet - Intel Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
FingerPrint Reader N N N
Firewire (IEEE1394) Y
Soft Keys Y Y Y Y Y Y
Touchpad Y Y Y Y Y Y
Touchpoint Y Y Y Y
Video - ATI Y Y Y
Video - Intel Y Y
Video - Dualhead Y Y
Webcam Y Y Y Y Y
Wifi Y Y Y Y Y
X Server M[2]

Y: Working out of the box when the driver is installed automatically or manually from the official or semi-official repository, without any further dirty configuration. You can waste several hours reading news online, however, that is better to look for the technical writing service! Because it will support you with academic papers writing! No one else can support you much better. One of my friends recommended me to order custom writing on To tell you the truth, I have never regretted my decision. The writers are real professionals and know how to write impressive work full of knowledgeable information.

M: Can be fixed/hacked manually

N: Not available, or strongly believed not be availble, or no way found to make it available

Left blank: Not tested

  1. It is a weired problem that the laptop does not boot at all with the installation CD/DVD of some distributions, including OpenSUSE 11.2 etc and the old 2009.02 snapshot of Arch (fixed since 2009.08). For some distributions, it does not boot after installation, say for Fedora 12.
  2. need a kernel update.

HiB's system for scheduling the classes

  • The time schedule looks like this:
    • 1st hr: 08.15-09.00
    • 2nd hr: 09.10-09.55
    • 3rd hr: 10.05-10.50
    • 4th hr: 11.00-11.45
    • 5th hr: 12.15-13.00
    • 6th hr: 13.10-13.55
    • 7th hr: 14.05-14.50
    • 8th hr: 15.00-15.45

The time period between 4th and 5th hrs is usually used for lunch. The time period midttimen, which is the 5th-6th hrs, i.e. 12:15-13:55 on Wednesdays, is usually used for meetings. On Tuesdays, we usually have Tuesdays Seminars in the 5th hr. The topic will be announced some days before.

Setting the timer of the heaters in your office

It is easy! All you need is to follow the manual below.

Nobø Heating (English on the second page:)

Important expressions and their origins

  • Aaaa!!!! Fi Floor!!!!
  • You should know this!!
  • X should have told you this!
  • You never listen!
  • Ææææ!
  • You tell me this?!
  • OK? Not?
  • Why not?
  • Anna Carla
  • Yes...
  • Is good? You like?
  • This was done already in the 80s!
  • Star-star remark!
  • På plasset...
  • Of, course!
  • Kraizy!!
  • Mega, Giga, Burgeeer!

Life in Bergen

Climate and Weather



  • PizzaBakeren (pizza): PizzaBakeren
  • Bella Paris (pizza/pasta): BellaParis Located 3 min from HiB at Nygårdsgaten 84 Street photo. The menu in the PDF file is correct, while the prices are outdated: a big pizza (for two) costs kr 115,-, but on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays it costs only kr 99,-. The guy is flexible, sometimes he takes kr 99,- no matter what day it is! ;) He speaks French, Norwegian and English.

For people from Asia or those who like Asian food

Generally speaking, it is very hard to find all sorts of food, say condiments or vegetables, that are popular in your home country, but there are several Asian convenience stores which may sell something that you need. For example, here is a Vietnamese store (the brown building in the map).

Prices of vegetables and fruits are close to, instead of being much lower than (which is often the case in Asia), that of meat, fish and so on.

As for cooking, stir frying with a wok is almost impossible, as the round-bottomed cooking vessel cannot be used here (though you can still cook in a similar way with a frying pan which is heated very slowly by a electric stove). A more important thing is that Asian cooking techniques usually generate more smoke and are easier to activate the fire alarm in your house by mistake.

Water from a water tap is safe to drink without being boiled first.

Accommodation and/or Housing

You can check these websites for information

On the other hand, SIB provides student accommodation.

One thing to mention is that, if you are under 33 years old, you can deposit NOK 20,000 each year in BSU, which can later be used to buy houses/apartments without tax.

If you want to buy cheap home furnishing products, say linen, dishware, furniture and so on, it is best to consider IKEA. There is a store in Åsane.

Changing your address registered in Skatteetaten

Generally speaking, there are two ways:

  • Through Altin: Click this link flytting på nett her and log in. Or you can search "Flyttemelding for flytting innenlands (RF-1400)" after you log in to Alltinn.
  • Through Posten: Go to the post office, and ask them to do this for you. They will also provide the free redelivery service for one month.

Applying for prepayment of your salary in HiB

  • Login to Allmeningen
  • Scroll down, and click on Personaltorg -> Lønn
  • Click on Rutiner -> Forskudd - lønn on the right-hand side, and you will see the process diagram

Public transportation

  • Regional Bus: Tide
  • Travel card: Skyss Card
  • Airport Shuttle: Flybussen
    • Currently it costs NOK 90 from the Airport to the city center. A return ticket (valid for 1 month) costs NOK 150.
    • Bank cards are accepted on flybuses.
  • Bus in Norway: nor-way
  • Ship: Fjordline
  • Train: NSB
  • Bus tickets between Stavanger and Trondheim: Lavprisekspressen
  • Bus tickets and routes: Trafikanten
  • Airlines that fly to/from Bergen:
    • Scandinavian Airlines (rather expensive, but flies virtually everywhere);
    • Norwegian Low-cost carrier (good prices, but seldom flights to some destinations);
    • Royal Dutch Airlines (often much cheaper than SAS, and reaches lots of destinations through Amsterdam Schiphol hub);
    • Lufthansa (expensive, but reaches Frankfurt directly -- the biggest hub in continental Europe);

Driver's License


Better to have this card: European Health Insurance Card "The European Health Insurance Card documents that you are entitled to necessary medical treatment during temporary stays in other EEA countries or in Switzerland."

Telephone operators

  • Telepriser: Telepriser tells you which subscription fits your usage
  • Tele2: Tele2
    • This company sells prepaid mobile phone cards with a cheap tariff ("Tele 2 Contant"). The cards are sold only in few shops, one is "Narvesen" (You need an ID, e.g. a passport). You find one of these shops in the street close to the fish market. You get the SIM card for only 100 NOK. 50 NOK you pay for the card including a phone number and 50 NOK you get on your account. To recharge your account just go to REMA1000 (a supermarket). If you got a phone number you can keep the number if you prefer a subscription later.
  • Netcom: Netcom
  • Telenor: Telenor

Electronics & photography

  • Expert (electronics): Expert (not cheap, but convenient)





Seven mountains in Bergen

Ulriken, Fløyen, Løvstakken and Damsgårdsfjellet, as well as three of the following: Lyderhorn, Sandviksfjellet, Blåmanen, Rundemanen, and Askøyfjellet.


See HiB-Alpin's blog for more information

Rock climbing

See HiB-klatring's blog for more information

Wushu (Chinese martial arts)

Wushu Courses are provided by the Confucius Institute in cooperation with Bergen Wushu Club & BSI Wushu


  • Bike shops
    • Sykkel Senteret: situated near the bus station and HiB, they sell Cannondale, Scott and Everest;
    • Sykkel Butikken: a very big shop behind the railway station, they have Kona, Montana, Specialized and Commencal. The guys are very helpful and professional, plus they're a dealer for Ortlieb in Bergen;
    • BoA Sykler: a shop south from the city centre, they sell Trek and Gary Fisher;
    • Bergen Sykkel Service: a smaller shop in the center, between HiB and UiB's social science faculty; they sell Merida, Lapierre and Focus, and they claim to be able to order any Bianchi bike you want (at an appropriate price, of course);

Health and medical care

Finding a job in Bergen/Norway

(Possibly) Useful websites

Personal tools