Fantoft is one of the first student housings you will hear about if you plan to go to Bergen for an exchange. Located more than 6 km from the city centre, it can accommodate up to 1300 people. Most of its occupants are international students. Thus, the “Erasmus atmosphere” reigns considerably in the social life of the residence.
Before reading this article, make sure to have read this one about student housing in Bergen.
This student housing has every type of accommodation: studios, apartments for couples or families and shared flats at very competitive prices. A childcare centre has also been set up in the new Fantoft buildings.
Fantoft also has four types of blocks:
- the old ones: : 4 blocks (E to H) where you can choose between apartments for 1 to 2 people,
- the new “Fantoft TRE” buildings: 2 blocks (R and S) connected by a footbridge on the last floor. There, you can share a kitchen with 7 to 15 people. However, if you are in the latter case (with 15 people), you will have to share your bedroom and bathroom with another person. Read the article : Forced room sharing at Fantoft is unfair, says UiB professor.
- the recently renovated buildings : 4 blocks (A to D) including 2 (A and B) under renovation with the same configuration as the new buildings without the option of sharing at 16.
- Bloc N (very limited places) : located in the residence centre only with apartments.
Here is what the new and old buildings look like:
The advantages of Fantoft TRE’s buildings are that they are new, well insulated from the cold (unlike the old ones), and furnished (dishwasher, vacuum cleaner, oven and kitchenware). All you need to buy is your bed linen.
People choose the old blocks especially for the rent cost, and the N block is a compromise between the old and new buildings.
For a detailed overview of Fantoft accommodations, visit SIB housing.
2. Useful and social spaces
The biggest gathering place in the residence is the Klubb Fantoft where pre-parties, parties, giant meals or board games competitions will usually take place.
Self-service is open from 10 am to 11 pm Sunday to Thursday and from 10 am to midnight on the other days.
Here is a video that will introduce you to the Klubb in detail.
Blocks R/S rooftop and common kitchen
The Fantoft TRE buildings offer their inhabitants an additional common kitchen on the last floor but also an open rooftop just in front of it that you could use on sunny days for barbecues, for example.
A gym is available in front of the residence. There, you can work out, participate in training/exercise sessions or relax in the sauna.
Also read : Good deals in Bergen.
Fantoft has two laundry rooms:
- one in the G building (old block) where you will have to put your own detergent and pay 150 NOK (1.50€) for your machine.
- one in R building (new block) where the detergent is directly included, and you will have to pay 250 NOK (2.50€).
You can also reload your pass online and book washing machines.
Lastly, a Meny supermarket (fairly large size) is located just in front of Fantoft. You can do all your grocery shopping there, but prices are excessively high. If you want to save money, other options are available but not as conveniently located.
Fantoft has two facebook pages: Tenants Union Fantoft 2018 and Fantoft Events 2018 but also a Facebook group to communicate and learn about what is happening in the residence.
You can also buy and resell equipment on Fantoft Market.
Also read : Websites to follow.
According to SIB 2012 statistics, 30% of Fantoft occupants were Norwegians. From what I noticed, during my exchange (in 2018), most of them lived alone.
If your main purpose through this exchange is to meet Norwegian people, you should choose another place to live (Read “I never met Norwegians“). However, these circumstances will not prevent you from meeting amazing people. Many people who lived there, including myself, loved their experience. The lack of contact with the locals can be remedied by becoming involved in social life.
The negatives of Fantoft
The main disadvantage of this place is the fact that it is quite far from the city centre (6.5 km). Therefore, you will have to pay a transportation card to take the Bybanen (light rail). It takes 17 minutes to reach Bergen centre, plus a 10 minute walk to get to the university. If on a weekday evening you do not want to walk for an hour and a half to get home, you should not delay after 1 am because that is the time when the last Bybanen passes.
What do Norwegians think about Fantoft?
This residence, with its eponymous Bybanen stop, is called the “student town” because it is quite isolated. Apart from going to classes, students do not really need to leave this place because everything is at their disposal.
This place is also considered too noisy, and festive (Fantoft resident needed to stay in a Bergen hostel to get enough sleep). It is not uncommon for the fire alarm to ring at night.
Despite these negatives, Fantoft remains a warm and friendly place for international meetings. I met Germans, Dutch, Belgians, Irish, Italians, Spanish, Australians, Canadians, Mexicans, Ghanaians, Lithuanians, Hungarians, Greeks and many other nationalities there… Regardless of its location, in the end, many students living closer to the city centre came for pre-parties or to other gatherings at the Klubb.
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Sources : Erasmus Bergen (my own experience), testimonials, Diego Moreno Delgado, Sammen, bhoch, reddit, Roberto Ovalle, student Bergen, uib, hib, and Google Street View.