Bø, the small student village with great opportunities

Bø student Katrine Linnea Ødegård

In the heart of Telemark, student life pulsates like few other places in the country. For USN student Katrine, Bø is the perfect place to combine studies with social life.

“Look forward to starting your studies in Bø,” says Bø student Katrine Linnea Ødegård.

“It is a very happening place considering its size. At the campus, we are a good mix of students from many different types of areas of study, which helps ensure the student activities offered outside of study time are extensive and varied.

Buddy week provides friends for life

The student’s buddy week is among some of the first things you do when coming to Bø.

“The smartest thing you can do as a new student is to participate in the buddy week. I didn't know anyone at the university when I started studying here, and almost no one else did either in my buddy group. During the first week, we became a solid and cohesive gang, which has stayed together since then.

“Just let go of your inhibitions and join in on all the available offers. You will experience lots of fun together with those who may quickly become your best friends during your studies.


Katrine recommends that you get to know your buddies.

“New students are split into buddy groups, and groups are led by one or more buddies. The buddies are current students, so they can give you many good tips on how to approach your student years. You can contact them during both the buddy week and the academic year.


You will surely experience a positive atmosphere in wintery surroundings if you attend the student culture festival VIKO. (Photo: Peter Bjerg Jørgensen).

Kroa in Bø

During the buddy week and throughout the rest of the academic year, you will probably be acquainted with the ever so legendary Kroa in Bø.

“Kroa is a concert venue located at the campus and is Bø student’s own student house,” Katrine explains.

“Here everything is arranged from big concerts, parties, Christmas lunches to trivia nights, movie screenings, cafe and other events that students and student associations set up. This is the place to meet and get acquainted with students from other areas of study. Kroa is in a way the heart of student life in Bø.

Kroa is run by the students themselves. Here, everyone can apply to work as a volunteer, either during individual events or across multiple academic years.

“You may, for example, take shifts at the bar or wardrobe during concerts, or you can join the Executive Board and participating in the daily operation of Kroa.”

Such positions, in addition to being very fun, are also worth gold having on a resume when you have finally completed your studies. The employer then sees that you have work experience in addition to a solid education.


It is not uncommon for Kroa to be jumping, just like during the concert with the hip hop artist Pasha. (Photo: Kroa in Bø).


In addition to hosting the buddy week and working at Kroa, many students in Bø are volunteers at the student festival VIKO  and at various student societies.

VIKO is an activity and culture festival that we students in Bø arranges every year. The festival offers ten days of great fun, and it’s a good opportunity for students to volunteer for work. You can also join student organisation if you want to work with events that are more related to what you are studying.

Katrine explains that the student societies usually consist of students from the same area of study who work for academic and social development for the various programmes of study.

“They invite employees and managers from working life to the campus to give lectures to the students, or they organise company visits or courses. By being part of a student organisation, you will have the opportunity to establish a larger network of both students and employers, which you will likely meet again during one’s working life.

At Campus Bø, there are student societies for the following areas of study:

No student organisation for your area of study? Try to start your very own with your fellow students! Get in touch with the existing associations and hear if they can help you get started.

Start USN

Student organisation students from Start USN during the network conference Start Forum 2019 in Ålesund: (Photo: Start USN). 

Life in Bø

As a student, most of your weekdays will naturally revolve around studying, but as a rule, you have the evenings and the weekends off.

“Bø is not a big place, but there is plenty to do in addition to what the students arrange at the campus themselves.”

“The village has both culture, sports and nightlife, so you can go from volleyball training at the campus to a theatre show at Gullbring Culture Centre  before ending the evening at the bar in the town centre. Bø is also a dream place for those who are fond of outdoor activities. Here you are surrounded by beautiful nature on all sides, so there is no lack of opportunities for having active days. The student’s own sports team, USN IL, run many different sports, and have low-threshold offers that everyone can attend. 

Whatever your interests might be, Katrine has a clear-cut advice for those of you starting your studies in Bø this autumn.

“Live student life to the fullest while you’re in Bø. Join a student organisation and give yourself the opportunity to make good friends. Education is what everyone is here for, but what most people remember best from their college are all the great people they have met and all the fun experiences they have taken part in. Join in and create your own memories for life.

Sand volleyball

Beach volleyball is just one of many popular sports in Bø. USN IL run many different sports, and also encourages students to start up their own teams if it doesn't already exist. (Photo: Peter Bjerg Jørgensen).

Facts about Campus Bø

Location: Campus Bø is located in Bø Municipality, in the middle of Telemark County. Bø has a population of just over 6,500 inhabitants. Bø train station is near the campus, and you can get to Oslo by train in two hours. Bø is also home to  Scandinavia's largest water amusement park - Sommarland in Bø.

Number of students: approx. 2,300

Did you know?: According to plans, 282 brand new student residences just 200 metres from the campus will be completed it 2020. Campus Bø Student Accommodation will thus become a brand new village within Bø consisting only of students!

Facts about Katrine

From: Røros

Studying: Economics and Management

Volunteer in: Former volunteer in the buddy committee with responsibility for international students

The best thing about studying at Campus Bø: - The best thing is all the activities you can participate in as a volunteer. Also, the diverse environment with all the great people.