“Life as a student in Drammen is fantastic. You study in a modern campus located in the centre of the city and you are part of a growing student community in a big city that has just about everything a young person looking for.
Erik André Ruud knows what he’s talking about. He has studied in Drammen since 2014 and has gradually fallen in love with the university town.
“In the beginning, my plan wasn’t about moving here, but that quickly changed once I got here. Through studies and recreational activities, it is easy to make friends, and the offer of nightlife, concerts, eateries and the like is just great. Of course, we also have buddy week, which is a fantastic start to each academic year.
According to Erik André, buddy week is some of the most fun events you can attend as a student in Drammen.
“During buddy week, all new students meet in the city, and most of the participants do not know anyone from before. Therefore, your first two weeks at USN will be filled with social activities after the lectures so that you can get to know fellow students and the city.
“The buddy week is absolutely the best opportunity you have in getting to know people from your own and other areas of study. So come join in!”
For this year’s buddy week, scavenger hunts, sports day, barbecues on the roof terraces of the student residences, city tours, trivia nights and huge themed parties in the evenings have been scheduled. All new students are split into buddy groups, which are led by their own buddies. Buddies are students who have already studied one or more years at USN in Drammen.
The buddies are there to help all new students find their feet in the city. They can answer all the questions you have, and they'll make sure your buddy group is informed of what is going on during the buddy week They make sure everyone is doing well along the way and should help you not experience any pressure of having to drink.
“We provide to a week filled with fun, and you don't have to drink as much as a drop of alcohol to be included.
The buddies in Drammen will ensure that you get a perfect start to your student life in the city. (Photo: Buddy week at Drammen)
Student Society in Drammen
As a student in Drammen you have the opportunity to join various student associations. Erik André has served on the Buddy Committee, and is currently the head of Drammen Student Society.
“At the Student Union, there are many different positions to choose from, for example, you can sit on the buddy committee, revue board or work as an event manager. Volunteering in a student association or organisation provides a new dimension to student life. You work to promote student well-being, you get to get to know students from other areas of study and years. In addition, it is absolutely great to have on your resume.”
Drammen Student Society constantly work to arrange activities and great offers for all students in Drammen. They arrange themed evenings each month at the bar and concert venue Papirhuset, located in Campus Drammen.
“We do not have a separate student house in the city, so we have worked out favourable deals with many places that offer dining and nightlife in the city centre. At many places, students get discounts on food and drink, and for graduation parties, good arrangements are often made for the students to take over the various nightspots.
“In general, Drammen is good at taking care of us students, so if you use discounts you get through the student union, you can save a great deal of money.
It is not difficult to enjoy yourself as a Drammen student, whether during buddy week or the rest of the year. (Photo: Buddy week at Drammen).
Student life in the city
Many students in Drammen live in the city's student residences, which can be rented through the Student Welfare Organisation in South-Eastern Norway. All the residences are located just off the campus and the rest of the city centre.
“In Drammen city centre you have many shopping, dining, concert and nightlife options. In particular, you may want to keep an eye on the Union Scene because here students will get discounts on most concerts. Oslo is also only half an hour away by train, so take a day or a weekend trip to the capital is not an issue.”
- Join the Facebook group USN-studenter Drammen to stay up to date with all that is going on among the students of the town
In addition to cultural and nightlife experiences, you have the option of joining local sports clubs and the student's own sports team.
“The selection of clubs and sports in Drammen is huge. Here you can continue with a sport you like, or try something completely new.
Campus Drammen also has its own student sports club. Weekly trainings are organised in several sports, and trips and other fun stuff are also arranged. Here, everyone can join, and few things are better for the mind than to be physically active after a long day at the study hall.
Join Drammen Student Sports Club for sport and more. Members are also offered the possibility to join national university game events as well as discounts at several of the city’s sports shops. (Photo: Drammen Student Sports Club).
“A fantastic time”
Erik André explains that one’s time as a student is a period of many new impressions and a steep learning curve, also outside of lectures.
“Being a student gives you the freedom to live a completely different life than you have lived at home, while taking much more responsibility. You are learning to take care of yourself, everything from cooking to filling one’s time with what is perceived as meaningful. It may feel like a great transition for many, and unfortunately we know that there are many students in Norway who struggle with loneliness.”
Erik André strongly urges students to get to know their fellow students and to join a volunteer organisation.
Invest some time at the start of your new student life to get to know the people you study with. Don't be afraid to get in touch with new people on the campus.
“Most of the people who study here come to the city from elsewhere and usually know few or no one here from beforehand. Students are generally very contact seeking, so you'll probably soon find out that it is easy to make new friends as a student. And find out what you like to spend your time on. You are probably not alone in the activity, so join groups or associations that are involved the same things and join a new network based on your own interests.
There are several student societies in Drammen, as well as Drammen Student Society and Drammen Student Sports Club. Check out if any of these are for you:
- International Students Union (ISU) Drammen helps create an inclusive environment for the Drammen’s international students
- Teacher students USN Drammen is a student organisation of the Union of Education Norway, a politically independent interest organisation for students that are to work in schools and kindergartens.
- USN Drammen Film Club, a film club for anyone who is a film buff, have it as a hobby or simply want to socialise.
- The Student Choir USN Drammen, the choir for those of you who love to sing, have fun and socialise. No prior knowledge required!
Drammen’s student choir is just one of several volunteer organisations you can join while studying in the city. (Photo: The Student Choir USN Drammen).