“The best thing about Campus Porsgrunn is the social cohesiveness among the students. Here you become part of a student group that comes from many different majors, but who are good at socialising across the board,” says Matilde Eggerud Roberg.
Originally from Tønsberg, she is a student that is a newcomer to Porsgrunn. She’s happy that many people come from out of town.
“When people come here without knowing anyone or the city, they are generally very open to getting to know new people. It's easy to make new friends during your time at university, which you'll be sure to experience during buddy week.
Buddy week at Porsgrunn
Buddy week is one of the first things you attend as a new student at Porsgrunn. Matilde, who is on the buddy committee in Porsgrunn, says that one should be prepared for a fun and eventful week.
“A lot happens in a very short space of time. It's like a festival, where big social events are held daily.”
“During buddy week you'll meet all the students you'll be studying with for the next few years, so it's a very good opportunity to get to know your fellow students before the lectures start in earnest.
Matilde has fond memories of her own buddy week.
“Every night there were gatherings in which I encountered new faces, and it is quite fun to meet people who are attending other educations. I also recommend that you get to know your buddies. They are the ones who lead the buddy group that you are assigned, and they are students who are already studying at Porsgrunn. The buddies can help you with just about any questions you have during initial period as a student in the town.
- During buddy week, Studenthuset (Student House) at the campus will be open every night. Get the full programme on Facebook.
Although many parties are held, Matilde emphasises that no one is compelled to drink.
“Buddy week is about gathering new students through various activities that help people to get to know each other. There are no activities that require people to drink. The most important thing to do is to participate in the activities.”
If you come along, I promise you that you’ll have incredible fun.
Student volunteerism in Porsgrunn
As a student you have the opportunity to join various student associations and organisations. Matilde says volunteering gives several advantages.
“Firstly, it is a perfect venue to get to know other students that you do not associate with in your studies or who are not in your school year. Secondly, it’s great fun because you participate in something you like to run. For example, you can join in and run the Student Union in Grenland (SiG), either as part of the board or as a volunteer at the bar, wardrobe, etc. during events.
The Student Union organises cafés and student bars with concerts, themed parties, game nights and trivia. In addition, you should check out the Student Union’s subgroups within floorball, underwater rugby, film club and electronics club (the video is from when we were still a college).
If something is not offered, you can apply for funding for the activity along with materials at SiG’s general assembly. You can also help organise the annual student week, a culture festival that offers many concerts, themed parties and other fun activities.
- Join the Facebook group USN-studenter Porsgrunn to stay up to date with all that is going on among the students of the town
Matilde recommends that you to sign up for a membership in SiG. This gives you many advantages.
“You will be included in the city's student community in a unique way. In addition to that those who volunteer in organisations are capable of organising big events for all students, they are also good at enjoying themselves.”
All student organisations always need new members who want to help create an amazing student community in Porsgrunn, so I urge you to apply as soon as buddy week is over.
Student life in Porsgrunn
Matilde lives in a student collective in the centre of the city. She finds that Porsgrunn has a good selection of places for shopping, restaurants, cafes and nightlife.
“It's not something I miss, but sometimes it is fun to try something new, so we are happy to go to the neighbouring town of Skien, which is only a short bus ride away. All nightlife in Porsgrunn is in the town centre, and I don't think I've been out in town once without meeting other students. So you always find someone to talk to.
- If you love boating, the Telemark coast is then a great place for you. Try island hopping in the archipelago, boat cruises in the Telemark canal or take a water boat to Kragerø in the summer.
Cultural enthusiasts can enjoy the fact that both Porsgrunn and Skien have their own cultural venues, Ælvespeilet and Ibsenhuset respectively. In addition, you can find Parkbiografen in Skien that often has cool concerts and Bølgen Kulturhus in Larvik which is only 15 minutes away by train.
“So the possibility of enjoying concerts, theatre and the like is very good. Also, we must not forget the Porsgrunn International Theatre Festival (PIT), Norway's largest international theatre festival. It takes place every June, so students can participate, both as spectators and as volunteers. There are always lots of fun productions and lots of good food, so I recommend everyone to visit the city during PIT.”
Easy to remain physically active
Students generally spend a lot of time in the lecture halls and reading rooms. Matilde therefore recommends you to find a hobby or an outdoor activity that keeps you physically active.
“I am very fond of hiking in the surrounding area. I get to clear my head as well as keep myself in shape. In Porsgrunn, you can also find many volleyball courts and football pitches, and there are of course many local sports clubs that one can join.
There is a fitness room at the campus that is open to all students. In winter, there are plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities.
“The area has ski trails during winter, and both Porsgrunn and Skien also have their own ice rinks. In addition, it is not so far to the alpine centres in Kongsberg and Svarstad by car. In winter, SiG also arranges ski trips to Kongsberg and Gautefall with après ski later on at our student house.
The student trips to Hemsedal are also very popular. Usually, several buses are arranged that take everyone to a long weekend or week filled with skiing and of course some après-ski. So there is no reason to stay indoors in the winter either.
Whatever you might like to do in your spare time, Matilde’s advice is clear:
Engage in something that will help you get your mind off your studies, and that will help you meet other students outside the reading room. The student life in Porsgrunn can be absolutely wonderful if you just join in and give yourself the opportunity to get to know many wonderful people. Use the occasion for everything it’s worth. I promise, you’re not going to regret it.”