Student Housing Choices in Oslo
International students coming to HiOA must make a decision on the right type of accommodation in Oslo. Although apartments in Oslo tend to be quite expensive, luckily SiO, a student welfare association, offers affordable housing options for students.
In total, there are 23 housing units offered in different parts of the city.
To learn more about the housing we interviewed seven HiOA international students from around the world, each living in a different housing unit. We learned what they think about their choice and what it is like living there.
St. Hanshaugen Student Village is in the neighbourhood of St. Hanshaugen. In this area you can find cafés, shops, eateries and bars. It is very close to HiOA and the city centre and is about 5 minutes’ walk from the bus stop for bus number 37 which departs around the clock. A few blocks away you can also find St. Hanshaugen park, which is just excellent for picnics.
St. Hanshaugen, often called just St. Hans, offers some of the most diverse housing choices. Both private accommodation and cheap options are available there. Alexandra, an exchange student from Finland, chose the low-cost alternative and shares a kitchen, two showers and three toilets with 15 other people. This housing option in St. Hans is also well known for being very social, with many student organized get-togethers during the academic year. “The location is perfect, it’s very close to the city centre and to school,” says Alexandra also pointing out that the top floors offer an amazing view of the city centre.
Kringsjå Student Village is currently the largest student village offered by SiO. It is located 15 minutes away from the city centre by public transport, with about 5 minutes’ walk to the Kringsjå station, with the night bus available during the nights. The location is very close to the Nordmarka forest and Songsvann lake, which means endless choices for hiking, swimming, running or skiing and enjoying nature.
The Kringsjå student housing offers a nice view of the mountain. Mingin from South Korea shares a kitchen with six people and a bathroom with one. There is an on-campus bar and a study lounge, which are currently closed due to construction. “I like that my student housing is very private and clean,” says Mingin about Kringsjå.
Sogn Student Village is second largest and the oldest student village offered by SiO. It is in green and quiet surroundings, close to Nordmarka forest and Songsvann lake – good for barbequing and swimming in the summer and walking on the ice-covered lake in the winter. Close by is the Ullevål Stadion with shops and underground to the city centre. The busses are regular during both the day and night, and the train is close as well. It takes about 20 minutes to get from Sogn to HiOA.
“My housing is special because of the proximity to the Songsvann lake, it’s good in summer and in winter,” mentions Aimee, a business student who has been here on exchange for a year. She shares a kitchen and a bathroom with four other people, with the apartment being quite big and modern. The campus houses a couple of events organized by the school, but overall is very quiet.
Ullevål Student House is in a quiet and safe area between the city centre and the greener outskirts. This student housing is close to Domus Athletica sports centre and pool and has the public transport stop right next to the housing. When on a night out the night busses home can be taken as well. During daytime, it is very easy to get to the city centre and the Songsvann lake is also only 20 minutes away.
Living here, Miia shares a small kitchen and a bathroom with only one person. Everyone has their own rooms so it is a very private and quiet housing to choose, at the same time giving the chance to know the culture and the person you are sharing the kitchen with. Miia emphasizes that it is very good for people who want their own peace and quiet.
Bjerke is located a little outside of the city, close to the Nordmarka forest. There is frequent public transport going to the city centre during any time of the day or week, taking only about 15 minutes to get to the city. Nearby Bjerke there is also a shopping centre, as well as an all-night petrol station. This housing is above the city level and offers a great view from the top floors.
When living here Arslan from India shares a kitchen with five people and a bathroom with one. The housing does not have as many social gatherings as other student houses might, but it is also one of the cheaper alternatives and is very close to the countryside. Arslan says that the transport is very convenient allowing quick access to the city whenever needed.
Bjølsen Student Village is one of the newer student villages and houses several buildings. It is located north of the city centre, close to Sagene and Nydalen, and offers you a chance to walk along the Akerselva river all the way to Grünerløkka, which is extremely pleasant on sunny days. There are two busses which go to the city, with one of them being available 24/7.
Whilst here Mischa, a communications exchange student from the Netherlands, has his own bathroom and shares a kitchen with 5 other people who live on the same floor. Mischa believes his room is very modern and convenient, compared to what he has seen elsewhere. The community area of the floor offers a chill zone with sofas next to huge windows.
Carl Berner Student House is one of the central and little more expensive choices. The housing has a roof terrace and is close to a main transport hub with a chance to reach almost any place in the city. Within walking distance are places like Torshov, Sagene, and Grünerløkka for nightlife. Close-by are many shops and restaurants.
Gyasi, a HiOA international student from the US, lives at Carl Berner in an apartment shared with her significant other. They have their own bathroom, kitchen, storage room and a balcony. “I really like how quiet the building is. And our view from the balcony, we can see the Oslo fjord pretty well from the 5th floor,” says Gyasi. However, nightlife is not far away either.
If you’re going to be studying at Kjeller campus, Lillestrom Åråsen student housing might be more suitable for you as it is the only offered student housing near the Kjeller campus.
And remember: to be prioritised for student housing, apply for a single housing unit and accept the offer you get!
Exchange studies at HiOA
Exchange studies and courses taught in English are available to students participating in an exchange programme between HiOA and partner institutions, through Erasmus+, Nordplus and other agreements.
Accommodation for international students
As a student at HiOA, you can apply for affordable student housing through the student welfare association (SiO).