Stronger international focus

Hundreds of international UiB-students attended the welcome programme in Grieghallen. This year, the university has strengthened the international effort, opening a new international centre.


Internasjonalt senter
Students Francesco Schmidt and Cian Kelly in conversation with Ellen Meyer Hoff at International Centre.
Ole Marius Kvamme

The official opening of International Centre is August 30, but because of the semester start Tuesday 15 August, the centre is already open for visitors. The aim is to strengthen the administrative effort in the university's international activity, and improve international cooperation and mobility at the University of Bergen.


It’s been two years since the University Director initiated an effort to establish a centre across the central administrative divisions.

The staff will, amongst other things, provide advice and support to faculties and departments, advice researchers on research stays in other countries and help international students at semester start, as well as being a resource for students going abroad, in collaboration with faculties and departments.

 “It is great that the centre is finally up and running”, says Nina Gry Stein and Elin Berge Flo at the UiB Division of Student Affairs.

They believe it is important that the university has now gathered employees with expertise in the fields of international relations and collaboration in research and education from the HR Division, the Division of Research Administration, Estate and Facilities Management Division and the Division of Student Affairs under the same roof.

“Gathering expertise from different fields will give synergy effects, and strengthen the university’s international focus”, Stein and Flo says.

International experience

They believe it is a great benefit for students to gain international experience.  

“Learning a new language, experiencing other cultures, building international networks. These are great experiences, and also strengths that potential employers will appreciate later”, they say.

They advise students from UiB to go abroad, and welcome the international students coming to Bergen.

 “International students makes the student environment at our university richer”, says Stein and Flo.


Law-student Francesco Schmidt from Italy and marine biology-student Cian Kelly from Ireland are both new students in Bergen. Schmidt will be in Bergen for six months, taking parts of a degree from Toronto University, whilst Kelly will be a student in Bergen for the next two years.

Except for the rain and high prices, both have a great first impression of Bergen, the scenery, and the university.

“We like the idea of studying with people from all around the world and different cultures. But we also want to get to know the locals during our stay here”, they say.

“And in fact, this weather is a lot like it is in Ireland, so I don’t mind it”, Kelly adds.

They now look forward to exploring the city, and surrounding area in the time to come, in addition to starting their studies.