Student Facebook Groups — From Useful to Useless
Beware of scammers!
Tired of scrolling through hundreds of different Facebook pages to keep an eye on as an international student in Oslo? I got you covered! I scoured the depths of the platform to bring you the best and worst the capital of Norway has to offer for students. From the legendary, one and only "New to Oslo" to the spam-filled wasteland of "OSLO - Students cheap market," I have seen it all. So sit back, relax, and let me guide you through the wild world of Norwegian Facebook.
There's something very comforting about knowing that if you're ever in doubt, you can find someone out there who's been through the same thing and can offer you some sound advice.
Ask for Advice as a Newcomer: Expat Groups
The one and only: New to Oslo
As a newcomer to Oslo, I found the "New to Oslo" group to be an absolute godsend. It's not just one of the most active and useful resources out there, but also one of the most friendly and welcoming groups I've come across. Being in a foreign land can be daunting, but the members of this group made me feel like I had a community to fall back on. And what's more, they're not just there for students but for expats and foreigners alike, making it a great melting pot of cultures and experiences.
I was pleasantly surprised by how well regulated the group is, with active participants who are always willing to help out with anything from bank account questions to legislative changes in Norway. There's something very comforting about knowing that if you're ever in doubt, you can find someone out there who's been through the same thing and can offer you some sound advice. And let's not forget about the group meetups! It's always nice to connect with other newcomers in person, especially when you're still trying to get your bearings in a new place.
All in all, I can't say enough good things about the "New to Oslo" group. It's been a true lifesaver for me as I navigate my way through a new city and culture, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who's just arrived in Oslo or is thinking about making the move. Trust me, you won't regret joining this amazing community of like-minded individuals!
This one also works(?): Oslo Expats
The group can be a great resource for finding information and getting advice from other expats. While not all posts are related to expat life or Oslo specifically, there is still a wealth of knowledge to be found. Whether you need help finding the best coffee shop (spoilers; not Starbucks or Espresso House) or just have a basic question about life in Norway, there are usually people in the group who are willing to share their experiences and offer guidance. It's important to keep in mind that the information provided may not always be accurate or up to date, so it could be useful to do your own research as well. Lastly, I need to admit that while "Oslo Expats" may have some practical information, "New to Oslo" is a more comprehensive resource with a wider range of topics and a larger and more engaged community. Overall, Oslo Expats is not necessarily any better than New to Oslo – but not because there is anything wrong with it. Simply its counterpart has more members, is more rooted, and active. Yet, if you're already a member of "Oslo Expats," it's certainly still worth staying connected.
I Got You Covered: Essentials of Student Groups
The "International Students at The University of Oslo" group is one of the most important ones you need to be following. Not only does the university regularly post important announcements and updates, but the International Student Reception also shares helpful information about events and resources available on campus. Overall, I appreciate that the posts going to the group are checked in regards to their content, so there aren't any out-of-context or spammy posts cluttering up my feed. It's great to have a central place to find out about a wide range of activities offered, from language exchange programs to cultural events.
That being said, I do think the group could use some more oversight rather than case-by-case filtering, as some events are getting posted several times a week. It can be overwhelming to constantly see the same events popping up, so it would be nice to have a more organized system for sharing information.
Despite this small issue, I still find the "International Students at The University of Oslo" group to be one of the most valuable resources for staying informed and connected on campus. I've been able to take advantage of a lot of opportunities that I might have missed otherwise.
Facebook’s translate option does wonders: Hva skjer på UiO Blindern? (Events at UiO Blindern)
If you're looking for a comprehensive list of events happening at the University of Oslo's Blindern campus, the "Hva skjer på UiO Blindern? (What happens at UiO Blindern)" group is a great resource. One thing I appreciate about this group is that it's quite well-filtered, preventing the page from sharing the same fate with its counterpart I will be talking about down below.
I've come across some events through this group that I wouldn't have found elsewhere, such as panels for discussion on various topics, and volunteering opportunities . While there are frequent updates, it is not a level that bothers you after some time. I like that I can rely on this group to keep me in the loop about what's happening on campus, without feeling like it's taking over my entire feed.
One tiny thing I would mention is that the majority of the posts are unfortunately in Norwegian, which partially explains the richness of content. No need to worry, though, a basic click on the translate button sorts you out just fine.
Overall, I would definitely recommend checking out "Hva skjer på UiO Blindern?" if you're a student, or anyone else interested in what's happening at the University of Oslo's Blindern campus. It's a great way to stay informed and discover new events that you might not have found otherwise. You would be exposed to some Norwegian as well, which is always a plus if you are learning the language!
What is going on here?: Eventer for studenter
When it comes to finding events for students, the "Eventer for studenter" is unfortunately not the best option. In my experience, there is almost nothing useful posted there and the platform is plagued by an abundance of unrelated posts. I've even noticed a weirdly large number of stand-up comedy shows being promoted, which is not really what I'm looking for in terms of events.
Overall, I would recommend looking elsewhere for information on student events in Oslo. While it's always good to have multiple resources at your disposal, the "Eventer for studenter" doesn't seem to be a reliable or helpful one. Instead, try checking out some of the others and save yourself some trouble.
Luck of the Draw: SiO Accommodation Groups
An ideal example: Pilestredet Park Studenthus
Pilestredet Park Studenthus is a great example of what a SiO accommodation group should look like. The group is well-moderated, and trivial posts or advertisements are not even a rare occurrence; I couldn’t find any. People use the group to discuss issues related to the accommodation, such as theft, cleaning, and communication with SiO. It's a great way to stay informed about what's happening in the housing complex and to connect with the others!
Definitely not an ideal example: Kringsja student village
Kringsja student village is an example of a SiO accommodation group that is mostly out of control. While there are occasional posts that come in handy, such as discussion about maintenance or repairs, the group is often filled with spam or irrelevant posts. Some people use the platform to constantly sell items or promote their own services, making it difficult to find relevant information.
Furthermore, there are some scammers in the group who try to take advantage of students. I have seen people asking for payments in advance for houses that don't even exist, or use stock-photos to forward the interested students to a fake email address. This is a big problem, especially for international students who may not be familiar with the rental market in Oslo. There seems to be almost no regulation when it comes to what goes through the approval of the admins, so do not expect any filtration. In other words, while Kringsja student village may, deep down, have some useful information, it's often difficult to find among the spam and scams.
Not any better: Folks of Kringsja
Kringsja groups are not faring well, do they? The Folks of Kringsja is another useless one that I would recommend to stay away from. The group is filled with posts about renting apartments (most being not even in the student village), which can be easily found in other housing groups as well. Additionally, not all the posts are related to Kringsja, which makes it difficult to find information specific to the housing complex. You can see anything ranging from a drying rack from Carl Berner to a washing machine advert coming from Solli. In sum, don’t bother at all.
Others (Carl Berner, Ullevål etc.)
The Carl Berner and Ullevål SiO accommodation groups are generally okay. There's not much to say about them, as they're not exceptional examples of good or bad ones. They're fitting for finding information about the housing complex and connecting with other students living in the same building. However, there is occasional spam or irrelevant posts.
Finding a room or apartment to rent in Oslo can be a daunting task for students, especially since SiO accommodations mentioned above are usually overloaded with the flow of students looking for a budget-friendly guaranteed housing. Many, as I, too, have thought of doing, consider looking for other options — in the private sector . Facebook is generally a good place to check out what is on the market.
I am not claiming to know all the best ones, but can assure you of this: "Rooms/apartments for rent in Oslo" is not any good. The group has many posts that are not even related to renting rooms or apartments. In fact, it seems that the group has turned into a catch-all for various kinds of advertising, which can make it difficult to find relevant information.
Furthermore, many of the posts are not even fitting for students, as they are either too expensive or not located in areas that are convenient for studying at the University of Oslo. Sure, there are occasionally some helpful posts — such as rooms for rent in shared student apartments — but it can be time-consuming to sift through the clutter and find what you're looking for. On top of that, there is quite a number of fake accounts using the group to take advantage of people looking for housing, which can be a real concern for students on a tight budget.
Overall, while the "Rooms/apartments for rent in Oslo" group might seem like a good place to start your search for housing with its high number of members, I would recommend you to keep your expectations in check. Don't rely on this group for your housing needs and be sure to do your own research through more secure channels to ensure that you find a safe, affordable, and convenient place to live while studying in Oslo.
Thrifting Online: Student Markets
Run, better run: OSLO – Students cheap market
Majority of international students will feel attracted to getting student discounts and levelled prices as Oslo is an expensive city to live in — especially if you don’t have any income. That's why I thought "OSLO – Students cheap market" would be a fitting one to include in this list when I came across the group for the first time. However, my excitement quickly turned to disappointment. The page has been swarmed by people promoting their own products or services, and there's almost nothing that's worth anything shared by other members. I've seen everything from fake job postings to shady offers for discounted products that don't actually exist. Sure, there could be something worth taking a look at on really rare occasions, but all the other things you get exposed to simply does not make it worthwhile.
If you have lost your iPad or Kindle’s charger: UiO - Pensum (salg, kjøp, og bytte)
Translated as Syllabus (sale, purchase, and exchange), this group is for all of you who insist in sticking with the traditional methods of studying. Are you fine with having few marks and signs of usage for the book you need for your module? Can you actually survive without breathing in that weirdly addicting fresh book smell? Then look no more! The group has a steady flow of people selling their old textbooks and related readings, and you may find something that interests you. Luckily for us, non-Norwegian speakers, there is a good amount of books in English as well. I would say the chances of you finding the book in the library is a lot higher, but if you want to go all in with the broke international student vibe, be a part of the group!
The title clearly stated that you were going to find the useless ones here in this list, too, and these two are here to deliver on what had been promised. I don’t know how well-off an average Norwegian student is, but I believe housing ads can never belong to a group that claims to be a students’ market. Neither do old toys a parent is selling, or plumbing services that swear to provide the best treatment to your sink.
Admittedly, I saw few, rare posts in which people were trying to sell things that a student would be interested in, like a pair of Dr. Martens boots and several second hand sci-fi novels, but I have spotted them in several other pages, too. It is likely that you can find those rare gems (which are actually not that rare nor good enough of a deal to be gems). What I am trying to say is that unless you are interested in a pair of Spider-Man sunglasses that are too small for your head (yes, I am serious), then I recommend you go treasure hunting somewhere else.
Finding a part-time job as... guess what, the ultimate student job — a waiter/waitress
The "Servitør-Kokk-Bartender" is a highly useful resource for students looking for part-time jobs in the hospitality industry. As the name suggests, the group focuses on job postings for positions such as waiter, chef, and bartender. Whether you're a seasoned professional or just starting out, you're likely to find something that suits your experience and skill set.
One thing to note is that the group can get quite competitive, with many users vying for the same positions. It's important to be diligent in checking for new postings and responding promptly if you're interested in a particular job. It's also worth mentioning that some postings may require previous experience or a specific skill set, so be sure to read the job description carefully before applying.
Another thing to keep in mind is that if you post a message looking for work, be sure to check your message requests. Many potential employers may reach out to you via private message, so it's important to check your inbox regularly to ensure that you don't miss any opportunities.
Functioning in the very same way with its bigger & more active counterpart, "Servitør, Kokk, Bartender / Waiter, Chef, Bartender jobs in Norway!" (to which I will refer as the second one as the name is way too long, sorry) is also a useful group to keep an eye on. I need to admit that I have seen most of the posts shared simultaneously in both groups, yet I feel like there are more international students/job-seekers making posts in the second one — likely thanks to the English part of the group’s name.
Overall, both groups are practical resources for students looking for part-time work in the hospitality industry. With diligence and persistence, you're sure to find something that fits your needs and schedule.