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Arrival in Longyearbyen

Getting to Longyearbyen

When you have accepted a course of study at UNIS, you should arrive on, or a few days before the deadline specified in the acceptance letter.

You can use your local travel agency or the internet when booking the flight. There are two airline carriers that service Svalbard: Scandinavian Airlines (SAS): and Norwegian: The travelling time is about 1,5 hours with plane from Tromsø and about 4 hours from Oslo.

Important: Identity control of travellers to and from Svalbard

The identity of all travellers to Svalbard will be checked both upon entry and departure.

This applies to both Norwegian citizens and foreign nationals (i.e. both individuals covered by the EEA agreement or the EFTA convention and third country nationals).

Passports, or national identity cards, satisfy Schengen regulation requirements for identity verification. Norwegian citizens can also prove their identities by presenting driver's licenses issued after 1998, bank-issued identity cards, or the Norwegian Armed Forces' identity card.

Visa for foreign students
No visa is required for staying on Svalbard. If you are an international student from outside the European Union and travelling to Svalbard through Norway, you are required to obtain a transit visa if citizens of your country need a visa to go to Norway. Please see the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration’s webpage for more information about visa regulations: 

More important public information about coming to Norway can be found here:  


More important public information about coming to Svalbard can be found here:


Information for foreign citizens

The Governor of Svalbard ("Sysselmannen") has produced an information pamphlet with useful information for foreign citizens living in Longyearbyen. The pamphlet contains basic information about important rights and obligations of everyone living on Svalbard. It is translated into English, Thai and Russian, and we recommend you read through this before your arrival. The pamphlet can be downloaded as PdF on the Governor's webpage:


Arrival in Longyearbyen
To get from the airport to the student housing you have to take the airport shuttle bus (costs approx. NOK 60) or a taxi.

Please note: if you arrive in Longyearbyen on a Sunday, the grocery shop is open but has limited opening hours: 15:00-18:00 (3 PM-6 PM). Read more about Longyearbyen here.

All new students will receive an envelope, in the UNIS reception, with information about UNIS and Longyearbyen. This envelope will also contain the username and password for the UNIS e-mail account.

The first days at UNIS
Your first days at UNIS will vary depending on what course you are enrolled in. All new students will participate in a safety course during the first few days. Some students may also leave on excursions relatively soon after the safety course. Other students may have to wait a couple of days before the regular classes begin.

You may use this time to familiarize yourself with Longyearbyen. We would like to emphasize that students should not take any trips outside the town unarmed.

Your address in Longyearbyen
If you will be living at the student accommodation in Nybyen, your postal adress will be: Your name, P.O. Box 394, N-9171 Longyearbyen, Norway.

If you live in private accommodation you will have to contact the Longyearbyen Post Office (+47 79 02 39 90), tell them that you are a UNIS student and that you want a post office box.

Arrangements for post office box can also be organized after your arrival.

Please also see:




Photo: Eva Therese Jenssen
The Longyearbyen harbour bathing in midnight sun in June. (Photo: Eva Therese Jenssen).

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Things of interest

Find information about how to become a student at UNIS

Svalbard Integrated Arctic Earth Observing System
Centre of Excellence in Biology Education

20 MARCH 2015

(Aurora station)


Realtime weather data and downloadable historical data.



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The University Centre in Svalbard | Pb. 156 | 9171 Longyearbyen, Norway | Tel: +47 79 02 33 00 - Fax: +47 79 02 33 01| Org. 985 204 454 |