On these pages you will find useful information about travel to Svalbard, your first days at UNIS, student housing and expenses, the UNIS Student Council, and information about the Svalbard archipelago and life in Longyearbyen.

Longyearbyen houses. Photo: Thor Inge Vollan/UNIS
Longyearbyen houses. Photo: Thor Inge Vollan/UNIS

Arrival in 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 fly to Svalbard: Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) and Norwegian. The travelling time is about 1.5 hours with plane from Tromsø and about 3 hours from Oslo (if direct flight).

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Arrival in Longyearbyen
Northern lights over Nybyen, Longyearbyen. (Photo: Aki Vähä).
Northern lights over Nybyen, Longyearbyen. Photo: Aki Vähä

Housing, expenses and welfare

All students admitted to UNIS courses (or having a valid agreement as “guest bachelor/master/PhD student” at UNIS) may apply for housing.

The student housing facilities in Longyearbyen are owned and administered by The Arctic Student Welfare Organisation (Samskipnaden). Please note that when housing applications are considered, students admitted to courses at UNIS are given priority ahead of guest master students, guest PhD-students and guest bachelor students at UNIS (in listed order).

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Housing and expenses
Arctic technology fieldwork in Svea, March 2016. Photo: Evegenii Salganik
Arctic technology fieldwork in Svea, March 2016. Photo: Evegenii Salganik

UNIS Student Council

The student council plays an essential role at UNIS and is an opportunity for students to become further involved during their stay. It is a group of thirteen different students who are elected by their fellow students and are responsible for the student living activities such as influencing UNIS politics, social gatherings, student welfare equipment and more.

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UNIS Student Council
Longyearbyen seen from Platåberget. Photo: Njål Gulbrandsen
Longyearbyen seen from Platåberget. Photo: Njål Gulbrandsen

About Svalbard

Svalbard is an archipelago in the High Arctic, situated between 74º and 81ºN and 10º and 35ºE. The seven large and many small islands cover a total area of some 63 000 sq.km. Glaciers cover about 60% of the land.

There are two main communities in Svalbard: Longyearbyen (Norwegian) with approximately 2100 inhabitants; and Barentsburg (Russian) with a total of about 450 inhabitants. There are also smaller settlements in Ny-Ålesund, Svea and Hornsund.

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About Svalbard