You may have already heard me complaining about the housing situation in Tromso and you may also know that I moved houses a couple of times. My last move was two weeks ago and I find this to be a good opportunity to talk about my current and former flats. Now the housing market in Tromso is extremely difficult and flats are incredibly expensive. So when I first moved here in August 2014, I was lucky to get a place in student housing. Unfortunately it wasn't the student hostel that I applied for and I didn't feel comfortable there at all so I searched for another place and moved in there in October.
As it was only a sublet, I had to move out in January again even though I felt much more homey there than in my first room. It was one of the student hostels that I had actually applied for in the first place and I would have loved to stay there but unfortunately there were no rooms available.
Luckily I found something on the private market and now live in one of those old, red, wooden houses right outside the city centre which is pretty great! I live here with two other girls and while one of them is just awfully loud and rude, the other one is great and I don't plan on moving out before I graduate. Finger's crossed that this will work out cause I have way too much stuff to ever want to move again!
Anyhow, let me present you my 3 rooms in detail:
Breivika Student Housing
This student hostel is situated on campus which literally is the only good thing about it. It's basically a container village that was built to fulfill temporary housing needs of students but it became THE hostel for international students. Basically 75% of new internationals that actually get a place in student housing land there. Over the course of the semester more and more people move out so that if you urgently need a place to live and you're a student, you can be almost sure that you could get a room there. I wouldn't advise you to move in unless you absolutely have to though.
The rooms are 10 sqm "big" with the bathroom being included so actually your bedroom is maybe 7 sqm big. The kitchens are on the first floor and you have to share it with 20 others! I don't really have to say that it's a mess in there, do I? Plus food is stolen all the time and that is something you really want to avoid if you consider the food prices in Norway. Because of the structure of the building it also is always loud. Someone walking down the hallway feels like an earthquake and if you're unlucky and live on ground floor, you may hear everything your neighbour upstairs does.
I was just glad to get the hell out of there!
Prestvannet Student Housing
I found a sublet at Prestvannet Student Housing which is situated right next to the lake, on top of Tromso island. It's 5 min to the city centre by bus and, unlike Breivika, there's a supermarket close by. The surroundings are just beautiful. You can hike around the lake and watch the Northern Lights. There also is a direct bus to the airport which is awesome if you're a student commuting between two countries (like me basically).
The rooms are really big - 14 sqm - which makes them the biggest rooms you can find in student housing in Tromso. You have your own bathroom too and share the kitchen with only 9 other people. I may have only been extremely lucky but the people on my floor were great and the kitchen was almost always clean! Nobody ever stole my food and I just absolutely felt comfortable there. I can recommend Prestvannet to everyone however as it's one of the most popular hostels, only a handful students get a room there each year.
Girl's Flatshare in the City Centre
So I now live right outside the city centre with two other girls in an old wooden house. I of course pay much more for it than I payed for student housing but then again, I don't have to share the kitchen with a crazy amount of people anymore and can walk whenever I want to go to the centre.
We have the whole upper floor to ourselves, a bathroom that actually has a window and tiles for a change and a kitchen from which you can see the Arctic Cathedral and the cable car! It's absolutely great and apart from a few things that could be better (like that one loud roommate that likes to do the dishes at midnight) I can imagine to stay here for the rest of my studies in Tromso. Either way, I don't feel like moving my crazy amount of stuff again, especially because I don't have a car. When I moved in, we were 5 people carrying my suitcases and moving boxes from Prestvannet to the bus stop and then up the hill to my house. Thanks again to everyone who was involved - I promise you, you don't have to help me move again!
I'm certainly not one of those lifestyle bloggers who first clean their apartments for hours and then take 1000 pictures to make their flat look as beautiful as possible so sorry for posting "normal" pictures.....
I am certainly glad that this moving odyssey is now over and I can only advise everyone who considers moving to Tromso to be patient and maybe even move into a crappy place temporarily if that means that you can move into a better place sometime after. The best places to search for a place on the private market though are Finn, Housing Anywhere and UiT.
NOTE: IF YOU WANT TO READ AN UPDATED GUIDE ON HOW TO FIND HOUSING IN TROMSO, CLICK HERE!