Svalbard host the northernmost university, church and brewery and it is one of the few places in the world where anyone can settle down. That is because citizens of any country are welcome to settle in Svalbard without a visa as long as they have a job and a place to live. Many of the foreign citizens are engaged in the various research communities spread over the islands. Ny-Ålesund
Research Station has the most international research community. Researcher Institutions from 10 different countries like China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Korea and the United Kingdom have permanent research infrastructure in the settlement and researcher from many other nations also out research activities in the Ny-Ålesund area each year. Climate and environmental studies make up the largest share of Ny-Ålesund research.
The Polish Polar Station in Hornsund
has been permanently manned by researchers from the Polish Academy of Sciences since 1978. The station collects data for forecasting and climatological purposes. The Hornsund weather station works as part of the Norwegian weather station network.
is the second-largest settlement in Svalbard with about 500 inhabitants. The settlement is almost entirely made up of ethnic Russians and Ukrainians and is a hub for Russian research in Svalbard.Longyearbyen
is the administrative center of Svalbard. It houses the two most prominent research institutions in Svalbard: The University Center in Svalbard (UNIS) and the Norwegian Polar Institute. Some international research institutions have offices there, and you will also find the offices of Svalbard Science Forum and SIOS in the building. The Czech Arctic Research Station is a close neighbour and has a field station in Billefjorden. The EISCAT Svalbard Radar, run by institutions from China, Finland, Japan, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, is located on the outskirts of Longyearbyen.
is an abandoned Russian coal mining settlement in Svalbard. The settlement was closed in 1998 and has since remained largely abandoned with most of its infrastructure and buildings still in place. The cold climate has preserved much of what has been left behind and have made it a popular tourist attraction.
Svea was the third largest settlement in Svalbard after Longyearbyen and Barentsburg with around 300 mining workers. The Svea coal mine closed in 2017 and Svea has now no permanent inhabitants.