Norway offers a unique student experience and Norwegian institutions of higher education welcome applications sent by qualified students from all over the world. Internationalisation is a priority within all sectors of the Norwegian education system. Universities and university colleges are constantly working to facilitate for international students.
Here are eight reasons why you should study in Norway:
With a wide range of high quality courses and great flexibility, Norwegian institutions prove to be an ideal study destination. From vocational subjects to postgraduate level there are plenty of opportunities for both exchange students and degree seeking students to fulfil their ambitions.
You will also benefit from the informal atmosphere at Norwegian universities and university colleges, where teachers are easily approachable and classes often takes place in small groups. In many cases the students can benefit from taking part in exciting research projects coordinated by the professors.
The «open-door» policy of professors, teachers and administrative staff at Norwegian institutions is well known. They are both available and approachable for the students in order to arrange for maximum learning outcome for their students.
At graduate level the students are expected and encouraged to question both the professors' teaching and existing theories within their learning field. Critical thinking and the ability to approach a problem in different ways are valued skills in the Norwegian «classroom».
This learning tradition might be unfamiliar to some international students, but is something that often is highlighted as an important asset to the Norwegian education. This is often referred to by many students as one of their best experiences when looking back at the time as a student in Norway.
In most cases the Master's programmes offered at Norwegian institutions go over 2 years. This allows students to work on their thesis for a whole year, which means that the students get the chance to go deeper into their field of study.
A number of degree programmes and courses are taught in English. Non-native English speaking students will see that their English skills improve during their studies in Norway, while native English speaking students will not get bored. A high level of English proficiency in the society in general makes it easy to both study and live in Norway.
The majority of Norwegian higher education institutions are publicly funded and owned. The Norwegian government considers access to top quality higher education for all to be an important part of the Norwegian society and grant the higher education sector large resources. Thus, in the case of most universities, international students don't pay tuition fees when studying.
Make sure to check with the university if they require tuition fees before applying. You should also take into consideration that Norway is a high-cost country and international students should expect to provide a certain level of subsistence to cover their living expenses.
Norway is a modern society. Equality is a value deeply rooted in the Norwegian society and is rooted in both legislation and tradition. On campus students benefit from high technological standards and services, modern facilities and equipment, as well as innovative teaching. Norway is also seen as a safe society – you can feel secure almost wherever you are.
In our northern corner of the world you can combine your studies with exciting outdoor activities, both winter and summer. You can see the Aurora Borealis ("Northern lights"), experience the midnight sun, fjords and mountains.
Challenge yourself with skiing, white water rafting or mountain climbing. Or simply enjoy the fresh air, clean water and lots and lots of space. As a student in Norway you will never be short of possibilities for unique nature experiences.
Completion of secondary education at advanced level, equivalent to passing the exam at the end of Norwegian high-school, is the general basic requirement for entry to Norwegian universities and university colleges. For students from some countries at least one year of completed studies at the university level is required in addition.
Applicants for Masters programmes have normally obtained an undergraduate/Bachelor's degree or equivalent of at least 3 years' duration. The degree must include courses equal to at least 1–1/2 years of full-time studies in a subject relevant to that of the programme applied for.
In Norway, all applications for English taught Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes are processed by the institutions themselves. This means that both academic and language requirements may vary between institutions and even between study programmes within the same institution.
See a list of all Bachelor's and Master's programmes taught in English at Norwegian higher education institutions here.
For courses where the language of instruction is English all applicants should expect to document their language skills according to the requirements set by the institutions. Beware that different English tests and scores may be required by different institutions.
For courses where the language of instruction is Norwegian, proficiency in the Norwegian language is required and must be documented.
Universities accept these official English exams:
What students say:
Read more testimonials from international students in Norway here.
Health services in Norway are of high standards. As a student in Norway, you are ensured professional medical treatment no matter which part of the country you are living in. In most cases, the treatment is free of charge if certain prerequisites are met. These prerequisites vary depending on your current nationality and length of stay in Norway.
The Norwegian government aims to increase total investments in research. Higher general R&D intensity is important for several reasons, such as tackling global challenges, i.e. related to climate change and the environment maintaining stable and well-functioning public services strengthening the innovation capacity of Norwegian society and the international competitiveness of Norwegian companies.
Norway aims to occupy a strong position internationally in terms of new technology, skills and knowledge. In several areas Norway can offer unique competence and research opportunities. Our strengths are largely related to the country’s geography, economic specialisation patterns and institutional characteristics.
In many cases the students can benefit of taking part in exciting research projects coordinated by the professors.
Many international students hold part-time jobs when studying in Norway. It is a good way to learn and practice your Norwegian and increase your budget while studying. You should, however, be aware that there are restrictions on how much you can work when being a full-time student.
Generally, a student residence permit does not cover the right to take employment in Norway. However, if you are granted a study permit, you are automatically also granted permission to work part-time. Beware that Non-EU/EEA students can only work 20 hours per week during their first year of study.
A good advice is to learn Norwegian as soon as possible. This will widen your options when it comes to getting part-time work.
Read more about holding part-time work as an international student in Norway here.
Let's take a closer look at tuition and living expenses in Norway:
In terms of tuition fees, Norway is the perfect study destination. Public universities don't charge any tuition fees to international students, regardless of their nationality. Students only need to cover the student union fee, which is around 30–60 EUR per semester.
Things are different at private universities, where tuition ranges between 7,000–19,000 EUR per academic year.
On average, international students need between 800 and 1,400 EUR to cover their monthly living costs in Norway. Cities like Oslo or Bergen are the most expensive.
Here's a breakdown of living expenses in Norway:
social events and entertainment: 50–120 EUR/month
As a student in Norway you will never lack fun experiences. No matter what your preferences are, you should be able to find something of interest beyond books and classes. The freedom of nature is never far away, even in the major cities. If you are more urban-oriented, many cities have a vibrant cultural life with coffee bars and music clubs.
Your local student welfare organisation can offer a variety of services, from on campus health services to sports activities. We highly recommend to make use of their services - after all they are there for you.
When in Norway you should not miss the opportunity to experience other areas of our diverse country than where you study. Despite the geography and long distances, most places are accessible by public transport. Of course, if you prefer solitude and to find your own personal sanctuary, the wilderness is never far away.
Read more about living in Norway here.
Most students who plan to stay in Norway for more than three months will need a student residence permit. Standard visitor visas are only issued for up to 90 days and will not cover stays beyond this period.
The requirements may vary based on the applicant's nationality, we therefore urge you to carefully study the regulations that apply to you in order to avoid problems and delays during the application process. An obvious precondition for applying for at student residence permit is that you have been admitted to a Norwegian university or university college.
Please note that a student residence permit to Norway is normally granted under the precondition that the student will return to his/her country of legal permanent residence upon completion of the studies.
Read more about how to obtain a student residence permit here.
Norway is a constitutional monarchy located in Northern Europe with borders to Sweden, Finland and Russia. Norway is one of the three Scandinavian countries. With a population of just over 5 million people Norway is not among the most crowded places on the planet. We very much enjoy the space and our diverse nature, and visitors are often astonished by Norwegians' active way of life. So don't be surprised if your Norwegian friends insist on going hiking, even if the weather maybe is more suitable for staying indoors in your opinion.
Explore the unknown and challenge your own limits - the people of Norway has never been afraid of going their own ways. A thousand years ago the Vikings sailed their ships south to the Mediterranean, east to the Black Sea and all the way west to Greenland, and many historians claim they even made it to New Foundland in North America. Today, Norway is a modern country where our explorative mindset is geared towards technology, innovation and developing a knowledge-based society.
Thriving at the top of Europe
Norway is a European country even though we are not part of the European Union (EU). Through the EEA-agreement we are fully integrated with the large European community with regards to everything from trade and economy to education and research. And as a participant in the Schengen agreement travel to and from Norway is easy for people with legal residency in another Schengen country. For years the United Nations (UN) has ranked Norway as having the highest standard of living in the world. This annual ranking is based largely on average levels of education and income, combined with expected length of lifetime, but also factors like human rights and cultural freedom. Norway scores well for its high literacy rate in addition to educational levels and material wealth.
Cold country? Warm people!
Admittedly Norway is not among the warmest of countries, but in the summertime we do enjoy periods with warm weather, and due to the Gulf Stream the coastal areas are rather mild in the winter time. Nevertheless, you should bring warm clothing when visiting Norway!
Norwegians have a reputation of being somewhat introvert and difficult to get to know. But this should just be perceived as a first impression misunderstanding. Norwegians are generally both welcoming and open-minded towards foreigners. If we don't take the first step, don't be afraid to approach us for a conversation. We have a direct way of communicating and often give our opinions straight.
Recent international policies promote international university cooperation and student exchange between countries worldwide. High-quality study and PhD degrees are made more available to students in order to create a global educational network, achievable through student and staff mobility. Career and research oriented programmes support international student development.
University cooperation enables students study worldwide, for instance in Australia, Asia, Europe and the United States and provides ways of recognizing previous degrees. Different study options offer appropriate alternatives to students, depending on their preferred mode of study.
Many study programmes in Australia, Asia, Europe and North America are English-taught. The most popular international student destinations include the following countries: Australia, Belgium, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, the United States, and more. However, these are not the only countries offering English-taught education. The rest of the world is full of endless study choices, from highly ranked to smaller, more specialized, universities.
If you want further education beyond the undergraduate level or if you want more personal development or a career in academia, you could obtain a PhD degree. PhD degrees are postgraduate programmes that usually follow a Master's, MPhil or MRes, but there might be additional requirements depending on the university. Students are required to do their own research in a chosen topic. With the help of a supervisor, you develop knowledge and analytical skills in a specific or multidisciplinary field and you carry out independent research. The duration of a PhD degree differs per country and institution. Sometimes your own research is accompanied by work for the department such as giving seminars or small group teaching.
PhD students are required to study on campus under close supervision, but there are universities that accept students enrolled into a part-time distance education PhD degree. Studying on campus can also be full-time as well as part-time, in which case the part-time variant is normally twice as long as the full-time study.
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