Famous for its outdoor nature and Northern Lights, Norway has more to offer than just beautiful landscapes. Find out what it's like to study in this Scandinavian country...
Free tuition for all students, including international postgraduates, makes Norway an attractive prospect when it comes to further study.
While the cost of living may be high, experiences are rich; as a student in Norway you'll never be short of things to do. If you feel at home in nature outdoor activities can be discovered within the many forests, mountains, glaciers and costal landscapes.
If you're more of an urban dweller you can enjoy cultural life in major cities such as Oslo and Bergen by taking advantage of coffee bars, restaurants and music clubs.
A fun fact: Norwegian's are the world's leading consumers of coffee and frozen pizza - perfect for those all-night study sessions.
The Norwegian education system
Norway's higher education institutions include:
- universities - seven in total. These include the University of Oslo, the University of Bergen, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and the University of Tromsø;
- specialised university institutions - of which there are nine;
- university colleges - offer Bachelors courses in subjects such as engineering, nursing and social work. Some offer Masters degrees while a few are accredited to award PhDs;
- two national colleges of the arts;
- numerous private institutions.
Apart from some private university colleges all higher education institutions in Norway are state-run and comply with terms of the Bologna process.
Courses offered include three-year Bachelors, two-year Masters and three-year Doctoral degrees.
A selection of Masters programmes are taught in English but the primary teaching language is Norwegian. Learning the language either before you go or while you're there will not only help when settling in, but also prove useful in your studies. Once you've got to grips with this Scandinavian language you'll be able to communicate with people in Sweden and Denmark too.
You can study in Norway via exchange programmes, agreements through institutions or by arranging your study, stay and finances independently.
Each institution will have its own specific application/admission requirements depending on the particular course you choose. Application deadlines for international students usually fall between December and March but make sure you check with your individual institution.
For entry onto an undergraduate degree you need to have completed secondary education equivalent to the exams held at the end of Norwegian secondary education.
To be admitted onto a postgraduate programme an undergraduate degree is needed or a three-year equivalent course.
International students who want to know whether their foreign qualifications are recognised by institutions can find out more using the GSU-list. This is country-specific information, which is accessible at NOKUT.
The majority of Norwegian universities and colleges are publicly funded and as a rule do not charge tuition fees. This applies to foreign students, no matter what country you come from and goes across all levels of education, from undergraduate through to PhD programmes.
Each semester students will have to pay a fee of 300 - 600 Norwegian Kroner (NOK), however this fee grants you:
- membership to the local welfare student organisation;
- health services, counselling and sports facilities;
- a student card that allows you cheaper travel fares;
- eligibility for exams.
Funding to study in Norway
Many students are eligible for financial support and can receive funding for a full degree or a specified number of terms through various different schemes, fellowships and student loans. The international office of your UK institution should be able to help you with queries regarding funding options at Norwegian universities.
For a list of available scholarships see Study in Norway.
You will need to consider additional costs such as living expenses. The cost of living in Norway is high and costs will increase in cities such as Oslo and Bergen. Living costs in rural areas of the country will be considerably less.
Norwegian exchanges and placements
Students attending a university in the UK can take part in the European Union's (EU) education, training and youth support programme Erasmus+. The scheme replaces its predecessor 'Erasmus' and offers study, training, work experience and voluntary placements to millions of young people, students and adults. Opportunities last from three months to one academic year.
Your university must have a formal agreement with a partner university in another EU country. Check that your university is involved in the programme and offers the Erasmus+ scheme in your subject.
Financial support is available through the Erasmus+ initiative to any UK public, private or not-for-profit organisation actively involved in education and training.
It isn't always necessary to speak the language of your host country and you can arrange intensive language courses before you go. Speak to the Erasmus+ coordinator at your university about available opportunities.
EU citizens are permitted to live in any EU country while studying as long as they:
- are studying for more than three months;
- are enrolled at an approved university/other educational institution;
- have sufficient income (from any source) to live without needing income support;
- have comprehensive health insurance cover.
Some countries require you to register with the local authority after three months. Find out how to register at Europa.
All students who plan to stay in Norway for longer than three months will need a student residence permit. For more information see Study in Norway.