Study Abroad in Norway: The Complete Guide for Students

With its natural beauty, friendly culture and high quality of life, it’s little surprise why many international students are attracted to this Scandinavian destination. Located in Northern Europe, Norway is a stunning country with a standing as one of the safest and happiest countries in the world. With a plethora of opportunities in higher education, you can enjoy a lively and diverse student life filled with cultural and social activities. 

Norway is home to some of the world’s top universities and research institutions, giving international students access to cutting-edge research and academic resources. The Nordic model is the basis for Norway’s education system, which prioritizes equal opportunities and social justice.

The country’s scenery is undoubtedly one of the highlights of living and studying here. You will find stunning landscapes of fjords, mountains, glaciers, and northern lights, which also makes the country a popular destination for outdoor activity enthusiasts who can enjoy hiking, skiing, and camping. 

Why Study in Norway? 

Norway is a fantastic destination for study abroad due to its high-quality university education, cultural experiences, and job prospects. Higher education in Norway is highly respected and is known for its academic rigor and research-based teaching, making it a valuable investment for international students.

International students who choose to study in Norway can obtain a student visa and enjoy the benefits of living and studying in one of the happiest and safest countries in the world.Photo of Norway

Some universities in Norway offer ​​tuition-free education to all students, including those from outside the EU/EEA area. However, you may be required to pay a small semester fee to cover administrative costs, student welfare services, and membership in student organizations. Note that some specialized programs may have higher tuition fees. Nonetheless, Norway’s higher education system is considered one of the most affordable in Europe, and it offers a diverse number of degree programs to suit your career aspirations. There are several scholarships and funding opportunities available to support your tuition fees and living expenses, making it an attractive and affordable option.

A great place for employment opportunities, Norway has a strong and growing economy, with a high demand for skilled professionals. As an international student, you may have the opportunity to work part-time or full-time during your studies, and Norway also offers post-graduation work permit options for students who wish to stay and work in the country.

Oslo Metropolitan University is a state university in Oslo and Akershus in Norway.
Oslo Metropolitan University is a state university in Oslo and Akershus in Norway.

Education System

Norway’s education system is based on the Bologna Process, which is a set of agreements between European countries designed to create a harmonized and standardized higher education system across Europe. This means that Norwegian universities offer degree programs that are comparable in quality and structure to those offered in other European countries, which makes it easier to transfer credits and continue your studies elsewhere in Europe if they wish to do so. Norway also incorporates elements of the Nordic model, which emphasizes equal access to education and a strong focus on research and innovation.

There are three levels of study in Norway: undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral. Undergraduate programs typically take three years to complete, while graduate programs take two years. Doctoral programs take an average of three to four years to complete.

The degree programs offered in the country are varied and cover a wide range of disciplines, including arts and humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, engineering, and medicine. The academic requirements for these programs can be challenging, with admission based on academic performance, entrance exams, or personal statements.

The curriculum in Norway is designed to encourage independent thinking and critical analysis, with a focus on practical learning and research-based teaching. The grading system is based on a scale of A to F, with A being the highest grade and F being a failing grade. However, it is important to note that Norwegian universities also use the ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) to assess academic progress and transfer credits between universities in Europe.

Admissions Process & Requirements

The application process for international students seeking admission to universities in Norway often includes a high standard of admissions requirements that must be met. Application deadlines vary depending on the institution and the program you are applying to. It is important to note that some programs have specific deadlines and may require additional documents, such as portfolios, writing samples, or letters of recommendation.

While it varies between programs and universities, the required documents for admission to Norwegian universities might include:

  • academic transcripts
  • standardized language proficiency test scores, or proof of English proficiency
  • essays
  • specific tests or exams, such as the GMAT or GRE

Language proficiency requirements are an important aspect for international students. Most universities in Norway require you to demonstrate a high level of proficiency in the language of instruction, which is typically Norwegian or English. 

The Arctic University of Norway

Tuition Fees & Scholarships

While tuition fees for universities in Norway can be relatively high, many institutions offer a range of scholarships and financial aid options for international students. Scholarships are awarded based on academic achievement, financial need, or other criteria.

The exact tuition costs for international students in Norway vary depending on the institution and the program. In general, tuition fees for international students are higher than for Norwegian citizens or EU/EEA students. However, some programs may offer reduced tuition rates or scholarships specifically for international students.

There are also funding opportunities available from various sources, such as private foundations, government agencies, and non-profit organizations. These opportunities can provide financial assistance to help cover tuition costs, living expenses, and other related expenses.

Student Lifestyle & Culture

Norway offers a vibrant and diverse student community with a unique lifestyle and culture. As an international student, there are several options for housing accommodation to suit different needs, preferences, and budgets. These include student dormitories, apartments, and shared houses.

Transportation in Norway is reliable and efficient, with an extensive network of buses, trams, and trains. Discounted fares and passes for students are often available through the various transportation companies. Many students also choose to cycle or walk to campus.

There are plenty of social activities and cultural experiences to be found in Norway. The student community is welcoming and inclusive, with many clubs and organizations catering to a range of interests, from sports to arts and culture. You can participate in various events and activities organized by the university or the city, such as concerts, festivals, and outdoor activities.

Norway’s unique culture offers you a chance to experience a different way of life. The country is known for its stunning natural beauty, outdoor activities, and focus on sustainability. The culture is also diverse and inclusive, with a strong commitment to gender equality, LGBTQ+ rights, and multiculturalism.

Nord University is committed to delivering relevant educational programmes and research, with a focus on blue and green growth, innovation and entrepreneurship, and welfare, health and education.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Norway can be relatively high, particularly in major cities like Oslo and Bergen. However, you can take advantage of various discounts and student rates to help manage expenses.

  • Accommodation costs:
    • Student housing: 3,000 – 6,000 NOK per month
    • Private apartments: 8,000 – 15,000 NOK per month
  • Food costs: 3,000 – 5,000 NOK per month
    • A restaurant meal: 150-200 NOK
  • Transportation costs: 500 – 1,500 NOK per month
  • Health insurance: 500 – 1,500 NOK per month
  • Personal expenses (clothing, entertainment, personal care): 2,000 – 4,000 NOK per month
  • Books and supplies: 2,000 – 4,000 NOK per semester

Visas & Immigration

As an international student who plans to study in Norway, you will need to apply for a student visa before entering the country. Students from countries outside the EU/EEA and Switzerland are required to have a student visa to study in Norway for more than 90 days. The visa application process can take several weeks, so it’s important to plan ahead and submit the application as soon as possible.

To apply for a student visa, you need to provide:

  • proof of admission to a recognized educational institution
  • proof of sufficient financial resources to cover living expenses
  • proof of valid health insurance
  • documentation of your identity.

Once you arrive in Norway, you must also register with the police and apply for a residence permit within seven days of arrival. This permit allows you to stay in Norway for the duration of their studies.

You may also be eligible for a work permit, which allows you to work part-time while studying. The requirements are to have a valid residence permit and be enrolled in a full-time degree program. The work permit allows you to work up to 20 hours per week during the academic year and full-time during holidays.

University of Bergen is a research-intensive state university located in Bergen. It is one of Norway’s leading universities in many natural sciences, including marine research and climate research.

Job Prospects & Opportunities

Norway offers excellent job prospects and employment opportunities for international students. Graduates from recognized universities in Norway are in high demand and can expect to find employment in a variety of industries, including technology, finance, healthcare, and engineering.

If you wish to work in Norway after graduation, you must apply for a work permit, which is issued based on your skills and qualifications. The permit will give you the ability to work full-time in Norway for up to six months while you search for permanent employment.

Norway’s economy is strong and growing, with a focus on innovation and sustainability. This has created a high demand for skilled workers in many industries, particularly in the technology sector. Many students choose to study in fields related to technology or sustainability, as these industries offer excellent career opportunities in Norway and around the world.

Attractions & Activities

Norway offers a wealth of attractions and activities that you can enjoy during their time studying abroad. From natural wonders to cultural events, there is something for everyone to explore and experience.

One of the most popular attractions in Norway is the country’s jaw-dropping natural scenery, including fjords, dramatic mountainscapes, and Northern Lights. It is truly is a nature lover’s paradise. We recommend trying out activities like hiking, skiing, and kayaking to fully appreciate the country’s beauty. 

When living and studying in Norway, you will be surrounded by culture, which can be experienced through its museums, galleries, and festivals. Take some time to visit The Viking Ship Museum, the Munch Museum, and the Oslo Opera House. You can also take part in traditional activities like bunad-making or sami reindeer sledding.

For those looking for a taste of local life, Norway offers plenty of opportunities for authentic experiences. From visiting local markets and cafes to exploring the architecture and design scene, take the chance to immerse yourself in Norwegian culture and connect with the local community.

Health & Safety 

The health and safety of international students is a top priority in Norway. The country has a comprehensive healthcare system that provides high-quality medical care to all residents, including international students. You can access medical services through public hospitals or private clinics, and emergency services are available 24/7.

It is important to have health insurance to cover any medical expenses you incur while studying abroad in Norway. If you’re from outside the European Union/European Economic Area, you are required to have comprehensive health insurance coverage for the duration of your stay in Norway. Those from EU/EEA countries can use their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to access medical care in Norway.

In addition to healthcare, Norway is also a safe country with low crime rates. However, be sure to still take precautions to ensure your personal safety. We recommend that you familiarize themselves with local laws and customs, and always keep your personal belongings secure. In case of emergencies, contact the police or emergency services by dialing 112.

Norwegian University of Life Sciences
Norwegian University of Life Sciences is a public university located in Ås. NMBU’s mission is to contribute to the well-being of the planet.


Studying abroad in Norway is an excellent opportunity to experience a high-quality education system and a unique cultural environment. Norway is known for its outstanding universities, with a strong emphasis on research and innovation. The country also offers a wide range of degree programs in various fields, providing students with diverse education opportunities.

If you choose to study abroad in Norway, you will have access to a supportive community and various resources to help you succeed in your academic and personal endeavors. Additionally, the country has a high standard of living and is known for its safe and welcoming environment, making it an ideal destination. 

We hope this guide has provided you with valuable insights into studying abroad in Norway. We encourage you to consider this beautiful country as your destination for international education. Browse the Global Admissions’ platform to find and apply to a program at a university in Norway. You can also book a free call with one of our student advisors to get started. 

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