Studying in Norway – fall in love with Northern Europe!

Studying in Norway is an unforgettable experience: you will receive a world-class education in what many people consider to be the most beautiful country in the world. Norway has 50,000 islands and is two-thirds mountainous, and has been voted the World’s Most Democratic country since 2010. Its citizens have the fourth highest income per capita, globally, and a culture which appreciates living in harmony with the natural world, sustainability and equality.

Studying in Norway, the home of Grieg, Ibsen and Munch, is immersing yourself in a landscape of spruce and pine forests – the Norwegian government sends London a magnificent Christmas tree to erect in Trafalgar Square every year. Outside your lectures, you will enjoy skiing and snowboarding, white-water rafting and being pulled across white frozen lakes by teams of huskies. If you are less extreme sport-orientated, you can attend the many festivals where Norwegians celebrate their Viking culture, or simply go whale watching or travel into the Arctic circle and have close encounters with polar bears, walruses, reindeer, puffins and silver foxes.

Studying in Norway - Courses taught in English

As is so often the case, you have a far broader choice of courses in English at Master’s level than at undergraduate level. Here is a list of bachelor’s degrees you can take in Norway, which are taught entirely in English:

Nord University3D art, Animation and VFX; Circumpolar and Nordic studies; English
University of AgderAcademic e-sports
Østfold University CollegeActing
UiT, Arctic University of NorwayArctic Adventure Tourism
University of AgderEnglish, Global Development Studies, Music Performance
Nord UniversityBiology
Norwegian Business School *Business administration; Data Science
Norwegian University of Life SciencesInternational Environment and Development studies
MF Norwegian School of Theology, Religion and Society**Theology, religion and society

*Private institution with tuition fees from 9,000-19,000 euros per year, depending on level and qualification.

** Private institution with very reasonable tuition fees of around 1000 euros a year.

At Master’s level, there are just under 300 courses taught in English, spanning a huge number of fields, including:

  • Wind energy
  • Visual anthropology
  • Urban ecological planning
  • Sustainable manufacturing
  • Sustainable architecture
  • Stochastic modelling
  • Quantitative finance
  • Risk analysis
  • Plant sciences
  • Product and system design
  • Peace and Conflict studies
  • Oceanography
  • Neurosciences
  • Micro and nano systems
  • Global health
  • Spanish and Latin American studies
  • Fine Art
  • Marine technology…etc.

Norwegian universities - An overview and fees

In spite of the fact that Norway is not a member of the EU – and is unlikely to join in the near future, given that 74 per cent of Norwegians said that they would vote NO if a referendum on the subject was held – studying in Norway is free, for domestic AND international students alike. Yes, no tuition fees!

Norway has seven accredited traditional public research universities, nine specialised institutions and over 24 university colleges and colleges of Arts. Norway’s population of five million tends to live in the south of the country, which is where most institutions of higher education are also located. The one exception to this rule is UiT, The Arctic University, the northernmost university in the world, with campuses in Tromsø, Alta, Narvik  and Harstad, which offers a wide-ranging number of classic academic  courses, from social sciences to technology.

If you are looking for somewhere warmer to study in Norway, then the modern and relatively young University of Agder is probably a wiser choice. Its two campuses in Kristiansand and Grimstad are home to 13,000 students who are spread across six faculties. The university  is famed for its established open-door policy, so it easy for students to consult and talk to their lecturers and professors.

Nord University is of a comparable size, with 11,000 students, and has an international focus, and a particular interest in green and blue issues. Nord  also offers joint degrees with universities in Slovakia, Russia and the Ukraine, in the spirit of academic collaboration and cooperative research.

Østfold University College also offers warmer climes and a small student body of around 7000. There are two campuses, one located in Halden, for business, social sciences, foreign languages, computer science and education, the other in Fredrikstad, for engineering, health and social studies, and theatre. Students pay a small administration fee of 60 euros per term, but  tuition is free. Oslo, the capital, is 96 kilometres away and can be reached by train in just over an hour, for approximately 16 euros.

The Western Norway University of Applied Sciences is situated on the coast, its five campuses tucked between mountains and fjords. The university has a practical, working life focus and, like all universities of applied sciences, expects students to become involved in teamwork, projects and independent work.

The Norwegian University of Life Sciences runs 64 programmes in seven faculties. It focusses on finding innovative approaches to issues associated with health, food, animal welfare, land and resource management, sustainability, the climate and the environment. Located not far from Oslo, it has a student community of 5,000 and a long history of research excellence, dating back to 1859.

The second-largest business school in Europe, the Norwegian Business School has Triple Crown accreditation – which is only  achieved by 1 per cent of all global business schools – and strong links with the business world. It offers its 20,000 students, from 124 different countries, the opportunity to be part of a vibrant community and to gain a qualification in the Financial Times’ most highly ranked business school in the Nordic region (2021).

Studying in Norway - what is the Norwegian style of education?

International students who come from countries where teachers  observe traditional patterns of instruction, and tend to simply deliver information and stand apart from the class, will find the Norwegian approach to learning a breath of fresh air. Open door policies are common, and this means in practice that you can go and see your tutor, lecturer and professor if you need or want to, and discuss any problems you have run into on the course, and seek out their help.

Lecturers and students are usually called by their first name, and student satisfaction ratings for the staff at Norwegian universities are very high – averaging 9/10. The Quora platform reports that staff are helpful and competent, and students also note that the libraries in Norwegian universities are very well stocked, and classrooms and laboratories have all the latest technology.

If you study in Norway, you will be expected to gain practical skills, to work with others on joint projects, to collaborate and express your opinions freely, since the system values independent thinkers. Problem-solving abilities are more important than memorising lists and facts and you will be encouraged to pursue your personal interests and show initiative in your learning.

Studying in Norway - Requirements and the application process

The application process and the requirements vary slightly from one university to another and, in general, you should submit your documents between 1 December and 15 March, although some universities begin accepting applications as early as October and have a December deadline. It is essential to check this, either by asking Elab or by looking at the university website, under the international students tab.

You will generally be asked to provide:

  • Proof of language competency (IELTS,TOEFL etc)
  • Your secondary school certificate/ your undergraduate degree, depending on whether you are applying for a first or second-cycle course.
  • Some universities will ask you to sit an aptitude test once they have  gone through your application form
  • You may be asked to submit a letter of recommendation

NB:  A number of study programmes have specific admission requirements, usually related to specialist subjects or fields of study from secondary school. You may be asked for a portfolio, an essay etc. Contact Elab and we will check what additional material you will be asked to supply.

Submit your application through your chosen university portal. You will get a response from the university in April/May and will have a short period of time to accept the place you have been offered.

Studying in Norway - do I need a visa?

EU citizens do not need a visa to study in Norway.

Will I have to get a residence permit?

You will, however, need to apply for a student residence permit, issued by the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration if you intend to stay longer than 90 days in Norway. The following link will take you directly to the page you need to print off and bring with you when you apply for the resident’s permit.

The Norwegian immigration website (UDI) provides details of what documents are required.

You may bring copies of the documents with you to hand in, but you also need to show the originals.

Documents must be in Norwegian or English, or certified translations.

You also need to produce:

  • Your passport and copies of all the used pages
  • Two recent photographs taken against a white background
  • Your letter of admission to university
  • The cover letter you received when you registered your application online
  • Proof of financial means to support yourself in Norway. This could be a bank statement from a Norwegian bank, which show that you have access to NOK 126,357 (approximately 12,600 euros) per year in funds, or funds and income. If you are stating that you will partly support yourself through income , you will need to show a work contract to prove this
  • The filled out and signed checklist itself

Study in Norway!

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