If you want to get an exceptional education at a very affordable price, then you should consider studying in Norway. Unlike other countries, Norwegian public universities don’t charge tuition fees (save for a small semester fee), even if you are not a local or EU citizen.
With that being said, you should take advantage of this great learning opportunity! Get started by heeding these tips on how to study in Norway as an international student.
How Can International Student Study in Norway?
To maximize your chances, you should follow these steps:
- You should be able to finance your education in Norway. To do that, you will first need to know the cost and how to cover that cost.
- You should know what the requirements are for applying to universities in Norway and meet those requirements.
- After that, you should apply to universities.
- After you get accepted, you need to get a student visa for Norway.
1. Studying in Norway Cost
As mentioned, public Norwegian universities are usually free of charge. Private universities, however, charge about $31 (NOK 300) to $62 (NOK 600) a month, which is about $373 (NOK 3,200) to $746 (NOK 7,200 a year). In contrast to other European nations, Norwegian universities usually have cheaper fees.
Although this is the case, the cost of living in Norway can be quite high. You may have to spend anywhere from $2,176 (NOK 20,000) to $4,352 (NOK 40,000) on rent and living essentials every month.
2. General Application Requirements for Studying in Norway for International Students
If you wish to study in Norway, then you should be mindful of the following language and application requirements:
General Language Requirements (Undergraduate)
To study in Norway as an international student, you need to have sufficient knowledge of the local dialect. That’s because baccalaureate degrees are solely taught in the Norwegian language.
To be admitted, you need to take the following exams – and have one of the following scores according to the official website:
- Norwegian as second language exam (taught in secondary schools) = Vg3 level (393 hours of instruction)
- Norwegian exam (taught in universities) = level 3
- 1-year course of Norwegian language and culture
- Test of Norwegian = advanced level ”Bergenstesten” or score of at least 450 with a Pass mark
- Norwegian test for adult immigrants from Kompetanse Norge = B2 in all four parts
Although all bachelor’s degrees are taught in Norwegian, you need to show proficiency in the English language as well. Below are the minimum test scores required for undergraduate applicants:
- TOEFL iBT = 60
- TOEFL PBT = 500
- IELTS = band 5
- Pearson PTE Academic Test = 51
- European Language Certificate = English B2-C1 University or C1 level
A First Certificate in English, Certificate in Advanced English, or Certificate of Proficiency in English from the University of Cambridge will be accepted as well.
Students who have completed a year of studies in the US, Canada, Ireland, UK, Australia, or New Zealand are deemed to have sufficient English proficiency. If you meet this requirement, check with your university as you may be exempted from the above-mentioned proficiency tests.
General Language Requirements (Graduate)
When it comes to post-graduate degrees, you’ll be glad to know that Norwegian universities offer masters and doctorate degrees in the English language. Although this is the case, you need to meet both the Norwegian and English requirements as stated above. Most institutions, including the University of Oslo and the University of Bergen, follow these minimum scores.
However, you may be excused from taking English tests if you have accomplished any of the following:
- Finished a university degree in English language and literature, with a scope of 60 ECTS
- Obtained a bachelor’s degree that was solely taught in English
- Completed a master’s program with English as the primary medium of instruction
Make sure to check with your respective admissions officer if your school would honor any of these.
Application Requirements (Undergraduate)
All undergraduate applicants need to apply through the Norwegian Universities and Colleges Admission Service (NUCAS) website Samordna Opptak. What’s great about this service is that registration is free of charge.
The requirements remain the same for every applicant, but some additional documents may be needed depending on your citizenship.
As usual, completion of secondary level studies is the primary factor for admission. For example, if you come from the US, you need to have a high school diploma or a GED. For other countries, an equivalent of this will suffice.
Application Requirements (Graduate)
If you wish to study masters or doctorate in Norway as an international student, these are the requirements that you need to submit:
- Certificate of secondary schooling
- Bachelor’s degree certificate. You must have completed at least 3 years of undergraduate studies. It should include courses of at least 1.5 years’ worth that are relevant to the program you wish to undertake.
- English language proficiency
- Proof of sufficient funding, which is a minimum of $12,561 or NOK 121,220, or a Sponsor’s letter
- Copy of passport or photo ID
- Certificate of a name change, if applicable
Good grades are essential for admission, at least for the University of Bergen. To be admitted, you should have at least an ECTS grade C or US grade B. Because of this, applicants need to submit course descriptions and a transcript of records with a grading scale. A motivation letter is needed as well.
Do note that some Norwegian universities may not recognize the first two years of undergraduate study from a foreign university. As such, be sure to verify your undergraduate credentials with your university of choice.
3. Applying to Universities in Norway
Undergraduate and graduate applications follow different application cycles:
Since all applications are coursed through Samordna Opptak, all students, regardless of chosen school, should follow the website’s deadlines:
- April 15 – deadline of portal access
- July 1 – completion of all necessary requirements
- July 20 – release of admission offers
Compared to other countries, Norwegian universities start their post-graduate programs a month earlier (mid-August). Applications are processed according to the university.
At the University of Bergen, post-graduate students can only apply once a year. The deadlines vary according to nationality. For example, non-EU applicants may access the application portal from October 15 to December 1. Results are usually released in April or May.
As for the University of Oslo, admission is opened every November and closed by the 1st of December. Should additional documents be needed, it should be uploaded before or until February 1. Admission notices are usually issued in May.
Because Oslo and Bergen are public universities, they levy no application fees.
As for private universities, you need to check the official website for their corresponding application fees.
4. Getting Student Visa
Final step of studying in Norway for international students is getting the student visa. According to the Norwegian Directorate for Immigration, the general requirements for a student visa are as follows:
- Proof of admission to a college or university (full-time studies). The school should be listed in the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education’s (NOKUT) list of approved (accredited) universities.
- Proof of financial capability. Your account should have a yearly amount of at least $12,801 (NOK 123,519).
- Proof of accommodation
- Proof that you will return to your home country after finishing your studies
The application fee for a student visa costs $507 (NOK 4,900).
Once you get a Norwegian student visa, you can engage in part-time work (maximum of 20 hours a week) to help finance your studies.
Studying in Norway remains to be promising, given its free (public) if not more affordable (private) tuition fees. Despite the high cost of living, you are entitled to work part-time and earn some money with your student visa. With these benefits, Norway continues to be an excellent destination for higher education.
I hope that this article on studying in Norway for international students was helpful! If you are interested, visit the Europe Category!