Study in Norway
Graduate programs in Norway
If your knowledge of Norway is limited to Vikings and fjords, then you’re in for a shock – Norway actually has one of the world’s highest standards of living, amazing wildlife and a vibrant cultural life.
This is a country which has the beauty of the Arctic on its doorstep, from the northern lights to polar bear watching. It also has cosmopolitan cities which celebrate the best of Norwegian culture while embracing the influence of its more than 12,000 international students.
Studying a graduate program in Norway might not be cheap (although tuition fees are almost non-existent), but your study trip will be paid back in many memorable experiences.
Norway is home to more than 70 public and private institutions where you can study a graduate program. The university system is broadly divided into three types of institution:
- Universities – concentrating on theoretical studies in the arts, humanities and sciences
- University colleges – provide a wider range of subject choice, including vocational subjects
- Private schools – concentrate on a particular subject, such as business management
Studying a graduate program in Norway is a popular option for international students. More than 12,000 international students are registered in the country, with many opting for graduate study. A Masters program in Norway will normally take two years to complete, with PhDs lasting three years.
Almost all university courses in Norway are taught in English.
Immigration and visas in Norway
Although Norway is not a member of the EU, it is part of the European Economic Area (EEA), meaning that students from these countries do not need a student visa. Instead, they simply need to register with the Norwegian police if their graduate program in Norway lasts for more than three months.
Students from outside the EEA will need to get a study permit. In order to get one, you will need to demonstrate the following:
- You have a valid passport
- You have sufficient income or savings to support yourself during your studies
- You are enrolled at an approved or accredited institution
- You have guaranteed accommodation
- You must leave Norway when your permit expires
Life in Norway
Norway is famous for its outdoor culture and natural beauty, with plenty of fjords and mountains to explore. Despite the cold, most Norwegians look to the outdoors for leisure activities, from snow sports in winter to water sports in summer.
Norwegians are also extremely communal people, with many taking part in neighbourhood activities or social teams through university. You can expect to join a school sports team or group while studying as an international student in Norway.
The pace of life in Norway is also much slower than many other countries. Most shops close on Sundays, while many businesses shut by 4pm. This allows Norwegians to spend more time with their families or on leisure activities. It might take a bit of getting used to if you’re from a busy city, but the extra time you get will allow you to get to know the real Norway a little better.
Working in Norway
Norway has a highly ranked economy with one of the best standards of living in the world. The country ranks as the second wealthiest nation in the world and is expected to continue to be a cash-rich country for some time.
Its economy is largely based around oil and gas exports, with state ownership in several key industrial sectors meaning that 30% of the country is employed by the government – one of the highest rates in the world.
Although living costs in Norway are high, this is compensated by several state initiatives, including free healthcare and 46 weeks paid maternity/paternity leave for new parents.
Students from EEA countries are able to work in Norway while studying their graduate program.
There are two main types of accommodation open to international students coming to study a graduate program in Norway:
- University accommodation – such as halls of residence
- Private accommodation – House and flat rentals
University accommodation is most graduate students’ preferred option, as it will allow you to meet fellow students and settle into student life in Norway more easily. It is also often cheaper, as many halls will also provide you with food and study areas. Accommodation can be anything from vast halls of residence with rooms for hundreds of students, to smaller housing units.
If you prefer a little more privacy or are travelling with your family, then you may want to rent your own private house or flat in Norway.
Climate in Norway
Norway is a cold country, prone to lots of snowfall during winter. However, the southern and western parts of the country generally have milder winters and more rainfall. The area around capital Oslo experiences the warmest summers, but also has the coldest winters.
Because of its northerly location, Norway experiences a lot of variation in the amount of daylight it gets. Between late May and July, the sun never complete sets in the areas around the Arctic Circle, while the rest of the country typically gets 20 hours of sunlight a date. Conversely, during the winter months of November to January, you can expect just four to five hours of daylight each day.
Norway’s low population and long coastlines means that its transportation network is less developed than other Scandinavian countries, especially outside the main cities.
Norway has more than 90 airports, which form an important transport network for both passengers and cargo. Oslo airport is the central gateway into the country and the most likely arrival point for new international students.
The currency of Norway is the Norwegian krone.
What to do next
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