“No pencil can draw it, no colors can paint it, and no words can describe it in all its magnificence.” Explorer Julius von Payer might have been talking about the Aurora Borealis, but his words could equally be describing Norway. Known for its haunting beauty, Norway is all about extremes, from fjords to mountains, and the surreal midnight sun. Norway’s mystique transcends time; it’s easy to imagine Vikings here, alongside some of the most progressive trains of thought in the world. Studying in Norway will but not be your typical European study abroad program. Study abroad in Norway is an unforgettable journey to the heart of one of the most beautiful countries in the world.
Norway’s cities are modestly sized, but immodestly beautiful. The quaint streets and picturesque waterfronts can easily be explored on foot or through their extensive networks of public transport.
The Norwegian capital, Oslo, is an extremely pedestrian-friendly city that offers many amazing vantage points overlooking its harbor and the surrounding mountain-scapes. Oslo offers ongoing free events and attractions every day. Explore canals and cobblestone alleys, view The Scream at the Edvard Munch Museum, be amazed by Norway’s fascinating history at Norway’s National Gallery, and then wander the Vikingskipshuset, the museum of the Viking ships Oseberg and Gokstad.
Beautiful Bergen is also a popular city for study abroad in Norway, due to its proximity to some of the country’s most dramatic fjords. Funiculars, hiking trails, and panoramic views will help international students appreciate the beauty of the city. The colorful wooden houses in the center lend a fairytale air to the city, and a touch of magic to any experience of studying abroad in Norway.
If you would rather lose yourself in rural areas, you will be poised to experience unforgettable outdoor adventures by choosing to study in Norway. You can learn a new mountain sport, like skiing, whitewater rafting, hiking, climbing, or mountain biking, or you could kayak on glacier lakes, visit the Runde bird sanctuary, an island of puffins, or hike and climb the Folgefonna Glacier. The fresh air, clean water, and abundance of space make studying abroad in Norway perfect for nature lovers.
Studying Abroad in Norway
The academics at Norwegian universities are excellent, offering research and university-level instruction for everything from vocational studies to graduate and postgraduate degrees abroad. Norwegian campuses tend to be modern and safe learning environments, with most majors available in English-taught courses for international students.
A progressive, forward-thinking country, Norway is a great place to study political science. Examine some of the most pertinent issues Europe is facing, such as mass immigration, and the integration of refugees, migrants, and asylum seekers into Norwegian society.
Although English is widely spoken, studying Norwegian as a foreign language is fun and useful for international students who study in Norway. A beautiful, sing-song language, learning Norwegian will help you deeper immerse yourself into life while studying in Norway. Studying abroad is about more than just house parties with other international students; learning another language is a great gateway into another culture.
Known for its excellent school system, studying education in Norway is another popular option for study abroad students. This is of particular interest for anyone who wants to find out more about how education is influenced by the Nordic model.
The weather can run to the extremes (as in, extremely cold), which is a factor to consider when choosing a study abroad program in Norway. Students who dislike the cold, and aren’t particularly interested in winter sports, should consider a summer study program. The fall and spring semesters run from August to December and from January to June, meaning you will spend a fair bit of time in the cold and dark if you choose these times of the year.
Scholarships & Costs
Have we mentioned studying abroad in Norway is free? Students studying at a Norwegian university, whether national or international, are not charged tuition fees, since public higher institutions are funded by the state. For international students who can arrange their own visas, enrollment, housing, and other necessities, the only expenses associated with studying abroad in Norway are travel and living expenses.
Unfortunately, both traveling and living in Norway are very expensive. Oslo is consistently ranked as one of the most expensive cities in the world to live in, up there with New York and London. Average rent per month is around $1000, a transportation pass for the month is around $100, and eating a simple takeout meal is roughly $20. The amount you save on course fees might make studying in Norway possible financially, but financial aid is often still necessary to help cope with the astronomical living costs. Browse through the GoAbroad Scholarship Directory to see if there are any scholarships you are eligible for. You can also consult the study abroad office at your university; they might be able to point you in the direction of some great funding for study abroad in Norway.
Accommodation & Visas
Accommodation for study abroad students is usually provided in either university dormitories or in apartments shared with other national and international students. Some study abroad programs in Norway include housing in their fees, which will smooth the way into your new Norwegian life. If housing isn’t included, housing assistance will be provided for you, which is just as helpful. Having the support of your program provider as you house-hunt will make trying to find an apartment in a strange country with a strange language a lot less scary. If you want to work on your Norwegian, you could also ask your program provider about finding a homestay that will take you in during your stay.
Students from the European Economic Area (EEA) or other Scandinavian countries will not need a visa to study in Norway, but they will need to register with the police upon arrival, with documents that show their basis of residence. Students from all other countries will need a student visa, known as a student residence permit. If you have already been accepted into a Norwegian university, however, the process is simple. Just contact the nearest Norwegian consulate in your home country to apply. This visa will also grant you the right to work for up to 20 hours a week while studying abroad in Norway.
Benefits & Challenges
Studying in this Scandinavian nation means discovering nature in its most unbridled and unbelievable state. Getting a glimpse of the Northern Lights, seeing the midnight sun, or just spending hours trying to absorb the intense green and sheer drops of the fjords are all incomparable experiences. Norway is simply one of the most visually spectacular countries in the world.
As well as getting a great education from a world-class university, living in Norway means getting a default education in history. You’ll learn about Nordic folklore and Norse mythology and the fierce Viking culture. Absorbing these stories will make you feel even more like you are living in a mythical, fairytale land where there may or may not be trolls hiding under bridges.
Norway has the same latitude as Alaska and Siberia. Although it has a slightly more pleasant climate than Siberia, Norway is still very, very far north. Studying abroad in Norway usually means being there for the colder (and darker) months. This means freezing temperatures and short days. If you go to Norway for the great outdoors, you may find it difficult being trapped inside for much of the time during winter. If your moods change with the seasons, think carefully before choosing to study in Norway during winter.
Study at home and never travel? No(r) way! Get out of your comfort zone and into the Arctic Circle, and study abroad in Norway.