From Viking history to castles in the mountains, Norway is a vast frontier of lush, green, glacier cut fjords, rich history, and wonderful people. For teens interested in exploring a lesser-traveled to northern part of Europe, it's an obvious choice to spend high school abroad in Norway.
The fact that 90% of the population speaks English also makes Norway an easy place for high school students to travel -- especially if this is their first international trip. Parents will be pleased to know that Norway is an incredibly safe country as well. The only downside is that Norway isn't exactly a budget destination, but clearly, that's not stopping you!
Norway is great for students who are interested in Nordic history, have always wanted to see the Northern lights or Norway's fjords, love adventure sports like hiking and biking, and are totally fine with eating lots of fish every day!
Photo by Julia Caesar.
Students options for high school abroad programs in Norway include:
- Exchange programs
- Short-term study abroad
An exchange program in Norway allows high school students to immerse themselves in Norwegian culture by attending a local high school and living with a local host family. Students may not necessarily live in Oslo, Norway's capital, and are often placed out in the countryside.
If you want the option to live in a dorm-like facility, some exchange programs offer history and cultural studies courses in a local high school with students from all over the world where students can live with other exchange students making friends that will last a lifetime.
Short-term Study Abroad
Students also have the option to study abroad during the spring or summer holidays on a short-term study abroad program. Explore Norway and its Scandanavian neighbors by ship, while learning about the region's history. Study Norway's geography while biking across natural landmarks.
Planning Your Trip
Students do not need a visa for stays less than 90 days. Anything longer requires a student visa. Visas can be applied for online or assistance will be provided by your program. Be sure to allow extra time and a little extra money in your budget for the visa process if you end up needing one.
Housing is based on the program you chose, but students will most likely live with a carefully selected host family while in Norway. Students are placed with families through a careful screen process that compares interests and personalities to best suit the students needs while living in a completely new environment thousands of miles away from home.
If host families are not provided, then students will live in dorm-like student facilities with shared rooms and meals.
Norway is one of the most expensive places to visit. Although high prices are offset by high salaries for locals, for high schoolers visiting Norway, you'll have to get really good at budgeting. Even a trip to McDonalds will cost $15 - $20, and eating out is out of this world.
The good news is, most programs include food and often airfare in their program fees, which shaves off a large amount of the budget. Even so, you should plan on budgeting around $80 per day. Students can grocery shop to save a large amount of money as well as use the local bus systems to explore the country.
As part of Northern Europe, Norway is a fairly cold. Even in the summertime, you should bring warm clothing, but prepare for mild and warm days. If you plan on venturing out of the city, mosquito repellant is a good idea during these months as well. Also be sure to bring:
- Any medications you use (including Ibuprofen / Tylenol, which might be more difficult to get in Norway)
- Converter / adaptor for electronics
- Your smartphone (you can get a local SIM card once you're in Norway).
- A debit / credit card
- Rain jacket (it rains often)
- Wool socks and long underwear (especially if you're going in the winter)
- A rain cover for your backpack
- Good walking shoes
- A warm scarf
Health & Safety
Norway is an incredibly safe country. if there is crime it is almost never violent. Parents can rest assured knowing that their child is with a well-screened host family in a safe country.
There are no vaccinations need to visit Norway. To stay healthy in Norway, practice good habits as you would normally back home.