Ahh, Norway. A small but powerful country with a unique mix of cosmopolitan areas and unbridled nature. A place where the summer sun is still out at midnight, a viewing spot for one of nature’s most spectacular phenomena, the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights, a country rich with oil and resources, open spaces, and of course, plenty of fjords (google it).

There are currently about 15,000 international students studying in Norway...will you be number 15,001?!

Wherever you choose to study in Norway, you will have easy access to nature! However, these three cities are particularly appealing to college students, and all offer great univeristy resources.

Olso:

The major universities in Oslo are Oslo University College, The Norwegian School of Management (for you business kids) and the aptly named University of Oslo. Though the capital of the country, most of Oslo is forest, making hiking and biking integral parts of Oslo life. At the same time, Oslo has a young, fun nightlife in its city center. Museums, parks, and other fun sites are plentiful, and the city has lots of fun festivals throughout the year.

Bergen:

University of Bergen, University College Bergen, and Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) are three major schools in Norway’s second largest city. Music lovers, Bergen is for you! Not only does the city host awesome concerts both for local musicians and megastars, but it is also known for its indie-music scene if you want to explore some Norwegian music while abroad. Though hip and modern in the music world, Bergen is also a beautifully historic city, and home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site: Bryggen.

Tromsø:

Note that the last “o” in Tromsø has a slash through it, a letter unique to Scandinavian languages that comes after “z” in their alphabet, so if you’re planning on studying in Norway, learn to love this little letter. If you don’t want to limit your Northern Lights intake to just once during your time in Norway, then try living in Tromsø, a city with a prime view of that lit up sky. Though small, Tromsø has lots of museums, parks, cafes, and nightlife options. The main university is University of Tromsø.

Norway is highly internationalized and a fantastic study abroad option for people looking for a modern country that is still a bit off the beaten path.

Language:

There are three official languages in Norway-- Bokmai, Nynorsk, and the indigenous Sumi language. The first two are most widely spoken are are basically two dialects of the Norwegian language, meaning that if you understand one, you can pretty much understand the other. What’s unique about Norwegian language, and Scandinavian language in general, is that they are all similar enough that if you master Norwegian, you will be able to get by in Denmark and Sweden (all the better for traveling!).

That being said, Norway is incredibly international so many Norwegians speak English very well. The major universities also offer lots of classes instructed in English, so if your Nynorsk is a bit weak, have no fear.

Housing:

Often, the university you go to can set you up with dorm style housing in a “student village” (an area of only student housing holding up to several hundred students), or smaller “student neighborhoods” which are scattered through the city.

Academic Life:

Universities and academics in Norway are very similar to those in the U.S. in that class structure is similar (lecture format), the grading system is A-F (a recent change), and . Norway was one of the first European countries to take on the Bologna Process, placing more emphasis on the success and quality of higher education. Slight differences include the length of undergraduate education and the types of schools Norway has.

Undergraduate schooling only lasts for three years, and there are universities (large schools that offer a broad range of subjects), university colleges (smaller schools often affiliated with a university, but they might be international or offer vocational training), and private schools (which are for more specific programs).

Visas

Visas are only given to visitors staying less than 90 days. You will need to apply for a student residence permit if staying for more than three months.

Social Life and Student Culture

Norwegians are known for being active and adventurous, no surprise given their Viking ancestors! With nature easily accessible wherever you are in the country, hiking, skiing, and other outdoor activities are popular social outings. But the great outdoors are matched by an vibrant nightlife. Be warned, alcohol is quite expensive.

Every university has a student welfare organization. Upon paying a pretty inexpensive membership fee, you then get access to counseling, dining halls, exercise facilities, and other nice perks. Being a student enables you to get discounts on transportation, too.

We aren't going to beat around the bush on this one... Norway is an expensive country. Here are some links to help you put a little more cash in your pocket.

A special brownie point goes to Norway for being ranked by the UN to have the highest standard of living. If this isn’t enough to get you packing your bags for this Scandinavian oil hub, I don’t know what is!

Contributed by Emma Cramer

Study Abroad Programs in Norway

Displaying 1 - 11 of 11 programs
American College of Norway
American College of Norway: Semester or Year Study
Norway
9.18 •11 reviews

You can choose to study in Moss at American College of Norway for fall...

HECUA
HECUA Semester: The New Norway
Norway
9 •2 reviews

Norway is known for its highly developed welfare state, immense oil...

University of Oslo (UiO)
University of Oslo - International Summer School
Norway
9 •2 reviews

The University of Oslo's International Summer School is a great study...

American College of Norway
Peace Studies at American College of Norway
Norway

The summer program at ACN offers two courses focused on the themes of...

UC Education Abroad Programs (UCEAP)
UCEAP Study Abroad in Norway
Norway

UCEAP will help you on your journey to study at the University of Oslo...

Yale University
Oslo International Summer School
Norway

Yale Study Abroad has an exciting summer study program in Oslo, Norway...

Bjorknes Hoyskole
Study Abroad in Oslo, Norway
Norway

Are you interested in learning more about international issues and...

The Norwegian College of Musical Theatre
Arts and Theater Courses in Norway
Norway

The bachelor degree in music theatre is a continuous 6 semester study...

The Oslo School of Architecture and Design
Masters of Architecture and Design in Norway
Norway

Instruction within the architecture program occurs within the studio...

University of Agder
Faculty of Fine Arts, Department of Classical Music and Music Education, University of Agder
Norway

At the Department of Classical Music and Music Education we instruct...

Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Norway

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology has many exchange...

Tours & Trips in Norway

Looking for something to do during your time in Norway? Check out some of these tours and trips!
  • Outdoor Life Norway
    Unforgettable 3-Day Trek In Norway
    Norway

    Known to the natives as the ‘fjord of lights’ for the way sunlight...

  • Hvitserk
    Island Hopping in Northern Norway
    Norway

    On this tour, we will travel with transportation that is already a...

  • UpTrek
    Fjord Slopes Ski-touring Vacation
    Norway

    Explore the hidden corners of Norway, reach the top of the Lyngen Alps...

  • Contrast Adventure Norway
    The Ultimate Ski Adventure Fjord Norway
    Norway

    This is a 6 day tour, where you will explore great skiing with fjord...

  • Uteguiden AS
    Fjord Kayaking in Hellesylt, Norway Trip
    Norway

    This trip suits everyone who wants to spend a few ours on the fjord...

  • FJORD TRAVEL NORWAY
    5 Nights Northern Lights Safari
    Norway

    Northern Lights Safari is an adventurous trip with 3 nights in the...

What People Are Saying

I wanted to go to ACN because as an American just finishing a year of folkehøgskole I wanted desperately to both spend more time in Norway, and get started on my degree. I decided to go to ACN for the...

Svalbard

I have always wanted to explore the world but I never thought I could do it while in college. ACN gave me the opportunity to do so and I am thankful for it. The staff members helped me, as an American...

Thanksgiving!

ACN is truly a supportive, open, and loving community. I feel so lucky that I got to be a part of it! The staff and students make Norway genuinely feel like home and studying here allows for a unique...

Friends on a school trip to Oslo, lead by ACN staff

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