USAC Norway: Oslo
50% Rating
(2 Reviews)

USAC Norway: Oslo

Study abroad next semester or academic year with the University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC) in Norway at the University of Oslo. Study in a huge range of subject areas in English, along with a wide variety of languages, including Norwegian. Norwegians especially appreciate students attempting to learn the language, although most know how to speak English.

Oslo (pop 560,000) is the capital city of Norway. Although the city dates back over a thousand years, past fires have caused the people to rebuild the city multiple times over, giving it a very modern feel. Designed for modern times with wide boulevards, parks, museums, and theaters, students will find it an easily accessible and exciting city to study abroad. Check out the USAC website for more information today!

Highlights
  • Choose from more than 800 courses taught in English, with easy access to the sites and subjects of your Scandinavian Studies courses
  • Participate in social and sports activities in over 250 clubs and societies on campus
  • Enjoy living less than 20 minutes away from ski slopes, the Oslo fjord, and other scenic destinations, with plenty of opportunities for cross-country skiing as well as hiking and biking
Locations
Europe » Norway » Oslo
Europe » Netherlands
Program Type
Provider
Subject Areas
African Studies
American Studies
Art History
Asian Studies
Chemistry
Communications
Conflict Studies
Conservation and Preservation
Cultural Studies
European Studies
Food Science and Nutrition
Geography
Geology
Health Sciences
Media Relations
Medicine
Natural Sciences
Peace Studies
Philosophy
Physics
Social Sciences
Sociology
Women's Studies
Degree Level
Bachelors
Timeframe
Academic Year
Fall
Spring
Accommodation
Dormitory
Language
English
Steps
Online Application

Questions & Answers

Program Reviews

  • Academics
    70%
  • Support
    15%
  • Fun
    80%
  • Housing
    70%
  • Safety
    100%

Program Reviews (2)

Default avatar
Maggie
Female
20 years old
United States
Lawrence University

Want to actually get credit for studying abroad in Norway and have a good experience? Here's what no one told me:

1/10

I am having a wonderful time in Norway, please do not get me wrong. So far throughout this entire experience, it has been my study abroad program that has given my the biggest headache. I think that USAC is probably a lovely program for some students, but in the case of the Norway program I am extremely disappointed.
Looking back on the whole experience, it would have been cheaper, faster, and easier to temporarily withdraw from my school and apply independently as an exchange student to the University of Oslo.
I'll start with the program fee. The entire program fee for the USAC Norway program is a bit over $5000, not including a security deposit. What USAC does not tell you is that international students get to study here at the University of Oslo for free. FOR FREE. Please let that sink in. So what does this $5000 program fee buy you? It basically buys you a set of instructions to get your visa (which can be found readily online), "help" with the application to the University of Oslo that you could have completed yourself, and the feeling that you are part of a group (most of whom you never see after you start at the university). This $5000 also buys you a t-shirt and some pretty cool USAC-emblazoned luggage tags, so I'm sure that my money is being well-spent.
In addition to this $5000, you must pay for your own food (Norway has some of the most expensive groceries in the world), housing expenses (around $400-$700 per month), and your own travel fees. The program doesn't even guarantee you a pass to the city transit system, which all students use.

Two more things that USAC does not tell you about up-front are the transfer credit process (or lack thereof) and the visa requirements. I'll start with the visa:
In order to study in Norway for more than 3 months, you need an official student visa. What USAC does not tell you initially is that you must apply for your visa entirely on your own and hand in your documents IN PERSON. This is not a big problem if you live in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, or Houston. However it is a problem for the rest of us who must make an appointment at these consulates and fly out to them during the regular work week to apply for our visas.
Most study abroad programs, including all of the programs at my home university, do this service for their students. Perhaps this would have been a better use of my $5000? All relevant information about how to apply for a student visa to Norway from the United States can be found on Norway's immigration and visa website, which is called UDI: https://www.udi.no/en/want-to-apply/studies/studietillatelse/university-college-or-university/how-to-apply-for-a-residence-permit-for-a-student-at-a-university-college-or-university/?r=usa&n=n&c=usa

Now on to credit transfer. What USAC does not tell you is that there is absolutely no guarantee that your credits will transfer from the University of Oslo. This is not a problem that they can fix themselves, since they are in no way licensed to transfer credits from the ECTS (European Credit Transfer System), but it was not a problem that I was made aware of until I had already committed to the program and ASKED.
You would think that with so many students doubtlessly in the same situation every year and with more than $5000 from each student, a memo could have been made to let future students know about this significant shortcoming. If your university is like mine and only accept credits which have been been approved by a US institution, then congratulations. This program is not for you.
Yes, USAC does allow some of their programs to transfer credits through the University of Nevada, Reno. I tried to explore this option and sent about 20-odd emails to USAC staff when I first discovered that no system was in place to guarantee my credit transfer. There was literally nothing that they could do. I was eventually able to find a costly but official third-party organization called ECE that is transferring my credits for my for a significant fee of their own.

In short, if you are considering Norway and looking at the option of USAC, I strongly suggest that you either reconsider your program options or apply to the University of Oslo independently as an exchange student. I can honestly assure you that it will be well-worth you time and money. Norway is a lovely country and I would not trade my time and experiences in this place for the world. However, if you consider using USAC, be prepared to accept the consequences of the details that they don't tell you.

How can this program be improved?

USAC can improve their program by either providing visa and credit translation services like most study abroad programs, or by telling prospective students that they do NOT provide direct assistance with either of these services.

Response from USAC

Thank you for providing your feedback on your experience in Oslo. You are correct that it is possible to directly enroll in the University of Oslo but to do so as a non-degree “single course” student requires that students have an advanced level proficiency in Norwegian and the course registration is limited to subjects that have vacancies after all degree-seeking students have registered. While we understand that you have an advanced knowledge of Norwegian, this is not the case for most students who study abroad through USAC in Norway. In comparison, students who study abroad at the University of Oslo through USAC are exempt from the Norwegian language requirement, have access to more than 800 courses offered in English as well as courses in the Norwegian language. USAC provides an opportunity for students whose home universities do not have a bilateral exchange agreement with the University of Oslo to study there for a semester or academic year. Before every Oslo program, each student receives our credits, courses, and transcript document which explains that the credit transfer process is determined by your home university and is not within USAC’s control. We also remind (and recommend to) students multiple times to check with their home university to ensure that the credits will transfer back before they leave to study abroad. We understand that this may be confusing and we’ll work to improve our communication to make it more understandable for future students. Regarding visas, it is a government requirement, not a USAC policy, which specifies that you must appear in person. The government does not allow a parent or third-party representative to appear on a student’s behalf. Once again, we appreciate your feedback, and If you’d like to discuss any of your concerns further, please email us at [email protected]

Default avatar
Elsa
Female
24 years old
Durham, NH
University of New Hampshire

OSLO, NORWAY through USAC

9/10

I thoroughly enjoyed living in Oslo, Norway. However, this program would, in my opinion, be best suited for a student who can function very independently. USAC offered no structure, and although there was a USAC contact, he only arranged 1 meeting at the beginning of the arrival. However the University of Oslo does provide a lot for exchange students, as they have international students from all over the world. This includes an orientation week and buddy week, so you get to meet many. Living in Sogn student village was full of exchange students, not many Norwegians, but it was very social. I found that culturally, Norwegians do not like to have large social circles, so it was actually very hard to meet Norwegians socially. I did enjoy, however, that most of my classmates were primarily Norwegian, so I got to know many through classes and also the nordic ski and climbing clubs I joined.

How can this program be improved?

Better organization from USAC with helping out with visas and residence permits, etc. That process was very confusing and I know one student almost was sent home early because of residence permit issues and she could not get any help from USAC.

About The Provider

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USAC is a non-profit consortium of U.S. universities that collaborates to offer affordable, academic and authentic study abroad programs. There are abundant opportunities to immerse in the culture, history, and academics of other countries providing an unforgettable experience. Each program is designed to help you

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