Living in Norway

Students in Norway

Norway offers you a unique student experience

Internationalisation is a priority within all sectors of the Norwegian education system, and universities and university colleges are constantly working to facilitate international students. Around 15 000 foreign nationals are currently enrolled at Norwegian institutions of higher education. International students may apply for admission to a variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programmes. You may come to Norway as a student through established exchange programmes, institutional agreements or as a so called "free mover", where you arrange the stay by yourself (type of study, length and financing).

Quality education

With a wide range of high quality courses and great flexibility, Norwegian institutions prove to be an ideal study destination. From vocational subjects to postgraduate and doctorate level, there are plenty of opportunities for students to fullfill their ambitions. You will also benefit from the informal atmosphere at Norwegian universities and university colleges, where teachers are easily approachable and teaching often takes place in small groups. Most institutions also have well equipped computer facilities with free Internet access.

Study off the beaten track

In our northern corner of the world you can combine your studies with exciting outdoor activities, both winter and summer. You can see the Aurora Borealis ("Northern lights"), experience the midnight sun, fjords and mountains. Challenge yourself with skiing, white water rafting or climbing. Or simply enjoy the fresh air, clean water and lots and lots of space. As a student in Norway you will never be short of possibilities for unique nature experiences.

What are you waiting for? Explore your opportunities today!

Interesting information

The Norwegian society

Norwegian values are rooted in egalitarian ideals. Norway has a comprehensive welfare system aimed to take care of the country's population, payed for by a high tax-level and oil production. This, coupled with a strong public education system and public health care system, has lead to a society with a minimum of class differences, low unemployment and relatively good opportunities for all Norwegian citizens regardless of social standing and starting point. Norway is also a relatively safe country to live in, known for it's beautiful nature, in particular mountains, fjords and glaciers.

Egalitarian values & equality

The egalitarian values which are at the root of the welfare state also manifest themselves throughout Norwegian society in many ways - for instance in the field of gender equality. The novel idea that women are equal to men and should therefore have an equal say in running society did take some time to catch hold in most of the world, but Norway was in the lead: it was one of the first nations to give women the right to vote in 1913. Norway was also among the first countries in the world to elect a female prime minister, Gro Harlem Brundtland, who was elected prime minister of Norway in 1981 and had eight women in her cabinet.

Because of this, and active government support of gender equality, women have been steadily climbing in standing over the past fifty years. Still, the goal of total equality remains a long way off: while forty percent of the representatives in Parliament are female, only one in every ten company directors are women. Gender equality has certainly changed the Norwegian male’s role as a father.

In addition to an extensive maternity leave (9 1/2 months to spend with your infant child while receiving full pay) Norway has a paternity leave quota, of 10 weeks, so that fathers can also take extended time off to be with their children, while receiving their full salary. This arrangement has helped make the mixing of careers and family a lot easier.

Language & dialects

Norway has three official written languages and a myriad of spoken dialects. There are two official written Norwegian languages, Bokmål and Nynorsk. In addition the indigenous Sámi people have their own official written language. The majority of the people in Norway are using Bokmål. But in the south and the northwestern part of Norway, Nynorsk is widely used. However, it should be noted that Bokmål and Nynorsk are not classified as two different languages. In short one could say that they are more two different written norms. Thus, text written in Bokmål is perfectly understandable for a person using Nynorsk, and vice versa.


Very few Norwegians, if anybody, speak the way a text is written, whether it is in Bokmål or Nynorsk. Instead, they make use of local dialects. For Norwegians the dialect makes up an important part of their identity, and by listening to a person's dialect one can in most cases determine with good accuracy from which part of the country he or she comes from. Beginners to the Norwegian language might find some dialects hard to understand, but Norwegians are understanding and speak closer to the written language if they notice people who do not understand them.

English in Norway

Most Norwegians speak English fluently. Children start learning English in kindergarten and at school, so even the smaller children often speak a bit of English. Therefore, you should not worry about coming to Norway without speaking the native tongue. Many Norwegians also speak German, French or Spanish.

Weather & climate

Norwegians love to talk about the weather. But it is not very strange. Weather in Norway is dramatic and changes very fast, and it can often completely change the options for what is possible to do outdoors on any given day.

Four seasons in one day

Norway is often regarded as a cold and wet country. Though this is true in some regions, Norway’s climate is wildly different from region to region and season to season. The entire coastline is greatly warmed by the Gulf Stream.

Most of Norway south of Trondheim is a temperate climate. This means that southerly inland climates are dry and very cold in the winter and quite hot in the summertime. The North can be pretty cold and wet except for the brief summer months. Coastal climates in the south are mild and wet in all seasons.

You can easily check out the weather in different parts of Norway at