Study in Norway – Education System, Student Life, Free Education, Popular Courses and Top Colleges

The picturesque mountains, stunning Northern lights, midnight sunlight during summer, fjord coastline, sea-faring history, unique coastal life, and Winter Olympics draw several international visitors to Norway every year. Education in Norway also attracts several foreign nationals; though that fact doesn’t get too much media attention. Here is all you need to know about Study in Norway.


Study in Norway

Education System, Student Life, Free Education, Popular Courses & Top Colleges


In the recent years, Norway has repeatedly been ranked as the best country to live in’ by the United Nations, based on the factors like average levels of education and income, combined with life expectancy, human rights and cultural freedom.


Norway is highly rated for its literacy rate, educational levels and material wealth. Due in part to its offshore oil and gas deposits, Norway has the fourth-highest per capita income in the world and one of the highest standards of living.


Another unique feature about the study in Norway is Free Education for international students. If you are an ambitious student seeking to improve your career possibilities while having the time of your life, then Norway deserves to be on the top of the list.


Why Study in Norway?


Study in Norway


High Standard of Education, Teaching & Research


Higher education in Norway is comprised of a mixture of both public and private universities. Some are specialized, some comprehensive, and some – known as “university colleges” – concentrate mainly on providing undergraduate-level education in a range of more vocationally focused subjects.


Norwegian universities and university colleges are known for quality education. The environment is pretty informal in nature. Teachers are easily approachable, tuition often takes place in small groups and as a student, you are encouraged to develop a critical mind.


At the graduate level, the students are expected and encouraged to question both the professors´ teaching and existing theories within their learning field. Critical thinking and the ability to approach a problem in different ways are valued skills in the Norwegian system.


Education System (Pattern)


In Norway, a Bachelor degree takes three years to complete. While Masters and PhD degrees take two years and three years to complete respectively.

You can also opt for a one-tier master’s degree which allows you to combine your bachelor’s and master’s in a single continuous program lasting five years – this is often offered for architecture, business management, engineering, dentistry and law programs.

Norway is signed up to the Bologna Process, which aims to make European higher education systems more compatible. The Bologna Process includes the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) which means students who complete degrees or courses at universities in Norway will hold certifications that are recognized by other countries worldwide.


Video on Why Study in Norway and the Education System in Norway:



Programs are taught in English


Norway offers many undergraduate programs in English. You can study humanities, social sciences, law, theology, mathematics and natural sciences, education, medicine, dentistry, energy, engineering etc. But, of course, you won’t find too many options at the undergraduate level to choose from unlike US, UK, Australia, Canada etc.


At the Masters level, Norway offers close to 200 programs that are taught in English.


Free Education


It is a priority for Norwegian authorities to maintain and develop an education system of high quality, which is open to all, regardless of the student’s social and economic background. This also counts for international students.


Norway is a very wealthy country. Norwegians enjoy a highly developed welfare state, where education and health services are, to a large extent, free.


Free Education in Norway for International Students


Public universities in Norway do generally not charge tuition fees. There are fees to join the student association, which also pays for the exams at the end of the semester. But that won’t set you back more than 600 NOK (around 60 – 66 Euros).


Private universities, not being funded by the state, do charge tuition fees, often as high as in other countries in Europe. But international students pay the same amount as the Norwegian and EU/EEA students.


Norway has one of the highest standards of living in the world. So, that means that it is also one of the most expensive countries to live in. However, when it comes to education, Norway can pride itself in high quality, with students not having to pay tuition fees at any level, especially at the undergraduate level (Bachelor programs).


Safe, Modern and Multicultural Society


Norway, with its population of just over 5 million, is one of the three Scandinavian countries. It is ranked as one of the best countries to live in and has one of the lowest crime rates in the world. There are 5.2 million people living in Norway. About 32% of the population has a higher education.


Like Sweden and Denmark, Norway has grown to become a multicultural country. Today, 33% of the population in Oslo are immigrants or Norwegian-born to immigrant parents. In the country as a whole, a bit over 16% are immigrants or Norwegian-born to immigrant parents.

Top Subjects to Study in Norway
Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design at the University of Bergen


The culture of Norway is closely linked to the country’s history and geography. In the 19th century, Norwegian culture blossomed as efforts continued to achieve an independent identity in the areas of literature, art and music. This continues today in the performing arts and as a result of government support for exhibitions, cultural projects and artwork.


Norway is a modern society. Equality is a value deeply rooted in the Norwegian society and is rooted in both legislation and tradition. On the campus, students benefit from high technological standards and services, modern facilities and equipment, as well as innovative, informal and immersive teaching.


The major cities in Norway are located along the coastline: the capital Oslo is Norway’s largest city, with about 620.000 inhabitants. Other major cities are Bergen and Stavanger in Western Norway, Trondheim in the middle part and Tromsø in the North.


Study Close to Nature


Why Study in Norway


Combine studies with amazing outdoor adventures. Experience the Aurora Borealis (“Northern lights”), the midnight sun, the fjords, the mountains, the coastline etc. You could also just simply enjoy the fresh air, clean water and lots and lots of space. Nature is never far from wherever you are located in Norway.


Watch the Following Video on the Student Life in Norway:



Study in Norway – FAQs


Living Expenses


NOK 116,369 (appx. INR 10 Lacs) per year.

As a general rule, the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration requires the money to be deposited in a Norwegian bank account.


Part-Time Work


Non-EU Students can work part-time for a maximum of 20 hours per week during studies in Norway. An application for a work permit should be accompanied by a statement from the institution confirming that the work will not affect the study progress. A letter from the employer stating that the student has a job offer must also be submitted.

Students are normally allowed to work full time during semester breaks. Please note that the majority of institutions do not have on-campus work-study schemes, and foreign students will have to compete in the regular job market.


International and Indian Students in Norway


Studying in Norway is becoming a favourite study destination for more and more international students each year, with over 15,000 currently enrolled at Norwegian institutions. There are currently 280,000 students enrolled in higher education (Bachelors, Masters and PhD) in Norway. With a population of around 5 million, Norway is a welcoming country that is ready to be explored.


Top Courses to Study in Norway
Source: Statistics Norway


In 2015, there were 10,644 international students in Norway and the total number was 266,428. Among all international students, around 5,000 students were from Europe and 3,488 students were from Asia.

Study in Norway for Indian Students
Indian Students’ Forum – NTNU

The Norwegian embassy in New Delhi issued over 100 student visas in 2016. Indians form the second largest group of international students.

Indian students in Norway are mainly involved in business, natural sciences and technology. Most higher education institutions and universities have Indian students enrolled. NTNU in Trondheim is the institution in Norway with most enrolled Indian students.  In correlation with India’s increased activity in the Arctic, students and researchers are also present at the University Centre in Svalbard. Watch the Video – Why Some Indians are Loving Norway (in Hindi) on YouTube (by BBC).


Working in Norway


As of August 2018, only less than 3% of the total registered workforce is unemployed.

Outside Europe, India sends the highest number of skilled workers to Norway. In 2016, the Norwegian authorities approved 1,263 residence permits for skilled Indian workers, mainly to engineers in the IT sector.

As per the 2013 data, 60% of the international students that came to Norway to study was employed in Norway after their studies.


Application Deadline


December 1 for the Autumn (August) start next year.


Entry Requirements


For Bachelors, you need good grades in high school and TOEFL/IELTS

For Masters, you need a Bachelor degree (3-year Bachelors accepted) along with TOEFL/IELTS.


Northern Lights
Northern Lights in Norway


Best Subjects to Study in Norway


Life Sciences and Biotechnology

Agricultural Science

Natural Sciences

Energy and Sustainability

Social Sciences

Digital Media, Animation and Visual Arts

Marketing & Management Studies

IT & Technology

Tourism & Hospitality


Marine Studies



Video on Higher Studies & Research at NTNU:



Top Colleges and Universities in Norway


University of Oslo

Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)

University of Tromso (Arctic University of Norway)

Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU)

University of Bergen

Bergen Academy of Arts and Design

University of Stavanger

BI Norwegian Business School

Nord University

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH)

The Oslo School of Architecture and Design


Related Articles:


All You Need to Know about Studying Masters in Sweden

Undergraduate Studies in Germany

Masters (MS) in Germany


Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

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