Norway: it’s a land of awe-inspiring nature, adrenaline-inducing outdoor sports, and picturesque cities. But have you ever thought about studying there? If you study in Norway, you’ll experience its natural beauty first-hand and gain a degree from some of the best universities in Europe.
But there’s one thing on every student’s mind when talking about studying abroad: how much does it cost?
In this article, we’ll explore how much studying in Norway could actually amount to. From tuition fees to in-depth calculations on your cost of living, this is how much it costs to study in Norway.
Study in Norway: Tuition Fees
For many years, Norway has been one of the top destinations for international students in Europe because of its non-existent tuition fees. In fact, most higher education institutions in the country have no tuition fees, with students only required to pay a small course fee each semester of about 350-700 Norwegian Krone (NOK) (approximately €30-€60).
However, starting from September 2023, many international students will be charged tuition fees to study in Norway.
Under the new rules, some students remain exempt. You will not be charged if you are a citizen of:
- Norway (or if you have a permanent residency permit)
- The EU
- The EEA (including Liechtenstein and Iceland)
However, this means that all students from North America, South America, Africa, Asia, and Australasia will have to pay tuition fees starting later this year.
The Norwegian government has recommended that institutions charge approximately 130,000 NOK per year (€11,000), but some courses may consider higher fees.
As a result, fees could range from anywhere between 80,000 NOK (€7,000) to 150,000 NOK (€13,000) per year. For even more specialist courses, yearly tuition fees could reach 490,000 NOK (€42,500).
But remember, if you’re from a country on the above list, you can still enjoy (almost) free tuition at many of Norway’s best public universities and higher education institutions.
The Cost of Living in Norway
Now we know how much tuition fees are in Norway, how much does it actually cost to live there?
Unfortunately, Norway is expensive. It ranks number 5th on the list of most expensive countries in the world, beaten only by Switzerland, Iceland, Ireland, and Singapore. This means that your money will go much less far in Norway than in other European nations.
Let’s start with one of the most crucial bills you’ll pay as a student: rent. If you’re living in one of the major cities like Oslo or Bergen, your rent will naturally be higher than in a smaller city. Regardless, though, rent in Norway is widely seen to be much higher than in other comparable destinations.
As an international student, you might rent an apartment but expect to pay between 3,500 NOK (€300) and 11,000 NOK (€950) per month.
Groceries will also make up a large proportion of your spending every single month. In general, your food costs should reach between 3,000 NOK (€250) and 4,000 NOK (€350) per month, if you’re not eating out too much and primarily cooking at home.
Here are some examples of typical purchases in the supermarket:
- Loaf of bread: 25-50 NOK (€2.20-€4.30)
- Sandwiches: 60-100 NOK (€5.20-€8.60)
- Grapes: 30 NOK (€2.60)
If you do want to eat out, what you pay will all depend on where you’re studying and the restaurant you go to. However, a meal will generally cost between 150-300 NOK (€13-€25).
Don’t forget that you also want to enjoy yourself when you study in Norway! Relaxing is important to reset your brain and also ensure you get the most out of your experience in a new country.
Typically, entry to a museum will cost around 100-200 NOK (€8.60-€17.30), while visiting the cinema will be 130-150 NOK (€11.20-€13).
How much does it cost to study in Norway?
As we’ve seen, the total cost of studying in Norway can depend on the course you choose and your lifestyle – eating out will cost more, as will travel.
However, on top of tuition fees and the cost of living as a student in Norway, you should also take into account additional financial stipulations if you’re a non-EU student.
The Norwegian government estimates that international students will need approximately 128,887 NOK (€11,168) per year to study in Norway. To get a student visa, you need to prove that you have these funds available, otherwise, you may not be granted a student visa.
Don’t forget about the cost of the visa, too; this will set you back 5,900 NOK (€510), which will have to pay when you submit your application. If you’re under 18 years old, there is no study visa fee.
Student Reviews of Studying in Norway
So, what do students think about the cost of studying in Norway? Let’s hear from them studying at the NHH Norwegian School of Economics:
Cost and language barriers
I was part of 2019 Masters batch. My major was Finance and it was a two-year program. One of the major reasons why I chose it for being free of cost. Public universities in Norway offer free education even for international/Non-EU students and this was a deciding factor for me. Additionally, the application process was very straight-forward and easy.
As far as the university is concerned, I would like to mention the good things first. The university had an accessible location with clean and budget-friendly dorms. Additionally, the faculty was supportive. Most of them made sure that they organize guest speakers so that we stay connected to the corporate world. Bergen, as a whole, is a small metropolitan city so people are used to calmer surroundings would find it very serene.
On the downside, Norway is an expensive country to live in, even though education is free. There is a language barrier in the corporate world because it is very difficult to find a company which uses English as their primary language. Overall, the experience was good for me and after a while, I managed to find a job as well.
Free Tuition was an advantage
NHH is a top business school in Norway and it is also a public university. Considering that, the cost of education is free here and hence, I did not have to pay for my Masters. Additionally, this university offers a wide range of majors to choose from. In the first year, you are allowed to pick several electives and choose a path for you based on your liking. You are allowed to switch at the end of the year. Not every university is this supportive of one’s changing preferences. Additionally, they provide market-preferred skills. For instance, recently, they started Data Analytics as a major. I would rate my two years in NHH as 8/10 because of the ease and support they provided throughout the degree, specially in my thesis period. I didn’t opt for any exchange program however, there are several you can choose from.
As you can see, studying in Norway can be expensive depending on where you live and your lifestyle. However, for many students, this is worth it considering the quality of education in Norway and the wealth and breadth of life experience you can get in such an adventurous country.
Are you considering studying abroad? Read our article When to Start Thinking About Studying Abroad: Dates and Tips.