Norway has been recognized several times as the "best country to live in" by the UN Human Develop Report, and the famous Nobel Peace Prize is awarded annually in Oslo. As one of the world's largest oil exporters, Norway is actively engaged in international affrais from conflict resolution to foreign aid. Experience Norway by exploring Viking traditions near the capital Oslo, or joining Norwegians in their spectacular outdoor activities, including boating in the summer and skiing in the winter.



Languages Spoken:

Norwegian

Education System

HIGHER EDUCATION

All institutions of higher education are subject to the authority of the Ministry of Education, Research and Church Affairs. Higher education in Norway is mainly offered at state institutions, notably universities (six), university colleges (24), state colleges (26) and art colleges (2). A degree candidate may combine studies from universities and colleges, as the courses offered are at the same academic level. Although there are as many as 26 private higher education institutions with recognized study programs, the overwhelming majority of students (90%) attend state institutions.

In June 2001, the Norwegian Parliament (Storting) passed an extensive reform of higher education. The main points include a new degree structure: Bachelor, of 3 years' duration; Master of 2 years' duration, and PhD of 3 years' duration; ECTS credits will be introduced with 60 credits being equivalent to 1 year's full-time study. Priority will be given to participation in international programs and exchange agreements. Higher education institutions will strive to offer students a period of study abroad as a component of their degree program. More programs in English will be introduced.

The internationalization of higher education has been a key factor for the development of programs where the language of instruction is English in Norway. Currently more than 170 Masters programs taught in English are available to students, covering many different subject areas. Some of the institutions are also offering English taught programs at the Bachelor's level.

Student mobility and international cooperation are key objectives for the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research. Currently, 11,000 foreign students are studying in Norway.

Courses and Grading System

The academic year normally runs from mid-August to mid-June and lasts for 10 months. Courses are measured in "studiepoeng" according to the ECTS standard (European Credit Transfer System credits). The full-time workload for one academic year is 60 "studiepoeng"/ECTS credits. In the ECTS system there is a requirement of 25-30 hours of workload per ECTS.

Grades for undergraduate and postgraduate examinations are awarded according to a graded scale from A (highest) to F (lowest), with E as the minimum pass grade. A pass/fail mark is given for some examinations.

Visa and Residency

All international students need a residence permit if they intend to stay in Norway for more than three months.

For further information and procedures, see the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI)

Study Permit Requirements

In order to be granted a residence permit as a student in Norway, you must meet the following five criteria:

  1. You must be able to document your identity
    A certified copy of a valid travel document (passport) must be enclosed with the application.
  2. You must be admitted to an approved full-time education program at a college or university
    As a rule, in order to be granted a study permit, you must have been admitted to study at an officially recognized educational institution at the college or university level. The courseload must be full-time and entitle the applicant to full support from the Norwegian State Educational Loan Fund. This requirement applies even though you are planning to finance your stay through means other than a loan from the Norwegian State Educational Loan Fund.

    If you have been offered admission (conditional admission) to an approved educational institution/ approved study program for which Norwegian language skills are required, you may be granted a residence permit for an introductory Norwegian language course for up to one year.

    The course in the Norwegian language must be held at university college or university level at an approved educational institution. As a rule, residence permits are not granted for an introductory Norwegian language course prior to a study program at a technical college level.

  3. You must possess financial means (subsistence)
    You must be able to support yourself and your family for the whole period for which you are applying for a study permit. You must have funds corresponding to the amount of full support from the Norwegian State Education Loan Fund. Student loans, grants, your own personal funds or income from employment can be included in these funds. If you need to pay tuition fees, this sum will come in addition to those fees. If you have your own personal funds, you must transfer the amount to an account in your own name at a Norwegian bank or deposit the amount in an account established by the educational institution for this purpose. You can document that you possess the funds by means of a bank statement, or a confirmation from the educational institution that the money is deposited in an account. The UDI is aware that it can be difficult to open an account in a Norwegian bank if you do not have a personal number in Norway. The best alternative for most prospective students is to deposit the amount in an account established by the educational institution for this purpose.
  4. You must be guaranteed accommodation
    It must be guaranteed that you have somewhere to live during the period that the application refers to. The accommodation requirement is met if you have at your disposal a house, an apartment, a bedsitter or a room in a hall of residence.
  5. You must leave Norway when your residence permit expires
    It must be probable that you will return to your home country when you have completed your studies, and circumstances in your home country must also indicate that you will be able to return.

How to apply

Check where to hand in your application

  • If you are outside Norway you hand in your application at a Norwegian embassy or consulate in your home country or the country where you have held a residence permit for the last six months. In some countries you will hand in the application at the Swedish or Danish embassy instead. Check where to hand in the application.
Find out if you should apply online
You should register your application online if you apply through a Norwegian embassy. You cannot register your application online if you hand in the application at a Swedish or Danish embassy.
Register your application online here: Application Portal Norway
If you hand in the application at a Swedish or Danish embassy you must fill in a form on paper and hand it in at the embassy. You can find the form here.

What must you hand in with the application?

Both applicants who register their applications online and those who hand in a paper version need to hand in their passport and other necessary documentation.

  • If you apply online, you will at the same time book an appointment for handing in your documents to the police or an embassy. You will not have to wait in line when you turn up for your appointment.
  • If are not applying online you need to contact the embassy to find out when to hand in the documents along with the application form.
    When you have visited the embassy or police station and handed in your passport and other necessary documentation we will start to process your application.
    In addition to the completed application form (online or paper version), you must enclose:
    1. a completed application form for a student residence permit
    2. a copy of your passport
    3. a passport photo/ photo that meets specific requirements
    4. a letter of admission from the educational institution containing your name, the study program you have been admitted to and the duration of your studies
    5. documentation of financial maintenance (subsistence), for example in the form of documentation of support from the Norwegian State Educational Loan Fund, a bank statement or a confirmation from an educational institution that the money is deposited in its account
    6. documentation that you have somewhere to live
    7. documentation of paid application fee
    8. a translation of the documents into Norwegian or English.
As a rule, it is sufficient that you enclose a copy of the documents with your application, but you must present the original documents when you hand in your application.


A Note Regarding the Schengen Area

Norway is a member of the Schengen area. Students should review the important regulations that dictate travel and visas within the Schengen area.

Culture

CULTURE

The main spoken language is Norwegian, with several regional dialects. Norwegians from distinct regions generally understand each other well. You might be surprised to learn that English is also widely spoken. Young people tend to speak it especially well - most have taken English in school since they were quite young!

One thing many international students have commented on is the ‘shyness' of Norwegian people. It would be a generalization to say that all shy, but this is true for many Norwegians. A little extra effort may be required to get to know Norwegian students- they are not as "open" as students from some foreign countries. Once they get to know you, however, you're "in." Most international students find that Norwegian students are actually very interested in finding out about foreign countries, lifestyles, politics, getting a chance to practice their English skills, and developing long-lasting friendships with students from abroad. As you will be in a different country with a different language and different customs, you will likely be making an extra effort to make friends and get to know people anyway.

LIFESTYLE

Outside of the cities, Norway is mostly very rugged terrain: mountainous regions cover most of Norway, interspersed with valleys, fjords and the occasional glacier. The scenery is, to put it plainly, spectacular, with breathtaking vistas almost everywhere.

The fact that most of Norway is made of rock also turns Norway into one of the least populated countries in Europe. Only Iceland has less people per square mile than Norway. This means that you don’t have to go very far outside the cities before you’re out of the populated areas (in most cases, less than an hour of walking out of the city centre will get you into semi-wilderness).

Norwegians do live in the strangest of places, often quite far away from city centers. You’ll be surprised at the kind of places it is possible to build a house. It is not uncommon to find a house on some grassy patch on an outcropping far above a fjord; or to find 9 tiny houses on a craggy piece of rock out in the ocean, with the inhabitants making a living farming sheep.

However, many Norwegians have getaway cabins ("hytte") in more remote areas, and head there during vacations and national holidays. These are often very simple accommodations, with bunk beds, no running water and outdoor toilets. But this is not really to get away from people. It should also be remembered that these cabins also constitute a social scene. One goes there with friends and family to spend time together. If nothing else, they point to the strange need Norwegians have for taking long, gruelling hikes or ski trips through the wilderness.

When living in Norway you should just familiarize yourself with the Norwegian term "Gå på tur" (literally "Go for a hike"). We can do it any day of the week, in the morning or late at night. For a newbie this activity may seem being without any useful purpose as the goal normally is not to get from point A to point B, but rather the process of walking itself. So, do not fear when your friends drag you out of bed a Sunday morning to go hiking - even though you had planned a quiet day in front of the television.

Daily Life

CULTURE

The main spoken language is Norwegian, with several regional dialects. Norwegians from distinct regions generally understand each other well. You might be surprised to learn that English is also widely spoken. Young people tend to speak it especially well - most have taken English in school since they were quite young!

One thing many international students have commented on is the ‘shyness' of Norwegian people. It would be a generalization to say that all shy, but this is true for many Norwegians. A little extra effort may be required to get to know Norwegian students- they are not as "open" as students from some foreign countries. Once they get to know you, however, you're "in." Most international students find that Norwegian students are actually very interested in finding out about foreign countries, lifestyles, politics, getting a chance to practice their English skills, and developing long-lasting friendships with students from abroad. As you will be in a different country with a different language and different customs, you will likely be making an extra effort to make friends and get to know people anyway.

LIFESTYLE

Outside of the cities, Norway is mostly very rugged terrain: mountainous regions cover most of Norway, interspersed with valleys, fjords and the occasional glacier. The scenery is, to put it plainly, spectacular, with breathtaking vistas almost everywhere.

The fact that most of Norway is made of rock also turns Norway into one of the least populated countries in Europe. Only Iceland has less people per square mile than Norway. This means that you don’t have to go very far outside the cities before you’re out of the populated areas (in most cases, less than an hour of walking out of the city centre will get you into semi-wilderness).

Norwegians do live in the strangest of places, often quite far away from city centers. You’ll be surprised at the kind of places it is possible to build a house. It is not uncommon to find a house on some grassy patch on an outcropping far above a fjord; or to find 9 tiny houses on a craggy piece of rock out in the ocean, with the inhabitants making a living farming sheep.

However, many Norwegians have getaway cabins ("hytte") in more remote areas, and head there during vacations and national holidays. These are often very simple accommodations, with bunk beds, no running water and outdoor toilets. But this is not really to get away from people. It should also be remembered that these cabins also constitute a social scene. One goes there with friends and family to spend time together. If nothing else, they point to the strange need Norwegians have for taking long, gruelling hikes or ski trips through the wilderness.

When living in Norway you should just familiarize yourself with the Norwegian term "Gå på tur" (literally "Go for a hike"). We can do it any day of the week, in the morning or late at night. For a newbie this activity may seem being without any useful purpose as the goal normally is not to get from point A to point B, but rather the process of walking itself. So, do not fear when your friends drag you out of bed a Sunday morning to go hiking - even though you had planned a quiet day in front of the television.

Health and Safety

https://www.isepstudyabroad.org/guides-and-tips/health-safety

Currency

MONEY MATTERS

Currency

Norway's national currency is called the krone, or crown, and is usually signified by the abbreviation NOK.

In order to get a bank account in Norway, you need a social security number. After you have received your social security number from the authorities, you can go to a bank of your choice to open an account. Students staying in Norway for less than 6 months are not eligible for a social security number. If you need a bank account, ask the bank to apply for a "D - number" on your behalf, a simplified version of the social security number. It takes up to four weeks to receive this "D - number". For students staying for 3 to 6 months it might be just as well to use your Visa/Credit card from your bank at home.

You are advised to bring some Norwegian currency with you when you arrive in Norway or change money at the airport. This will make it easier for you during your first few days, especially if you happen to arrive during the weekend when banks and post offices are closed.

Most banks offer similar services, but there are differences in the fees they charge and the minimum balance they require in each account. For the best price ask several banks for details about their services, and choose the bank that offers you the best service.

To compare your currency to the Norwegian Krone, see http://www.xe.com.

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