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Masters in Norway
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Masters in Norway

Recently, you have most probably become aware of the fact that the MASTER AND MORE team has grown an interest in countries from the Scandinavian family. The first issue of our monthly newsletter for September was entirely based on financing your Masters in Denmark, while not long ago the blog article “Masters in Iceland” was completely updated. And so, without further a due, suit up – no, really, put on a jacket and prepare to embark on the latest Masters adventure in Norway, where the first snow has already fallen!

Norway – a unique study destination

Officially referred to as the Kingdom of Norway, this Nordic country is located far way in Northwestern Europe surrounded by both sea and land. One fact that often slips away from the minds of many is that the Norwegians are not a member of the European Union. Still, Norway is part of the European Free Trade Association and the European Economic Area, so no need to worry about an unhealthy relationship of the country with the EU.

In terms of higher education, Norway follows an effective model that combines English-taught Masters courses, removal of tuition fees for both national and international students and last but not least, high study quality. A quick glimpse at the Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings for 2019 shows us that there is a total of 5 Norwegian universities present in the different ranking categories:

  • University of Oslo – 121st
  • University of Bergen – 197th
  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology – Top 351-400
  • UiT The Arctic University of Norway – Top 401-500
  • Norwegian University of Life Sciences – Top 501-600

Overall, the state of Norway runs 22 higher education institutions that follow the objectives set by the Bologna process since 2003. This means that the European Credit Transfer System is applied with most Masters degrees having a study duration of 2 years worth 120 ECTS. Finally, it is worth mentioning that Norwegian universities start earlier than normal, in most cases around the middle of August, with the academic year ending around June.

Masters in Norway - higher education details for 2019
Top-ranked universities*5
Tuition fees at state universities p.a.none
Average living costs per month (+housing)EUR1400
Number of Masters in English100+
% Population that speaks English80%
Forbes Global 2000 companies8

 *according to THE’s World University Rankings for 2019

Application process and requirements in Norway

Just like for any other study destination, admission requirements and the process of applying are both specific and depend greatly on the university you might be interested in. For the majority of cases, the absolute minimum consists of the following documents:

  • Recognised Bachelor degree in the same or similar field you are applying for
  • Language certificate in English and / or Norwegian
  • Motivation letter with CV
  • Application form
  • Student residence permit

Of course, there is a need for special attention regarding some of this documentary. Starting from last to first, there are 3 possible situations that you might find yourself in depending on your nationality:

  • Student arriving from another Nordic country – no need to apply for a residence permit
  • Student arriving from countries member of the EU, EEA or EFTA – required registration at the local police within 3 months
  • Student arriving from any other country – required to apply for a student residence permit

For the third situation, you can find more information regarding the steps for obtaining your permission on the website of the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI).

Another key moment is your language certificate either in English or Norwegian. Although it would be hard to generalise a minimum level for both languages, we can provide you with some example information from the top-ranked Norwegian higher education institution – University of Oslo.

According to their English language requirements, IELTS, TOEFL and Pearson are recognised tests with a score of 6.5, 90 (Internet-based test) and 62, respectively.

For all other documents, we believe that providing them pretty straightforward. It is recommended that you check if you can apply entirely online for your chosen university. In terms of application deadlines, this is once again hugely related to the institution you are looking to apply for. For the University of Oslo that we have already mentioned, there are 3 individual admission periods depending on your nationality:

  • Applicants from Norway or the Nordic countries – between 1 February and 15 April for the winter semester and 15 September up to 15 October for the summer semester
  • Applicants arriving from countries outside the EU, EEA or Switzerland – from 15 October to 1 December
  • Applications from countries part of the EU, EEA or Switzerland – between 15 September and 15 October for those starting in January and 1 February – 1 March for those beginning in August

Tuition fees, grants and scholarships in Norway

Even though it was made clear that there are no tuition fees for students looking to study at public Norwegian universities, there are several grant and scholarship opportunities for those looking to fund their student life in Norway. Many are based on nationality and come with various requirements, so make sure to check them out on the website Study in Norway.

In order to point out an example, there are also exchange opportunities that qualify as funding opportunities – have you heard about Nordplus? It is based on the educational cooperation between Baltic and Nordic countries providing unique study options.

Student life in Norway – accommodation, living costs and transport

And now, it is time to go through some helpful tips on how to run a smooth and non-problematic life as a student in Norway. Without any doubt, it is highly likely that you will fall in love with the country if you are a person who enjoys nature. Beautiful glaciers, fjords and unexpected weather – is there any better combination? Unfortunately, you will not be able to live in a cabin in the woods for most of the time, as you will have to go to university. So, let’s start with your accommodation options.

In most cases, it is guaranteed that you will be provided with housing as long as you are an accepted student or participating in an exchange programme. Of course, there is an admission process with certain deadlines included – so make sure to look for precise information on the website of your chosen university. Provided residence often consists of a single room that can be either furnished or with no furnishing at all. It is good to know that Norwegian universities tend to rely on external organisations that provide housing, so it is possible that you might even get the chance to choose between different housing opportunities.

For example, the University of Bergen – the second highest ranked university in Norway, cooperates with a service provider that offers accommodation all around the city of Bergen. And if you are already wondering about pricing, you can expect around NOK 4500, or € 450 for a monthly rent in a similar case, with included Internet access.

Private housing, on the contrary, provides more space for personal choice and taste. You can find many online services that can help you with searching – but prepare for higher rents reaching € 700 to € 800 depending on your city.

Secondly, there are the daily living expenses. Norway is a country representing a high living standard, which means that affordability is not always there. You can expect to prepare at least NOK 14 000 each month for a balanced lifestyle, or roughly € 1400, which includes your accommodation and transportation. Below you can find some general prices for products or services that you are likely to resort to:

  • Restaurant meal – NOK 180
  • 1 liter of milk – NOK 18
  • Loaf of bread – NOK 27
  • 12 eggs – NOK 37
  • Fruit (1 kg) – ~ NOK 25
  • Vegetables (1 kg) - ~ NOK 23
  • Cinema ticket – NOK 120
  • Sport (monthly pass) – NOK 400

Public transport is a nice and effective method of getting around most cities in Norway. The price for a student card with a duration of 1 month is generally in the area of NOK 460.

Finding a job as a student in Norway

Now that you are aware of the financial aspects of a Masters in Norway, you might be thinking – is it possible for me to find a job to cover some expenses?

Here are some rules – students coming from the EU, EEA and EFTA do not have to own a work permit in order to start a job. However, there is often a work hour limitation of up to 20 hours each week, which means that you can find only a part-time job. There are also limitations regarding the amount of time you are permitted to work, so make sure to seek consultation at the career center of your chosen Norwegian university.

For all other students, upon receiving a work permit, it is also possible to work 20 hours during the week. During the semester breaks, there is an opportunity to also seek full-time employment. Note that you must also provide a statement that your work will not affect your studies when applying for a work permit.

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