Here’s a Comprehensive Guide to Studying for Free in Norway.
The World Happiness Report ranks Norway as number 1, and so does the Human Development Index and OECD Better Life Index. The Kingdom of Norway runs a unitary monarchy with an estimated 5.2 million people, and as a founding member of the United Nations, the country seems to be doing perfectly well and has more recently, become a choice place to study. Aside the fact the Bachelor’s programmes run for just 3 years, public education is also entirely FREE; so now you know why. If you wish to benefit from this system, here’s a guide for you.
Applications to Norwegian institutions usually have a max. deadline of March 15 especially for programs starting in autumn. Schools generally require a completion of all high school courses with proficiency in English Language for undergraduate degrees and other requirements as outlined by each school and the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (NOKUT). Applicants for Master’s programmes are expected to have completed an Undergraduate/Bachelor’s degree and the degree must have courses equal to at least 1 1/2 years of full-time studies in a subject relevant to that of the programme applied for. It is important to note that a large number of universities in Norway admit only once yearly.
The government of Norway considers access to higher education as a crucial part of their development, thus, majority of Norwegian universities and state university colleges are publicly funded. To further improve the access that both local and international students get, Norwegian state universities and university colleges are obliged to not charge tuition fees, with no restrictions to any country. The free tuition runs across study levels from undergraduate down to Ph.D programs. Students are only required to pay semester fees that qualify for health services, discounted bus fares, cultural activities and sports facility usage as a member of the local student organisation. The semester fee is usually around NOK 300-600 each semester. As much as this is an exciting clause for international students, most are taken aback by living costs.
Norway is one of the most expensive countries in the world, with a loaf of bread costing as much as $10. Students need to budget enough for their feeding, accommodation and transportation expenses. Other likely expenses are book purchases which could bring the monthly spend between 800 to 1000 Euro. This is one important aspect embassy officials check for before granting study visas. They always need to be sure a student can handle their living expenses for at least their first year after which they might be eligible for scholarships.
A number of Norwegian institutions have agreements with national programmes that provide funding support and other scholarship types to international students based on certain set criteria. There are also non-profits and private organisations that offer some form of support to talented students who show strong academic performance. Some the well known scholarships include; Norwegian Government Quota Scholarship Scheme, Erasmus+, Nordplus Student Exchange, High North Fellowship Program, and The Norwegian State Educational Loan Fund.
Students who cannot afford their living expenses or wish to supplement their funds are allowed to take up part time work up to 20 hours per week once they have obtained a work permit. For a work permit to be granted, the student needs to get a letter/statement from his/her institution confirming that the work will not affect the study progress and a letter from the employer stating that the student has a job offer. During semester breaks, students are free to work full time.
While studying in Norway, you might want to learn how to ski and have a lot of candies and cocoa beverage. Ensure you enjoy all of it.
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