In Europe’s high North, Norway is a country that is extremely popular with international students from around the world.
There are many reasons for its popularity: among others, the high quality of education, Norway’s high standard of living, and the beauty of its nature.
Keep reading to learn why Norway is a great choice for your studies:
The first reason is, of course, the quality of the education you will receive. Many universities in Norway are well-positioned in international rankings; most notably, the University of Oslo usually ranks in the first 150 in the world.
Universities in Norway also offer a variety of English-taught degrees and this language is widely spoken in the country as well.
Here are some of the most popular universities:
Learn more about the best universities in Norway.
Not only does Norway offer great career opportunities, but it also has an enviable work-life balance.
Recently, Norway was named the best country in Europe for workers’ wellbeing and work-life balance in a study looking at a number of indicators such as average working hours, parental leave policies, annual leave entitlement, and income inequality.
In Norway, workers are entitled to at least 21 days of paid vacation a year, and most companies offer more than that.
Norway is famous for its natural beauty, and attracts visitors year-round to its fjords and mountains. In winter, tourists chase the Northern Lights, while in summer the midnight sun allows for extra-long hikes. Instagram-friendly locations abound – ever heard about Trolltunga (be careful on that, by the way!) or the Lofoten Islands?
With a dizzying array of outdoor activities, nature and adventure lovers will have a particularly great time in Norway. Kayaking, camping, canoeing, cycling, skiing… the list goes on and there is something for every taste and every skill level.
Norway is by no means a cheap country to live in, and outdoor sports require some expenses, but not all of them: Hiking is a low-cost activity, even for students who are watching their budget closely. And with the beauty of Norway’s nature, you’ll only be spoiled for choice.
Much like its Nordic neighbours, Norway is a safe, peaceful, and inclusive country.
It is one of the most inclusive countries in the world according to the Inclusiveness Index, developed by the Othering & Belonging Institute at UC Berkeley. In 2023, Norway ranked 3rd on the Index of 136 countries, just behind New Zealand and Sweden.
It is also considered a safe and welcoming country for LGBTQ tourists and expats. It ranks 3rd on the World Equality Index, which takes into account LGBT laws, equality, freedom and public attitude.
Finally, Norway has a low crime rate and it consistently ranks among the top 20 safest countries in the world.
Sustainability is a priority in Norway: at its universities and also in society at large. That’s important to know if you’re a student that wants to help save the planet.
Beyond its pledge to become carbon neutral by 2030, Norway has invested in many initiatives to reduce carbon emissions, for example in public transportation. The city of Oslo is launching an electric public transport network, part of its efforts to become emission-free by 2030.
The country ranks 20th in the Environmental Performance Index and is widely considered to have one of the most efficient recycling systems in the world.
Many areas in Norway have already been labelled as Sustainable Destinations, to acknowledge their efforts to limit the sector’s negative effects on the environment and work towards sustainable tourism development. Among these, you can find two famous archipelagos: the gorgeous Lofoten Islands, and Svalbard Islands, home to several international research centres and projects.
Similarly to its Nordic neighbours, Norwegians are known to be one of the happiest people on the globe. Since the inception of the World Happiness Report in 2005, Norway has consistently ranked in the top 10 worldwide!
With all the reasons highlighted above – good employment opportunities, work-life balance, safety, inclusivity, and natural beauty – this shouldn’t come as a surprise!
In fact, the work-life balance and easy access to nature have been frequently named as some of the factors contributing to Norway’s stellar results on international happiness rankings.
For citizens of the EU/EEA and Switzerland, there is another reason to choose Norway: studying for free. Students from these countries don’t pay tuition fees at public universities.
However, students from other countries will pay fees, between around €12,000 to €25,000 a year. Tuition fees in Norway for Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees were introduced in 2023.
As an important distinction to some other countries, PhD students in Norway are considered employees and receive a salary while they research and teach.
Norway offers very attractive employment opportunities to domestic and international students alike.
The country is home to many international companies, so it’s feasible to find a job without fluent Norwegian – although the usual caveat applies: learning the local language is a must! And a knowledge of Norwegian will help you when looking for a part-time job during your studies, or if you live outside of the main urban centres.
These are some of the areas where graduates can find job opportunities:
International students can work during their studies. Students from the EU/EEA don’t have any restrictions during their studies (within reason, of course – remember you are there to study!), while all other international students can work up to 20 hours a week.
After graduation, non-EU/EEA students can apply for a job seeker visa (apply at least a month before the study permit expires) to look for employment.
EU/EEA students can stay and look for work as well, but there may be some restrictions on the length of time they can stay in Norway if they don’t find a job.
If the above excited you about Norway, then don’t wait until you start your study-abroad adventure:421 Programmes in Norway