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25 Things You Did Not Know About Studying In Norway

Norway is any international student’s dream; with tuition free public universities, financial aid and living amongst the 3rd happiest people in the world. That is an opportunity most students would grab with both hands and legs. Norway, just like the rest of the countries in Scandinavia, suffers from being in the shadow of ‘bigger countries’ in the EU.

That is why at After School Africa, we are always here to help you find these opportunities. In today’s post we share with you 25 things you did not know about studying in Norway. If you are new to this channel, you are welcome. Consider subscribing to After School Africa to continue exploring opportunities.

1.     Education is free!

Yes! You read that right. Public universities in Norway do not charge you for tuition fee. The government pays salaries of all university staff and foots other miscellaneous bills. So you can strike tuition fee off your list of worries. You may have to pay semester registration fees however, which range from NOK500-600 (that is approximately $54-$65)

WATCH: 10 Most Affordable Countries to Study Abroad – Study Abroad for Cheap

2.     There are limitations to work-study options.

An international student in Norway holding a student resident permit is not allowed to seek employment. But, students can apply to acquire part time permit or permit to seek employment during vacations. An international student is allowed to work for 20 hours per week once the permit is granted.

3.     Acceptance rates are low

With free tuition fees, come a deluge of applications. The university with the highest acceptance rate in Norway is the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. It has acceptance rate of around 39%. Applying early and meeting requirements is key.

4.     Courses are taught in English

If you are a non Norwegian speaker, you can apply to study in English provided that the course you applied for is taught in English. You have to present proofs of your fluency in English through TOEFL or IELTS.

5.     Cost of living is very high

Norway is an oil rich economy. Having that kind of wealth means more money in circulation and higher cost of amenities. International students often find that even without paying tuition, the cost of living in one of the richest countries in Europe per capita, is really high. Living in Norway’s larger cities like Oslo and Bergen could cost you between $1200-2200 per month. In smaller cities, an average of $900-$1300 per month will do.

6.     The weather is not exactly “friendly”

Welcome to the arctic region. Norway like the rest of Scandinavia is quite close to the North Pole. In winter, temperatures drop to sub-zero levels and snow covers much of the country. The weather is much milder in summer. If you are moving to Norway from a tropical region of the world, you may want to pack for the cold.

7.     Health insurance is required for your first weeks

All students from outside the EU are required to have private or public health insurance. This will cover their first weeks in Norway. Students staying in Norway for more than 3 months can become members of the National Insurance Scheme. Membership of this scheme allows them to enjoy free treatment when they fall ill.

8.     There are scholarships available

There are a number of scholarships to help students who may need financial aid. Some of these scholarships cover between 40-60% of total living costs. Visit www.afterschoolafrica.com to learn more about scholarships in Norway.

ALSO WATCH: Top 10 Unpopular Scholarships in Europe for International Students

9.     Norwegian universities rank high in the world

There are six Norwegian universities in the global best 600 universities. This is quite a feat when you take into consideration that most of these universities are government funded. The best university in Norway is the University of Oslo which ranks 135th in the world.

10. Norwegians are happy people

Norway is the third happiest country on earth after Finland and Denmark. That’s according to a report by World Happiness Report which was released by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network for the United Nations. 

11. You can travel to 26 Countries in Europe with your student’s visa

It’s a ‘little something’ called the Schengen agreement. It allows citizens and legal residents of the 26 member state to travel and stay for up to 90 days in countries within the block.

12. Norway is sparsely populated

With a population of 5.32 million people in a land area approximately 385,000 kmsq, Norway is one of the most sparsely populated places on earth. Most of the population is centered in large cities like Oslo and Bergen.

13. English is widely spoken in Norway

The level of English spoken in Norway is exceptional. It is especially higher among younger people. You may not encounter much problems communicating with people. You will however need knowledge of basic Norwegian when dealing with older people like bus drivers for instance.

WATCH: Studying in Germany vs Norway; Which is better?

14. Alcohol is not sold on Sundays

The laws date back to the 1920s and were enacted in a bid to stem alcoholism.

15. The Nobel Peace prize is awarded in Norway

The Norwegian capital hosts the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony every year (with just a few exceptions) since 1901.The other Nobel prizes in Chemistry, Literature, Physics and Physiology or Medicine are awarded in Stockholm, Sweden.

16. Oslo is the most diverse city in the world

Of the 648,000 people in Oslo, 190,000 were born to immigrants or are immigrants themselves. That’s nearly 30% of the city’s population, compared to around 15% in the country overall.

17. In a Norwegian town, it is illegal to die

Sound surprised? So am I. In the arctic town of Longyearbyen, burials are not permitted on the Island. So it is generally said that it is illegal to die. The permafrost nature of the soil means the body will never decompose and occasionally could be exhumed by the rain. To prevent potential outbreaks of diseases from non-decomposing bodies, the government banned burials on the island.

18. You will need an English certificate

If the course you’re offering will be in English, you will have to present an English proficiency certificate, usually TOEFL or IELTS.

19. Your admission can be revoked if you break the laws

Don’t assume your admission as an international student gives you immunity. Flout the rules governing your stay and you could be on the next available flight to your country.

20. Admission is once a year

Unlike in some countries where there is a “spring” and  “fall” admission, in Norway international students only get enrolled once in a year, in August.

21. Norway has beautiful landscapes and scenery

Norway is one of the brightest Scandinavian jewels, and even its toughest and most rugged landscapes shine beautifully. Norway is widely known and admired for its wide range of natural peculiarities and beauties. Its deep forests, arctic tundras, grand mountain tops, colorful grass-roofed houses, and, of course, its majestic fjords are just some of the country’s iconic landscapes. So much of the country is defined by its relationship to the sea. Its islands, glaciers, fishing villages, and tens of thousands of miles of dramatic coastlines make for wonderful scenery. 

22. You can stay in Norway for up to a year after graduation

International students may stay in Norway for until one year after graduating from a Norwegian university or college. This is if they intend to look for work. Beware that you must apply for residence permit as a job seeker before your current permit expires and after completing your degree.

ALSO WATCH: Top Best Countries to Get Longest Work Permit After Graduation

23. Norway is not part of the European Union

The Kingdom of Norway is not a member state of the European Union (EU). Its association with the Union is through its membership of the European Economic Area (EEA) established in 1994. It is also a founding member of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) which was founded in 1960.

24. Norway has a constitutional monarchy

Norway is a constitutional monarchy with The Norwegian head of state since 1991 being King Harald V. He has no political power, but performs ceremonial duties and is generally a beloved, down-to-earth representative of the Norwegian people.

25. Norwegians are obsessed with skiing

If there’s one thing that stokes the pride of Norwegians more than any other it’s skiing. The cross-country variety is most popular. It’s a sport rooted in tradition and goes back centuries.

There you have it; 25 things you probably did not know about studying in Norway. Which one of the points struck you the most? Tell us about it in the comments section. If you are yet to subscribe to the After School Africa channel, now is a good time to subscribe. Until next time, YOUR SUCCESS MATTERS!

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