Norway has one of the highest standards of living in the world, which means that it is also one of the most expensive countries out there. However, when it comes to education, Norway can pride itself in high quality, with students not having to pay tuition fees at any level, especially Bachelor's.
If you want to go and study here, you should know a little bit about the living costs and what expenses you should expect, as an eager student in a foreign country.
Most sought-after disciplines in Norway
First of all, Norway has a lot of fields you can study in, as well as a lot of high-quality institutions. However, the most popular and sought-after disciplines for students are:
- Environmental Studies and Earth Sciences;
- Social Sciences;
- Art, Design, and Architecture;
- Business and Management.
And now, after you found out what you will study, let’s find out how much it will cost you.
University expenses in Norway
If you're an Erasmus exchange student, this means that you can partly count on the scholarship you will be given.
At the same time, if you meet other requirements, depending on your study subject and academic agreement between your home university and the one in Norway, you could also be eligible for financial support, that can pay for your living expenses.
Despite the lack of tuition fees, students will still have to pay a semester fee, which typically amounts to around 500 NOK (roughly 66 EUR) per semester. This fee must be paid in order to be eligible to sit for exams, but it will also entitle you to a few Norwegian benefits. The semester card will grant you access to sports facilities, but also gives you discounts on public transport, museums, concerts, and cultural events.
Once again, exchange students can rejoice: the semester fee doesn't apply to them.
Accommodation costs in Norway
This is by far the biggest expense and concern while in Norway. The easiest way to get away with it is to secure a room through the International Office, in one of the student villages.
Demand is very high and finding accommodation should be a priority when you are first applying to the university, as it will be infinitely harder to find a room once the academic year starts. For example, the most popular student village in Trondheim is called Moholt and it houses most of the international students.
In Norway, accommodation can vary, depending on if you want to stay alone, or with a few colleagues, or if you want to stay in any city centre or on the outskirts. The costs you can expect in Norway are:
- rent for 1 bedroom apartment in the centre: 1.000 EUR/month;
- rent for 1 bedroom in a 3 bedroom apartment in the centre: 600 EUR/month;
- rent for 1 bedroom apartment outside the centre: 800 EUR/month;
- rent for 1 bedroom in a 3 bedroom apartment outside the centre: 400 EUR/month.
Books and study materials costs in Norway
You will end up spending quite a lot on these, but only at the beginning of the semester, depending on your studies. Second-hand books are widely available, especially from students who have already graduated, so keep your eyes open for ads and graduates in need of money.
Getting around the city
Public transportation is quite expensive, even with a student discount (about 442 NOK / 46 EUR a month), so the easiest way to save money is to invest in a bicycle. Your budget will be grateful!
When weather will force you to abandon your bicycle in the basement, it’s good to know that buses in Trondheim have tickets valid for one hour on all routes, including the tram line. Tickets valid for one day are also available, as well as long-term subscription cards, that can be purchased at the service in the city centre.
Food expenses in Norway
Like all other things in Norway, food can also be a great problem to your already limited student budget, but a well-thought shopping list and daily sales in supermarkets can save you a lot. That’s why you should go to small food stores, such as:
- Bunnpris (which has the best sales, by far);
- Rema 1000;
- Ica Maxi;
- Coop Prix.
Most of them are within walking distance from major residential areas, including student villages, and fresh fruits and vegetables are available throughout the year.
For exotic tastes, there are plenty of stores that specialise in Asian food products. With foods from China, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, India, variety is at its best.
But, once again, be careful of the high prices. If fine gourmet restaurants keep your strict student budget at bay, there are always fast-food restaurants with a diverse menu at a more reasonable price.
Other related expenses
Since some cities are very close to the border with Sweden, a lot of people take the bus to go shopping in the neighbouring country. The prices are lower, the trip is cheap, and they will also return your bus fare if you show the receipt of the supermarket to the driver.
The bus takes you to a shopping centre and you have about an hour to shop until the bus has to return. The round trip takes three hours in total, and the road to Sweden is beautiful, as it goes through long tunnels dug into the rocky mountains.
It is also a great idea to subscribe to the international student mailing list. You will receive up to date information about students who are finishing their studies and are selling their belongings at great prices. You can catch great discounts on:
- Electronic equipment.
If life in Norway is beginning to sound more and more appealing, then you should definitively put in on your map for your international Bachelor’s degree.
And, because Norway can be a great place to settle, you should also check out international Master's degrees in Norway.