Studying in Norway: Tuition Fees and Living Costs in 2021

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 stands out thanks to high standards and the lack of tuition fees at all levels, including bachelor’s.

If you want to go and study there, you should know a little more about the living costs and what expenses you should expect.


Popular academic disciplines in Norway

First of all, Norway has a lot of programs you can study, as well as a lot of high-quality institutions. However, the most popular disciplines for students are:

  • Environmental Studies
  • Social Sciences
  • Art, Design, and Architecture
  • Business and Management

And now, let’s find out how much it will cost you.

University tuition costs in Norway

If you’re an Erasmus exchange student, this means that you can partially rely 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, which can pay for your living expenses.

Despite the lack of tuition fees at public universities, students will still have to pay a student union fee, which typically amounts to around 30 – 60 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 student card will grant you access to sports facilities but also gives you discounts for public transport, museums, concerts, and cultural events. Once again, exchange students can rejoice: the student union fee doesn’t apply to them.

Things change if you enroll at a private university, where international students will pay tuition fees between 7,000 – 19,000 EUR per academic year.

Accommodation costs in Norway

This is by far the biggest expense and concern while studying 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 costs can vary, depending on whether you want to live alone, or with a few colleagues, or whether you want to stay in the city center or on the outskirts. According to Numbeo, these are the costs you can expect to pay for rent:

  • one-bedroom apartment in the city center: 970 EUR/month
  • one-bedroom apartment outside the city center: 750 EUR/month
  • full rent while sharing a three-bedroom apartment in the city center: 1,500 EUR/month
  • full rent while sharing a three-bedroom apartment outside the center: 1,250 EUR/month

Books and study materials cost 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 on-campus ads and posts on social media groups.

Travel costs in Norway

Public transportation is quite expensive, even with a student discount (50 EUR per month), so the easiest way to save money is to invest in a bicycle. Your budget will be grateful!

When the weather forces 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 center.

Food costs in Norway

Like all other things in Norway, food can also be a problem for your already limited student budget. But a well-thought shopping list and daily sales in supermarkets will help 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 specialize in Asian food products. With foods from China, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, India, variety is at its best. But, once again, be careful with the high prices.

Other related expenses

As some cities are very close to the border with Sweden, a lot of people take the bus to go shopping in the neighboring 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 center, 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:

  • Bicycles
  • Furniture
  • Books
  • Electronic equipment

If life in Norway is beginning to sound more and more appealing, then you should definitively put it on your map for your international Bachelor’s degree.

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