Norway, a country with a lot to offer as a study-abroad destination, is ideal for international students in many ways. Being a safe, peaceful, and well-developed Scandinavian country, Norway always achieves to mesmerize foreign students with its breathtaking nature, high living standards, innovative approach to science and technology, contemporary human rights, and, most importantly, its quality education.

Studying in Norway is truly a wonderful experience, yet deciding where to study in the country can sometimes be a challenge. When deciding on which city to study in Norway, there are a couple of things for international students to consider, such as convenience for accommodation, the number of good universities, the cultural environment, the language barrier, the cost of living, and more. In this article, we focused on the five best student-friendly cities in Norway for international students and explained their reasons, so take your notes and choose the best city you should study in Norway.

Top Cities to Study in Norway for International Students

1. Oslo

Oslo, the capital and largest city in Norway, is the first student-friendly city on our list for various reasons. Firstly, Oslo is home to many world-class universities like the University of Oslo, the oldest and largest university in Norway, with five Nobel Prize winners, including chemist Odd Hassel, electrical engineer Ivar Giæver, and economist Ragnar Frisch. Higher education in Oslo pays significant attention to science and research, which can be a great advantage specific to graduate students.

Oslo is often ranked high on global lists for being one of the “most livable” cities despite being an expensive country since public university education is free for students from EU/EEA countries or Switzerland, and for others, there is a good number of scholarships available. The monthly cost of living in Oslo is about NOK 12,600 (EUR 1,080), including housing for NOK 4,600 (EUR 395), food for NOK 3,840 (EUR 325), and transportation for NOK 700 (EUR 60).

2. Bergen


Bergen, like Oslo, is a very attractive city for international students for similar reasons, but additionally, it is calmer and more accessible to study. Located in the west of Norway, Bergen is surrounded by mountains and fjords. Bergen is also recognized by its colorful houses lined up on the wharf, which is one of the most unique sceneries in the world. It hosts one of the top three universities in Norway, the University of Bergen, which offers a wide range of English-taught programs for international students.

Student life in Bergen is definitely pleasant and adventurous, as most international students say. Compared to Oslo, the cost of living in Bergen as a student is not very different, with a monthly average of NOK 12,537 (EUR 1,077), including university housing for NOK 450 (EUR 386), transportation for NOK 455 (EUR 40), and one meal in a restaurant for NOK 120 (EUR 10).

3. Trondheim

Located in Northern Norway, Trondheim is one of the best cities for international students because of its proven quality of higher education and high living standards. Among 36,000 students in the city, 25% are international students, which creates a vibrant and diverse student life experience during one’s stay in Trondheim.

Student life in Trondheim is colorful and multidimensional; international students can experience authentic Scandinavian culture by visiting its historical treasures and enjoying winter sports, music, arts, and cuisine. The monthly cost of living in Trondheim is NOK 13,800 (EUR 1,185), including university housing for NOK 4,500 (EUR 385), food for NOK 3,500 (EUR 300), and transportation for NOK 500 (EUR 43).

4. Tromsø

Tromsø is the ideal choice for you if you’re dreaming of witnessing the Northern Lights during your stay in Norway. Being an island city in the very North of Norway, Tromsø is an ideal choice for international students who prefer a calm and quiet student life instead of studying in a big and busy metropolitan city. Despite being a small city, Tromsø can be considered student-friendly by its few but prestigious universities, including the University of Tromsø and The Arctic University of Norway, the largest university in Northern Norway.

Student life in Tromsø is, without a doubt, an unforgettable experience considering the Northern Norwegian culture, the midnight sun during the summers, social activities particular to the city, and many more. The cost of living in Tromsø for international students is NOK 10,000 (EUR 850) per month, including university accommodation.

5. Kristiansand

  • International Student Population: 500
  • Best Schools: University of Adger
  • Top-Rated Programs: Linguistics, Business, Mathematics

Kristiansand is a beautiful city located in Southern Norway, and the reasons why we included Kristiansand on our list are multiple. First, Kristiansand is considered one of the business capitals of Norway, housing many of the most significant factories and other businesses, which makes it easier for international students to look for part-time jobs or full-time employment after graduation. Second, despite having only a few university options, many educational programs in Kristiansand are well-established, especially at the University of Adger.

Students in Kristiansand can enjoy the Southern coastal life with many tourist attractions, beaches, and fjords. Swimming, hiking, and fishing are some of the popular sports activities you can do during your stay. The cost of living in Kristiansand is NOK 10,000 (EUR 850) per month, including on-campus housing for NOK 3,500 (EUR 300), transportation for NOK 520 (EUR 45), and a meal at an average restaurant for NOK 120 (EUR 10).


Wherever you choose to study in Norway, each city will have plenty of opportunities and merits for your study abroad experience. What matters is that you should set your priorities, needs, and goals to find the best city to study in Norway.


These cities are not only popular among tourists but international students as well. Hopefully, you’ll find this article helpful when searching for a city in Norway to live in. For more articles about Norway, head on over to Study in Norway Page! Make sure to also check out the Available Programs in Europe for more study options!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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