Norway is a northern European country. It is officially referred to as the Kingdom of Norway, but it is also nicknamed the “Land of the Vikings.” On another note, there are approximately 5,495,100 individuals residing in the area as of 2022. As for the official languages, it is none other than Norwegian and Sami. When it comes to religion, a large number of the population are members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Norway.

In terms of tourist spots in the country, a few of the most famous ones are Bryggen Hanseatic Wharf, Sognefjord, Preikestolen or Pulpit Rock, Lofoten Islands, and of course, the Viking Ship Museum. Travelers who find themselves in the picturesque land should also make sure to try out the local dishes such as lapskaus, kjøttkaker, rømmegrøt, fish balls with béchamel sauce, and brunost or brown cheese.

In 2018, there were around 23,000 international students in Norway. Over the years, more and more people have chosen to pursue their studies in the country. Now, it is likely that one of the reasons behind it is the fact that Norwegian public educational institutions do not charge tuition fees, even to students from overseas.

In this guide, we talk about some of the best cities to study in Norway for international students.

Top Cities to Study in Norway

1. Oslo

As Oslo is the country’s capital, it is not surprising to know that it is also Norway’s center of commerce. Presently, around 1,071,000 people are residing in the city. Tourists, on the other hand, often flock to well-known tourist destinations like Vigeland Sculpture Park, Akershus Fortress, Holmenkollen Ski Jump, Folk Museum of Norway, and Norwegian Royal Palace.

Oslo is among the best cities to study in Norway. There are many colleges and universities to choose from in the area. A few of the eminent ones are the University of Oslo, BI Norwegian Business School, Oslo Metropolitan University, Norwegian Academy of Music, and Oslo National Academy of the Arts.

Norway’s biggest and oldest educational institution is the University of Oslo. For that reason, it is a prestigious school that is esteemed for its high-quality education and impactful research contributions. Several significant personalities are graduates of the university, such as politician Gro Harlem Brundtland, retired NASA astronaut Harrison Schmitt, former football defender Andreas Thorud, adventurer and ethnographer Thor Heyerdahl, and linguist Ingeborg Hoff.

As for budding musicians, the perfect institute is the Norwegian Academy of Music. It began to welcome students in the year 1973 and today, it is recognized worldwide as the country’s largest music school. Besides its undergraduate and postgraduate programs, the academy also offers other study options like continuing studies and seminars as well as development-related activities. In addition to this, it is the alma mater of various influential people in the field of music including composer and conductor Edvard Fliflet Bræin, musicologist and professor Henrik Hellstenius, soprano and voice teacher Turid Karlsen, classical composer and organist Leif Solberg, and opera singer Trond Halstein Moe.

2. Bergen

Situated in Vestland County is the city of Bergen, a scenic place filled with luscious greenery. Adding to this, it has a population of 287,888. Furthermore, its tourist attractions include Mount Fløyen, Grieg Museum, Bergenhus Fortress, Vidden Trail, and Hardangerfjord.

The University of Bergen, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences or HVL, NLA University College, Royal Norwegian Naval Academy, and Norwegian School of Economics or NHH are some of the most distinguished educational institutions in the city.

More about the University of Bergen (UiB) is a reputable research institute founded in 1946. Its faculties include the Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design, Faculty of Humanities, Faculty of Law, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Psychology, and Faculty of Social Sciences.

3. Trondheim

Trondheim is a part of Norway’s Trøndelag county. It is a culturally and historically rich city and offers all visitors a handful of landmarks to explore. This includes Nidaros Cathedral, Gamle Bybro or Old Town Bridge, Kristiansten Fortress, Archbishop’s Palace and Museum, and Tyholttårnet. Trondheim is also an excellent place in Norway for international students to study.

In the city, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and Queen Maud’s College of Early Childhood Education are the most notable institutes for tertiary education. The former opened its doors to students in the year 1760. At present, it has eight faculties: the Faculty of Architecture and Design, Faculty of Humanities, Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Faculty of Social and Educational Sciences, and Faculty of Economics and Management.

As for the latter, it is the country’s one and only institute for future preschool teachers. It was founded in 1947. Currently, it has around 1,400 students and 150 employees. Interested individuals should note that all programs utilize Norwegian as the medium of instruction but some courses are also taught in English.

4. Tromsø

The quaint city of Tromsø has a current population of 59,590. It is a popular site for travelers who wish to see the aurora borealis or northern lights. As for those who plan to relocate here, UiT The Arctic University of Norway is your best bet when it comes to tertiary education institutes.

Furthermore, its faculties include the Faculty of Biosciences, Fisheries, and Economics, Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education, Faculty of Engineering Science and Technology, Faculty of Science and Technology, Faculty of Health Sciences, and Faculty of Law. Additionally, prospective students who do not have a good grasp of the Norwegian language yet may opt for the English-taught singular courses.

5. Kristiansand

Kristiansand is another one of the best cities to study in Norway. Located in Norway’s southern region, this city can be considered a piece of history due to its famed landmarks like Kristiansand Cathedral, Gimle Gård Manor House, WW2 Gestapo Headquarters, Kristiansand Museum, and Setesdalsbanen Railway Line.

International students who wish to study in this city are advised to learn more about the University of Agder. The said institution currently has 13,000 students and 1,500 employees. Moreover, it has another campus, located in Grimstad. Lastly, a wide range of courses and programs are offered by the six faculties at the university. These are the Faculty of Health and Sport Sciences, Faculty of Humanities and Education, Faculty of Fine Arts, Faculty of Social Sciences, Faculty of Engineering and Science, and School of Business and Law.


I hope you found this article on the best cities to study in Norway for international students informative and helpful. Make sure to also check out the Available Programs in Europe!

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