As one of the wealthiest countries in the world, Norway is one of the best destinations for international students that want to get a quality education. One of the main benefits of studying in Norway is that universities do not charge any tuition fees, even to international students. Even so, the country itself is expensive to live in, even for a short time. In this article, we will discuss the cost of studying and living in Norway for international students.

Cost of Studying in Norway

The cost of studying in Norway is not that costly. As mentioned above, Norwegian universities do not charge any tuition fees, even for international students. However, different universities may charge smaller fees, such as semester or enrollment fees, which we will discuss below.

This complete lack of tuition fees is one of the best reasons to study in Norway. However, even though universities are free, living in Norway is not. As such, students that are interested in studying at a Norwegian university must consider a number of factors.

Managing Your Finances as an International Student in Norway

As an international student, you are making payments in a currency that is different from yours, which means banks will have to convert your money to complete a transaction. Banks charge dearly for exchanging your money, irrespective of whether they are upfront about it or hide the conversion fee in the payment process by using poor conversion rates. 

Consider using Wise if you want to save money. Wise use the mid-market exchange rate to convert your currency and are upfront about all their fees. They offer a multi-currency account that lets you hold and spend money in 50 currencies and over 154 countries. Therefore, you can pay for stuff directly in Kroner, ensuring you save money on conversion anytime you make payments. In addition, Wise offer an international debit card for a one-time fee of $7. With this debit card, you can make payments anywhere and withdraw cash from ATMs in local currencies. 

Cost of Living in Norway

1. Bergen

Bergen is one of the best places to live in Norway. The city has one of the highest standards of living in the world. Bergen is safe, clean, and beautiful. Bryggen and the Museum of History are just some of the lovely sights in the city.

However, the cost of living in this city in Norway is high. Rent for a one-bedroom apartment can cost between 7,500 and 10,270 Kroner per month. Converted to USD, this comes out to between 858 and 1,175 dollars per month. Clothing can also be pricey in Bergen. For example, a new pair of men’s business shoes cost between 1,000 and 2,000 Kroner (114 to 228 USD). Finally, the city’s many restaurants charge more than other European countries. Even a meal at an inexpensive restaurant can cost 190 Kroner or over 20 USD.

2. Oslo

The capital of Norway is home to some of the country’s largest employers and best universities. For example, the University of Oslo is based in the city and currently ranks as the 90th best university in the world.

While living in Oslo may be a great choice for international students, it is also the most expensive place to live in Norway. Public transportation, while high-quality, can get expensive fast. A monthly pass for public transport can cost around 795 Kroner or 91 USD per month.

3. Trondheim

In terms of the cost of living in Norway, Trondheim is one of the most expensive cities due to several factors. For example, utilities are pricey in Trondheim. For a moderately sized apartment, it can cost between 900 and 2,000 Kroner per month to pay utilities. This cost includes water, electricity, and garbage.

Childcare can also be expensive in Trondheim; one month of daycare for a young child can cost as much as 4,000 Kroner. In dollars, this comes out to around 456 USD. A year of schooling at the primary level can also cost quite a bit – over 31,000 Kroner per year (3,537 USD).

Finally, rent in Trondheim can get as high as 14,000 Kroner in the city center for a one-bedroom apartment. While the average rent is around 11,000 Kroner, this is still high – in USD, this would be 1,255 per month for a one-bedroom apartment.

4. Drammen

Located on the Drammenselva River, Drammen is blessed with abundant natural beauty. The city is built next to some of Norway’s most beautiful fjords and is one of the country’s premier skiing destinations.

Drammen is one of the less expensive cities in Norway, especially when compared to Oslo, Bergen, and others. As an example, transportation in Drammen is slightly cheaper than elsewhere in the country. A monthly pass for public transport usually costs around 830 Kroner but can cost as little as 600.

Rent is much cheaper in Drammen, especially compared to cities like Oslo. A one-bedroom apartment outside the city center usually costs around 7,000 Kroner per month, while an apartment in the city center averages around 9,000 Kroner per month. This is significantly lower than the capital. In USD, monthly rent can range between 800 and 1,026 dollars. On the other hand, food in Drammen is usually more expensive than in Oslo. For example, 1kg of apples in Drammen cost 32 Kroner, nearly 12% more than in Oslo.

5. Stavanger

Stavanger has recently grown into one of Norway’s largest cities. It is also one of the wealthiest, with an unemployment rate far below the European average and many large companies based in the city.

In terms of the cost of living in Norway, rent in this city is cheaper than in other cities in Norway, such as Oslo. A three-bedroom apartment outside the city center costs around 12,666 Kroner per month (1,455 USD per month) – nearly 25% less than an equivalent in Oslo. While this gap narrows as you approach the city center, even these apartments are less expensive than in the capital. On the other hand, utilities in Stavanger are significantly more expensive than in Oslo. Utilities cost over 1,900 Kroner per month – 216 USD per month.

As you can tell, there are several excellent choices in Norway. International students have a great selection of universities to study in, all of which are free. However, the country costs a lot to live in, meaning that students have to choose where they live carefully. We hope that this article will help you make an informed decision should you decide to study in Norway.


I hope you found this article on the cost of studying and living in Norway informative and helpful. You can also find more information on different European universities and scholarship opportunities on the Europe Scholarships Page!

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