Oslo is one of the top cities in Norway known for its vibrant culture and numerous museums and parks. Oslo, just like many other cities in Norway offers tuition-free education to both domestic and international students who meet certain criteria at its public universities and colleges.

While education is generally tuition-free in Norway, there may be exceptions for certain nationalities, specialized programs, or courses. Additionally, you will need to cover your living expenses, which can be quite high in Oslo. It’s essential to research whether you qualify for tuition-free opportunities and make the necessary budget allocations.

If you are looking for tuition-free universities in Oslo or how you can significantly reduce your study expenses, then this article is for you.

Tuition-Free Universities in Oslo for EU/EEA/SWISS Students

1. Oslo School of Architecture and Design

  • Admissions | Tuition Fees | Scholarships
  • Medium of Instruction: Norwegian, English
  • Free to: EU/EEA, Swiss students, Exchange students | Degrees Offered: Master’s, Ph.D.

The Oslo School of Architecture and Design (Arkitektur- og designhøgskolen i Oslo, AHO) is a well-regarded institution in Oslo founded in 1945 and has a long history of providing quality education in architecture and design.

The university offers a range of master’s and doctoral programs in architecture, urban planning, and design which students from EU/EEA, Switzerland, or exchange students can pursue without paying tuition fees. These programs cover various aspects of design, from architecture and landscape architecture to industrial design, interaction design, and more.

2. University of Oslo

  • Admissions | Tuition Fees | Scholarships
  • Medium of Instruction: Norwegian, English
  • Free to: EU/EEA and Swiss students | Degrees Offered: Bachelor’s, Master’s, Ph.D.

The University of Oslo (Universitetet i Oslo) is the largest and oldest university in Norway, located in the capital city, Oslo. It has a rich history of academic excellence and appears in the world’s top 100 universities in various rankings. Additionally, it is receptive to international students and offers several programs taught in English.

While EU/EEA and Swiss students are exempted from paying tuition fees at this institution, international students are mandated to pay tuition fees unless they are eligible for exemption. For example, if you are seeking asylum in Norway or have other vital humanitarian considerations, then you will not be required to pay tuition fees.

3. BI Norwegian Business School

  • Admissions | Tuition Fees | Scholarships
  • Medium of Instruction: English
  • Free to: EU/EEA, Swiss students, Exchange students | Degrees Offered: Bachelor’s, Master’s, Ph.D.

The BI Norwegian Business School is one of the most prestigious business schools in Norway, located in Oslo with another campus in Bergen. The school is particularly known for its strong programs in finance, economics, and business administration.

With more than 245,000 alumni, the Norwegian Business School boasts several notable alumni like Elin Sinervo who’s the Managing Director of Volkswagen Møller Bilfinans, and Morten Borge who’s the CEO of Ferd AS.

4. MF Norwegian School of Theology, Religion and Society

  • Admissions | Tuition Fees | Scholarships
  • Medium of Instruction: English, Norwegian
  • Free to: EU/EEA and Swiss students | Degrees Offered: Bachelor’s, Master’s, Ph.D., Professional Studies

The MF Norwegian School of Theology, Religion, and Society (MF Vitenskapelig Høgskole) is a prominent academic institution in Norway that focuses on theology, religious studies, and related disciplines. MF is engaged in research activities and has a strong emphasis on theology and religious studies research. The school has research centers and institutes dedicated to various aspects of theology and religion.

International students or students from outside EU/EEA pay an annual tuition fee of NOK 120,000. You have to budget for this tuition and any other study expenses as the institution does not offer scholarships.

5. Norwegian Academy of Music

  • Admissions | Tuition Fees | Scholarships
  • Medium of Instruction: Norwegian, English
  • Free to: EU/EEA and Swiss students | Degrees Offered: Bachelor’s, Master’s, Ph.D.

The Norwegian Academy of Music (Norges musikkhøgskole or NMH) is a prominent institution in Norway that specializes in music education and research. Founded in 1973, the institution offers a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate academic programs, including classical music and contemporary music.

While this university is tuition-free for EU/EEA and Swiss students, they have to pay a semester fee and resource fee. Students from outside the EU/EEA or Switzerland pay a yearly tuition fee of 380,000 NOK. However, some of them can apply for an exemption if they meet the eligibility criteria, like if they are married to a Norwegian citizen or if they have been working full-time in Norway for at least 24 months.

Scholarships for Non-EU/EEA/Swiss Students Studying in Oslo

Studying and living in Oslo can be very expensive as it is one of the most expensive cities in the world. Unfortunately, many Norwegian universities and the Norwegian government do not offer scholarships to international students, hence you have to be proactive in searching for external scholarships. Let’s look at some of the scholarship opportunities below;

1. Erasmus Mundus Joint Masters scholarships

  • Scholarship Page | Offered by: European Commission
  • Scholarship Amount: Full Funding
  • Eligible Degrees: Master’s

The Erasmus Mundus Joint Masters scholarships are delivered by several institutions of higher education and they typically cover master’s studies including research, any training, and the preparation and defense of the thesis. The scholarship scheme is designed by the European Commission under the EU program for education, training, youth, and sport.

The scholarships are awarded annually to high-performing international students and cover the full cost of tuition including travel, visa, and living costs. Before applying to your program of choice, check to see if your institution offers this scholarship to cover your master’s program.

2. Bachelor International Scholarship

  • Scholarship Page | Offered by: Norwegian Business School
  • Scholarship Amount: 50% tuition fees for 3 years
  • Eligible Degrees: Bachelor’s

The Norwegian Business School is not only a top school in Oslo but also home to several international students thanks to the several programs and courses taught in English. Because international students need to pay tuition fees at this institution, the institution offers several scholarship awards for international students in the various academic programs.

The Bachelor International Scholarship is offered by the Norwegian Business School to international Bachelor’s students with exemplary academic records. It is awarded to undergraduates pursuing a Bachelor of Business Administration, a Bachelor of Data Science for Business, or a Bachelor of Digital Business.

Part-time Work for International Students Studying in Oslo

Tuition fees for international students can be overwhelming, hence another way of lowering it aside from scholarships is by working part-time. Students from outside EU/EEA/Switzerland can work up to 20 hours a week during studies and full-time during holidays.

Before you start job hunting, ensure that you get a Norwegian Identification number, a tax deduction card, and a local bank account number for payment and tax purposes.

 

Must-know Facts for Students Planning to Study in Oslo

If you are planning to study in Oslo, you need to be aware of the various factors, like the costs involved and if there are any opportunities to help reduce your study expenses. Let us explore some of them in detail below:

Tuition-Free Learning Opportunities in Oslo

Oslo offers tuition-free education at its public universities and colleges for EU/EEA and Swiss students. This means that you can study at these institutions without paying tuition fees for many undergraduate and graduate programs. Other students who benefit from the tuition-free opportunities include exchange students and those who joined the institutions before 2023.

However, while tuition is generally free, there may be a small semester fee that students need to pay, which typically covers student union membership and other costs. Note that, students outside the EU/EEA and Switzerland countries have to pay for tuition. The Norwegian Government introduced tuition fees for all students coming from outside the EU/EEA/EFTA in January 2023.

In addition to tuition-free education, you can explore opportunities for scholarships and financial aid that may be available to international students in Norway and Oslo. Scholarships can help with your living expenses and reduce the overall cost of studying in Oslo.

General Requirements and Admissions Process

To apply to a tuition-free university in Oslo or Norway in general, certain admission requirements must be met. These criteria may include academic prerequisites, language proficiency requirements, and other program-specific requirements. For English-taught programs, you may need to demonstrate your English language proficiency through tests like IELTS, Duolingo, or TOEFL.

For in-depth details on the admission process into Norwegian universities, you can check out the requirements per degree level: Study Bachelor’s in Norway, Study Master’s in Norway, or Study Ph.D. in Norway. Be sure to plan your application well in advance to meet the application deadlines, and pay attention to any additional requirements specific to your chosen program.

 

The above institutions offer international students looking to pursue their studies in Oslo an opportunity to do so without breaking the bank. Because tuition fees and regulations can change over time, you must check the latest information on the university websites about the admission requirements for international students in Oslo or Norway.

 

We hope this article has provided the information you are looking for. If you are planning to study in Europe, be sure to check out the Available Programs in Europe and Study in Norway pages!

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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