With one of the highest standards of education as well as amazing standards of living, it’s no wonder that Norway is an ideal study destination for international students. Norway’s unique student experience lies in a combination of affordable, high-quality learning with excellent student life and a working environment.

Located in the north to the western part of the Scandinavian Peninsula, one cannot help but stand in awe of Norway’s natural beauty. The country is surrounded by coastal seas and majestic glaciers and fjords – imagine hiking to see the Aurora Borealis on weekends. This picturesque scenery for the study is also complemented by a plethora of active water sports that are sure to satisfy anyone’s inner adventurer. From skiing to white water rafting, there’s something for everyone.

But there is more behind its natural beauty. Norway is one of the most technologically advanced countries in Europe driven largely by making education its top priority. So much so that Norway offers free education to its locals including EU/EEA and Swiss citizens. And yet, Norway boasts of some of the top 1% of schools and universities in the world. The learning environment is relaxed and open to discourse, providing opportunities for students to explore and learn at their own pace with teachers as mentors. English is widely used and the country is ranked second in the world for security in Gallup’s Law and Order index, which makes this place a great fit for foreigners.

Combining strong tradition with the latest advancements in the modern world, an education in Norway will take you places. Try it yourself through their competitive bachelor’s courses. Here’s a guide on how to apply for an undergraduate degree in Norway.

Admission Requirements When Applying for a Bachelor’s Degree

Applications to most undergraduate programs in Norway are coursed through the Norwegian Universities and Colleges Admission Service (NUCAS). This portal requires an upload of one’s high school diploma or equivalent. Norwegian proficiency test scores are also needed as most schools offer courses exclusively in Norwegian. More stringent requirements apply for courses in English, as students must submit both Norwegian and English proficiency test scores. Other requirements depend on the student’s country of origin, as indicated by the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (NOKUT). The GSU list is made available to better prepare international students for their applications.

If the list of requirements seems a bit overwhelming, NUCAS also offers an optional Assessment Service for its prospective students. Simply submit a copy of the NUCAS assessment form and proof of educational attainment and NUCAS can help check your readiness to study in Norway.

Aside from school requirements, a student residence permit is also important when applying for undergraduate degrees in Norway. Students must submit a filled-out application form with a copy of their passport, proof of acceptance to a Norwegian university, health insurance, and a housing and study plan. Students must show proof of funding during their stay to obtain their student residence permit.

Check Also: Programs in Europe for International Students

Language Proficiency Tests Needed for Bachelor’s Programs

Norwegian proficiency is essential to survive in Norway. Top universities such as the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, University of Bergen, and University of Oslo offer all of their undergraduate programs only in Norwegian. Hence, for international students who wish to study for their bachelor’s degree in Norway but with no proven experience in Norwegian, proficiency tests in this language are required for admission. Students must pass either the Norwegian for Foreigners course level 3 exam of the respective universities, or the national Bergen Norwegian Language Test for both written and oral segments to be eligible.

But with more English courses available, English proficiency tests may also be necessary to gain entry into the few but growing number of English courses in the country. Universities will accept standardized tests such as TOEFL, IELTS, PTE Academic, and University of Cambridge Examinations, among others. Students must obtain a TOEFL score of 60 or higher for the online test or 500 on the paper-based test. Should IELTS be more accessible, the minimum score is 5.0. PTE Academic scores of at least 51 points would also have a high chances of acceptance. Lastly, University of Cambridge test takers must aim for the First Certificate in English, a Certificate in Advanced English, or a Certificate of Proficiency in English to appeal to top schools. From native English speakers to experience in taking English-based courses, exemptions from providing proof of English proficiency apply as stated here.

Steps to Apply for a Bachelor’s Degree in Norway

1. Learn about available courses

Managed by the Norwegian Directorate for Higher Education and Skills, the Study in Norway platform is catered to international students who are interested in applying for a bachelor’s degree in Norway. Since finding English courses seems to be a challenge, the website collects all available courses in English for easier perusal. The site is also an excellent primer on fun facts, available scholarships, and a practical guide to life in Norway. This is an excellent time to discern a course that fits best.

2. Apply for courses

For most colleges, applications can be submitted through the Norwegian Universities and Colleges Admission Service (NUCAS). Students must simply upload complete and correct documentation and ensure they have enough ‘study points’ to pass the quota of university slots available.

Computing for the study points is divided into two parts – the school credits and the competition credits. School credits rank applications across first-time undergraduates and are comprised of subject points for science and language as well as gender points and the scores from the entrance exams. On the other hand, competition points are to fulfill ordinary quotas per university, which span across all applying for higher studies. These are computed through additional criteria from school credits such as age points.

For institutions not under the NUCAS, however, applications looking to study for a bachelor’s degree in Norway must be submitted directly to the institution. It would be best to consult these institutions individually for further details.

3. Apply for a student residence visa

Applying for a student residence visa is all done through the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration website. After submitting the necessary documents online, students will be asked to pay a transaction fee of 5,400 NOK. Note that student residence visas are only good for 12 months, which means students must renew each year.

4. Confirm residence upon arrival in Norway

The final step will be done once students arrive in Norway. They must provide their address during their stay at the nearest police station, along with relevant documents to prove their residence.


We hope this article will encourage you to apply for an undergraduate study in Norway. Check the Study in Norway for insightful articles about the country. Head on over to 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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