Despite being a small country, Norway is an attractive location for international students to pursue higher education. The number of globally recognized universities, high living standards, unique Scandinavian culture, and the abundance of affordable study opportunities are only a few of the reasons why so many international students prefer studying in Norway.

The Norwegian government used to offer free higher education for all international students until 2022. However, even when tuition fees are being charged now, it’s still possible to study in Norway for free – or for the least amount possible – by following the steps we will detail in this article. If you’re looking for ways to experience international student life in Norway, but you don’t have enough budget to pay for the tuition fees, read our article and take action.

How to Study in Norway for Free

1. Determine the Documents You Need and Compile them

The first step to complete a successful application and get the chance to study in Norway for free is to read the program requirements carefully and start preparing the documents immediately. Missing documents may cause your application to be invalid, so it’s best to organize your application process beforehand and create a checklist for the documents you are to include in your submission.

Required documents can differ based on the university or program you wish to apply to. However, general requirements include a diploma of the latest completed degree, an academic transcript, proficiency in the language of instruction, and so on. Additionally, submitting supplementary documents may help your application stand out among others, so it’s best to consider submitting miscellaneous documents like a letter of intent, curriculum vitae, portfolio, and more. For the best advice, kindly visit the program requirements page at your chosen university.

2. Research for and Apply for Scholarships at Your University

Scholarships are one of the best ways to obtain the chance to study in Norway for free. Although students from non-EU/EEA countries or outside Switzerland are to pay for the tuition fees, they’re offered many scholarship options to study in Norway that can lead to them getting exempted from the fees.

One of the most advantageous scholarships for students from non-EU/EEA countries or outside Switzerland is the BI Presidential Scholarship. It includes a 100% tuition waiver and a stipend covering about 70% of living expenses for international master’s of science students at BI Norwegian Business School.

3. Apply for Admission to Affordable Universities

Besides trying for scholarships, applying to affordable Norwegian universities is another cost-effective option for students from non-EU/EEA countries or outside Switzerland. Private universities charge high amounts for tuition fees, while public universities have tuition fees. Thus, you may consider enrolling in those institutions instead.

To demonstrate, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology welcomes many international students from non-EU/EEA countries or outside Switzerland. It charges an annual tuition fee for bachelor’s and master’s programs, which start at NOK 128,433 for humanities, social sciences, and economy programs, and NOK 151,317 for science, technology, and teacher’s studies. It can also go up to NOK 470,550 for medical studies and art academy. Another example is the Oslo Metropolitan University, which requires NOK 185,400 to NOK 373,550 per year for tuition fees from students who originated from non-EU/EEA countries or outside Switzerland.

Tuition-free Options for Bachelor’s Studies in Norway

There are several scholarship options available for students from non-EU/EEA countries or outside Switzerland at the undergraduate level. However, it must be noted that the majority of these options are partial scholarships only, i.e., generous amounts to help cover some of your study expenses in Norway. The portion that scholarships cannot cover may be funded by the students in some other way, such as part-time jobs in Norway.

Some scholarship programs for international students enrolled in bachelor’s studies in Norway include the Norwegian Business School Bachelor International Scholarship, which covers 50% of the total tuition fees for students enrolled in bachelor’s programs in business administration, data science for business, and digital business.

Tuition-free Options for Master’s Studies in Norway

On the other hand, some of the common scholarships for students taking master’s studies in Norway include the Erasmus Mundus Scholarships. These scholarships are offered for a wide variety of programs and institutions across Europe, including Norway. The requirements, application processes, and benefits also vary per program. Thus, it is best to visit the Erasmus+ site for the most accurate information or inquire with your target university if they are a participant.

As for students from non-EU/EEA countries or outside Switzerland, there are specific scholarship programs, including the Education for Sustainable Energy Development (ESED) Scholarship Program, that you can apply for. That particular scholarship offers up to $10,000 per year for students from developing countries in the sustainable energy development field.

Tuition-free Options for Ph.D. Studies in Norway

Lastly, there are scholarship options for international Ph.D. students coming from non-EU/EEA countries or outside Switzerland. They can use those to contribute to their living and studying expenses during their studies in Norway.

An example of a scholarship offered for students at the Ph.D. level is the NORAM Scholarship. It provides U.S. students at the graduate level with an amount starting from NOK10,000 to NOK 40,000 per academic year. Another scholarship is from the Norwegian Business School, which offers no-tuition full-time Ph.D. programs with several funding options.

Completing a degree program at a Norwegian university will secure a bright future in academic and career life. However, it’s crucial to consider funding before applying there. Thus, consider these options that will ensure you study for free in Norway!

FAQs: Studying in Norway as an International Student

Are there Opportunities for International Students to Study in Norway for Free?

There are several opportunities for international students to study in Norway for free. Actually, it was free for all international students until 2022. However, non-EU/EEA students are now required to pay for the tuition fees at Norwegian universities. Still, studying in Norway can be free because universities and external organizations offer generous scholarships for skilled students from different parts of the world.

However, it’s important to know that the chances of receiving tuition-free education may depend on several factors, such as the type of university, degree, program, or the student’s country of origin. Thus, conduct research carefully to know what tuition-free opportunities are available to your desired program and institution.

How Much is the Annual Academic Cost in Norway?

The academic cost of studying at Norwegian universities depends on many factors, such as the type of university, degree, program, accommodation options, and many more. Most universities in Norway are state-owned or public, meaning the tuition fees are fairly affordable. In comparison, private universities have higher tuition fees for domestic and international students.

As an example, the University of Oslo, which is one of the most prominent universities in Norway, charges students coming from countries outside the EU/EEA and Switzerland annual tuition fees of NOK 191,000 to NOK 276,000. Meanwhile, the University of Bergen, a similarly prestigious university in Norway, requires international students from outside the EU/EEA and Switzerland to pay annual tuition fees of NOK 187,400 to NOK 257,950.

We hope this article helps you find ways to study for free in Norway or keep study costs to a minimum. That said, if you are intent on studying in Norway, check out our Norway and Open Courses in Europe 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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  1. Ashenafi Fanta August 19, 2023 6:26 pm - Reply

    I am very delighted with the information on your page. However, I want to be assured of about getting opportunities for PhD program on English Language and Literature. Thank You!

    • Hyun Lee August 28, 2023 4:02 pm - Reply

      Hello, regarding PhD Program on English Language and Literature, you do need to find the universities in Norway that offers that program.

  2. Anthony August 26, 2023 9:26 pm - Reply

    The article is very helpful thank you!

    • Hyun Lee August 28, 2023 11:19 am - Reply

      You are welcome! Glad you find it helpful.

  3. Anonymous September 11, 2023 4:17 pm - Reply

    Going through the information you give, I can say is so great 👍 thanks

    • Hyun Lee September 17, 2023 4:38 pm - Reply

      You are welcome!

  4. Ekeh Victor September 16, 2023 12:40 pm - Reply

    Am actually looking for universities that are under scholarship that offers Chemical Engineering or petroleum and gas Engineering in Norway

    • Hyun Lee September 21, 2023 3:19 pm - Reply

      Hello, I’m not sure which universities in Norway offers those courses, but you can go to individual university websites and see if they offer the courses or not.