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Study in Norway

Norway is well known for its mountains, fjord coastline, sea-faring history, unique coastal life, midnight sunlight during the summer months, and brilliant Winter Olympics performance. It’s also a popular choice for international study, offering a good selection of universities, including four entries in the QS World University Rankings® 2015/16.

Due in part to its offshore oil and gas deposits, Norway has the fourth-highest per capita income in the world and one of the highest standards of living. It’s a member of many international organizations, including the UN, NATO, the Council of Europe and the Nordic Council, the WTO and the OECD. It’s also part of the Schengen Area, and maintains close ties with the US and the European Union (EU), despite rejecting full EU membership.

Norway is also renowned for contributions to art and culture – it is, after all, the homeland of hugely influential figures such as playwright Henrik Ibsen and painter Edvard Munch (creator of The Scream, one of the most recognizable paintings in the world). While Norway retains much of its old architecture (of particular note are its stave churches from the Middle Ages), it is also distinctive in its innovations in contemporary design and architecture, and as a world leader in research and development.

Norway’s renowned fjords include Geirangerfjord in the Sunnmøre region (listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site), Sognefjord (the longest) and the Hardangerfjord (the second-largest and one of the most visited). Another major driver of tourism to Norway is the stunning Arctic Circle phenomena known as aurora borealis (or the northern lights). 

If all that appeals but you’re worried about losing a digit in the freezing cold, worry no more! The warm Gulf Stream means Norway isn’t actually as cold as you might imagine. With coastal areas being relatively mild and average winter temperatures rarely dipping below -4oC (24.8oF) in capital city Oslo, one can venture around fairly comfortably (in layers, yes, but without turning blue).

If you’re keen to study in Norway, click on the tabs below to find out about top Norwegian universities, popular student cities, and how to get started with your application.

Fast Facts

  •  Official name: Kingdom of Norway
  • ‘Norway’ translates roughly as ‘path to the north’
  • Capital city: Oslo
  • Constitutional monarchy (currently King Harald V – a largely ceremonial role) and parliamentary democracy
  • Head of government is prime minister (currently Erna Solberg)
  • Currency: Norwegian krone
  • Major religion: Christianity (Lutheran Church of Norway)
  • Official language: Norwegian. Also significant is the Sámi language of the indigenous Sámi people in the north. Many Norwegians speak English as a second language.
  • Norwegian language has two official written forms: Bokmål and Nynorsk, of which Bokmål is used by the vast majority and Nynorsk is used mostly in the very south.
  • Europe’s northernmost country
  • Borders with Sweden, Finland and Russia
  • Shares longest uninterrupted border within Europe, with Sweden
  • Around the same size as Malaysia, but with a total population smaller than that of the Kuala Lumpur metropolitan area alone
  • Half of Norway’s surface area is mountain.
  • There are as many Norwegian descendants living in the US as there are Norwegians in Norway (according to the US Census Bureau).
  • 99% of Norway’s electricity comes from hydropower.
  • Early adopter of women’s rights, minority rights, and LGBT rights
  • First country to recognize the ILO-convention 169 concerning the rights of indigenous and tribal people
  • First Scandinavian country to legalize same-sex marriage
  • Major exports: petrol, oil, gas, arms, black metal, machinery, chemicals and fish
  • Time zone: Central European Time (UTC+1), UTC+2 in the summer
  • International dialing code: +47
  • Internet domain: .no
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