6 Best Universities in Norway for International Students

//6 Best Universities in Norway for International Students

Norway has recently grown to become a wise and outstanding choice for higher education in Europe, particularly among foreign students. Despite the country’s small geography, it is indeed surprising that Norway offers a high standard and quality of education from its universities which makes it quite appealing for international exchange students. In this article, we will be looking at the best universities in Norway for international students.

The attractive environment that Norway offers is one of the most tempting features of the country. Considered to be the northernmost country in Europe, Norway falls nothing short of having picturesque scenery that includes the iconic fjords and spectacular mountain landscapes.

It is the perfect option for students who appreciate a natural and pristine environment. In terms of the culture, Norway is one of the few Scandinavian countries where its people speak English perfectly, which makes it ideal for international students when settling in. Nevertheless, this does not mean culture is something they shy away from – students will undoubtedly have access to the enriching lifestyle that this country offers.

However, one of the most attractive qualities of Norwegian education is their tuition-free status; the majority of the universities in Norway do not charge any high tuition fees for their students, including international students. Coupled with the low cost of loving and affordable healthcare, it definitely is an attractive choice when considering budgeting.

In this article, we have arranged a list of universities in Norway that offer the best in terms of education and student experience for prospective international students. Most of the universities in this list require no tuition expenses as well! So feel free to browse and we hope they give you an idea of the attractive qualities that Norwegian institutions of higher education can offer.


Universities in Norway for International Students


The University of Oslo is the oldest and one of the most prestigious universities in the country. Located in the capital of Oslo, the this university in Norway for international students was founded in 1811 and provides education for a student community exceeding 28,000 students.

It is academically divided into 8 major faculties of study with their sub-departments – humanities, law, medicine, dentistry, natural sciences, social sciences, theology and educational studies. The university is further composed of different campuses, each of which house different departments. Furthermore, research plays a critical role in the university’s development.

Several research groups and interdisciplinary research units are operated by the university such as Barony Rosendal, the Centre for Gender Research and the Simula Research Laboratory. As is the case with the majority of institutions of higher education in the country, the University of Oslo does not charge any tuition fees, barring aside relatively minor administration fees.

With its location in the capital city of Oslo, students have access to the unique culture and traditions of Norway, in addition to the many opportunities offered by the city.

The university has been consistently ranked among the top universities in the Nordic region; While being ranked as the 3rd best university in Scandinavia, the ARWU rankings place it as the 58th best university in the world.



The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (or the NTNU) is a public institution of higher education and research. Founded in 1960, the university underwent mergers that enabled it to become the largest university in the country. It is currently composed of campuses spread through the cities of Trondheim, Ålesund and Gjøvik.

Each of these major campuses can be divided into smaller campuses and focus on providing education in different areas of study. The NTNU provides education for a student population of over 40,000 and has the country’s key responsibility of educating in engineering and technological studies.

However, despite what its name suggests, the NTNU is a multidisciplinary institute and offers programs across the fine arts, life sciences, medicine, social sciences and teacher education. Academically, this institution in Norway for international students is comprised of 9 faculties which are further divided into 65 departments of study.

Research is a focal point of the NTNU’s education system. Students are encouraged to actively take part as means of development and have the choice from over 300 different research agreements. Exchange is also possible and the university has partnerships with around 85 international institutions.



Located in the city of Bergen in the west coast of Norway is the University of Bergen. Established in 1946, the university is a public research institution that has a student population of 17,000 which makes it one of the smallest universities in the country. Nevertheless, it is a common study destination for international exchange students.

Since its inception, the university has been establishing faculties and as of now, it currently has 7 major faculties – Fine Arts, Law, Humanities, Mathematics & Natural Sciences, Medicine, Social Sciences and Psychology. Collectively, over 200 degrees and programs of study are offered by the institution.

Bergen has been ranked among the top universities in Norway; furthermore, the ARWU and QS rankings have placed the university among the top 150-300 universities in the world. Active extra-curricular engagement is encouraged and students are required to take part in the university’s welfare and student guild association.

As is the case with Norwegian institutions of higher education, the university does not charge any tuition fees for its students, including international students. However a small fee (typically less than $100 USD) is charged for medical insurance, healthcare and other necessary requirements.



The Arctic University of Norway, or officially known as the University of Tromsø currently holds the place for being the ‘northernmost’ university in the world. It is located in the city of Tromsø and was established in 1968 as one of the eight public institutions of higher education in the country.

This university in Norway for international students currently provides education for around 17,000 students and has a multidisciplinary range of courses and degrees. However, its location in Nordland gives it a natural edge for studies in natural environment and Norwegian culture.

Some of its focal points of study include biotechnology, space sciences, fishery science, research in multicultural societies, linguistics and even auroral light research. The university also proudly holds status as a global center for arctic research and is affiliated to institutes such as the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research and the Polar Institute.

Around 30 Bachelors and Master’s degree programs are taught and administrated in English for the benefit of international students. Additionally, numerous short courses and long-distance learning programs are also available.

With the added advantage of having no tuition fees coupled with the university’s rich cultural edge and scenic Arctic location, prospective students have a competitive choice when considering the Arctic University and everything it has to offer.



Located in the city of Ås, the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (or the NMBU) is a public research university that focuses on providing education in the natural and life sciences. The university was established in 1859.

Although its main focus is in the natural sciences, the NMBU also provides education in several other disciplines and fields of study. Academically, it is composed of 7 major faculties ranging from biosciences and veterinary medicine to economics & business and landscape & society.

Furthermore, it is the only university in the country to provide education in veterinary science. While the majority are taught in Norwegian, the university offers numerous English-taught Bachelors and Masters programs for its international student community.

The university maintains over 90 different international partnerships with global universities across the world which enables it to receive a high influx of exchange students on an annual basis. To this end, the NMBU has a high international reputation and provides a diverse, multicultural experience for its prospective students.

Foreign students are automatically a part of the International Students Union of Norwegian Universities which aims to improve and diversify the student experience of such students.



The final institution in our list of universities in Norway for international students is the Nord University, which is a state university located in the municipality of Body in Nordland county. The institution was formed via a merger and is among the latest additions to the university system in Norway.

Although it has a recent inception, the university has rapidly become a prospective destination for international students who are a part of the 12,000 student family. With its main campus in Bodø, the university operates smaller campuses in several other parts of the county such as Levanger, Steinjker and Namsos.

It offers around 200 courses and programs of studies across a range of disciplines. The university operates with the Erasmus exchange program in addition to other programs and thus receives a large number of international students who wish to pursue a part of their studies in Norway.


I hope that this article on universities in Norway for international students was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Norway Scholarships Page!