There was a time in history when a college education was only for the privileged members of society. While there are still a few countries where this remains a fact, current generations of scholars are fortunate to have numerous universities that offer affordable yet quality high education. Moreover, government and private institutions provide additional financial support to aspiring degree holders through scholarships and grants.

Norway is one of the countries that believed education should be available to everyone. In fact, Norway is among the Nordic countries that boast free education for all, regardless of country of origin. It makes the country a popular destination for degree studies since international students can finish a Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Ph.D. program for free. However, as Norway is known for the high cost of living, other sources of funds are still necessary for international students.

If you’re aiming to study here, and you want to get free education, you need to prepare early. In this article, we listed down some tips on how you can get a degree in Norway for free!

Can International Students Study in Norway for Free?

The answer is yes! International students can study in Norway for free. They are countries that provide free and affordable tuition fees to both local and foreign students. The Norwegian government has made arrangements to make higher education free to all.

However, more than the tuition and other fees, international students should consider other expenses like accommodation, travel, and more. To solve this, you can apply for scholarships and awards that cover living stipends and more.

Is Norway Affordable for International Students?

Since Norway promotes free education to all, tuition fees won’t be your problem when you study here because you can get it for free or discounted. When it comes to the cost of living, Noway can be costly, and you need to prepare funds for your living expenses. You’ll be considering your food, accommodation, insurance, and other things.

Although, these things will depend on the lifestyle you have. Planning your budget and lifestyle would be a big help as you study here. You can consider applying for scholarships to give more financial support to your studies.

Check Also: Available Programs in Europe for International Students

How to Study in Norway for Free

1. Prepare an Awesome Application and Submit Them Before the Deadline

Studying for free in Norway depends significantly on your application. Your application represents your academic performance in your preceding and current educational levels. As it is the first thing that college admission reviewers will look at to base their judgment on whether to accept you or not, you will have to make sure that your application highlights all your core strengths, achievements, potentials. Your grades in crucial subjects, general point average, and even test scores further represent these characteristics. By studying hard early in your education, you can prepare your academic profile to meet most universities’ sky-high academic requirements.

As you also look towards studying abroad, specific documentary requirements are needed to be prepared early. Passports, visas, and other necessary travel documents may take time to complete. Thus you will need to set sufficient time to work on these. Aim to submit your requirements at the earliest time possible. Most importantly, make sure that your application is complete and error-free to stand out from other applicants and avoid the risks of getting rejected early on.

2. Submit your Application to Universities in Norway that Offer Scholarships

While submitting your impressive application earlier than the deadline can get you accepted at a Norwegian university, it does not, however, guarantee that you can study for free in Norway, and your chosen school will fully fund your entire stay in Norway. Fortunately, public universities in Norway receive funds from the government, thus provide tuition-free education to all regardless of country of origin. However, you might have to pay for your education if you apply for a private institution in the country.

For this matter, applying for scholarships can also help you tremendously. Whether you get accepted in a public or private institution, tuition costs and fees do not solely constitute your financial concerns in Norway. An even more significant bearing in your stay is your living expenses since Norway is known for its high cost of living. Scholarships can also save you from a lot of financial struggles by allowing you to study in Norway for free while you are away from your family. So, make sure to apply for as many scholarships as you can. It is also recommended to send your application to universities that can guarantee you opportunities to apply for scholarships.

3. Apply to Free Universities in Norway

Planning ahead in your college education requires a lot of steps to take. You might secure a scholarship in your preferred school. But as there are hundreds of applicants in very limited slots, what happens if you are not chosen? Luckily, there are quite a number of affordable universities in Norway for international students. As the country is known for its high-quality education, you need not worry about settling for less than what you are capable of paying for.

Among the universities with free tuition costs are the University of Agder, the University of Stavanger, and the University of Oslo. Choosing a free university can help you study in Norway for free. It has one of the highest costs of living in Europe, and you might need all the extra money you can save from university expenses. It is essential to have finances on hand when emergencies call for it or if you wish to explore the country to relax and unwind.

Study Undergraduate in Norway for Free

One of the most fantastic perks of choosing Norway for a Bachelor’s education is the availability of tuition-free universities. The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) is one of the universities in the country that offer free tuition to incoming Bachelor’s students, regardless of their country of origin. Another tuition-free institution in Norway is the University of Bergen. Nord University is another top school in Norway that offers free tuition to incoming undergraduate students. Undergraduate students can study in Norway for free by attending these universities.

While these universities offer tuition-free undergraduate education to international students, both universities advise incoming international students to look for other scholarship providers to cover their living expenses in Norway. Some of the private scholarships available for international students are the High North Fellowship Program for students from selected countries. The scholarship provides NOK9,440, which intends to cover the living and housing expenses of the scholarship recipients. The Norwegian State Educational Loan Fund is a government-supported institution for financing education in Norway. With the help of these universities and resources, international students can get an entirely free education in Norway.

Study Master’s in Norway for Free

Similar to undergraduate degrees, Master’s degree programs in Norway are free in public universities. Also, these are mostly taught in English, unlike with the Bachelor’s degree, which may require a particular proficiency in Norwegian and Swedish languages. The Norwegian Business School covers the full tuition and living stipend of international students in Norway for up to two years of their Master’s education.

You can study for your Master’s in Norway for free by attending these universities that also offer tuition-free Master’s programs, which are the University of Agder, NHH Norwegian School of Economics, and the University of Bergen. Since these universities only cover the tuition costs, international students still have to provide their financing or apply for scholarships. Some of the scholarships worth considering are the Norway Grants, Nordplus Higher Education, the High North Fellowship Programme, and the Erasmus Mundus Joint Masters. Through these institutes, international students can get complete their Master’s degree in Norway.

Study Ph.D. in Norway for Free

Norway indeed went overboard in providing free, and quality education as Ph.D. programs in most universities are offered tuition-free. The University of Oslo offers doctoral research fellowships for qualified international applicants. It entails studying for free in one of the world’s top schools and Norway’s oldest university. Also, the fellowship grants accepted candidates a salary of NOK482,200 up to NOK526,000 annually and attractive welfare benefits through the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.

The University of Bergen also offers several Ph.D. positions in various departments and specializations. International students looking to study Ph.D. in Norway for free can apply for these Ph.D. positions, where aside from free tuition, they are also entitled to NOK482,000 salary, good welfare benefits, and enrolment in the pension fund once they are accepted. With these opportunities, it is far more possible to finish a Ph.D. degree in Norway for free.


I hope that this article on studying in Norway for free was helpful. Make sure to also check out the Available Programs in Europe!