Norway’s education system emphasizes a lot on research-based learning, making it a popular destination for exchange students from across the world. While in the country, your survival will depend on how well you prepared beforehand.
1. Cost of Living
As an international student in Norway, you will need approximately NOK 10,000 on a monthly basis to cater to your day-to-day expenses. On approximate, you will spend the money as follows:
- Food – NOK 15,000
- Housing – NOK 15,000
- Transportation – NOK 3,000
- Books & Supplies – NOK 5,000
- Practical Expenses (clothes, laundry, entertainment etc.) - NOK 12,000
Student life is quite expensive. You need to prepare your finances before you leave for Norway or ask for financial assistance from your school or host institution. Note that the expenses will vary depending on the location of your host institution.
In Norway, there are three official written languages: Bokmal, Nynorsk and Norwegian. Although there is a large number of Norwegians who speak and understand English, you will need to learn one of the three languages to improve your communication when in the country. When learning Bokmal or Nynorsk, you will realize that they are quite similar especially in their written form. The difference between the two is most noticeable in their spoken form; however, Norwegians will often use either language in its written form when they come across a foreigner who is not well conversant with the varied dialects.
3. Health Insurance
Students from the EU/EEA or Switzerland can access health insurance with a European Health Card at the same rate as Norwegian nationals. Alternatively, social security coverage from your home country can help you access medical services. The third option is to register for private insurance preferably with a company that offers its services in Norway. If you are in the country for 3 to 12 months, apply for membership with the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme through your host institution. Note that if you are at a Norwegian institution for 12 months or more, you automatically become insured under the National Insurance Scheme. Additionally, students can access free medical services at health facilities within their institutions.
4. Mobile Phone Services
Most mobile phone service providers offer roaming services that allow you to use your home number while in Norway; however, despite the convenience, the roaming charges may make it impossible to afford the service. To continue enjoying mobile phone services, you can rent a mobile phone from Cello Mobile or RangeRoamer. Alternatively, you can unlock your phone and rent a SIM card on Cellular Abroad or One SIM Card. You can access prepaid or postpaid services depending on your service provider. While in some restaurants and eateries, you can access free WiFi, helping you save on data costs.
While in Norway, there are plenty of cultural events you can attend to experience the Norwegian culture, for example, theater shows and music festivals. Other activities to enjoy while in the country include skiing, hiking and fishing. Alternatively, you can book a cruise and get an otherworldly experience of the country.
See Also: How to Excel as a Student in France
An exchange program is about new experiences and lots of fun. Make the most of your exchange program by making friends with the Norwegians and immersing yourself in their culture.