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Cost of living for students in Norway

The cost of living is high in Norway, so how do you survive on a student budget? See our students' tips and advice.

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Close portrait of two female students
Marta from Italy and Emily from Denmark are studying in Bergen: "You can get by financially as a student in a country with a high cost of living, such as Norway, but you have to spend your money wisely".
Photo:
Elias Dahlen

Norway is expensive. Anyone who has visited as a tourist knows that. So how do you survive on a tight budget in a country with high living costs?

Law student Marta Simoncelli (22) from Italy and linguistics student Emily Melsen Jørgensen (22) from Denmark have been studying in Bergen for six months and are happy to share their experiences with anyone considering coming to Norway and the University of Bergen (UiB).

Cheap student accommodation

The cost of housing eats into a student budget, but don't worry: As an international student you have the right to accommodation through Sammen Student Housing. Sammen's housing costs tend to be lower than average housing costs in Norway.

«I'm Danish and was not shocked by the high cost of living in Norway, but as a student I don’t have much money», says Jørgensen and continues: «It helps your finances a lot if you accept the offer of renting a room through the welfare organisation Sammen». 

Sammen Housing offers various types of accommodation on several locations in Bergen. Prices start from 2715 NOK (306 EURO) per month for the cheapest option. Rent also includes free Internet access. The biggest student residence is Fantoft Student Accommodation, with 1300 units.

No tuition fees

Marta and Emily both agree that the trick is to save money whenever possible:

«I have used the library actively. It's better to borrow than to buy new books. I also look for online versions of our school books that I can read for free», says Jørgensen, and continues:

«I also take food and drink with me to the campus cafeterias. Buying coffee every day can quickly add up to a lot of money».

UiB is a public institution and does not charge any tuition fees to students, regardless of country of origin. And, if you are an exchange student, you are exempt from the Sammen semester registration fee of 66 EURO as well. Yet you still get the same discount as other students on public transport, museums, concerts and cultural events.


Free nature and cheap flights

There are also other experiences that come for free or are cheaper than normal in Norway: 

«The best thing about Norway is the nature. It's free, and I love hiking in the mountains. In Bergen there are mountains and nature right on your doorstep, it's very unique»!

Simoncelli also discovered that one of Europe’s cheapest airlines operates in Norway:

«I have travelled a lot. There are very cheap tickets with Norwegian from Bergen to other cities in Norway and Europe. I have been to Iceland, Tromsø, the capital Oslo and to Stavanger. It's much more expensive to fly in Italy».


Emily and Marta sum up student life on a shoestring in Bergen with the following advice:

  1. Make use of the nature in your leisure time. It's free.
  2. Live cheaply by renting a room from Sammen Housing.
  3. There are no tuition fees. University studies are free for everyone.
  4. There is free health care in Norway.
  5. Borrow books from the library.
  6. Eat packed lunches.
  7. Cook at home for yourself and your friends.
  8. Bergen is a small, safe and charming city. We recommend it!