Looking beyond the country's scenic paradise, it has also been crowned the "Best Place To Live" for several years as well as the "Happiest Place On Earth". Norway came 2nd in the United Nation's World Happiness Report in 2013 and has ranked 1st overall on the Legatum Institute's Prosperity Index since 2010. According to The Economist's Glass Ceiling Index, Norway is the best place to work for women. The Legatum Institute's research also indicates that Norwegians have the second-highest level of satisfaction with their standards of living. 95% Norwegians are satisfied with the level of personal freedom in the country and 74% (higher than any other country) say that other people can be trusted.
This coupled with the fact that Norway has four universities amongst the top 400 in the world (according to QS rankings) makes it an ideal study abroad destination for students. The cherry on the cake, however, is the fact that the majority of Norwegian institutions of higher education are publicly funded. This means that there are no tuition fees for most courses at state universities and university colleges in Norway. This tuition-waiver is not country specific; it also applies to all foreign students.
Norway has a reputation for being expensive, but studying here may not be as expensive as you think!
The Norwegian government places a great significance on education. The literacy rates and educational attainment levels in Norway are amongst the highest in the world. According to the OECD Better Life Index, 82% of adults aged 25-64 have earned the equivalent of a high-school degree. Since the government considers access to higher education for all to be an important part of the Norwegian society, even foreign students at all levels, including undergraduate, Master's and Ph.D. receive tuition-free education.
There are some costs that students still have to bear, like fees for exams and student welfare. This ranges from NOK 300 - 600 (around 50 - 100 USD). The payment of this semester fee is neccessary to receive the official student card that, amongst other privileges, entitles students to reduced fares on most forms of public transport and lower ticket prices for various cultural events. The fees also provide students with access to campus health services, counselling, sports facilities and other benefits offered by the student welfare organization.
There are also scholarships, grants and loans available for foreign students who want to study in Norway. These range from one-off monthly grants to student exchange programs and full-ride scholarships. Foreign students can also work part-time in Norway. Whether it is a part-time internship or a job in the service industry, students are free to work up to 20 hours per week during the semester.
While universities like University of Oslo, University of Bergen, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, and University of Tromso, which are amongst the top 400 in the world according to QS, don't charge any tuition fees, many private colleges are not tuition-free. However, even these institutions are more affordable than most study abroad options. Not only are the fees significantly lower than most other countries, there are also other factors that make Norway more affordable. The most significant difference between Norway and most countries is that foreign students don't pay higher tuition fees than local students.
With all these benefits, students looking to study abroad without spending a fortune should definitely consider Norway in their top choices.