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How to Get Scholarships to Study in Norway for International Students

Last updated on February 18, 2024

Norway is an extremely popular study abroad destination for international students due to its high standard of education, breathtaking natural beauty, and high quality of life. However, studying in Norway can be expensive for international students as the cost of tuition and living is quite high. In this guide, we will explore various strategies, tips, and essential information on how to get scholarships to study in Norway for international students seeking to pursue their academic ambitions in this beautiful Scandinavian country.The good news is that Norway offers a wide range of scholarships for international students to help fund their education. These scholarships are provided by the Norwegian government, universities, foundations, and other organizations.

This comprehensive guide provides all the details you need about securing scholarships to study in Norway as an international student.

Overview of Scholarships in Norway for International Students

Here’s a quick overview of some of the main scholarship opportunities in Norway for international students:

  • Norwegian State Education Loan Fund (Lånekassen) – Provides loans and grants for international students studying in Norway. One of the largest national funding sources.
  • University of Oslo Scholarships – Wide range of scholarships specifically for international students studying at the University of Oslo, including full tuition waivers.
  • Quota Scheme Scholarships – Scholarships offered by Norwegian universities funded by the Norwegian government to attract top talent.
  • Erasmus+ Scholarships – Funded by the EU, for international students to study/internship/volunteer in Norway for 3-12 months.
  • Research Council of Norway (RCN) Scholarships – Numerous scholarships for international students to undertake PhD and postdoctoral research in Norway.
  • EEA/Norway Grants – Funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, scholarships for students from specific countries to study in Norway.
  • Individual University Scholarships – Many Norwegian universities offer scholarships specifically for international students.
  • NGO Scholarships – Organizations like Norway-America Association, Lef Foundation, and Soria Moria offer scholarships for courses in Norway.

Now let’s look at each of these key scholarship options in more detail:

1. Norwegian State Education Loan Fund

The Norwegian State Educational Loan Fund, also known as Lånekassen, is the largest provider of student finance in Norway. They provide loans and grants for international students from both EU/EEA and non-EU/EEA countries studying in Norway.How to Get Scholarships to Study in Norway for International StudentsHere are some key things to know about Lånekassen funding:

  • Available for undergraduate, masters, PhD degree programs
  • Covers tuition fees plus provides 10 months of living costs
  • Combination of 40% grant (doesn’t have to be repaid) and 60% loan
  • Loan has favorable terms – only has to be repaid after completing degree and income exceeds minimum level
  • Eligibility criteria – must study full time at an approved institution

The amount you can receive depends on your study level. Indicative amounts per academic year are:

  • Undergraduate studies: NOK 126,000
  • Masters: NOK 159,000
  • PhD: NOK 261,000

To apply for funding from Lånekassen, you’ll need to create an account online and fill out the application form. This must be done well in advance before your studies start – by 1 March for northern hemisphere programs starting in August/September or 1 October for programs starting in January.

The key criteria they assess are your financial situation, merits of your study program in Norway, and future career plans. Overall, the acceptance rate for international students applying for Lånekassen is around 50-60%.

So in summary, Lånekassen can be a great way for international students to fund the costs of their Norway education through an advantageous mix of grant and loan.

2. University of Oslo Scholarships

The University of Oslo offers an excellent selection of scholarships specifically for international students from around the world.

As Norway’s top ranked university, University of Oslo provides funding to attract high performing international students to join its diverse student body. There are several different types of University of Oslo scholarships to apply for:

A) University of Oslo Master’s Scholarships

Each year the University offers around 70-100 full scholarships that fully waive the tuition fees and provide NOK 10,000 per month for living costs to exceptional international master’s students.

Eligibility criteria is tough – you’ll need an outstanding academic record and research proposal to be competitive. These master’s scholarships are awarded based on merit.

B) University of Oslo PhD Scholarships

The University provides scholarship and funding opportunities for international students undertaking PhD study as well. This includes:

  • Quota scheme PhD fellowships – around 50 positions each year funded by the Norwegian government to attract highly skilled researchers to Norway. This covers PhD funding for 3-4 years with a salary of NOK 436,900 per year.
  • University-funded PhD fellowships – similar funding packages directly funded by departments at the University of Oslo. Requires professor sponsorship.
  • Additionally, PhD candidates can apply for supplementary scholarly funds of around NOK 20,000 per year from the University.

To apply, international PhD applicants must first connect with a professor/advisor at UiO working in their area of research and apply together.

C) Summer & Winter School Scholarships

The University of Oslo offers two short-term courses for international students and each provides some scholarships:

  • Oslo Summer School – 3 week academic courses in July. Some scholarships available covering part of the course fees and dormitory housing costs.
  • Oslo Winter School – 3 week program in January focused on Norwegian language and culture. Limited number of small scholarships offered.

So in summary, the University of Oslo has some amazing fully funded scholarship opportunities for talented international students. The application period is normally between October to January each year for programs starting the following autumn semester.

3. Quota Scheme Scholarships

The Norwegian Quota Scheme is a special scholarship program funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research.

Its goal is to help Norwegian universities attract the brightest and best students from around the world for Master’s and PhD programs. Around 1300 new scholarships are awarded under the Quota scheme each year.

Here are some key details about the Quota Scheme:

  • Fully funded scholarships – cover tuition fees + provide NOK 113,760 per year for living costs
  • Awarded for 1-2 years for Master’s and 3 years for PhD
  • Open to students from all countries and fields of study
  • Extremely competitive – high academic achievement required

Applications are submitted directly to participating Norwegian universities, not the government. Each university has their own application deadline – generally between December to April before the academic year starts.

The Universities with the most Quota scheme scholarships include:

  • University of Oslo (over 300 each year)
  • University of Bergen (around 150 each year)
  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • University of Tromsø

So in summary, the Quota scheme allows top international students to access fully funded scholarships at universities across Norway. The competition is stiff, but it’s a great program if you have an outstanding academic record.

4. EEA and Norway Grants

The EEA and Norway Grants represent the contribution of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway towards a green, competitive and inclusive Europe. They fund a number of scholarships for international students looking to study in Norway.

There are two main types of scholarships available:

A) EEA Scholarship Programme

Funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, the EEA Scholarship Programme enables students from countries like Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland etc to undertake studies or research in Norway.

  • Covers living costs + tuition fees + travel costs
  • For undergraduate, master, PhD and post-doctoral study
  • Between 130-400 scholarships awarded per country
  • Priority fields include climate, environment, health, civil society, justice

B) Norway Grants & Scholarships

Additionally, the Norway Grants offer scholarships for students from 13 EU countries to study in Norway. Priority countries include Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia, Cyprus etc.

  • Funded by Norway alone
  • Similar funding coverage as EEA scholarships
  • Around 500 Norway grants scholarships awarded annually

Applications open in December-January each year and must be submitted to nominated authorities in your home country, not the universities in Norway directly. Competitive based on academic record.

So in summary, the EEA and Norway Grants open up scholarship opportunities in Norway specifically for students from Central, Eastern and Southern Europe.

5. Research Council of Norway (RCN) Scholarships

The Research Council of Norway (RCN) offers a wide range of funding schemes for international students looking to undertake PhD and postdoctoral study and research in Norway.

As a major government institution funding research, they offer hundreds of scholarships each year. Some examples of RCN scholarships include:

  • PhD Scholarships – 3 year funding as part of industrial and public sector PhDs
  • Postdoctoral Fellowships – 1-3 years funding to carry out research at Norwegian institutions after completing a PhD
  • Mobility Grants – Shorter 1-12 month research visits to Norway for doctoral and postdoctoral fellows
  • Gender Balance Fellowships – Special PhD and postdoc funding aimed at women in underrepresented fields

RCN scholarships are awarded based on research excellence. Strong academic background, publications, and recommendation letters are required. RCN prioritizes research in fields like climate change, energy, biosciences, health etc.

Applications can be submitted year-round, but there are typically 2-4 application deadlines each year. Both the applicant and host institution must submit details.

So in summary, RCN is great for PhD and postdoc funding if you have strong research credentials and skills.

6. Individual University Scholarships

Aside from the major national funding schemes, many universities and university colleges across Norway offer scholarships specifically for international students as well.

Here are some examples:

Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)

  • KLP Scholarship – Covers full tuition fees and NOK 70,000 living costs for one Master’s student per year.
  • Excellence Scholarships – 1-2 full scholarships awarded for Master’s per faculty based on merit.

University of Bergen (UiB)

  • Aurora Scholarship – Full tuition scholarship plus NOK 70,000 stipend per year for one Master’s student.
  • Excellence Scholarship – Covers NOK 150,000-200,000 per year for up to 50 top Master’s students.

Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU)

  • Rector Scholarships – 5 full tuition waivers for outstanding Master’s students
  • President’s Scholarship – Full scholarship for few Bachelors students based on merit

Most universities have May-June deadlines for autumn semester entry. Competition is high, so you’ll need a stellar academic record.

7. NGO Scholarships for Norway

There are also a number of non-profit organizations and NGOs that offer scholarships for international students to study in Norway. This includes:

  • Norway-America Association – Up to 14 scholarships for Americans valued around $5,000 – $15,000 per year.
  • Lef Foundation – Scholarships focused on agriculture, agri-business and rural development.
  • Soria Moria International Cultural Center – Partial scholarships for courses and summer schools related to culture.
  • Fulbright Foundation – Prestigious awards for graduate study/research in Norway offered to US citizens.
  • Scholars at Risk Network – Supports students and scholars facing threats, including opportunity for academic positions in Norway.
  • Ada.org.ng – Scholarships targeted for women from developing countries to study technology and STEM related programs.
  • Archimedes Foundation – Estonian students can apply for Norway scholarships through this foundation.

So organizations like these provide niche scholarships to specific groups/nationalities and fields of study. Worth exploring these less competitive options.

How to Find Norway Scholarships

Here are some useful tips and resources to help you find and apply for scholarships to study in Norway:

  • Start researching 12-18 months before your planned studies in Norway to find the right scholarship options. Application deadlines are usually quite early.
  • Consult the official Study in Norway scholarships page – outlines all the main national opportunities.
  • Check the scholarships/financial aid page of every university website you are interested in. Look for international student and Norway-specific funding.
  • Use scholarship search engines like Scholars4Dev and EduPass to find detailed listings.
  • Check databases like E.L.S. for scholarships open to Norwegian study.
  • Consider lesser known small foundations and organizations offering niche Norway scholarships.
  • For graduate research funding, search the EURAXESS Norway database of PhD positions and fellowships.
  • Contact the international office of universities in Norway to ask for advice about funding opportunities.

The key is to start early and be thorough in your scholarship search. It takes time to find and successfully apply to the right opportunities.

Eligibility Criteria for Norway Scholarships

When applying for scholarships in Norway as an international student, you will need to meet certain eligibility criteria. Some typical requirements are:

  • Nationality – Some scholarships are only open to students from specific countries. Others are open worldwide.
  • Academic performance – Strong grades, marks, test scores are usually required. e.g. GPA of 3.7+ or 75%+ for undergrad.
  • Study level – Funding options differ for bachelor vs masters vs PhD candidates.
  • Subjects – Some scholarships require you to study certain subjects like STEM, business etc.
  • Language skills – Norwegian language skills usually not essential. But must meet English requirements – e.g. IELTS 6.5+ or TOEFL 90+.
  • Application process – Submit detailed application by deadline with all required documents.
  • Agreement to return – Funded students usually expected to return home after completing studies in Norway.

Read More: Top 10 University Scholarships without IELTS

So meeting both the academic and personal eligibility criteria is crucial before you apply for any Norway scholarships.

Application Timeline

Scholarships in Norway often have very early application deadlines. You need to plan the timing of your applications carefully:

  • 12 months before studies – Research scholarships and shortlist options that fit your background.
  • 6-9 months before – Contact potential universities/supervisors if needed. Check exact application requirements.
  • 4 months before – Prepare and submit your scholarship applications. Have all documents/evidence ready to attach.
  • 3 months before – Universities assess applications and select scholarship recipients.
  • 1-2 months before – Notification of results. Accept scholarship offer if successful.
  • 0-1 month before – Finalize acceptance, visa application, travel arrangements to Norway.

So in summary, begin planning very early, apply 4-6 months in advance, and expect to receive the outcome 1-3 months before your studies start. Starting late can jeopardize your chances.

Top Universities in Norway Offering Scholarships

Here are some of the top universities in Norway that offer great scholarship opportunities for international students across different study levels:

UniversityKey Scholarships
University of OsloUniversity of Oslo Scholarships (Masters, PhD), Quota Scheme
Norwegian University of Science and TechnologyNTNU TTO Scholarship, KD Scholarship
University of BergenExcellence Scholarship, Aurora Scholarship
Norwegian University of Life SciencesRector Scholarship, President’s Scholarship
UiT The Arctic University of NorwayArctic Studies Program Scholarship
University of TromsøArctic Domus Scholarship
BI Norwegian Business SchoolMSc in Leadership Scholarship

So in summary, explore the flagship universities first, as they offer the most scholarship options. But many smaller Norwegian colleges also provide international student funding, so do thorough research.

FAQs about Scholarships in Norway

Here are answers to some common questions about how to get scholarships in Norway as an international student:

Are there scholarships in Norway for international students?

Yes, there are many great scholarship options in Norway for international students including government, university, NGO, and private funding across different study levels.

Do Norwegian universities offer scholarships for international students?

The majority of universities in Norway offer at least some scholarship funding aimed specifically at top international applicants, including both partial and fully funded awards.

How can I study in Norway for free as an international student?

The main ways are through fully funded university scholarships, the Quota scheme, or Norwegian State Loans/Grants if eligible. Very limited seats so extremely competitive.

What are my chances of getting a Norway scholarship as an international student?

For most scholarships in Norway, the acceptance rate is under 10% given high competition. But if you have outstanding grades and experience, it is still possible to win funding.

Which universities in Norway offer full scholarships?

The universities of Oslo, Bergen, Tromso, Trondheim and NTNU for example offer some full tuition waiver and living cost scholarships each year for international master/PhD students.

How much money can I get from Norway scholarships?

Scholarship amounts range from NOK 10,000 to NOK 300,000+ per year

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