University of Oslo

The capital of Norway with several large museums (including the world's best-preserved viking ships), Oslo is a compact city with a rich maritime history.

The University of Oslo (UiO) is both the oldest and largest university in Norway, and is recognized as the country's top institution for higher education (QS 2019). Currently ranked in the top 130 of universities worldwide (#51 in Europe), it offers a wide array of English-taught courses (QS, 2019; THE 2019). UiO is known for its quality of research pursued across a broad spectrum of academic disciplines as well as its emphasis on innovative learning.

Key information


Oslo, Norway


English, Norwegian


Fall, Winter, Academic Year

Program type


Application information

Application status

2021-2022 applications

Deadline passed

University-specific additional requirements

Preference is given to students in Law and Astrophysics. One academic reference required - see the Eligibility section below.

2022-2023 applications

Open November 1, 2021

Student Experience

Check out this video from a past UCalgary exchange student!

Program details

Areas of Study: UiO offers a wide selection of courses taught in English, including African Studies, Anthropology, Archaeology, Art History, Asian Studies, Astrophysics, Biology, Chemistry, Conservation Studies, Economics, European Studies, Geography, Geoscience, Health Science, History, Informatics, Law, Linguistics, Math, Media & Communication, Musicology, Nutrition, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Statistics and more.

Course requirements:
In Europe, full-time course load is typically 30 ECTS (European credits), and exchange students are typically expected to take 24-30 credits per semester. 6 ECTS = 3 UCalgary units (1 half-course). 
The amount of credits each course is worth corresponds to the workload/contact hours, and usually vary from 10-30 ECTS per course, so please be mindful of this in your selection.

Please note that preference is given to Law students and students participating in the CaNoRock program (astrophysics). 

The academic year is divided into 2 semesters. The Autumn semester runs from mid-August to late December and the Spring semester runs from mid-January to mid-June. 

  1. Costs

    Exchange students pay their tuition and academic fees to the University of Calgary. Other expenses are paid directly to the service provider. 

    While Norway can be expensive, as a student it is a little more afjordable. A rough cost estimate for a semester at Oslo looks like this:

    Student Housing 17,500 NOK

    Food 15,000 NOK

    Books & Supplies 5000 NOK

    Transit 3000 NOK

    Other expenses 12,000 NOK

    Total semester cost: 52,500 NOK

    It's recommended that students budget around NOK 11,500 per month to pay for accommodation and living expenses. More financial information can be found online

    Oslo cost comparison vs. Calgary: Click Here 

    Student Tips: "Eating out and food/beverages overall were expensive, but exponentially cheaper from the grocery store, and rent is comparable to UCalgary. Also, only consider opening a Norwegian bank account if you will be there for a full year, as it takes considerable time (months) to set it up. I would recommend looking into the rates your bank will give you on foreign withdrawal/credit charges." 

  2. Funding

    Did you know that you can take your UCalgary funding with you on exchange? Since you remain a degree seeking student at UCalgary while on exchange you remain eligible for any awards and scholarships you are eligible to receive from the university as well as student loans.

    Our office administers the International Study Travel Grant for students travelling on approved UCalgary study programs that are credit bearing. The amount changes year to year as the money is split evenly between qualified applicants. Students may only receive the study travel grant once. Please see the exchange funding page for more information.

    *This program is eligible for Eyes High funding! This is an internally nominated award worth $3000. Eligibility requirements and more can be found on the funding page.

    CaNoRock Awards 
    There are scholarships of NOK 10.000 available for UofC Science students in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Students from this department who apply for a Fall or Winter semester exchange to UIO by the competitive deadline will automatically be considered for this award. Please contact Heather Clitheroe ( for details.

    Student Tips: "Buy a student transit pass in the first week - you will need to use your student acceptance letter for this. To and from the airport, just add a zone onto your student pass. Your student pass also works for the islands on Oslo fjord. Visit the west coast early in the fall or summer if you plan to go: some of the most beautiful/famous hikes are only available in summer/early fall. The Grønland district has cheaper produce markets than anywhere else. Walk onto the roof of the Oslo Opera house, visit the Viking Ship Museum, and always have your student card - many activities/museums are cheaper for students!"

    "Check whether the textbooks are online or in the library. If they are not, check Amazon - I saved 200CAD. However, if in law, do buy the University’s copies of the legislation booklets - they are one of the few things you can bring into an exam, and can be crucial - also, double check the year."

Exchange students who apply by the deadline are guaranteed housing at UiO. Housing is arranged by the Foundation for Student Life in Oslo and Akershus. Students will live in residences located either on- or off-campus; most residences consist of private rooms and bath on a student hallway with a shared kitchen, but some are private or semiprivate apartments. Rent depends largely on the type of residence; most fall into a range of NOK 2500-4500 per month although students should expect to pay more for apartments. Additional information can be found online.

Student Tips: "Bring either a router or an ethernet cable if living in student housing. Make sure your phone can take SIM cards from other countries and is unlocked." 

This exchange is open to regular, full-time students in any faculty at the U of C, who have completed at least 1 full year (10 courses) at the post-secondary level, with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.7 (B-).

Strong preference is given to Law students and astrophysics students. For all other students, please note that there is extremely limited space available at this institution for non-law students.

Do I have to speak Norwegian?

No prior knowledge of Norwegian is required for this exchange. UiO offers many courses in English.

How can I learn or improve my Norwegian?

UiO launched a free online 4-week course (MOOC) to help you learn Norwegian in preparation for your stay, or if you would eventually like to marry a troll and want to be able to speak their language (we hear taking a breath in a tunnel may also help you find your one troll love!). See all available sessions by exploring the link above. However, you are also welcome to enroll in Norwegian courses on campus as well. 

What's special about Oslo?

Surrounded by dense forest and opening onto the expansive, island-spotted Oslofjord, it's easy to imagine how Norway's capital city has evolved in its 1000+ years of settlement. Here, it's easy to take a brief escape from the urban hum and delve into the natural surroundings. Catch a ferry to explore the fjord's multitude of small islands, travel out of the city to try your hand at climbing and bouldering, or round the corner and spot a waterfall while walking down riverside streets. In Oslo, ski jumping ('ski' is Norwegian for "piece of wood") is a popular sport, with competitions held at Holmenkollen, the world's most modern jump. For more information on life in Norway, please visit the Study In Norway site for their information on "Living in Norway"

What resources are available for new students?

UiO hosts an Orientation Week at the start of each semester, which has many events to introduce new students to campus and help you get prepared to start classes. There are also buddy groups created from the incoming student pool - a great networking opportunity and a chance to join in on different social activities. See online for more details.

Student Tips: "The university had a ‘buddy week’ for students to be shown around the city/university at the start of the semester. The faculty of law one was very helpful - and the Erasmus program had a great deal of planned events that were open to other exchange students. There is also a student special events group that organizes free events for students - for example a tour of the opera house, or outdoor movies. You are typically unlikely to make close friends with locals outside buddy week unless you are devoted to a club. The Norwegians are very helpful and friendly if asked/spoken to, but will rarely if ever speak first. The Norwegians most likely to interact or speak first are those who have lived abroad. AllNorwegians that I encountered spoke English, and usually another language or two as well on top of Norwegian. Attitudes were generally quite warm towards Canadians."

What supports or services are available at Oslo?

UiO provides comprehensive support to students with special needs. For information on accessibility of campuses across Europe, ESN has created "MappEd!" which allows you to check the accessibility of universities and cities across Europe. For city-specific services and places in Europe, the Jaccede interactive platform (website and/or smartphone app - both Android and iOS) also provides a searchable user-built database to identify important accessibility information of public places and locations.

Have questions?

Global Learning 101

Please watch this short YouTube playlist before reaching out or booking an appointment.

Watch Global Learning 101

Academic Advising

Before applying to study abroad, you should ask your academic advisor how an exchange might align with your degree (e.g. best time to go, what courses you need).

After you are accepted, you should ask your academic advisor more specific questions about courses/transfer credits. It’s also recommended to follow up with your advisor again once you return to Calgary.

Find your academic advisor

Study Abroad Advising

If you have questions about this exchange program, you can meet with the specific advisor for this program by booking an appointment through the link below. Appointments are currently on zoom.

1. Select “Book an Appointment”
2. Select “Study Abroad Appointments”
3. Select “Book by Appointment Type”
4. Read through the list of appointment types to select the most appropriate type and view available times.

Book an appointment

The exchange advisor for this program is: Kathryn Bauer

How to Apply

Download the application guide

This PDF contains information on how to complete your application and what to do after you have applied.

Application guide

Identify three programs of interest

We recommend applying for your top three programs for the priority application deadline, as placement may be competitive. We will assess your applications in ranked order.

Check requirements and deadlines

These may vary by program, so check the individual program pages and make sure that you are aware of any different application deadlines or eligibility requirements.

Start your application

Once you have gathered everything you need, you can begin your application!

Please note: Applications will not be considered complete until all required documents are submitted in full.


International travel presents challenges that may not be found when attending classes on campus. There may be a lack of resources, emergency services, hospitals, accessibility issues and/or demands on the physical and the mental self, all of which can challenge individuals when away from their usual support systems and structures. Adequate preparation is essential.

For this reason, it is imperative that you evaluate all aspects of your own physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual condition against the rigors of the particular study abroad program you are selecting. If you are unsure of whether or not this program is a good fit for you and/or if you have any circumstances that could impede your enjoyment of the program, please contact us. Our Study Abroad Team will be happy to assist in finding the best options for you and arrange any supports or accommodations necessary to ensure your success.

Please note if you have or are seeking a certificate from Student Accessibility Services, you should provide this early to your Study Abroad Advisor to ensure that the option that you are seeking can support your needs.