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Studying in Norway For Members

How to get student housing in Norway as an international student

Robin-Ivan Capar
Robin-Ivan Capar - [email protected]
How to get student housing in Norway as an international student
In this article, we will cover the key steps – and explore several alternatives – in the process of finding student housing in Norway. Photo by Ethan Hasenfratz on Unsplash

So, you're planning on studying in Norway and are curious about how finding accommodation works? Let's go over the basics.

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Studying in a foreign country can be challenging at times, and finding a place to live is often quoted as one of the key challenges that international students need to deal with before or shortly after they move.

However, if you commit to researching the available options and prepare in advance, you will be able to find student housing options that fit your budget.

In this article, we will cover the key steps – and explore several alternatives – in the process of finding student housing in Norway.

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Step 1: Check whether your university offers student housing options

You should start off by going to the website of the university you will be attending and checking whether they have housing programs for international students.

Universities in Norway's bigger cities usually have programs that offer affordable student accommodation – if you meet certain conditions.

At the University of Bergen, international students can apply for student housing through the Sammen Student Housing welfare organisation, here.

Some groups of new international students are given housing guarantees (meaning that they are guaranteed a place in student accommodation), provided they submit their application within the specified deadline. This applies to:

  • Exchange students.
  • International master's degree students.
  • Students in other collaboration programs with a minimum stay of one semester.

The Sammen organisation offers various types of accommodation at several locations in Bergen. The average price per month is around 4,500 kroner, and the rent includes internet access.

On the other hand, if you're looking for student housing options in Oslo, make sure to check out the website of the SiO student welfare organisation, which covers students at 27 educational institutions in the capital.

Step 2: Make sure to have all the necessary documentation ready

Note that many universities in Norway have an application process for student housing that is separate from the university admission process, so you will have to submit different forms and share additional documentation.

Therefore, when applying for student housing, you will likely be required to provide additional information and documentation, including passport and ID information or proof of finances.

Check the documentation requirements on the website of the accommodation program that you're applying for to ensure you have everything ready to submit along with your application.

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Step 3: Apply for student housing

Once you have familiarised yourself with the available options offered by your university of choice, it's time to apply for student housing.

Make sure to check all the requirements for international students, especially regarding the deadline for student housing applications.

As an example, if you're applying for student housing through Sammen in Bergen and you're a new student, you will need to meet the following conditions to be eligible for a student housing guarantee:

  • You need to be a new international student admitted for at least one semester (this applies only to first-time applicants to Sammen).
  • You need to be residing abroad at the time of admission.
  • You need to submit your application for student accommodation within the deadline.
  • You need to arrive at the beginning of the semester, and your rent must be paid from August 1st/January 1st.

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Step 4: Keep calm and wait for the decision

Once you submit your student housing application (hopefully, within the deadline and with all required documentation), you will have to wait for the relevant institution to decide on student housing allocation.

The duration of the process varies based on the university and several other factors, so don't be alarmed if it takes a while.

We recommend you take this time to familiarise yourself with other options – such as private renting – at this time. The Local has a guide with key tips for international students looking to rent in Norway here. Due to long queues and a shortage of student accommodation in Norway, privately renting may be a requirement. 

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Step 5: The decision

The wait is finally over – you received a decision letter! If you have been accepted into the student housing program, you will need to confirm your acceptance of the decision.

This is also a good time to finalise all the logistics of your trip to Norway and ensure that you have everything you need in place once you depart for your studies.

If you missed out on affordable student housing via a university program, try to find accommodation in the private market.

While finding student housing in Norway as an international student is not easy, it is not impossible.

The critical thing to remember is to be diligent throughout the application process - don't miss deadlines, and make sure to include all the necessary documentation and information in your student housing application.

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