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What students in Norway need to know if they don’t get offered accommodation

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
What students in Norway need to know if they don’t get offered accommodation
Here's what you need to know if you are studying in Norway and haven't been offered a place in student accommodation. Pictured is a brick building in Oslo. Photo by Boris Krstic on Unsplash

Almost 16,000 people are on a waiting list for student housing in Norway. What are the options for those needing to find somewhere else to live before the start of the academic year?


There are almost as many students in the queue for a student house as there are to have secured accommodation.

Some 17,380 students have been allocated a place at a student accommodation before the start of their studies. However, nearly 16,000 are currently in a queue or on a waiting list. A number of providers have reported record-long queues.

For thousands of students, this will mean making alternative housing arrangements. The increased queues come despite the creation of more student accommodation places.

“We are pleased to have already offered 17,380 students a safe home before the start of their studies. There are over 1,000 more students than last year,” Audhild Kvam, chairman of a federation comprised of more than 14 student associations, said.

“We have built more, and the survey confirms this. At the same time, we see the need for more student housing in the future,” Kvam added.
What are the other options?

Some providers create emergency places in times of massive demand. Last year, student housing provider Anker temporarily accommodated students until they could find more permanent lodgings.

Svein Hov Skjelle, director of Stiftelsen Anker Studentbolig og Hotell, told higher education news publication Khrono that the provider might look to provide the same offer this academic year.

Other providers may do something similar, so those looking to stay in student accommodation should contact their preferred provider to see if they will offer emergency places.

It is also worth asking the international department at your university if they have a list of local accommodation providers or landlords they recommend. Additionally, they may fill you in on the best areas to look for a place to live in terms of budget, proximity to the university and amenities.


The only other feasible option for many other students will be entering the private rental market. According to a previous survey conducted by the Norwegian Consumer Council, two-thirds of students will rent a house without physically seeing it in person.

For those looking to rent privately a house or flat share. Norway’s two most popular property sites, and Hybel, allow prospective tenants to search for a room. You can also post an ad as somebody who is looking for a room or apartment that landlords or people already living in a house share will be able to see.

The cost of renting a room will vary depending on where you are studying. Norway’s biggest cities typically have the largest rent prices. This means you can expect to pay between 4,000 to 8,000 kroner per month in rent for a room.


Checking what is included in the rent will be important, too. Typically, water and internet are included in apartment blocks, but electricity isn’t. This means you will need to include the cost of energy on top of the rent.

Other things to be wary of are that a contract will need to be in place and clearly who in the rental agreement is responsible for what. Additionally, deposits should always be paid into a third-party account and never to the landlord. Landlords in Norway may typically ask for much steeper deposits than in other countries.

Another thing to consider is that Norway’s property market is especially competitive in the major cities between during July and August. This is due to the influx of new students into cities and towns. This means that properties are snapped up at record speed, which means the situation may become quite stressful.

Things will be harder this year than in previous years as a lot of Norway’s biggest cities have seen increasing demand met with a dwindling supply of housing.

“Now we see record traffic on the rental ads, and fewer people rent out. There will be fewer homes for students and other tenants, and there will be a lot of competition for those who are outside,” Jørgen Hellestveit, from the property section of the ad-listing site, told public broadcaster NRK recently.


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