The best, English-taught short courses in Norway

best short courses in norway
Norway is home to the great outdoors and a world-class education. Source: Martin Bureau/AFP

You may know Norway for its picturesque snow-clad landscapes, majestic fjords, and high standards of living — all of which make it a great place to study but so expensively out of reach.

The best short courses in Norway may be the solution you seek.

It’s a great way to sample this famed Nordic education system without committing. Those budget-strapped can use this as an opportunity to work part-time and collect enough funds for a full degree here or its neighbouring countries.

For some of the best short courses in Norway, it could also be your stepping stone to a full-fledged career here.

One year, many opportunities: The best short courses in Norway for international students

1. UiT The Arctic University of Norway

best short courses in Norway

UiT The Arctic University of Norway is the world’s northernmost university. Source: Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP

UiT The Arctic University of Norway offers some of the best short courses in Norway.

Considered the world’s most northernmost university, UiT has a mission to develop knowledge about the Arctic. It focuses on topics surrounding climate change, population change as well as indigenous people and the politics and interactions in the High North.

Below are the short courses offered here: 

  • Arctic Nature Guide

The Arctic Nature Guide programme gives students the opportunity to experience Svalbard’s nature and culture. This short course is as practical as it is cultural through a combination of learnings in tourism and guiding as well as the arctic “friluftsliv” (pronounced free-loofts-liv).

The programme is perfect for those aspiring to be nature guides in the Arctic region and for those who are interested to gain such expertise for their future degree courses. 

Learn more about admission requirements here

  • Northern Studies

The Northern Studies programme is an online one-year programme for those who are interested to gain a multidisciplinary understanding of the Circumpolar North. 

Those who wish to continue pursuing a bachelor’s of Northern Studies at the university can apply for admission and get fast-track to the second year. 

More about admission requirements here

2. University of South-Eastern Norway

University of South-Eastern Norway (USN), located in Notodden, is the country’s fourth largest university with approximately 17,000 students and 1,900 staff, spread over eight campuses.

International students can apply for their one-year long programmes, known as some of the best short courses in Norway: 

  • Blues

Lovers of the blues, singers and musicians, the Blues programme gives you the chance to explore the musical and cultural universe of the blues on one of USN’s campuses – Notodden, which is also renowned as Europe’s top blues destination. 

The university’s partnership with the Notodden Blues Festival gives you a unique opportunity to participate in the festival, as well as in jam sessions and concerts throughout the year. 

  • Norwegian Folk Music/Norwegian Folk Art for International Students

Students taking the Norwegian Folk Music/Folk Art programme are based on the Rauland campus, set in a scenic rural mountain setting. Its location provides for the perfect immersion to Norwegian folk music or folk art.

You are expected to choose an area of specialisation – Norwegian Folk Art or Norwegian Folk Music. Both these specialisations, however, share joint modules including Norwegian cultural history and Norwegian language lessons.

Check out USN’s other one year programmes here

3. Nord University

universities in norway

Students passionate about the outdoors should consider the Outdoor Studies programme. Source: AFP

Founded and accredited in 2016, Nord University is one of the youngest universities in the country.

It offers a variety of English-taught programmes across all levels, including a one-year Norwegian Language and Society and an online course. The university also offers other one-year programmes as listed below: 

  • Outdoor Studies (friluftsliv)

Those passionate about the outdoors can  experience Norway through various activities such as glacier climbing, sea kayaking and cross country skiing. 

More about what you’ll learn here

  • Circumpolar Studies

The online Northern Studies programme provides students with a broad introduction to social, environmental, cultural and political topics relevant in the High North.

At the end of the programme, you should be well-versed in the contemporary challenges for the Circumpolar World, including management of natural resources, sustainable development, business, culture, politics, health issues and the rights of indigenous peoples.

4. Volda University College

Located on the Norwegian West Coast, Volda University College (VUC) is a public university of applied sciences and is renowned for being internationally oriented as well as being active in Erasmus+ and other programmes for international cooperation.

It runs not only some of the best short courses in Norway, but also the most unique, including:

  • Norwegian Language and Civilisation for International Students (NIS)

VUC’s Norwegian Language and Civilisation for International Students (NIS) is a one-year language programme that helps international students master the Norwegian language.

Other than language classes, students can expect to learn Norwegian culture and civilisation which would help them integrate themselves into their new environment.

Upon completion, students will reach a Norwegian language proficiency equivalent to the B2-level (CEFR).