Image of Oslo harbour

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


Apply Now

2024-2025 applications

First come, first considered for remaining spaces

Fall 2024: Deadline passed

Winter 2025 final deadline: August 15, 2024

University-specific additional requirements

No reference letter required, with the exception of Law students; minimum GPA 2.7. See Eligibility section below for details.

2025-2026 applications

Open November 1, 2024

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 expected to take 24-30 credits per semester. 6 ECTS = 3 UCalgary units (1 standard semester course). Courses at UiO usually range from 10-30 ECTS, where a higher credit value corresponds to increased workload/contact hours. Please be mindful of this when creating the courselist for your exchange application; for example, if taking courses worth 15 ECTS each, you will only need to take 2 courses per semester to be a full-time student, although you will still get credit for 5 courses at UCalgary. 

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! Here is a rough cost estimate for a semester at Oslo:

    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 (approx. $7000 CAD)

    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 several awards, including the Global Access Fund (based on a funding-first model where students apply prior to committing to a global learning program) and the Global Learning Award (students apply after being accepted to a global learning program; the amount varies year-to-year as the money is split among chosen recipients). Students may only receive these awards once. Please see the funding page, linked below, for more information. 

    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 aren't, 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 UCalgary, who have completed at least 1 full year (10 courses) at the post-secondary level, with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.7 (B-).

Please note that there is limited space available at this institution. Preference is given to students in Law and Astrophysics. 

For applicants from the UCalgary Faculty of Law, an academic reference letter is required. Please click here to view the reference letter guidelines & submission instructions. It must be submitted at the time of your application to UCalgary.

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 (click here) 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!). Norwegian can also be found on many other language platforms, such as Duolingo. You are also welcome to enroll in Norwegian courses at UiO during your exchange. 

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 (click here)"

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. Click here 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 - click here for more information

For information on accessibility and support services at campuses across Europe, please check out Inclusive Mobility. 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. In these videos, you will learn much of the basics about Global Learning, which may answer your initial questions.

Watch Global Learning 101

Academic Advising

Before applying to study abroad, you should ask your academic advisor how this program 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

Global Learning Advising

If you have questions, please reach out to our office! We offer drop-in advising for general inquiries, and if you have questions about this specific program or any others, you can book an appointment with the responsible advisor.

Please use the link below to find the most up-to-date information about our current advising options.

View the Global Learning Advising page

The exchange advisor for this program is: Veronica V. Cardoso

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 global learning 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 Global Learning Advisors will be happy to assist in finding the best options for you and arrange any supports or accommodations necessary to ensure your success.

If you have or are seeking a certificate from Student Accessibility Services, you should provide this early to your Global Learning Advisor to ensure that the option that you are seeking can support your needs.

Please note: All participants must adhere to COVID-19 and other vaccination-related requirements for the destinations visited on this program. Failure to do so may have consequences such as being denied access to accommodation/housing, program activities, or to the host country itself.