International students

Cost of Living

Norway has a reputation of being expensive, and in many ways this is correct. However, it is possible to live on a budget, and we have gathered some advice on how to minimise your spending.

An estimation of a student's cost of living is made and revised yearly by the Norwegian Immigration Directorate (UDI). Their recommendation is that you need NOK 9 300 a month to cover your expenses as a student in Norway. Approximately one third of this budget will cover your housing expenses, another third will be needed for food, and the rest will cover books and other expenses.

Degree seeking students: please note that the budget above does not include tuition fees.

Prices (approximate and subject to change) Average
Coffee in a cafe NOK 35
Sandwich in a bakery NOK 60
Chicken (1 kg) NOK 122
Eggs (12 pack) NOK 35
Domestic Beer (0,5 l) in a grocery store NOK 30
Toothpaste NOK 30
Shampoo NOK 40
Orange juice (1l) NOK 30
Milk (1l) NOK 17
Loaf of bread NOK 25
Hot meal in BI Food Court NOK 50 
Single ticket for public transport (Oslo) NOK 33
Student ticket (30 days) for public transport NOK 425

Please see NUMBEO's calculations of Cost of Living in Oslo for further price estimations. Consult the OANDA Currency Converter for the latest exchange rates.

Budget living

Transport in Oslo: The 30-day ticket is good value. It can be used on all public transport in Oslo, including buses, metro (T-bane), trams (trikk) and ferry boats. Additional tickets can be bought for additional zones if you are travelling out of Oslo. If you have a valid BI student ID card, you will receive a 40 % discount on the ticket. Please see for further information. 

Groceries: Some grocery stores are more expensive than others. Kiwi, Rema 1000 and Coop Xtra are the cheapest. Look for discount products from First Price, Xtra and Coop. 

Going out to eat or party: In Norway it is particularly expensive to eat (and drink) out. This is why Norwegians prefer to invite friends over to their home for dinner parties or pre-parties before going out on the town.

Packed lunch: Another tradition, and a good way to save money, is the "matpakke" – packed lunch. The Norwegian version typically consists of bread slices with cheese and ham. It is very common in Norway to bring a matpakke to school, work or even for a picnic in the park.

Student canteens are typically cheaper than other cafes/restaurants. The Food Court at BI serves a wide variety of reasonably priced cold and hot dishes. Please note that no meal plans are available at BI.

Museums and galleries: entrance to a wide range of museums and galleries in Oslo is free of charge.


Payment methods

It is always a good idea to carry some cash. ATMs are widespread and accessible. You can also withdraw cash in most shops if you buy something.

The Norwegian currency consists of "kroner" (NOK) and "øre". 100 “øre” make up 1 “krone”.

Credit cards
The use of credits cards is widespread in Norway, and they are normally accepted even for small amounts such as car park and toll fees. Eurocard, MasterCard, VISA, American Express and Diners Club are the most common credit cards.

Please note that some grocery stores/supermarkets do not accept foreign credit cards. If in doubt, ask before shopping.

Part time work

As a student, you are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week, as well as full-time during holidays. For most jobs, knowledge of the Norwegian language is a requirement, so finding a part time job can be difficult if you do not speak Norwegian. Your biggest chance is with unskilled jobs in the service sector (hotels, cafés, restaurants, bars).