Life in Norway


Sharing tips…. to help you turn this city into an affordable and enjoyable home during your academic journey.

Full name: Hau Hai Nguyen
Home country: Vietnam
Previous university: Foreign Trade University
Program at BI: MSc in Business – Logistics and Supply Chain Management

As an international student in Oslo, you might experience a unique blend of excitement and anxiety. The Norwegian capital is renowned for its stunning landscapes, quality education, and a lifestyle that consistently ranks among the world’s best. However, there’s no denying the fact that Oslo, like many vibrant cities, comes with a significant expense. But don’t let that deter you!

In this guide, I will share with you some useful tips I’ve gathered from my two years of living in Oslo to help you turn this city into an affordable and enjoyable home during your academic journey.

1. Eating

Cheaper supermarkets: Supermarket prices in Norway can vary from one store to another. MENY and Coop Mega stand out as the most expensive options which offer a wider product range, whereas Kiwi and REMA 1000 are considered more budget-friendly alternatives. When shopping at these two latter stores, their in-house brands, known as First Price and Prima, tend to be the cheapest options. Additionally, supermarkets often dedicate a section to significant discounts on products with a “best before” date of today or tomorrow, and most of these items remain fine to consume. You can also download the Mattilbud or Kupp apps which give an overview of all offers from all grocery stores in Norway so that you can plan your shopping better and save money.

In Oslo, another option is to explore the ethnic food stores located in Grønland, which offer a wider selection of vegetables and fruits with much cheaper prices.

Food store at Grønland in Oslo

“Too Good To Go” App: Too Good To Go is a mobile app that offers a list of local shops and restaurants with surplus food. Those outlets put together a surprise bag at a reduced cost, and you can order it through the app. This is also one way for you to contribute to solving food waste.

Eating out: If you’re looking for a cheap meal out at a restaurant, you can check out this webpage made by Visit Oslo where a list of budget-friendly restaurants and cafés are shown.

2. Furniture, utensils and more for free

Finn.no is a treasure trove for those looking for free stuff. This website is a source of items that people are willing to give away in Oslo. You can adjust your search criteria, and the range of free or discounted items available is extensive, spanning from couches and light fixtures to cosmetics, apparel, winter shoes, musical instruments, dinnerware, bicycles, books, and so much more. Even though the whole site is in Norwegian, you can easily translate it to English using browser extensions.

 3. Cheap Clothes

In Norway, you can find thrift stores offering a substantial selection of high-quality clothing at affordable prices, including essential winter items such as woolen sweaters. Explore options like FRETEX and Uff. You can also stroll around the streets of Grünerløkka where many second-hand shops are located. Here you can also find many small shops that sell original clothes, jewelry, ceramics, and art – everything from boutiques run by Norwegian designers to cool vintage stores.

Second-hand clothes

4. Experience the outdoors for free

In Oslo, nature is just within our reach. Hiking in the forests, taking a swim in the lakes, and skiing on the tracks in the woods – all come at no cost. If you love outdoor activities, you might want to check out bua.no. Here you can borrow a wide range of items, including skis, bicycles, kayaks, hammocks, and a lot more. These services are available across Norway and allow you to borrow equipment for a period of up to one week. So, head out into the Norwegian nature and enjoy your time to the fullest!

Hau outside