I am a Bachelor of Arts/Laws student, 4th year. I studied 'International Commercial Law', 'Refugee and Asylum Law', and 'Privacy and Data Protection Law' at the University of Oslo, Norway.

From the very start of the semester I was lucky enough to have developed a very close group of friends. These were primarily other international students I met during the orientation week program, which was a well thought out and a fun experience. One downside of this, however, is that outside of the ‘buddies’ I did not have much of a chance to get to know Norwegians.

We periodically took trips to Tromsø, Riga, Helsinki, St. Petersburg, Corfu, Copenhagen, and Amsterdam. I definitely recommend going to Tromsø in particular, as it offers a chance to see the Northern Lights (during winter), and go dog-sledding, which were two experiences I will not soon forget. I endeavored to manage these trips around study, as finding a balance between the two is important. It is easy to forget that you are not on holiday sometimes!

The area around Oslo and the student villages are rich in natural beauty, and it is best to take full advantage of this. Cross-country skiing is only a 10minute walk from your front door in winter, and likewise, a BBQ and swim at the lake is equally as close in summer. Cross –country skis can easily be rented at the universities sporting facility for up to three months. I recommend trying this out as it is the Norwegian national sport and very popular.

I managed to learn a bit of Norwegian, with free courses offered by UiO that you may take alongside your other study, or included in your study if your faculty allows. I also endeavored to improve my French, and picked up a few words of German and Dutch as a result of the friends that I made.

I lived at Sogn Student Village, with almost all other international students either living at Sogn or Kringjsa. While they both have their advantages and disadvantages, I recommend Sogn as it is closer to the main campus at Blindern and its rooms are much nicer.

Norway is one of the most expensive countries in the world; there is no escaping this. Everything is more expensive than Australia and you need to plan your budget accordingly. While I spent more than I planned, the budget estimates on the web are more or less accurate, excluding alcohol and nights out, which were ultimately my biggest extra expense.

Since drinking in bars and clubs is the biggest expense, kitchen pre-parties will become the norm. Although you must plan ahead as alcohol is not sold after 8 on weekdays and 6 on Saturday. Additionally, everything is closed on Sunday, which can prove problematic. Keep this in mind.

I would definitely recommend taking advantage of the cheap flights to and from Europe, and plan weekends away with your friends to locations close by. Denmark, Sweden, Finland and places like Riga and Estonia are all cheap and easy to get to from Oslo.


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