Norway

University of Auckland students have the opportunity to study at two partner universities in Norway: The University of Bergen (Law only) and The University of Oslo.

Let’s hear what our students have to say…

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The exchange program was definitely the highlight of my University experience. Moving to Norway has been an eye opener as I learned it is ranked the world’s most progressive and prosperous country, with the highest gender and wealth equality in the world. Oslo is also currently Europe’s fastest growing city so it was great being amongst so much change.

– Jean, The University of Oslo

Bergen is a beautiful city surrounded by 7 mountains and situated on a fjord. After settling in, we had a full orientation programme organized by the university. It involved orienteering round the city and ten pin bowling, among other things. On top of this, Norwegians are some of the nicest people I have met. All in all, I had the best semester of my life in Norway. The hardest thing about my exchange was dealing with the culture shock and homesickness when I first arrived. However, if you can push through this and give the exchange a chance, then you will have an amazing experience and make new friends from all over the world. I would absolutely recommend and Auckland Abroad exchange to anyone.

– Sarah, University of Bergen (law)

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Oslo is a very beautiful city surrounded by spectacular scenery. As the capital of Norway it is their largest city but is by no means a ‘super city’. The University has its main campus just outside the main city centre, while the law school is situated right next to the Norwegian Palace and boasts the University’s oldest buildings. The University also provided regular trips to cabins, museums and historic buildings for exchange students. Travelling with other students around Norway was one of the absolute highlights of the exchange.

– Meredith, The University of Oslo

Bergen is surrounded by 7 mountains and the greater Western/Southern Norway region has some really famous hikes. So I took trips with friends to do these hikes. Because Norway is pretty expensive, we took buses and camped in tents. This kind of thing is really encouraged in Norway – they want people to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. A highlight of my time in Bergen was joining a sports teams affiliated with the University. This meant that I actually got to spend some time with real-life Norwegian students, as opposed to just meeting other international students. My team mates were super welcoming, even if they did have to adjust their trainings so that they spoke in English. They were also really good about lending me things for hikes and recommending places to visit. One of the best things was that they played tournaments in other cities – and I got to travel with them and stay with their friends and family.

– Eleanor, University of Bergen (Law)

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The law courses and lecturers were great. The most noticeable difference from law school at home was switching to textbook based learning, as opposed to statute and case based. All of the courses were taught in English. The buildings were very beautiful in the centre of the city, walking distance from the harbour and most of Oslo’s tourist attractions. The university facilities including the gym and sports teams were fantastic. The public transport was extensive and affordable.

– Alina, The University of Oslo

The University of Oslo is split up by faculty and the law campus was right on Karl Johans Gata, right next to the Royal Palace, so the atmosphere was very regal and historic. I had a lot of exchange students in my classes and I loved hearing the different accents ask and answer questions throughout the lecture.

– Elizabeth, The University of Oslo

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Norway is a beautiful country making it fantastic place to travel around and do many incredible hikes. I recommend any visitors to take their hiking boots and plan a trip further north to get a glimpse of the Northern Lights. This was one of the highlights of my exchange, as well as visiting Lapland for dog sledding, feeding reindeer and snowmobiling.

– Alina, The University of Oslo 

My first impressions of Bergen far surpassed any reports and recommendations I’d previously been exposed to: it was a stunner. The city itself rests on a harbour surrounded by Fjords and Islands, while 7 mountains surround the city from the landward sides. It makes for a stunning backdrop from the water and likewise from each of the peaks for those adventurous enough to hike to the tops.

– Edward, University of Bergen (Law)

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I arrived just before Christmas and was surprised at how similar Oslo was to Auckland. It is a beautiful city on a fjord and surrounded by hills and forest. At times I struggled with the cold and dark in winter, but the spring and summer were exceptional. Norway has a beautiful soft light that is quite different from New Zealand and it doesn’t get dark until midnight. Everyone spends the evenings in the parks with friends or swimming in the fjord and there is a real sense of community.  I was also lucky enough to go skiing in Norway on quite a few occasions. Norwegians are mad cross-country skiers and everyone from two year olds to eighty-two year olds are out on Sunday skiing in the forest. In summer I had a very Scandinavian experience of staying in a little cabin on an island in Southern Norway, swimming in the fjord and diving for oysters and mussels. Most weekends I went for a big walk around a natural reserve near our apartment where you can swim off the rocks in summer and BBQ on the beaches.

– Sylvie, University of Oslo

When I arrived in Oslo it was mid-winter the day before Christmas. Most of the city was closed, as it was a public holiday. Oslo is a beautiful city and coming in mid-winter with the snow was definitely a huge change from what I was used to and I was wearing an extra thermal layer than everyone else for a while until I adjusted to the cold.

– Janey, The University of Oslo

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The lifestyle in Norway is very active – people like to hike. It was ideal to be so close to the lake (where we swam in the summer and walked across in the winter) and to the surrounding hills.

– Meredith, The University of Oslo

Bergen likes to think of itself as the cultural capital of Norway, a fair assessment of a quaint city with a village feel, never feeling overwhelming or at all like a concrete jungle. The live music and art scenes are thriving. Quintessentially ‘Bergen’ architecture is as prevalent throughout the small shops, cafes and bars lining the narrow cobble stone pedestrian friendly lanes as it is in the homely abodes dotted along the foot of the closest and most famous mountain, Floyen.

– Edward, University of Bergen (Law)

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