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About Norway
Country Handbook

Nord University

Bodø lies just north of the Arctic Circle and is located among breathtaking mountains and fjords. The Midnight Sun in the summer and the spectacular Aurora Borealis, or Northern lights, continually dazzle local residents and international students alike. Since Bodø is so far north, it can be cold, but not unbearably. The climate is surprisingly mild thanks to the Gulf Stream continuously bringing warm, moist air from the Caribbean. In summer, temperatures can be quite warm, and in winter, temperatures typically hang just above or below the freezing point. Residents of Bodø enjoy four distinct seasons and a full scope of outdoor recreation activities.

With its 50,000 inhabitants, Bodø is the largest city in Nordland County. It is also the county capital and an important communication center. The airport, railway station and harbor are located here. Bodø is an important trading and business center with armed forces, the municipal and county administration, a hospital and many schools located here. The city including the university is large enough to offer all modern facilities and services, including great opportunities for sports, recreation and cultural activities.

Informative links

ISEP Exchange: undergraduate and graduate programs available for an academic year or semester

ISEP-Exchange for US students.

Chance of Placement
ISEP Exchange chance of placement for US students is generally Limited.
For the most current chances of placement, see the Sites Open for Applications for US Students

Program Dates
Full Year: August to June
Semester 1: August to December
Semester 2: January to June

Fast Facts
Bodø, Norway (pop. 50,000)
Student Enrollment: 6,100
Language of instruction: English, Norwegian
University Home Page
Watch video "Live and Learn the Arctic Way"

Northern Studies (Bachelor of Circumpolar Studies and a one year program in Northern Studies taught in English)

Aquaculture, Bioscience and Ecology (two semester packages available)

Professional Studies (Education and Culture, Nursing and Health) Several undergraduate courses available in English.

Adventure Knowledge (semester package)

Business (some undergraduate courses available in English, independent courses not part of a package)

Social sciences ( Scandinavian and Norwegian politics, independent courses not part of a package)

Full-time, semester-long programs taught in English (30ECTS) are available: see English Study Offers for details.

Courses taught in English
Fall semester or full year programs in Norwegian Politics and Society, Norwegian Language, Northern Scandinavian Politics and Society, and Circumpolar Studies.

Link to English courses and English Study Offers.

Courses for Graduate (Masters) Level
For graduate level coursework, exchange students need to have completed a B.A. or B.S. degree. The following Masterís programs are taught in English:

  • Master of Science in Energy Management
  • Master of Science in Business
  • Master of Science in Aquaculture
  • Master of Science in Sustainable Management
  • Master of Science in Ecology
  • Joint Master in Borderology
  • Master in Social Sciences

  • Academic Notes
    Students typically enroll in 3-4 classes per term which averages to 15-20 hours in class per week. A term runs for 19-22 weeks.


    Transcript issued for Semester 1: February
    Transcript issued for Semester 2: July
    Transcrips issued for Full Year: July

    Transcripts are sent to ISEP and then immediately released to the studentís home institution if there are no outstanding financial obligations.

    Language Notes
    Norwegian is the language of instruction but some courses are taught in English in all departments.

    For non-native speakers of English:

    ISEP Language Proficiency Report may be substituted for official score? No
    TOEFL: 500 pbt
    IELTS: 5.0
    Additional Comments: For all students, a beginning-level Norwegian language course is offered every semester for 10 ECTS.

    Please note that there are additional requirements for language proficiency when studying on a graduate level.

    Special Academic Conditions
    Please note that 100 level courses are open to sophomore level students; 200 level courses require at least junior level status.

    Hints for Researching Courses
    Please click on the link "Courses" above.

    Housing and Meals
    Exchange students will live in one of five different housing facilities near the university campus. Students will have their own room but will typically share a kitchen, bathroom and a common area with other students. A meal stipend will be provided to cover groceries for cooking. There is a cafeteria on campus, however, most students cook at home together with others to save money.


    You are responsible for all of your personal expenses including: optional fees (e.g. computer, language, science lab fees), books, local transportation, entertainment, etc. The amount below is provided as a guide; the actual amount needed will vary depending on courses and personal habits. Your personal expenses per month, including books, are estimated at: $500/month.

    Orientation is held the first day. You will receive practical information relevant to the exchange program, together with all the other international students. The peer support staff will introduce the students to the buddy program for all students, national and international. The international students will especially enjoy the Arctic Escape, which has been designed for students coming to the northern parts of Norway. The international student union, the Welcome committee and the international office work closely together to help ISEP students feel comfortable. Activities for students are held throughout the semester.


    Airport pick-up is available provided the student follows the necessary registration process.

    Student Activities
    Bodø is located on the North Sea with mountains just behind and a nearby glacier. You will have the opportunity to participate in all kinds of outdoor activities. The area just outside the city is excellent for hiking, biking, mountain-climbing, canoeing and even swimming on a warm summer day. During the winter months students can cross-country ski, play ice hockey, ice skate, ice fish, and admire the Northern lights. Downhill skiing, telemark and snowboarding are popular as well. Fishing is possible in lakes and rivers near the university campus. The strongest maelstrom (tidal current) in the world, Saltstraumen, is famous for coalfish and cod fishing. For those interested in marine life, the stream is also an exceptional place for scuba diving.

    Students are welcome to join various national and international student union on campus. There are many volunteer opportunities at the student activity house.

    Community Engagement (Internships, Service-Learning, Volunteering, etc.)
    Full-time, semester long internships can be arranged for academic credit in Marine Biology and Aquaculture.
    Native English speakers are welcome to volunteer as student assistants in the English Language Department.

    University of Nordland is continually investing in its facilities to ensure that students as well as teachers and researchers are able to gain the most from their years in education. Students study a diverse range of subjects and acquire knowledge and skills in an exciting and dynamic environment. Our research and study programs are carefully designed to satisfy the needs of professions, industries and communities in Norway and abroad. Our three research profiles are welfare, innovation, and entrepreneurship and blue growth.

    In recent years, the international environment has grown at University of Nordland. Approximately 600 international students from all over the world are enrolled at the institution. The portfolio of international study opportunities includes degree programs, exchange programs and independent courses, and, in one faculty, practical training.

    The campus is located 10 km east of the city center.

    What Past Students have to Say
    "I saw the Midnight sun and perpetual darkness, skied on feet of snow and played on the sandy beach, I went to the northernmost city in the world with my friend from 'Down Under'. I saw whales, puffins, sea-eagles, and not to mention the Northern Lights. I made s'mores on the mountain, marched in the National Day Parade, had time to read, time to think, and made friends from all over the world. All of this in the city of BodÝ, just north of the Arctic Circle."- ISEP student from Utah State.