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About Norway
Country Handbook

University of Southeast Norway

Norway is one of the three Scandinavian countries in the Northern part of Europe. The country has a population of 5 million and one of the lowest crime rates in the world. The Norwegians very much enjoy the space and the diverse nature, and visitors are often astonished by the active way of life. The different campuses at the University College of Southeast Norway are situated in the southeastern part of Norway. Three of the campuses are situated by the coastline while the others are situated inland with lots of forest and countryside scenery. The largest campus is in Vestfold with around 4 500 students.

This region is a popular tourist destination, especially in the summer months. There are over one hundred beaches and beautiful skerries which makes swimming and boating excursions popular activities. If fishing is a favorite activity the river “Lågen” offers possibilities for fishing salmon, otherwise the local lakes or the sea is full of tasteful seafood. During winter, there are great opportunities to go skiing, either cross-country or downhill. If you prefer going to the movies or museums you also find a large variety. The different campuses are located from1-2 hour from Norway’s capitol, Oslo.

Norway has a well-developed public transportation system. You can easily take a bus or train to your chosen destination. Why not also visit the west coast of Norway with the famous Fjords or if you head up north to see the northern lights.

Informative links

Traveling in Norway:

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

ISEP-Exchange for International students.
ISEP-Exchange for US students.

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

Program Dates
Full Year: Mid-August to mid-June.
Semester 1: mid-August to mid-December
Semester 2: early January to mid-June.

Fast Facts
Vestfold, Drammen, Hønefoss, Kongsberg, Bø, Rauland, Porsgrunn, Notodden, Norway
Student Enrollment: 17,000
Language of instruction: English, Norwegian
University Home Page
Courses in English

Faculty of Health and Science: Nursing*, Radiology, Vision Science*, Social educator, Child Welfare, Mental Health*, Health Promotion*, Gerontology, Supervision and Coaching, Rehabilitation and Recovery, Midwifery*, Oncology Nursing, Anesthesia Nursing*, Intensive Care Nursing*, Perioperative Nursing

Faculty of Humanities, Sport, and Education Sciences: Teacher Training (4 years)*, Bachelors in Early Childhood Education*, Sports Science and in Lingual- and Cultural Subjects*

Faculty of Technology, Environmental and Maritime Science: Programs in environmental science*, Electronics, Electrical and Automation Engineering, Product Design, Computer Science, Gas- and energy technology, Microsystems Technology*, System engineering*, Marine Engineering, Nautical Science, and Shipping and Logistics

Business School: Information Systems*, Sociology, History, Business Administration*, Tourism

Courses taught in English
All faculties are open to exchange students and will tailor programs to students’ needs if they are particularly interested in some programs not taught in English. Check here for available courses taught in English. NOTE: 30 ECTS = Full-time, semester-long course. The modules taught in English may vary from year to year – kindly contact siri.bjornstad@hbv.no for more details.

Academic Notes
University of Southeast Norway has had strong focus in research and development especially in the following areas: business, managements and politics, health and welfare, humanities, Kindergarten, schools and higher education, nature, health and environment, maritime enterprise, outdoor life, sports and physical education, technology, traditional arts and practical-aesthetic subjects, vision science.

Students typically enroll in classes totaling 30 ECTS credits per term which averages to 15-20 hours in class per week. A term runs for 19-23 weeks.

Transcripts will be issued within one month of final exams. Transcripts are sent to ISEP and then immediately released to the student’s 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 faculties. A beginning-level Norwegian language course is offered every semester.

For non-native speakers of English:

ISEP Language Proficiency Report May be substituted for official score? No
TOEFL: 60 IBT / 500 PBT
Institutional TOEFL accepted?: No
IELTS: 5.0
Other tests accepted: No
English as a Foreign Language courses available? No
The requirements for an English test may be waived for applicants from the EU/EEC and/or the European Council/UNESCO-Cepes, who have completed a minimum of seven years of English as foreign language in secondary and upper secondary school.

Hints for Researching Courses
See: Programs and Courses Offered in English.

Housing and Meals
Exchange students will live in housing facilities near the university campuses. Students will have their own room but will often share a kitchen, bathroom and a common area with other students. A meal stipend will be provided to cover groceries for cooking. For more information on student housing, see SIV/bolig

Students are responsible for all of your personal expenses including optional fees (e.g. computer, language, and 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 $250-500/month.

Please note that the first month tends to be more expensive for buying books, transportation cards, clothes etc.


A typical orientation day includes the following: Welcome by University College officials. Registering the students and getting their ID cards and access to computer facilities. Orientation about culture, academic culture and campus facilities. Instructions about the immigration procedures at the police station. Instructions about banks, grocery stores, bicycle rental and public transportation. Presentation of student activities available for international students. Presentation of the services available at the International Relations Office. Introduction to the student group in charge of international activities.

Host will provide arrival directions with acceptance packet.

Student Activities
The Student Society has different sports groups international students can participate in - from mountain climbing to soccer. The local areas has several golf courses. There are many ski slopes in the district or perhaps you would like to learn cross-country? The international students get many opportunities to enjoy snow and games at the cabin owned by The Student Welfare Organization. The International Student Union is responsible for a wide range of social activities for international students. These activities include cabin trips, pizza nights, and sightseeing tours to Oslo and to the local towns. The University College sponsor many of these activities.

University College of Southeast Norway (USN) has 17 0000 students divided between 8 campuses. We are a student focused University College and offer an informal and student friendly environment. Our campuses are small with an open-door policy where our staff dedicates time and attention to each student. We provide innovative and up-to-date programs. Our courses are developed according to the current needs of local, regional and international industries and companies. USN has also a strong focus on research and development. Academically, our research is primary linked to the seven doctoral programs. The university college is located in the southeastern part of Norway. Each campus is either 1-2 hours away from Norway’s capitol, Oslo. It is easy to get around with public transportation, if you like to explore more of Norway while you are in Norway. The Norwegians have good language skills especially in English, making your foreign experience with us easier than in many other European countries.