Practical information

Being on exchange or taking a degree abroad can be a real challenge. To help future students, the International Office at Volda University College has prepared a guide about student permits, accommodation, transportation, weather, financing, insurance etc. 

Information regarding Covid-19 for international students 2020/2021

The Corona-virus pandemic has caused a number of changes to incoming international students to VUC in the 2020/2021 academic year. 

Most notably, all incoming exchange has been cancelled for the autumn semester 2020. However, international students to the Norwegian language course (NIS) and the Masters in Media Practices (MMP) are still welcome to VUC in the autumn of 2020.

Procedures for student residence permits (study visa) and registration for EU/EEA-citizens are also affected by Covid-19. See updated information from the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration here: https://www.udi.no/en/about-the-corona-situation/

International students may have to quarantine upon arrival to Norway. Read more about this here: https://helsenorge.no/koronavirus/travel-advice#Travel-quarantine

VUC plans for in-person semester start and classroom lectures for the autumn semester of 2020, but the Corona-virus pandemic will still affect the daily life of students. Read more about Covid-19 measures at VUC: https://www.hivolda.no/en/korona

Student visa/residence permit

EU/EEA citizens

EU/EEA citizens do not need to apply for visa/residence permit, but must register with the police after arrival in Norway. 


NON EU/EEA citizens

Non EU/EEA citizens must apply for a student residence permit/student visa as soon as possible after admission and before entering Norway. Students admitted to VUC should contact the nearest Norwegian embassy (www.norway.info) and start the visa/residence permit procedures as soon as possible. For more details about student visa/residence permits, please visit the website of The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (www.udi.no/en).

Finances

Student fees and scholarship

Volda University College is a state university and charges no tuition fees. However, students are required to pay a semester fee of approximately 700,- nok/semester. Exchange students do not have to pay the semester fee to VUC since they pay to their home university, but all other international student must pay the semester fee.

Volda University College does not offer any scholarships or financial aid for incoming students.
Students exchanging from partner universities may inquire at their home university if it is possible to get an Erasmus+, Nordplus or EEA/Norway grant for an exchange period at VUC.


Financial eligibility

Non-EU/EEA citizens must apply for student visa/residence permit prior to coming to Norway. In order to be eligible for a student visa/residence permit, non-EU/EEA citizens need to guarantee they are financially capable of living in Norway. This means showing to an amount of approximately 120 000 NOK  per academic year, in a Norwegian account. You can read more about this on The Norwegian Directorate for Immigration's website.

EU/EEA students are not required to make proof of financial eligibility, but must finance the stay in Norway on their own.

 

Insurance

Students from EU/EEA countries must hold and bring a valid European Health Insurance Card. The card is required when you need medical care under the Norwegian National Health Scheme. More information about European Health Insurance Card. Please note that this insurance does not cover dental care or prescription drugs. In addition to health insurance, we recommend exchange students to have valid travel insurance.

Non-EU/EEA citizens will have to document health insurance in order to receive the student residence permit.
For both EU/EEA and non-EU/EEA students, membership in the Norwegian National Health Scheme is voluntary, but highly recommended. More info on the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme.

Living expenses

Norway is one of the most expensive countries in the world, and as such one can expect higher prices than in other places. VUC recommends all international students to have a budget of 700-800 Euro/month (including housing expenses in the student dorms). In spite of the high living costs, Volda offers its students many activities that are free of charge. Please note that it can be difficult to get a part-time job in Volda.

How to get to Volda

From Oslo to Volda
The recommended, and most comfortable way to travel, is to fly to Ørsta/Volda Hovden airport via Oslo airport (Gardermoen). The flight from Oslo to Ørsta/Volda airport takes approximately 1 hour. Look for youth/student tickets which are cheaper than regular adult tickets. Also, you should book in advance, as the cheapest tickets are sold out quickly. Ørsta/Volda airport is located only 10 minutes drive from Volda and we arrange pick-up service from the airport, provided you sign up for it. For tickets Oslo-Volda see: www.wideroe.no


Another way to get from Oslo to Volda is to take the night bus. The bus leaves from downtown Oslo and stops by Oslo airport Gardermoen on the way to Volda (Rutebilstasjon). The journey takes a little over 8 hours and the cheapest youth ticket will cost you about 65 EUR. You can book at www.nettbuss.no


From Ålesund to Volda
An alternative is to fly to Ålesund airport Vigra. From the airport take the shuttle bus to MOA (bus terminal). From Moa you can take a connecting bus to Volda once every hour. The travel time from the airport, via Moa, to Volda is about 2,5 hours. Note that the bus tickets will be app. 25 EUR and that you must check the bus schedule to make sure that you can catch the connecting bus. Visit http://www.frammr.no/ to find the connection.


IMPORTANT FOR FIRST-TIME INCOMING INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS:
Please send exact date and time of arrival to the International Office, so we can make arrangements for welcoming you.

Housing

Studentsamskipnaden i Volda (SiVolda), the Student Welfare Organization, houses over 400 students in Volda.

With SiVolda you can live safe and cheap while you are studying. Living in a student dorm is a pleasant and social way to get to know fellow students from all over the world. You can enjoy free internet, access cable TV, and free caretaker service. All exchange students are guaranteed housing in the student dorms, provided they apply within the deadlines.

Rooms in the student dorms are single, furnished and exchange students can borrow basic kitchen equipment and bedding from the International Office, upon arrival. 

Academic Calender 2020/21

August

  • 18th Start of academic year

November

  • 15th Deadline for spring semester exchange
  • All month - exam period

December

  • 18th End of autumn semester

January

  • 4th Start of spring semester

February

  • 10th International Day

May

  • 15th Deadline for autumn semester/academic year exchange
  • All month - exam period

June

  • 18th Official end of semester/academic year

VUC grading system

The students’ academic performance is assessed both through final examinations and various assignments during the academic year. Grades are awarded according to a graded scale from A (highest) to F (lowest), with E as the minimum passing grade.

A pass/fail mark is given for some examinations.

 

Qualitative description of grades:

AExcellent -  An excellent performance, clearly outstanding. The candidate demonstrates excellent judgement and a high degree of independent thinking.

BVery good - A very good performance. The candidate demonstrates sound judgement and a very good degree of independent thinking.

CGood - A good performance in most areas. The candidate demonstrates a reasonable degree of judgement and independent thinking in the most important areas.

DSatisfactory - A satisfactory performance, but with significant shortcomings. The candidate demonstrates a limited degree of judgement and independent thinking.

E Sufficient - A performance that meets the minimum criteria, but no more. The candidate demonstrates a very limited degree of judgement and independent thinking.

FFail - A performance that does not meet the minimum academic criteria. The candidate demonstrates an absence of both judgement and independent thinking.
 
 

VUC credit and degree system

Volda University College uses the ECTS credit system. The number of credits indicate the nominal length of study and the workload.
One year of full-time studies corresponds to 60 ECTS credits (in Norwegian "studiepoeng") and one semester of full-time studies correspond to 30 ECTS credits. Most courses offered at Volda University College are of 15 ECTS credit value. This means that most students only enrol in two courses per semester.

Credits are awarded only when the course has been completed and the student has passed all required examinations.

Study programme vs. course:
At Volda University College the term study programme referes to a continous programme of studies leading to a qualification or degree.
The term course refers to an individual part (unit/module) of the study programme for which the student will receive a grade.

Study programmes offered and nominal lenght:
Bachelor's degree programmes: The typical Bachelor's programme offered at VUC is a three year programme consisting of 180 ECTS credits/studiepoeng. 
Master's degree programmes: The Master's programmes at VUC are 2-year programmes consisting of 120 ECTS credits.

Courses and course groups:
A course may be obligatory or elective in the study programme. Course groups are combination of courses going into a study programme. For example, it is common that a study programme includes a course group of 80 ECTS credits (major) and a course group of 40 ECTS credits (minor) as well as elective courses. All courses at VUC are taught in Norwegian language, apart from those especially mentioned as courses taught in English

Each course is provided a course code which refers to the discipline and level of the course. In most cases, 100-level courses are introductory courses at the Bachelor's level, 200-level is advanced courses at the Bachelor's level and 300-level refers to courses at the Master's levels. For example: MMP306 is a course at the Master's level in the study programme Master in Media Practice.

Diploma Supplement and Grade Transcript:
Students completing a study programme at Volda University College will be issued a Diploma Supplement in English. 
Exchange students studying at VUC for one or two semesters will be issued a grade transcript in English. 

System of higher education in Norway:
Read more about the system of higher education in Norway on the website Study in Norway, developed by the Centre for Internationalization in Education (SiU).