Your local student welfare organisation can offer a variety of services, from on campus health services to sports activities. We highly recommend to make use of their services - after all, they are there for your own well being.
Student Welfare Organisations
All institutions have a student welfare organisation ( Studentsamskipnad). You normally become a member upon payment of the compulsory semester fee (usually between NOK 300-600), which is also required in order to register for exams. Depending on the size of the institution they offer a wide variety of services. Among other things they organize nursery schools, counselling, a mental health service, cafeterias, student accommodation and sports facilities/activities.
Before arriving in Norway you may need the services of the student welfare organisation at the institution to which you are applying when transferring money to Norway for the first time. If you don't have a bank account in a Norwegian bank you can transfer money to special accounts established for foreign students. In turn, they will send you an official statement confirming the amount transferred, and you can use this as documentation when applying for a student residence permit. This is generally done free of charge. When you come to Norway and have opened your private bank account, you can transfer the money to this account.
Find the welfare organisation at your institution
In Norway there is a well developed student democracy. Students’ unions are influential and their board members are widely represented througout the whole educational sector.
The International Students' Union of Norway is committed to the social, academic and political interests of all international students studying in Norway. ISU is an independent, democratic, non-profit, non-partisan organization run for and by international students. It has solid cooperation agreements with NSU ( Norsk studentunion ), StL ( Studentenes landsforbund ) and SAIH ( Studentenes og akademikernes internasjonale hjelpefond). Currently, ISU has local member organisations at 12 different institutions of higher education in Norway, with the national office in Oslo. Once you are admitted as an international student in Norway, you automatically become a member of ISU-Norway.