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Norwegianflag.jpg NMSA symbol(2).jpg
Location of norway1.png
Participating cities (LC's) Oslo, Bergen, Tromsø and Trondheim
Languages 2 Norwegian languages: Bokmål and Nynorsk
Currency Norwegian crown (NKR)
Time zone GMT+1. In Summer GMT+2
Number of Doctors and beds per 1000 people 1 doctor to each 234 persons
Member of IFMSA since... Norway is one of its founder, since 1951
Number of incoming students per year 30
Who are our NEO's Hallvard Hagen (NEO IN) and Julie Sletten (NEO OUT)
Contact information /
Our official website / Forum / Facebook group
Come for exchange!

Welcome Note

Welcome to Norway - The land of the midnight sun and the beautiful western fjords!



Norway a northern European country is one of the Scandinavian countries and Nordic Countries. Norway occupies the western part of the Scandinavian Peninsula as well Jan Mayen, Svalbard and a part from the Antarctica known as Queen Maud Island.

Norway’s main export are fish (second largest) and petroleum. Our industries include chemicals, paper, forest, mineral among others. I 2007 Norway has been named as the most peaceful country in the world by Global peace index, besides that the city of Tromso has been declared as antiracism city.

Our health care system

Our health system is based on welfare health system model, which include a free health care.

WHO statistics:

Total population 4,883,000

Gross national income per capita (PPP international $) 58,570

Life expectancy at birth m/f (years) 79/83

Probability of dying under five (per 1 000 live births) 3

Probability of dying between 15 and 60 years m/f (per 1 000 population) 83/50

Total expenditure on health per capita (Intl $, 2010) 5,426

Total expenditure on health as % of GDP (2010) 9.5

Figures are for 2009 unless indicated.

The hospitals

The clerkship in Norway takes place in all our university hospitals: University hospital in North Norway (UNN) in Tromsø, St.Olavs hospital in Trondheim, Haukeland sykehus in Bergen and the University hospital of Oslo (Actually 3 hospitals; Ullevål, Rikshospital and Aker hosptal). We also offer some exchanges in non-university hospitals such as Diakonhjemmet hospital and Lovisenberg hospital in Oslo.

The way the exchange is arranged depends on the tutor and the clinical experience of the student. Norwegian is the official language and some patients may not want to speak english in their consultation.

Students, doctors and patients entering any Norwegian hospital must prove that they are not carriers of MRSA, thus the incoming students must bring a negative MRSA test from their home country. In some of the hospitals they only accept tests taken at the hospital, because of this we recommend the student to contact the local exchange officer for more information. Besides MRSA-test the students must prove that they are not carriers of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, by bringing a positive Mantoux test if they are vaccinated or by bringing a negative Lung x-ray.

Our medical education

6 years university education followed by 1 ½ year of internship. The study is divided into preclinical and clinical level. The length of the preclinical level and the arrangement of the subjects differ from one university to another. In general the Norwegian medical education offers courses within the basic element of medicine such as Biochemistry, neurology, ear nose and throat, Internal medicine, surgery, communication skills and so on. The following universities offer Medicine education (embetsstuduim I medisin): University of Oslo (UIO), University of Bergen (UIB), Norwegian University of science and Technology (NTNU) and University of Tromsø (UIT).

Cultural differences


Although Norway is in most ways very modern, it has maintained many of its traditions. Storytelling and folklore, in which trolls play a prominent role, are still common. On festive occasions folk costumes are worn and folk singing is performed—especially on Grunnlovsdagen (Constitution Day), commonly called "Syttende Mai" (May 17th). Other popular festivals include Sankthansaften (Midsummer’s Eve), Olsok (St. Olaf’s Day), and Jul (Christmas), the last of which is marked by family feasts whose fare varies from region to region but that are traditionally marked by the presence of seven kinds of cake.

The national costume, the bunad, is characterized by double-shuttle woven wool skirts or dresses for women, accompanied by jackets with scarves. Colourful accessories (e.g., purses and shoes) complete the outfit. The bunad for men generally consists of a three-piece suit that also is very colourful and heavily embroidered. Traditionally Norwegians had two bunader, one for special occasions and one for everyday wear. Today, Norwegians who own a bunad, usually wears it for special occations, be it 17 of May, Christmas or weddings.

The country’s natural landscape—its Arctic environment and vast coasts—has shaped Norway’s customs and history, as outdoor activities are central to the life of most Norwegians. In particular, the country’s cuisine reflects its environment. Fish dishes such as laks (salmon) and torsk (cod) are popular. Lutefisk, cod soaked in lye, is common during the Christmas holidays. Sour-cream porridge, pinnekjøtt (dried mutton ribs), reker (boiled shrimp), meatcakes, lefse (griddlecakes), brunost (a sweet semihard cheese made from cow’s or goat’s milk), and reindeer, moose, elk, and other wildlife also are popular traditional delicacies. The strong liquor called aquavit (also spelled akevitt), made of fermented grain or potatoes, is also widely used.


In northern Norway the Sami maintain a distinct culture. Long known as reindeer herders, they maintain their own national dress. While many Sami have modernized and few continue to practice traditional nomadic life, a variation of that lifestyle continues. Where once the whole family followed the herd, now only the men do, with women and children remaining behind in towns and villages. Sami Easter festivals include reindeer races and chanting (joik).

Accommodation & Boarding

Free board and lodging for incomings on bilateral contracts. The students get at least 1 meal per working day in the hospital cafeteria. Accommodation varies from city to city and might be in a student hostel, University flats or student’s flats. Depending on the city, the student will have his/her own bedroom or will share with one other person of the same gender.

More information - the local committee pages.

Social program

Most of our cities offer a social program to our incoming students. Each local committee decides their own social program and takes their students to guided tours in the city, parties, meeting with local students, hiking in the forest and mountains, boat trips etc.

The LEO in each city gives information about the social program directly to the students by mail or upon arrival.

Local & National transportation

There is a wide selection of international flight, ferry connections and other ways of travel to Norway , and there are several ways of getting around when you arrive.

Whether you are travelling by car, bus, plane or train it is easy to travel around in Norway.


Norway shares the same latitude as Alaska, Greenland and Siberia, but compared to those areas Norway has a pleasant climate thanks to the Gulf Stream.

Beach norway.jpg

June to August is the warmest period with long and bright days. The temperatures can reach 25 - 30 °C, making beach life a popular activity. If you want to experience the midnight sun you will have to travel to the northern part of the country, above the Arctic Circle.

Snow norway.jpg

In September the temperature drops slowly and converts the landscape brown and golden, followed by winter (october - march) and snow. The temperature can reach below -40 °Cin the inner areas of the north and the east. The coast experiences much milder winters with temperatures varying around 0°C.

Check out the weather right now on Yr

Social life

Norwegians are very social and you will not have any problems getting in touch with people connected to your placement; the doctors, medical students or others. We want you to have the time of your life during your stay her and wether you like to party, go hiking, play sports, read, go shopping, meet new people or just have fun we will be there for you and keep you with company!

Exchange conditions

Our exchange conditions can be found here

We only accept students in clinical part of their medical study and its preferable that the student apply for fields already studied. In their application form the students have to choose 3 different departments and 3 different cities.

The official language in Norway is Norwegian, but most Norwegians, especially health care workers can communicate well in English. English is a requirement, but Norwegian is not.

Please note that we offer exchange only during our exchange periods as specified in our Exchange conditions. The exchange periods can not be changed. Make sure you will be able to have your exchange within these months before applying for clerkship in Norway.


It´s very important for us in NMSA that our exchange students are satisfied with their placement and that they feel comfortable with evaluating us from the start to the end of the exchange. Please contact your local exchange officer (LEO), your host, your contact person or the national exchange officers (NEOs) if you have any questions or comments regarding the exchange in Norway.

Cities offered for exchange