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Many people think that living costs such as food, housing, or transport are expensive in Bergen. Students say that it is difficult to live in Bergen, because they cannot earn the needed amount of money. How do they survive in Bergen?

For Norwegian Students

Norwegian students can receive support by the government, the Norwegian State Educational Loan Fund, Lånekassen. Many Norwegian students are given a certain amount of money from Lånekassen to survive in Norway.

 Almost all Norwegian students get the support of Lånekassen to go to school. Without the student loan, we cannot continue to be a full-time student, says Stian Skarheim Magelssen from the Student Parliament of UiB.

 Lånekassen has a slogan – «We make education possible». For 2015–2016, out of 422,558 applicants, 393,930 received financial support for their studies. The support from Lånekassen is supposed to cover living expenses (housing, food, clothes, books etc.) whilst you study.  The basic support from Lånekassen for the educational year 2017–2018 is 10,634 NOK per month, which means a yearly total of 106,340 NOK, tells Benedicte Borchgrevink a communications advisor at Lånekassen via e-mail.

This loan’s objective is to give the same possibilities for education to all Norwegian people. Norwegian students must repay it, and some of them would feel anxiety if they cannot get a job in the future. But most of them would think that the loan is an investment to enjoy higher education and have a job in the future.

For Foreign Students

On the other hand, foreign students think it is tougher to live in Bergen than Norwegian students. Each country has each financial system to support students studying abroad, but some international students think the support is not enough to survive in Bergen.

 I receive the scholarship from the European Union, 300€ per month, but it is not enough to live in Norway. I think that students need 700€ per month to satisfactorily live in Bergen, and I also get support from my parents, says Robin Pfeiffer from Germany.

 I cannot get any support from my home country. I’m receiving the student loan from a bank in my home country. I have to pay it back when I get a job in the future, and I know that it will be hard for me. Living in Bergen with not so big a budget is difficult for me, and I often buy groceries with discounts in a supermarket and am reluctant to go to a party to save money, says Xiaoli Zhong from China.

Ms. Borchgrevink tells that some foreigners can get Lånekassen.

 Non-Norwegians who are studying in Norway and has a residence permit, can get the same support as a Norwegian student if one of the following conditions apply: you are a political or humanitarian refugee, you are married to, live with or have a child with a Norwegian partner, you are an EEA-citizen, you have worked in Norway for 24 months prior to starting your education, you have a residence permit due to family relations, or you have studied in Norway for at least three years prior to starting your education. During 2015–2016, Lånekassen supported 22,487 non-Norwegian students, tells Benedicte Borchgrevink.

If exchange students could get this support, it might become easy to live in Bergen.