Lee Duffield

Edited by Lee Duffield
Freedom and Truth

Strong Aussie dollar no good for Norwegian students


Lone and Håkon still laughing although things are tighter than before : Tom H. Monsen

A strong Australian dollar and a weak Norwegian krone make life a little more challenging for Norwegian students living in Brisbane.

For Lone Øie, 22, doing a Bachelor of Design at Griffith University and Håkon Rygh, 26, doing a Master of Business at Queensland University of Technology, a weak krone means that money for daily living expenses after the university’s tuition fee is paid is more scarce than last semester.

Both have calculated that in comparison with the last semester they are paying nearly 10,000 NOK – about 2,000 AUD – more for their degree this semester because of the strong Aussie dollar.

What makes the situation worse is that both are being funded by the Norwegian State Educational Fund, which only adjusts its loan rates once a year accordingly to the exchange rates.

This means that Ms Øie and Mr Rygh are receiving the same amount of money than last semester although the cost of the university fees and living has gone up.

“They [Norwegian State Educational Fund] should adjust the loan rates at least twice a year because there are two semesters,” Mr Rygh said.

“I am waiting to transfer money from my Norwegian bank account to my Australian bank account because of the current exchange rates.”

But although both are facing tougher times, they admit that they have not changed much when it comes to lifestyle.

“I know I have less money, but I still live the same kind of life as last semester,” Ms Øie said.


A typical student's diet : Tom H. Monsen

Australian – Norwegian comparison

Daily living expenses are roughly the same or a little higher in Norway.

Grocery prices are little bit higher in Norway than in Australia, but the average rent is approximately the same in both countries.

As in Brisbane and the rest of Australia, where you live in Norway and how many other people you live with has a lot to do about how much rent you are paying per month.

What really makes a difference for Norwegian students studying in Brisbane versus studying at home is that public institutions of higher education in Norway do not charge tuition fees.

However all students have to register each semester and pay a semester fee. The semester fee must be paid in order to pick up your loan from the Norwegian State Loan Fund or to register for your exams.

  • Semester 2 2009
  • 1 AUD = 5,10 NOK
  • Ms Øie’s tuition fee  at Griffith University, 9040 AUD = 46104 NOK
  • Ms Øie’s equivalent Norwegian degree’s semester fee, 440 NOK = 86 AUD
  • Mr Rygh’s tuition fee at QUT, 10500 AUD = 53550 NOK
  • Mr Rygh’s equivalent Norwegian degree’s semester fee , 490 NOK = 96 AUD