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Courses of Norwegian language in Trondheim

  1. Center for Adult Education (Senter for voksenopplæring) in Lade
    Courses of all levels. Day and evening groups.
    New students are registered on an ongoing basis and can often join a class immediately; however, there may be a waiting list for some classes. Many Russians think these courses are not very quick at teaching Norwegian, probably due to widely varying composition of students at the center.
    Tel. 72544930.
    Courses are free.

  2. Regular courses at NTNU, Dragvoll campus
    There are four levels, one semester each. Day and evening groups; day groups are reportedly better. You have to sit for a test to join levels 2-4. There is an exam at the end of each level. The third-level exam is considered equal to Bergenstesten.
    Application deadline for the spring semester is June 15, for the fall semester is November 15; deadlines are strictly observed. There are often more applicants than available places. Priority is given to students and researchers at NTNU.
    Further information can be obtained from the International Office of NTNU, tel. 735 95700.
    Courses are free.

  3. Four-week intensive course at NTNU
    Given once a year, in August. You are busy all day during the course. There is an optional but highly recommend social program for the students, which includes tours to the local industries and a weekend mountain trip.
    Advance registration required. The course is popular and is fully booked early.
    Further information can be obtained from the International Office of NTNU, tel. 735 95700.
    Course is free for students and researchers at NTNU. Other people can join for a fee if places are available. There is an additional fee for the social program, which has been NOK 600 in 2002.

  4. Beginner courses for exchange studenrts at NTNU, Gløshaugen campus
    Beginner-level courses only. Duration one semester or less.
    Registration at the International Office of NTNU, tel. 735 95700.
    Courses are free.
There aren't any special groups for Russians. People from all countries study together. On a beginner level, some knowledge of English is desirable; however, instruction pretty soon switches to Norwegian only.

People who stay in Norway on a tourist visa, i.e. don't have a residence permit (oppholdstillatelse), are unfortunately not entitled to free language education.

Bergenstesten

Certificate from Bergenstesten Bergenstesten is an official test of Norwegian language, pretty much like TOEFL in United States or IELTS in Great Britain. It costs a fee and requires advance registration. The test is arranged several times a year in various places in Norway. It lasts one day and consists of several parts. The test result is returned in about a month. You get a single score (on the scale of 150 to 700) reflecting your language skill.

Employers and educational institutions in Norway may require a certain score from applicants. The presence of this requirement and the passing score depends on the particular profession or study course.
For example, the mark required for admission to university is 450 points for regular students, while PhD students don't need Norwegian at all. Requirements to working medical personnel are stricter: they need something like 500 or 550 ponts.

When you are preparing to Bergenstesten, it is best to just study the language. Thorough training of the test procedure itself does not give any advantage, in my experience. Of course, it is wise to familiarize yourself with the content of the test and rehearse it at home once, to know how to manage time allotted to the tasks. A sample of test materials can be ordered when you sign up for Bergenstesten (a test sample is also available on-line, but I would recommend to work with printed materials that you order instead, because they are exactly in the same form as on the actual test, unlike the on-line sample).

I took Bergenstesten out of curiosity in 2002 and got my score of 450 points, which I had no use for anyway.

The test is called Bergenstesten because it is produced at the Department of Scandinavian Languages and Literature at the University of Bergen.

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