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Hardanger Folkehøgskule

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Our school

The school is situated in the beautiful, small village Lofthus with Hardangervidda on the one side and the fjord and the glacier Folgefonna on the other. Close to the famous Trolltunga and Bondhusvatnet.
The school offers 7 different programs:

  • Global – solidarity work, international studies and volunteering
  • Outdoor Recreation with backpacking and extreme sports
  • Mountain Sports – skiing, mountain biking, running
  • Dog Sports – bring your own dog
  • Cosplay Level Up
  • Sport Action
  • Cosplay

The school offers some Norwegian instructions if there are more than a few foreign students. To get a quicker progress we recommend the foreign students to work with the language in their leisure time, especially in the beginning of the school year. The students borrow Norwegian textbooks at school. In the beginning of the school year we translate during the other lessons, or ask the other students to translate. We offer different projects for all the students at school.

We offer a nice student enviroment with a lot to do in your leisure time also. During the year we go for several trips. Nearby and far away. To the biggest mountainplateu in Europe, to a winter/skiing destination, to see the beautiful fjords around Hardanger from a big ship, and abroad to ex. Japan, Costa Rica, Tanzania and more.

The school staff is very skilled and have a lot of experience in how to run a school and to make everybody feel safe and secure. At the end of the schoolyear you will get a Diploma.

About Folk High Schools in general

Every year, many international students attend folk high school in Norway. Some come because they want to learn the Norwegian language and immerse themselves in the culture, some see it as a first step to settling in Norway, and some want to experience the unique pedagogical approach of folk high schools.

Folk high schools have a big presence in the Nordic countries, but are relatively unknown in the rest of the world. The pedagogical focus is on the students’ motivation, which is why the schools do not have exams or give grades. We believe that you learn the most if you want to learn.

Norway’s folk high schools welcome international students; they add exciting diversity at school and can give us new insights into how Norwegian students view the world.

As part of the pedagogical arrangement, you live at the school around the clock, together with your fellow students. You eat all your meals at school.

You can choose from more than 80 folk high schools scattered throughout Norway. The schools vary in size, location and line structure.

A folk high school year lasts nine months, from August to May.  Most students attend folk high school right after graduating from high school (upper secondary school). Most folk high school students are between 18 and 25 years old. Folk high schools never have an upper age limit.

Life at a folk high school

You live, sleep and eat at the folk high school. Rooms are normally shared, and while some have their own bathroom, it is most common to have a shared bathroom in the hallway. Some schools have a kitchen you can use.

We believe that living with your fellow students, creates an outstanding learning environment. By sharing accommodations with people who are different from you, you learn to work together and handle problems. You also get to know your fellow students in a completely different way when you are with them around the clock.

Folk high schools are not just about academics and subjects. Student life also plays a big part in the folk high school calendar. The school organises student events, ice-breaker trips and other social activities.

You are free to use the school’s common rooms, classrooms and equipment after school. There is always something to do, and always someone with whom to do them. You can opt for a spur-of-the moment evening outing, play a volleyball game or a board game, watch a film, go to a birthday party in the dormitory common room, or simply cosy up with a cup of coffee, chatting or discussing things until well after supper.

Most schools also offer organised activities in the evenings, such as choir, football training, evening meetings, discussion groups or short courses in various fields.

A year at a folk high school

The class schedules may vary throughout the year, as well as during the week. You usually have classes in your major subjects, electives, and mandatory school-wide classes.

At the morning assembly, the whole school gathers for a common start to the day. This meeting may include reflections on the day ahead, singing, practical information, news announcements, and contributions from the students.

Your major is the subject you choose when you apply to a folk high school. The number of class hours in the major courses varies from school to school, and it also depends on whether you have one or two majors.

These are scheduled classes that all the students at the school attend together. They run the gamut from literature to choir, dance, and physical activity, to social science, Saturday seminars and philosophy.

In all folk high schools, mandatory classes are conducted on selected Saturdays. These classes usually last about four hours and can include anything from seminars to workshops and field trips.

Electives allow you to enjoy and learn about other topics and fields than your major subject. It varies between the schools how many hours of electives you have a week, as  well as the number of electives from which you can choose.

Folk high schools offer social activities such as movie nights, sports, discussion groups, theatre, dance, tours and lectures. Some of the activities are arranged by the school, while others are based on the students taking the initiative.

There are typically four meals a day, and most are eaten together in the dining hall.

Communal entertainment events held by and for the school’s students and staff.