FAQ

In the event that there is a conflict in information provided here and what is written in the School Regulations for Alfaskolen, the information provided in the regulations supersedes information provided in the FAQ.

1. What is the Bergenstest?
The Bergenstest ("test i norsk - høyere nivå") is a test developed by Norsk Språktest, a joint initiative between the University of Bergen and Folkeuniversitetet, to test knowledge of the Norwegian language. The test is a certified document both in the Norwegian schools and institutions and is treated as a state exam. The test is divided into oral and written parts and is held three times a year.

Written test

The written test is intended for those who must document their competence in the Norwegian language for employment (e.g., doctors or other caregivers in the healthcare industry) or those who wish to study at a Norwegian university or tertiary educational institutions in Norway. It can also be used as a way to check one's Norwegian language level. This primarily applies to people for whom Norwegian is not their native language. However, such documentation is equally significant for Norwegian citizens who have completed school education abroad.

The written exam consists of five parts:

  • Part 1: Reading comprehension
  • Part 2: Listening comprehension
  • Part 3: Summary writing (of an interview played on CD)
  • Part 4: Grammar, vocabulary and expressions
  • Part 5: Writing - composition
Oral test

The oral test is primarily intended for healthcare workers or others who must document advanced skills in speaking Norwegian. The test assesses the candidate's language comprehension, oral production, interaction and discussion, use of language function, and linguistic skills. It is comprised of three parts:

  • Part 1: Oral production: Description
  • Part 2: Oral production: Expressing own opinion and presenting one's reasons
  • Part 3: Oral interaction: Interaction/discussion

Test results are available approximately five weeks after the test is taken. Rather than numerical scores test results are given as ikke bestått, bestått, or godt bestått. Alfaskolen offers preparatory courses for the Bergenstest. Please see our course descriptions and availability here.

For more information about the tests, cost, and testing dates, please visit Folkeuniversitetet’s website.
 

2. How do I get to Alfaskolen?

Our school is located in downtown Oslo at 15 Kongens gate, a seven-minute walk from Oslo Central Station (Oslo S). The school is accessible by all means of transportation: bus, tram, underground metro and train. To reach the school from Oslo S, exit the station at the main exit onto the plaza facing Fred Olsens gate. Walk west on Karl Johans gate for four blocks, towards the Stortinget and then turn left. 15 Kongens gate is located on the right hand side of the street, just past the intersection with Tollbugata (two blocks from Karl Johans gate). Ring the buzzer at the front door and then take the elevator to the third floor. For map of our location, please visit our Contact Us page

3. How many levels of Norwegian are there?

The education plan for teaching Norwegian as a second language for adults (læreplan i norsk for voksne innvandrere) is based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). The plan is divided into levels A1, A2, B1, B2, C1 and C2.

Alfaskolen divides the CEFR levels into Norwegian Level 1, Norwegian Level 2, and Norwegian Level 3. A table is provided below to clarify how Alfaskolen courses align with the Norwegian Language Plan and CEFR Levels.

Alfaskolen Course Corresponding Norwegian Language Plan/ CEFR Level Books/ Chapters Covered
Level 1 Norwegian A1 A1 På Vei, chapters 1-5
Norwegian A1-A2 A1-A2 På Vei, chapters 6-10
Norwegian A2 A2 På Vei, chapters 11-16
Level 2 Norwegian B1-1 B1 Stein på Stein, chapters 1-5
Norwegian B1-2 B1 Stein på Stein, chapters 6-10
Norwegian B1-3 B1 Stein på Stein, chapters 11-14
Level 3 Norwegian B2-1 B2 Her på Berget, chapters 1-5
Norwegian B2-2 B2 Her på Berget, chapters 6-10
Norwegian B2-3 B2 Her på Berget, chapters 11-14
4. How can I enroll in a course?

You can enroll in a course in several ways: the easiest way is to find the course you want to attend in the course menu on our website and click on the green button located in the right hand corner that says “sign up”.

One can also enroll; in person at the school’s reception; by sending an email to info@alfaskolen.no; or by calling us at +47 22 41 01 20.

Please note: the course enrollment is binding. Participants withdrawing from the course within 7 calendar days of the course start date will be charged a cancellation fee.

5. How can I resign from the course?

Resignations for courses are only accepted when they are presented in writing following the time restrictions presented below. They can be submitted either by email or in person at the reception. You can also resign by clicking on the cancellation link in the confirmation email that you receive when signing up online. The school does not accept resignations over the phone. A registration for a course will be considered as binding until a written resignation is received by email, handed in at the reception or through the cancellation link in the confirmation email.

  • Resignations received more than 7 calendar days before a course begins are free of charge.
  • Resignations received 7 calendar days or less before a course begins will be charged a cancellation fee (see regulation #38 on our Regulations website).
  • Resignations received on or after the first day of the course will be charged the full course fee.
6. I registered for a course but cannot attend. Can I take the course at a later date?

Yes. You can transfer to another course at a later date if there are extraordinary and/or unexpected circumstances that have arisen. The request and documentation supporting the reason for the request (i.e., illness) must be submitted in writing to the school's reception. We do not accept any course changes over the phone. There is a one-time transfer fee. An approved request for transfer allows the student to continue in a later course at the same point in the lessons at which they left, provided there is space available. The transfer is possible only once, and is binding. The replacement course must be started within three months of the approved transfer date. It is not possible to return to the previous course after the transfer has been approved.

7. Can I make up individual sessions that I could not attend?

Yes, but only in cases of unforeseeable circumstances (e.g. documented illness, business trip with a written statement from the employer), and only if there is a group on the same level with available space.

8. Which books are used for the Norwegian language courses?

Alfaskolen uses a variety of recognized instructional materials for their courses. We use materials that are widely available and can be purchased at most bookstores or at our school without additional fees. For detailed information about the books needed for specific courses, please go to the "Our Courses" section of the website and read the description for the course you are interested in.

9. How and when shall I pay for the course?

After the course enrollment you will receive an invoice via email at the email address you provided at the time of registration, or a letter via regular post if no email address has been provided. You can pay the invoice in the bank, at the post office, or in person at the school. Payments can be made with a Norwegian bankcard or cash (we do not accept credit or bank cards issued outside of Norway). Cash payments are subject to an additional 50 NOK fee. On the yellow part of the invoice there is a date labeled BETALINGSFRIST. This is the date by which the invoice must be paid. If you paid at a location other than the school, please bring the receipt with you to your first session to show at the reception.

10. Can I pay for the course in installments?

Yes, but only for payers residing in Norway who can present their Norwegian national identification number (fødselsnummer). The type of installments depends on the course. For evening courses, payment can be divided into two installments. The first installment should be paid before the course starts, and there is an additional fee of 200 NOK added to the first installment. For semester courses and the one-year program, payment can be divided into three payments. The first payment should be paid prior to the beginning of the course. There is no additional fee. The payment for course books purchased at our school cannot be divided into installments.

11. I want to enrol in the course with my husband. Can we get a discount?

Alfaskolen is a private institution focused on the individual customer. We do not receive any subsidy from the state and have some of the least expensive course offerings on the market. We do not grant family discounts. We offer some discounts for companies or organizations based on the number of enrollments. However, if you are a group of six people enrolling at the same time for the same course, we can offer you a discount. Please inquire at reception.

12. Will I get a course certificate after the course has finished?

All participants who attend at least 80 percent of the course sessions have the right to receive a course certificate. The certificate includes information on the material covered in the course, the course level, the course dates, and the teacher's name. It is issued the last day of the course and is included in the course fee. Additional official copies cost 50 NOK per copy.

13. How many people are there in a course?

Courses start with a minimum of six participants. Most courses have between 8 and 12 students. However, the beginner's course and the one-year language program can have up to 16 participants.

14. I do not know which course level to choose.

If you are unsure what level of language course you should take, it is possible to take an online placement test or arrange a meeting with one of our teachers to assess your language competency level. These services are offered free of charge. Teacher meetings are only held on Fridays between 9:30 and 15:30.

15. Are there many conversations in the courses?

We believe that conversational skills are an important part of the language learning process. As such, all our classes are taught in the target language. During the classes we focus on all four of the basic language skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing to ensure full language comprehension.

16. Does Alfaskolen guarantee or help in obtaining visas to Norway?

Alfa Skolen cannot guarantee that a student will be granted a visa to Norway. Decisions on whether visas are granted or denied are up to the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI). Students that register and pay for the semester course or the one-year language program can request an admission letter from Alfaskolen to submit with their visa application to UDI. Courses at Alfaskolen are officially recognized by Norwegian authorities. Alfaskolen also provides a student deposit account (SDA) for students who need to meet the financial criteria necessary for staying in Norway. The SDA is available only for applicants who need to apply for a visa/permit.

For more information about visas in relation to attending Alfaskolen, please see our Regulations website.

17. Where can I find work?

Alfaskolen is looking for qualified teachers that are native speakers with experience in teaching. If you have relevant experience and are interested in working with us, please send your CV to our email: jobs@alfaskolen.no. We realize searching for a job in a new country is challenging. However, we do not provide any information or help in searching for work. We recommend you visit www.NAV.no and inquire about the services they offer.

18. Where can I find out more information about Norwegian Language test?

You can find more information about dates, price and more information on www.kompetansenorge.no

19. I am a current student and my name has changed (due to marriage, divorce, etc.). What do I do?

Students who have changed their name for legal reasons must present an official document confirming the name change. An official document could be, for example, a statement of name changing from the Norwegian Folkeregister (National Population Register). The school will make a copy of the document and change the student's name in the files. If the student is currently attending a course, we will change the name on that course's certificate (we will not change names on past course certificates).


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Student information:

Alfaskolen are closed on Friday 22/9 from 16:00 and Saturday 23/9 due to upgrades on the buildings electrical systems.

There are no classes on the following dates 2017:

Week 51 & 52
18. December until 2. January
Classes will start again from 3. January 2018