According to our students, they want new experiences, meet new people and finally get to choose what they want to do. They want an amazing year with people they care about. Just watch the video :-)

Our international students come to us in the gap year between school and university. There is a lot going on here!

Where are we?

Northern Europe's highest mountain range

Our school is located at the foot of Northern Europe's highest mountain range, Jotunheimen, giving you access to one of Norway's most beautiful and wild natural areas. It is a world of natural wonders that keeps on giving. If you can find happiness among the highest mountain peaks, the bluest glaciers, the clearest rivers and lakes and the whitest snow – then this might be the place for you!

The perfect climate for outdoor enthusiasts

Jotunheimen is like a shield against rainfall from the west, giving us plenty of sunshine. And the high elevation lets rain turn into snow in the winter. This provides excellent opportunities for outdoor activities throughout autumn, winter and spring. Especially winter (snow from October to May) has a lot to offer, such as ski touring, alpine skiing and snowboarding, as well as 1200 km of groomed cross-country trails.

Cycling wonderland

Valdres has countless trails and mountain roads. This provides many opportunities for mountain biking, trail biking, fat biking in the winter or simply cycling in the mountains at 1100 meters above sea level.

Valdres Folkehøgskole is beautifully situated by Lake Strandefjorden in central southern Norway. Distances: 180 km to Oslo – 330 km to Bergen – 380 km to Trondheim.

Folkehogskole Valdres Ridderrennet


122m2 bouldering gym! Professionally built with a complex 3D structure
Valdres Storhall lies within walking distance from the school, with 120 x 90 meters of indoor sports facilities, including a 16 meter high climbing wall
Spinning room with 20 high-quality spinning bikes and a great sound system
Fitness room with equipment and suspension trainers for basic training
Beach volleyball court
Gravel pitch / football field
Ice rink for hockey
Snow park with floodlights
Climbing area
Ceramics, textile and woodworking room
Ski storage and tuning room
Close proximity to cross-country trails and alpine slopes

Who are the students?
Valdres Folkehøgskole has an even mix of male and female students. The average student is 19.5 years old, and the age limit is 18. The school accommodates around 140 students. In recent years, it has been completely full, so we recommend participating in the early admission process starting on February 1st. Most students live in double rooms in separate dormitories.

Drug free environment

Valdres Folkehøgskole maintains a zero tolerance policy regarding alcohol and other substances. This has worked really well for us, and we have received lots of positive feedback from our students regarding this policy. We believe that it is part of the reason why Valdres Folkehøgskole is known for being such a great social environment. In order to be admitted, you have to accept this policy by signing the admission letter.

Christian faith
The school offers voluntary evening gatherings and discussion groups where you can explore existential questions and share your thoughts regarding life, faith and doubt. This is a place for students with different opinions to come together. Many find this to be a good and meaningful experience. This year, there was a turnout of 80-100 students in the discussion groups as well as the gatherings.

Physiotherapist and manual therapist

We are an active school with physically active students, and we seek to provide expertise and preventive treatment to help them improve and become stronger. That is why we have an affiliated physiotherapist and manual therapist at the school, to ensure high-quality guidance and treatment.

What do the students say?

Every year, EPSI Norway conducts a national survey of folk high schools in Norway, and for the past three years, we have ranked among the top three. That is something we are proud of.

"It's simply magical! Who would say no to what is most likely going to be the best year of their life?"
"It was the best year of my life so far! I will cherish it for many, many years to come. Everything was beyond my expectations! Valdres Folkehøgskole was, and is, a fantastic place! Keep doing what you’re doing, and the school will last forever! Thank you for everything!"
"This has been the best experience of my life. Choosing this school has been the best decision of my life so far. I wouldn’t trade it for anything."
"Valdres Folkehøgskole is without a doubt the most amazingest school I have ever attended. This year (or two, if you're lucky) cannot be described in words and is truly priceless. Simply perfection IN THE MIDDLE OF A WINTER WONDERLAND."
"Valdres Folkehøgskole is fantastic, and it changed my life for the better! I would have loved to do it again and again and again and again!"


Academic development
For the past three years, EPSI has conducted independent surveys of student satisfaction with regard to school offerings. The results are then compared with similar surveys for other higher education institutions, and Valdres Folkehøgskole has consistently received the highest score within nearly every category. Students have provided positive feedback regarding the academic content, and even better feedback regarding the expertise of our teachers. As the students have chosen both the school as well as the subjects themselves, this naturally provides a good motivational basis for learning.
Read the EPSI surveys on folk high schools and other forms of higher education

Passion for learning
Having the opportunity to choose your subjects based on interest, along with the absence of grading and the pressure of exams, creates a safe and stimulating learning environment. At the end of the last school year, a survey was conducted among students at 25 folk high schools in Norway. Approximately three out of four students responded that they had developed a more positive attitude towards learning, and even more stated that they had acquired "a lot of new knowledge" in the subject.

Social and collaborative skills

In 2010, NTNU Social Research conducted a research project about the benefits associated with attending folk high school. In particular, the report highlights self-confidence, social skills and self-efficacy as benefits resulting from a folk high school year. These qualities are undoubtedly in demand on the job market. Furthermore, the Folk High School Act requires of each school the presence of boarding facilities, that the majority of students should reside there, and that the boarding facilities should be "integrated into the overall schoolwork." From this, it follows that boarding school life should be more than just a practical solution for food and lodging, but also a space for learning.
Read the survey from NTNU Social Research on benefits associated with attending folk high school

Civic knowledge and democratic participation
According to the NTNU survey, folk high school students are more active in society. The academic and educational freedom makes it possible for the students to engage in decision-making processes concerning academic priorities as well as interaction with their community. Democracy is not primarily something to be explained, but something you must be invited to and participate in.

Democracy is a way of life and a standard of civilization which must be won with each generation. In light our times, the British writer G.K. Chesterton said: "Nothing so much threatens the safety of democracy as assuming that democracy is safe." This has been a wake-up call for many.

Valdres Folkehøgskole
 is qualified as a 3D guidance school. This means that we have the expertise to facilitate the development of our students with regard to qualities and abilities, choice of values, social skills and self-image. We have a dedicated advisor who you can talk to about the things that matter to you.
Completing your folk high school year grants 2 additional credits for higher education.
As a student, you are responsible for submitting your diploma to the Norwegian Universities and Colleges Admission Service at the end of the school year.