The number of international students coming to Norway increased considerably after 2001, when the changes to the immigration policy were made. The policy was aimed to provide international students a possibility to stay on work in Norway after graduation. However the policy did not have an effect on the staying rates of international students three years later. The number of resident permits granted to the students after graduation remained on the same level as before. This study focuses on the ambitions and motivation of international students who come to study in Norway. The study distinguishes between the primarily motives for international students to come to Norway and their motives for staying in Norway after graduation. A qualitative research design was applied. Data were collected using the interview guide approach. The study focused on international students who come to Norway to take a whole degree, either bachelor or master. Twelve students from the University of Oslo, the university with the highest international students’ population in Norway, were interviewed. In order to understand the motives of international students, it was important to get an insight into their educational and social backgrounds, and to unveil their perception of the studying in Norway. The results of this study indicated that Norwegian immigration policies have little impact on the students’ motivation to come, and eventually to stay in Norway after graduation. Choosing Norway as their study destination they first of all consider the financial side of the issue to be very advantageous for them. The fact that education is free in Norway is central to their decision to come. As for their prospects after graduation, international students are aware of the benefits they can gain in Norway if they succeed to find a job here. At the same time, they consider abilities and language skills to play a significant role in the recruitment process here. Therefore their decision either to stay, or to leave Norway, is grounded basically upon their self-estimation of those skills and abilities.