30 Things You Should Know Before Moving To Norway

Before reading this, please read these three key points first:

a)  This post has nothing to do with things I do or don’t like about living in Norway.  If you’re curious about what those are (which, I love living in Norway, so they are basically all positives), you can find those articles here.

b)  This post is not meant for Norwegians, hence the title ‘BEFORE MOVING TO NORWAY’.  It is geared for foreigners looking to move here, or people simply looking to travel here.

c)  However, if you’re Norwegian and care to add or make suggestions about what is listed, I highly encourage you to do so!  BUT… don’t troll the internet hiding behind fake email address and identities and writing nastygrams to bloggers.  Please have more class and balls than that.  Leave a real email address (it is private and only I can see it) and name, even if just a first name.  If you leave a fake email address, the spam folder catches the comment and I delete amongst the thousand others I receive daily unknowingly.  In addition, if your comment has an insane usage of curse words in it with hateful xenophobic comments, I will spare you the embarrassment and just delete it myself.  These people are looking for information about moving here, and I don’t want them to get the impression that Norwegians are classless or distasteful (because most aren’t) from a blog post. ;)  And a huge thank you in advance to those who comment with advice for those looking to move here!  They will surely appreciate it!

This was originally written in 2013.

As I approach my two-year anniversary in Norway, I have realized that there are many things I wish I had known, whether it be in a general or specific manner, about Norway prior to moving here.  Of course, it would not have changed my plan to move here…it would have just made me more aware.

But fear no more!  I, along with Andrea from Inspiring Travellers, are here to share our list of 30 things you should know before moving to Norway.  Please feel free to add any others at the end if you’re an expat in Norway or have traveled there for any length of time!

me in a helly hansen parka in henningsvær norway in the lofoten islands

1.  ‘Allemannsrett’:  This law means that you can pitch your tent or hike anywhere in Norway.  Granted, you can’t pitch a tent in the middle of Frognerparken, but anywhere out in nature or mountains that are not private property is an absolute go.  I can’t tell you how much I love this right!  Hotels and hostels aren’t cheap in Norway, so this gives travelers and locals another way to be out in nature at an affordable cost.  I have future plans to road trip up the Atlantic highway in Norway all the way to Lofoten and you can bet that this will be the route I go for the majority of the trip.

Trollstigen in Norway

<Photo by Benjamin Davies on Unsplash>

2.  Salaries:  I constantly hear from Norwegians, even when irrelevant to a conversation, “We are so lucky to get paid so well here…that is why everything is more expensive.”  This is not always true.  Granted, a housekeeper or retail shop worker gets paid drastically more than in the US.  But skilled workers with education generally do not (I have found that teachers are one of the exceptions).  I will most likely never make the same salary here that I would make in the US.  And that doesn’t even account for the taxes or high cost of living here.  If you look at the OECD Better Life Index, you will notice that based on disposable income, the average American makes astoundingly more than the average Norwegian per year.  This takes into account a lot of the wealth gaps (to my surprise, there wasn’t as large of a difference between the countries as I anticipated).  And with the cost of living being so much lower in the US, your money will go much further than it would in Norway.  This is hard for people to see…especially since many jobs (engineers are an example) are in a much higher demand in Norway than they are in the US or other countries.  So while you may get paid very well to be an engineer in Norway, that does not mean that you won’t get paid equivalent or higher in another country… they just have the demand for it in Norway at the moment.

3.  Everyone is given a new tax card each year:  They are supposed to come automatically, but sometimes you have to order them if you don’t receive them on time.  What happens if you don’t turn yours in or are in between the processing of visas and can’t receive one until the visa processing is done?  You are taxed at 50%.  I am experiencing this right now and trust me, it is BRUTAL.  I’m told I’ll receive a lot of it back when tax time comes.  Fingers crossed.

4.  Food quality is poor:  Since they are not part of the EU, they don’t have the same amount of imports as grocery stores in Sweden, for example.  And what you do get in the grocery stores is usually very, very poor quality.  I can’t tell you how badly I miss a Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods.  Luckily, if you’re in Oslo, the Grønland markets can provide you with your foreign needs, at a lower price, and often, with better quality.  My favorite grocery store here for quality is Centra…which I still find rotten food in, but less often than other ones.  Don’t let Kiwi’s produce guarantee trick you into believing their quality is superior to any other store’s.  I will mention that I have seen drastic improvements regarding food quality since I have moved here.  Perhaps the TV2 programs about the poor quality have helped? (Again, this was written in 2013 and has likely changed a bit- I no longer live in Norway, so I have no idea!)

5.  Norwegians don’t complain:  And if they do, it is very rarely.  So, when you do have a legitimate complaint with a company or its services, you will shock the lower level employees because they don’t experience this often.  I purchased a sofa from Bohus here in Norway and had some delivery issues with it (it was going to be months late).  I was upset, naturally, and called to complain.  The employee who received my phone call was so confused about what to do or who to escalate the call to that I think I frazzled her for days.  Luckily, the problem was resolved in a professional and timely manner and I ended up having a superb customer service interaction with Bohus.

6.  If you can’t find it here, it could be banned:  The Norwegian government is notorious for banning things.  One of my favorite Yogi teas is banned here.  I didn’t discover this until my friend who works for customs and tolls here informed me that that is why I am unable to find it, but can find every single other Yogi tea here.  Red Bull was banned here in recent years, in fact, due to caffeine levels.  A 12oz Red Bull has less caffeine than a cup of coffee.  I think it was probably banned for other reasons but the government just told the people it was caffeine-levels related.  But on a general note, if you can’t find it…before you go to extreme measures of trying to have a grocery store import it (which I have done), find out if it is even allowed in the country at all.  There may be a reason you can’t get it here.

7.  Shipping products into Norway is no easy feat:  Since Norway is not part of the EU, many places abroad won’t ship here.  I have found that you can often get an exception made by speaking with managers, but there have been times I was unable to get that permission granted.  In addition, you have to pay tolls and customs on products shipped to Norway that are over about a $40 (give or take depending on currency exchange at the moment).  These taxes can often amount to more than what you paid for the product in the first place, depending on what it is.  So I have given up shopping online from abroad.

8.  Speaking of taxes…:  Tax returns are mostly automated.  Take that H&R Block.

9.  Healthcare:  I haven’t had an opportunity to experience any healthcare here in Norway yet.  This is obviously a good thing.  I only know what I watch on the news or have experienced with others.  Vision and dental are not covered.  The healthcare itself is very basic and does not include holistic approaches or natural forms of medicine (chiropractors included).  Many of the hospitals look like they were built in 1903.  On the contrary, everyone is entitled to coverage here.  I have found that the healthcare here is more expensive for me at this point in my life than what I got in the US because I’m healthy.  But, if you’re chronically ill, this is the country for you.  Every time you go to the doctor, you must pay around $40, in addition to the medicine you’re prescribed.  But, once you hit your cap (I want to say it’s around $500ish), everything is covered for the remainder of the year.  One thing I do notice a lot due to my watching and reading the news here is that a lot of the equipment and practices are extremely out of date.  I just saw a situation with a boy having to travel to Germany out of pocket because the heart procedures he was having done were from the 1970s and doing more damage than good.  A lot of what is done here is out-of-date, and not just in the field of medicine.  Here are two unbiased and informative blogs on the subject (one from an American’s POV and one from a Canadian’s POV):



10.  Banking in Norway is awesome:  I love the banking system here in Norway.  Everything is done easily online, which is the same as the States, but transferring money amongst people is way easier here in Norway.  Of course, I’m not sitting in a country of 325 million people… but rather 5 million … but still.  I can just type in someone’s bank account number and the money sends, regardless of the bank.  Bank account numbers aren’t a private thing here.  If you owe your friend $20, you can just transfer them 100kr over the internet.  It’s so efficient it makes me sick.

11.  Feriepenger:  Everyone in the world thinks that Norway gets a month of vacation during the summer and paid to not work.  Well, this is very wrong.  I, believe it or not, got more vacation time with pay in the United States than I do here in Norway.  You see, the month Norwegians are mandated to take off in July, is unpaid.  Many jobs and offices close down so you’re forced to not work.  While this is conceptually a nice idea, it sucks for those who need the money and want to work through July.  The way people are able to afford a month off without pay is because their company withholds money from the worker’s paychecks every month the year prior and gives them a nice, lump sum of money in June of the following year, aptly called feriepenger.  There are reasons I both like and dislike this method.  I like it because you get a month of vacation off.  I’m a traveler at heart and will happily take off a month unpaid if given the chance.  I dislike it because depending on the job, you are forced to take off even if you need the cash and want to work extra.  I also dislike it because it is in July.  Who really wants to leave Norway and travel abroad in the height of Norway’s most beautiful and tolerable season??  Give me a month off in December or January and I’d have a more positive response.   Also, if it is your first year at a job, you don’t receive feriepenger.  So basically, you get to take a month off unpaid.  You better be good at saving and budgeting!  When Norwegians tell you they get a month off and tons of money to do so… don’t be fooled.  This was money they earned the year prior; it is not ‘free’ money as they will be so inclined to tell you.

12.  Conformity Rules:  I haven’t talked too much about this in previous posts but really should have.  This is the absolute most conformed place I’ve ever been in the world.  The girls all dress the same.  And if someone claims they have their own style or is an original, this simply means they just have a different color of Converse sneakers than their friends, who will undoubtedly all own the same white high-top ones.  If a trend catches on here…watch out.  The summers are filled with girls in unflattering mom-like jean shorts, solid color t-shirt, long, straight box dyed blonde hair, and Converse white high-top sneakers.  In the winter, it is all about the Canadian Goose parka (whether it be real or a knockoff) with a fur-trimmed hood.  The guys are not much different when it comes to conformity, but it is easier for me to notice on the females than the males since I’m a female myself.  Aside from style, you will also notice conformity in other manners.  Skiing is another example.  I understand this country is made for skiing and quite frankly, there is not much else to do here, but I swear, everyone does it.  There is not a lot of variety when it comes to sports.  Sure, you have gyms and some indoor soccer centers, but pretty much just everyone skis.  Hey, at least they are active!


<Photo by Philipp Lublasser on Unsplash>

13.  Everything costs money:  Wanna play tennis?  Good luck finding a court that you don’t have to pay for!  Own a TV?  You must pay yearly taxes on it.  Fortunately, recycling is free.  So is hiking and enjoying the outdoors.

14.  Norwegians are masterminds when it comes to saving:  Americans could use some tips on this.  While I think many Norwegians buy and build homes way too young without much money in the bank, the majority seem super good at saving.  It boggles my mind and I really need to start learning from them.

30 things you should know before moving to Norway #expat #relocation Click To Tweet

15.  Getting places is easy, kind of expensive, and will take you often a lot longer than it should:  Public transportation in Norway deserves a huge thumbs up.  It is incredible.  But you know those beautiful fjords?  They make getting places kind of a nightmare.  Places that should really only take two hours to get to often take five hours to get to because one has to take the long way around the fjord or wait on a ferry to get across.  Don’t let maps fool you into thinking places are closer than they are.  These kinds of situations tend to happen more in western Norway than the east side.

Transportation here is expensive.  Even when I think I am getting a hell of a deal…I’m kind of getting screwed over.  To go round trip from Oslo to Bergen (7 hours) via train with the absolute cheapest ticket possible is still over $100.  For a 2 minute ride on Oslo’s public transportation system…you will pay around $5.  The ‘Flytoget’, or airport train, from Oslo’s international airport to the city center will run a person 170kr, or $30.  EACH WAY.  There are ways to avoid this, but the average traveler or person new to Oslo doesn’t think about it when they step off of an airplane here.


<Photo by Atle Mo on Unsplash>

I have only covered 15 of the 30 on the list! To check out the rest…head over to Inspiring Travellers and see what Norway tips Andrea has shared with you!

Is there anything you think is important for people moving to Norway, or even traveling here, to know prior to their trip/move?  Please feel free to share below.



Norway is a complicated, beautiful, and a sought after country these days. This post describes thirty things you should know before moving to Norway.
Norway is a complicated, beautiful, and a sought after country these days. This post describes thirty things you should know before moving to Norway.
Norway is a complicated, beautiful, and a sought after country these days. This post describes thirty things you should know before moving to Norway.


Norway is a complicated, beautiful, and a sought after country these days. This post describes thirty things you should know before moving to Norway.
  • Alex @ ifs ands & butts
    Posted at 13:50h, 14 March Reply

    The banking in Germany sounds really similar, I love how easy it is to transfer without having to go through companies like Paypal! And Norweigians don’t complain?? That’s pretty amazing. And they’d probably hate me ;) And PLEASE find out their saving tips and share them!

    • Megan
      Posted at 04:06h, 20 March Reply

      its so funny because norwegians think norwegians complain. but being american i have to laugh it off LOL :) and they arent picky. if something is on the menu, generally they order it as is. whereas an american will come up and be like ‘oh im a vegan…can you remove the cheese and mayo for me and leave out red onions because i dont like them and green bell peppers because im allergic?’

      • Bikram
        Posted at 02:22h, 25 June Reply

        Dear Megan,
        I am student from Nepal and i have recently completed my Bachelor Degree in business Administration.So, i am planning to complete my MBA in Norway.

        So, can you suggest me, how good is norway for international student like me having Moderate economic background? beside this, what are the possible chances of part time job over there? last question, can you say approximate living cost for student living a normal life style over there?
        I will be eagerly waiting to hear some fruitful suggestion from you.

        Your regards,

        • Domaldel
          Posted at 18:27h, 23 November Reply

          “Bikram June 25, 2014 at 2:22 am

          Dear Megan,
          I am student from Nepal and i have recently completed my Bachelor Degree in business Administration.So, i am planning to complete my MBA in Norway.

          So, can you suggest me, how good is norway for international student like me having Moderate economic background? beside this, what are the possible chances of part time job over there? last question, can you say approximate living cost for student living a normal life style over there?
          I will be eagerly waiting to hear some fruitful suggestion from you.

          Your regards,

          Hello Bikram.
          I’m someone who have lived his whole life in this country and who live in acity with a large portion of the inhabitants being made up of students. (Trondheim)

          Regarding the conditions for foreign exchange students it’s supposed to be good (at least for students from universities cooperating with the norwegian ones.
          To get a visa to norway as a student you need to document that you have a way to finance your stay here while studying.
          And while the education itself is free, the educational material like the books and the living expenses are not and can unfortunately end up netting you almost as much in expenses as the educaton itself in an american university if you’re not careful.
          A part time job might be easy to get for someone local with a finished education.
          It’s not all that easy without norwegian skills and no education though as unskilled jobs are relatively few and far between in Norway, especially in places where you find the big educational establishments.
          You can try to look up possible grants that you can get that might help you finance your studying time here.
          There’s been various people up through the ages who wrote in their will that they wanted to give a portion of their wealth to people needing an education, sometimes it’s for widows, sometimes for exchange students, sometimes for someone poor, or young girls or all sort of things.
          Sometimes it’s for gifted students.
          Native students rarely make use of these grants as we can loan money cheaply from the government for things like living expenses during our studying.
          So I can’t see why you shouldn’t be able to get one if you find one that you qualifies for.

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      • K
        Posted at 04:53h, 11 November Reply

        Megan, being vegan is not being picky. Neither being allergic. I am vegan and I do not believe I am being picky when ordering something without meat or dairy products. If you do not like something is a different story but please do not label everyone with the same label.

        • Megan
          Posted at 06:22h, 11 November Reply

          im a gluten free pescetarian so im unsure of what you are speaking of. this referenced americans as picky- not vegans. we change every order as we see it to suit us. norwegians just cope. not entirely sure if you read that correctly before commenting.

          • JANE
            Posted at 11:21h, 22 December

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      • Christine
        Posted at 11:52h, 19 December Reply

        I am American and yes I am picky with my food so I totally get what you are saying. Thank you for this interesting article. My husband’s family is Norwegian and we always talk about what it would be like to live there. The first thing I feel like you need to be prepared for, is it is not for the host country to adapt to you; you need to adapt to your host country. So blogs like this are very helpful to get you in the mindset of the Norwegian culture. I expect Norwegians to have pride in their culture and it’s not for me to criticize the way they live. It’s not suppose to be my culture. Good luck with the rest of your Norwegian adventure and stay away from the lutefisk. Sorry Norway….I just can’t get past that one!

        • Megan
          Posted at 04:23h, 22 December Reply

          YES- you said it perfectly that the expat can’t expect the country to adapt to them but rather for them to adapt to the country. While I never enjoyed skiing or winter sports (aside from sitting inside by the fireplace haha), I still found it such a cool part of their culture and heritage. As for lutefisk, I actually enjoy it haha! I am probably in that 1% of people :P Maybe I just had a mild version of it though…

          Thanks for your comments! I no longer live in Norway so I rarely respond to comments on this post but I enjoyed what you said about assimilation so much that I thought I would reply! Happy holidays to you!

      • Matty
        Posted at 14:31h, 12 January Reply

        I was really happy to find this…very helpful. I was disappointed however, when you decided to single out vegans as being difficult or picky. While many people who adopt a vegan/vegetarian lifestyle for health or environmental reasons (both reasonable), for ethical vegans/vegetarians, the choice is not unlike a religious one. I will agree they do require a certain amount of consideration, but I (and I believe many Norwegians) will gladly accommodate them as I would anyone else. Had you, in your response said “oh I’m Jewish …can you remove the cheese for me” you’d obviously be guilty of the same crimes you ask your commenter not to commit. How is this any different? I am not trolling you…I just see how many people with lifestyles that are different from the mainstream are belittled and ostracized…it’s not right.

    • Chris
      Posted at 15:18h, 18 July Reply

      Isn’t banking like that everywhere? I have been using internet banking for more than 10 years now.

      • Megan
        Posted at 15:33h, 18 July Reply

        it wasnt that efficient when i lived in the US. in norway, you can do an immediate transfer to anyone in the country with just their bank acct number, regardless of their bank. it is sooo simple. i think the US lags behind because there are so many people living there…in norway we have only 5 million residents. makes things like banking easier i think.

      • Mo
        Posted at 14:21h, 26 June Reply

        It is the same here too in Nigeria where I live. Internet banking is very convenient here.

        • Megan
          Posted at 10:57h, 20 July Reply

          that is so great to know!

  • Kristi
    Posted at 10:55h, 14 March Reply

    Awesome! I will show my boyfriend prior to moving to Oslo, although things aren’t much different in Canada compared to the difference between US & Norway so it might be an easier adjustment. Everyone’s skiing here too, transportation is the same price or higher (while wages are way lower unless you’re a CEO), and feriepenger works the same way in Canada, although you get 4% instead of the 10.2% in Norway of your previous year’s salary, and they might be more likely to pay it out instead of accumulating it to when you take vacation. It is however in addition to your pay (both in Canada and Norway) and not deducted as it might seem, but at least you don’t get taxed on it, so it is a big sum you get for summer :-)

    • Megan
      Posted at 03:50h, 20 March Reply

      i didnt realize that canada received a feriepenger! i learn something new everyday! while i think the idea is kind of lousy because it forces people to not work for a month…i love the idea of being able to actually take a month off (i just know there are some people who need money and would rather work).

      thanks so much for your comment! if yall have any other questions, please dont hesitate to email me and ask them…after living here for two years i feel i have a pretty decent grasp on most things! :) good luck!

      • Steve
        Posted at 07:08h, 24 November Reply

        Dear Megan,

        i like to move to Norway to live and work and become a citizen. how can you help me in the fast and legel way to be there. any Idea !!!

        what is the best city to live and what is the most demanding job wanted. i like to communicate with you and to hear your opinion if you had experience.

        • Megan
          Posted at 14:15h, 24 November Reply

          steve where are you from??

          • Johirul
            Posted at 19:42h, 25 December

            Hi Megan

            We would like to move to norway to work live and become citizen.how can you hehp us in the fast and legal way to be there.apreciate your valubale advice.which is the best city to live and availanle jobs for computrer engineers and BBA holder. We are from Bangladesh.we have two children.


          • Megan
            Posted at 10:43h, 13 January

            Hi Johir! You can find jobs almost in any of the big cities in Norway (Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim, Stavanger), so I would start there! Check out http://www.finn.no for job offerings (it is in Norwegian but just use a browser translator). Good luck!

      • Meg
        Posted at 12:20h, 31 January Reply

        I’m Canadian as well, and I think there’s a misunderstanding.
        We get 4% of our pay as vacation pay (Legally, maybe some jobs offer more). You can take your vacation whenever you want. Some jobs just give you your 4% as a lump sum once a year, some offer it as paid time off and some give it to you when you actually go on vacation and some just tack on 4% to every one of your paychecks. And it basically amounts to two weeks, not a month.

        • Megan
          Posted at 12:26h, 31 January Reply

          thanks for clearing that up Meg (cool name btw!).

          im not sure what goes on in canada, so i just take whoevers word for it when written on here :):) still doesnt seem like a bad offer though! have a great weekend!

          • santosh
            Posted at 13:01h, 05 April

            Hii megan i want to work in norway can you guide me?

      • martin
        Posted at 14:40h, 05 March Reply

        how are electricians paid there ,i’m in uganda.

        • Megan
          Posted at 06:17h, 04 April Reply

          surely paid better in norway than uganda due to cost of living here.

        • Roger
          Posted at 18:34h, 23 June Reply

          Electricians get arround 500.000,- kroner a year.

        • Norse
          Posted at 00:09h, 10 August Reply

          stay in uganda

          • Domaldel
            Posted at 18:38h, 23 November

            That was helpful… ><

          • viviana
            Posted at 16:54h, 01 September

            why? is better uganda than norway?

          • viviana
            Posted at 17:05h, 01 September

            Hi i am a medical doctor in Puerto Rico USA. Im trying to migrate to some quiet country, like Norway or New Zeland.
            Did you have any information, or people in the forum, about medical doctors arriving in Norway, it is easy to work has a doctor?
            Where i can get that information?
            Thank you

      • Ashley
        Posted at 15:43h, 10 September Reply

        We actually do not have a month where businesses are closed, and I’m actually very confused as to what Kristi is referring to. As a canadian myself, living in the capital city of Ottawa, this is something I have never heard of before. If your job is based on hourly wages and not salary-based, you will receive a 4% addition to your paycheck which is considered “vacation pay” because it is meant to cover you for holidays which you do not get paid for, holidays like Canada day or Christmas, that are mandatory to take off. It is your choice to collect it in one payment, once a year, or receive the bonus on every paycheck (which adds up to about 10-20$).

      • Chris
        Posted at 21:07h, 13 April Reply

        I’m disabled, and second generation Norwegian. How does is work with disability there?

        • Lisa
          Posted at 03:02h, 10 August Reply

          I’d love to know the same thing. My husband is 1/2 Norwegian. His mother is 100 percent but moved to the US as a child. I’m on disability here in Nashville TN but was thinking about moving to Norway. My husband is a Generator Technician so he would be looking for work so I wonder if that would be a good job and or easy to find? And does it make any difference that he’s actually Norwegian even though he was born in MA and a US citizen.

          • Megan
            Posted at 10:27h, 11 August

            Sadly, if he doesn’t have a Norwegian passport (and as an adult it is hard to qualify for one through descent), he will be treated like any other foreign citizen :(

      • Duke Of Oil
        Posted at 19:02h, 21 August Reply

        Dear Megan,
        Regarding Feriepenger, in my opinion here in the US it is my money that is paid to me for vacation, and not my employers money, or in other words its paid from the payroll kitty…. just like the money my pays for my health insurance, it could have been on my paycheck instead of meted out to me as a “benefit”. So my end her is to point out that at least in Norway you get a good length of time off to refresh. I understand that some, especially Americans, would rather slave that time away for more money. But what about the flip side that I am living in the US. e.g. I work as a truck driver, its a sweat shop if ever there was one!! I am demeaned and even retaliated against if I would rather have the time off instead of staying working and pocketing the extra pay. The retaliation is real, and usually takes the form of assignment to an older lessor truck and dispatched on undesirable loads. I am the bad guy if I prefer to have the 1 week off instead of just cashing the check. And one more argument possibly… in Norway if you quit mid-year do you get the accrued Feriepenger in your final pay? Because in the US, as you know, if you quit mid-year all vacation pay is lost (is why I typically do my job change as soon as I collect m vacation pay, which fulfills the employers goal to keep the employee on longer). I would wager that when a Norwegians life is over, they probably have a lot of great memories of the experiences and family visits while on vacation, but could they say the same about all the hours on the job? Anyway, that’s my perspective.

        I am reminded of a saying, “Europeans work to live, Americans live to work.”

        Thanks for your great blog. Great information here, and I enjoy your chipper posts. You seem such a warm and positive person and I love that tone about this blog.

        • Megan
          Posted at 22:00h, 30 August Reply

          Thanks so much for your comment! I haven’t lived in Norway for two years so things are not at the forefront of my mind anymore so it is so nice to hear people discuss on here to keep those memories coming back. And I do agree with you on the Europeans work to live and Americans live to work. Although it depends on the country (because here in Germany the hours are pretty dang long too!)

          It is a shame your industry treats its workers and employees as they do. I think Americans really need to get a grip on vacation and holidays. Most of us don’t even take the ones we are entitled to! Grrr :( I hope you find a balance with it all.

          Thanks so much for the kind words you left :) It really made my night and reminds me of why I love writing on here and interacting with people through my blog! Have an awesome week!

          • Izzy
            Posted at 01:04h, 09 January

            “I think Americans really need to get a grip on vacation and holidays.” This kind of hurt to read, because it’s not that Americans think money is more important than family, it’s that a lot of families here in America HAVE to work. For example, my family has never taken a vacation, ever. We can’t afford it, because we don’t make enough money. I just wanted to tell you that the “Europeans work to live, Americans live to work.” quote really kind of hurt. My family tried, we just can’t afford it. We celebrate Christmas and we can’t afford to get even remotely expensive gifts. I got a soccer ball and some slippers for Christmas from my parents. There was some headphones that they got me but they returned it so we could afford food. It’s pretty hard in our situation.

          • Megan
            Posted at 10:36h, 13 January

            i am really sorry if this offended you in any way- i certainly didnt mean it that way <3 i think i was referring more to the fact that over 60% of americans dont use the holiday allotted to them each year and let it go to waste (it is paid holiday). that is something i dont understand. hope you have a lovely 2017 <3

      • Arun
        Posted at 19:19h, 15 December Reply

        Hi megan m 4m india nd plumber what chances for permanent residence with my wife in norway or salary packages plz rply on my wt s app 00919813024636

      • Izzy
        Posted at 00:53h, 09 January Reply

        It’s Norway, not Canada.

      • Saleh Ahmed
        Posted at 17:24h, 15 February Reply

        Hi Megan,
        This is Saleh Ahmed from Bangladesh.I wanted to visit your country for my post-gradutations in Mass Communications.So give me sugessions that how I can apply and which city is best for me as a per-time job holder.Thanks.

      • Taiwo Emmanuel
        Posted at 10:30h, 13 May Reply

        Hello Megan
        Pls I will like you to advise me on migrating to Norway this will be adream come through I’m a from Africa Nigeria to be precise am a graduate of computer science and I wish to leave and work in Norway and even to study more there and I also repair computer system pls what’s the best way to get a visa and move over there should I apply for or direct visa pls I will GE glad if u can help me out
        Taiwo Emmanuel
        Lagos Nigeria

      • Anthony
        Posted at 21:42h, 13 July Reply

        The month off, is that in addition to other entitled paid holiday throughout the year? Or is the month off your only holiday entitlement ?

        • Megan Starr
          Posted at 11:41h, 26 July Reply

          (Sorry I haven’t replied to this as I no longer live there and have no idea what the rules are regarding this- I hope someone comes through!) :)

    • Shraddha
      Posted at 09:09h, 29 November Reply

      Regarding feriepenger …It is not something that is deducted from ones paycheck the year before by the government…but is a 12% earning of everything you’ve earned last year. (a substantial difference)

    • ME
      Posted at 22:49h, 11 March Reply

      Can you please send this out to all the Americans that want to be like Norway??? America is great and why change it????

    • Christian
      Posted at 17:22h, 22 March Reply

      Norway is a backward country thus not a place to live,everything there is a facade or false and that’s because of the norwegians who are: uncivilized-uneducated-low class-arrogant-liars that’s part of their character-greedy-unfriendly-rascals-lazy-racist-unprofessional-and psychopaths,most of the norwegians have the Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD).
      The educational system is ridiculous,health service is unprofessional,public service a total disaster,justice system a chaotic, the police force and unit are ridiculous,construction system is a scandal, industry is a happy go lucky,etc. All that norwegians have is the pride of foolishness!
      One more info.: norwegian society is not Christian as it’s falsely claimed; the society there is antagonist toward Christianity while the most shocking thing is that thugs-liars-ignorant-and psychopaths have become church leaders and “pastors” there. Norway is a ridiculous country that’s because of its ppl who have the symptoms of psychopath.

      • Megan
        Posted at 18:04h, 22 March Reply

        Cheers to you in Finland. I appreciate your comments, but I hardly think that what you’re saying is credible and is just a personal opinion. Generalizing an entire society of people is immature, ignorant, and just downright wrong. This post is to be used as a discussion forum for those looking to move to Norway. As you are from Finland and have such strong opinions about your fellow Nordic country, I hardly doubt you’re looking to move there, so I am completely shocked to see that you have stopped by to write such heinous stuff.

        • Christian
          Posted at 13:42h, 23 March Reply

          you’re saying that: “generalizing an entire society of ppl is immature……..,”and so on; sorry but, since when it has become ignorant or wrong telling the truth? In that case shall we say the same of you when you say that: “Norwegians have a reputation for trolling the internet hiding behind fake email address and identities and writing nastygrams to bloggers.” ??? You also are generalizing an entire society as well,is that immature,ignorant,wrong??? And I agree with you that norwegians have that reputation using fake email address as I have experienced it myself while I was living in Norway,and I knew who that rascal norwegian was as he was sending offending & threatening messages to me for exposing him of trying benefit through fraud; but also other cases as well of them using fake addresses or false names. Also I agree with you about the food quality (as it is a disaster as I’ve experienced it myself with all kinds of foods from their fish which is full of poisons to their bread that it always gave me headache),shall we say that you’re generalizing…
          I have lived there from 2014-15 so what I have written in the above comment,which you call as ignorant,immature.., is of my experience and also observations! Also, my above comment is not only my experience but of hundreds of foreigners like USA, UK, France,Holland,Italy,Australia,Germany who have shared with me the same experience about Norway and its ppl.
          You’re saying that my post is a discussion for those looking to move to Norway and that you’re shocked of me to have stopped by…; well,isn’t the title of your subject: 30 Things You Should Know Before Moving To Norway. ???

          Fellow Nordic country,hmmmmm,Finns are very different from norwegians,alot different; one reason they have the best educational system in the world. However,if you’ve never been to Finland,I’d encourage you to visit it – now that the spring and summer are approaching, I assure you’ll like the politeness of these people to the quality of the food and the nature as well.

          • Megan
            Posted at 15:27h, 23 March

            i do appreciate your candor and sharing experiences of your living in norway. but i hardly think me stating im watching out for trolls who have no purpose of commenting and you generalizing the society as a bunch of psychopaths is the same. you came here spewing stuff about norwegians being psychotic without offering any explanation or any insight as to why people should not move there.

            i no longer live there, fyi. i dont really respond to many of these comments these days and if they include excessive profanity, i delete them. yours didnt, so naturally i left it as it is your opinion and im sure you have reasoning behind it.

          • ComputerEngineer
            Posted at 04:37h, 26 April


            I must say, your strong rhetoric feigns narcissism or one of tortured genius (not a compliment, look up this disorder). Megan, who has kept all of her posts positive, and very genuine based her views and opinions on experience. You came along, and with zero history or citation made claims I can only summarize as drunken, over-hyphenated cultural attacks. You then state how great Finland is over Norway. Might I remind you NPD, is a great and destructive love of ones self. This sounds more to me like a Finnish nationalism form of political hate speech.
            I sincerely hope not all Germans and Finns have the same attitudes of the ones I have encountered and you Christian. I would hate to classify an entire set of two cultures based on those few as I believe you have.
            I came to this site, as I am considering taking some time from my current work as a computer engineer, and working abroad for a few years. Unfortunately, given the discussion about healthcare, Norway is not good for me. One too many parachuting accidents have left me broken in many ways. The US can barely help me medically, even with the many advances. Norway wouldn’t be able to even to scratch the proverbial surface of my injuries from a treatment perspective.
            Megan I sincerely appreciate all the time you have placed in creating and managing this most informative blog. Maybe, one day, engineers such as myself will be able to allow the communication in digital written form, to convey the same emotion and feeling as face to face speaking. Then again, I am kind of old-school, and that may just be the worst thing that could ever happen to the human condition.



          • Megan Starr
            Posted at 17:57h, 27 April

            Thanks so much for your thoughts, Phil! I appreciate you taking the time to comment (I don’t currently live in Norway so I can’t offer much new to people these days but I love that people still comment on this post!)

            Please take care of yourself and no more parachuting accidents :P

      • Whyareyousohateful
        Posted at 07:49h, 05 August Reply

        I think she said Norway was secular, meaning “not Christian” which based on your loving Christian tone may be a good thing.

        • Megan
          Posted at 10:29h, 11 August Reply


        • Phil Stewart
          Posted at 01:04h, 20 May Reply

          I agree with you. I have worked in IT for around 20 years. I am always amazed at how so many people use the Internet for such things as bashing other people, especially when many of those being bashed are just trying to adhere to the original intent, i.e. a tool to aide the human species in becoming better. Sometimes, I am ashamed that I helped to build the Internet.

          Megan, it’s quite alright about not being able to give advice about current states of Norwegian living. Your blog helped me in making the decision. Without your dedication to sharing your experiences and allowing others to benefit from your life there (and sharing your experiences and views) I would still be trying to figure that out. So, hats off to you for being brave enough to put yourself out there, and kind enough to take the time to respond to all of the questions. Also, kudos for being thick skinned enough to not let these folks whom feel bashing someone with good intent is okay, because you have helped quite a few people on this forum/blog, and at the end of the day you should sleep well knowing you have done a good thing. It is people like you that help me feel proud of all the late nights and weekend work myself and the many engineers, admins, and techs I have worked with over the years in building and the many upgrades, family time we all missed to make the Internet a wonderful way for people to share with one another! Thank You so much!!!!

          • Megan Starr
            Posted at 11:10h, 28 May

            Thanks so much for your kind comment! I hate writing negative things about places (or things that people deem negative), but I just wanted to share my experience with moving to the place. I loved Norway (I’ve been gone since 2014) and it will always have a special place in my heart! Hope you have had a wonderful weekend!

      • Michael
        Posted at 22:34h, 27 August Reply


      • David
        Posted at 13:16h, 21 November Reply

        ‘Provincial’ is the word you’re looking for. But why the hatred? Some Finns seem awfully mad at the Norwegians, but is Putin what you really want?

      • Majka
        Posted at 15:01h, 23 November Reply


        I moved to Norway a little over a year ago. I have to say I agree with you. This country in simple English simply SUCKS!
        I moved here with family of 4 including 2 small children. They got sick about 7-8 times last winter. We took them to a dr and got sent away empty handed. And our kids one ended up on ER screaming from ear pain he did not got antibiotic for because drs dont treat it here! Really!? While my infant ended up in hospital because she stopped eating and drinking and you know what the dr gave her? ?? Painkiller!!! Didnt care to check if she might have a sore/strep throat. Why? Because they dont treat it here!!!! It’s insane to even say it to the patient or parents but drs do with no shame.

        At PPT we applied for speech therapist on 10/15 and now its 11/16 and nothing has happen. Its been over a year! Come on! That beyond lazy!!! Speed of a sloth!! Yep Norwegians are sloths! I think this is best comparison. I could go on and on …,

        • MADA
          Posted at 15:51h, 07 January Reply

          I can’t speak to any of the rest of your comment, but a lot of Drs in the US will also not “treat” ear infections. Often they are due to a cold virus and we all know antibiotics kill bacteria not viruses. This is the same with bronchitis; many Drs are not treating with antibiotics because many cases are viral. This is easily researched. Your body will fight viruses, such as those with ear infections, on its own. Just FYI.

      • Camilla Løvlie Blesvik
        Posted at 22:31h, 31 July Reply

        Christian: jeez…. What’s your problem?!? I have spent my life moving between the US and Norway, as all of my family is American, but my mom is Norwegian. I have to say; alot of the info given in this blog is soooo wrong. Please get your facts right, before you publish false or severely biased facts!

    • Ian
      Posted at 19:22h, 30 September Reply

      Hi, before you move you might want to do some research into the child protection service here in Norway. As a British father I moved to Norway to give my kids a safer place to grow up. From what I hear first hand parents live in fear of the state. You can be reported to the CPS (Barnevernet) by school nursery teachers or even complete strangers without your knowledge. CPS can then interview your kids, doctor, teachers etc without your permission. They are particularly intolerant of immigrant parents assuming that there is only 1 way to raise children- the Norwegian way. And believe me, if you want your kids grow up to be respectful, courteous and socially adept it’s not the way. Also I found out today that if I open an account for my daughter and it has more than a certain amount in it I am required to seek permission from the local Government official to withdraw that money. Another example of a nanny state ( and that’s a polite description)

      • Embla
        Posted at 13:40h, 08 October Reply

        Ian: You’re listing up things that are exactly the same in Britain and elsewhere. If people see or suspect a child to be abused they contact CPS or even police. “They are particularly intolerant of immigrant parents” No, it’s about not understanding the laws of the country you have moved to. It is both illegal and socially unacceptable to use ie. violence to discipline your children. If you find this ‘strict’, please move.

  • Amy
    Posted at 15:56h, 14 March Reply

    I love the banking system here too.
    One big thing I struggle with is paying for parking.
    One important thing we have learned is about getting a drivers license. If you are coming from the US you need to apply for your Norwegian DL within 3 months of getting your work permit. If you wait more than 3 months then you do NOT get a temporary Norwegian driving permit. It takes a minimum of 4 weeks for Norway to decide if they are going to let you finish applying. My husband wanted to ask if they could rush our application, but I don’t him not to even ask. They don’t put a priority on any one application over another.
    We haven’t traveled within Norway at all, but we have had fun traveling in Europe.
    Great post with lots of great info!

    • Megan
      Posted at 04:08h, 20 March Reply

      i had no idea about the drivers license situation! i know for me i have to get my switched over within a year, but personally, i hate driving so im not to keen on doing that when i get my new visa. ill probably just be a slave of public transportation for life…and i think im ok with it!

      the banking system here rocks. i wish the US could manage something like that but there are FAR too many people living there for it to work i think.

      • pilot
        Posted at 02:51h, 06 May Reply

        It has nothing to do with the size of the population, it has to do with money controls. The USA of today is simply a police state. Enjoy Norway, it is a paradise compared to the USA. I am from Israel originally, lived in both the US and Norway, I spend the good weather months in Norway and the rest of the year in Jerusalem, best of both worlds.

        • Gucio
          Posted at 22:40h, 28 November Reply

          There is not such a thing as “good months” in Norway lol
          There might be a week or two when it doesnt rain. It also depend on what part of Norway you live in.
          I honestly hate the weather in Norway. I look at the face skin of Norwegians and they have lots of wrinkles. How you Wonder why???

          • Megan
            Posted at 11:20h, 13 January

            i never noticed- i found norwegians to be beautiful!!

  • Lily @ Lilywanderlust.com
    Posted at 16:14h, 14 March Reply

    It really surprises me to hear about the food quality there! The Dutch banking system is also really simple to use and it probably won’t surprise you to hear that the public transportation here can be a huge pain…even a few little snow flakes create a train cancelations! Luckily, we live in the city center so I can cycle to work every day! :)

    • Megan
      Posted at 04:09h, 20 March Reply

      that is so nice that you’re able to walk everywhere by living in the center of the city! i can walk anywhere…it just takes a while! and i dont have winter tires on my bike so i dont ride it in the winter (oslo is pure ice all winter…and still even in march!)

      yea the food quality here is horrendous. makes it really hard to feel good about what youre putting in your body. i dont mind fruits and veggies looking ugly by shape, but these things are just moldy and nasty. blah.

      • Tashi
        Posted at 07:34h, 15 January Reply

        Glad to hear it’s an all over thing, was beginning to think it was only in Trondheim!

        • Domaldel
          Posted at 18:36h, 23 November Reply

          Hum, haven’t seen anything like that in any shops near me here in Trondheim.
          That said, different shops make a huge difference.
          Basically you’ll want to find a shop that’s not understaffed and where the employees does a food job of sorting through their products.
          It also helps living in a place with a lot of students who makes use of the (if you find something out of date or ruined then you get paid twice the products value as a reward campaign of kiwi)
          Well, it’s something like that.
          It only works if the customers actually makes use of it but people here do.

  • Dena Barrie
    Posted at 06:02h, 15 March Reply

    Interesting post! I think it’s amazing how much I expected everything to be just the same as my life in the US. Never did I think that I would have to pay to use the bathroom, pay to watch my TV or pay for the shopping cart! Thanks for making me realize that it wasn’t just me who was in shock by it all!

    • Megan
      Posted at 04:14h, 20 March Reply

      hahha! ohhhhh yes, nothing is ever free here! or in most of europe. i definitely took it for granted in the US.

      i love when norwegians tell me ‘well we pay for the person who is maintaining the bathroom’…and them im like ‘then why is there no toilet paper and all toilets stink and are clogged?’ i dont believe the excuses ;) i also miss drinking fountains from the US. that was random but i thought id throw that in there!

  • Nina-Martine
    Posted at 12:13h, 15 March Reply

    I pretty much agree with everything you mentioned, except for the fact that Norwegians don’t complain and that the public transportation is incredible. Ugh, I work at a cafè and I swear when people are complaining about this and that I am actually afraid that they’re going to start throwing punches at me. Norwegians complain. A lot.
    And the public transportation here in and around Oslo is absolutely horrific! I don’t know what it’s like anywhere else in Norway, but I definitely mostly use my car because the public transportation is almost non-existent and super expensive!

    But definitely an awesome read! You mentioned several things I didn’t even know or had realized myself :p

    • Megan
      Posted at 04:21h, 20 March Reply

      hahhaha i think norwegians are so passive when complaining compared to americans! :) and i think the public transportation rocks here (ok…compared to the US and other places ive traveled). but i guess i should have stated i think it rocks more in oslo than other parts of norway! i hated bergen’s public transport. their bybanen was kind of pathetic i thought and didnt serve much more purpose than a bus.

      thanks for your comment girl! glad to get a norwegian’s perspective <3

      • Gucio
        Posted at 22:50h, 28 November Reply

        Nowegians do complain! A lot! There no shy and sometimes rude. I had my neighbor complain about my kids. They r small and they don’t understand that they might be disturbing our neighbors in different ways. No matter what I tell them they will forget soon enough. There is nothing I can do but I found it extremly rude when my Norwegian neighbor told me that I need some training to become a fit parent. Really!? You dont come to my apt and tell me that! She should get a life herself and mind her own business! Get that Norwegians!

        • Megan
          Posted at 11:19h, 13 January Reply

          I currently live in Germany and have found Germans to be above and beyond when it comes to complaining hahha! If Norwegians complained at all, it was far nicer than what I see here :P

    • Tashi
      Posted at 07:37h, 15 January Reply

      Public Transport is great in Trondheim, compared to what I deal with in Canada…. except it’s pretty expensive like everything else.. and they now installed about 16 new bomstations (toll roads) … I think they are trying to phase out driving in city… it’s not a bad thing, but there are more people than buses here!

    • Christian
      Posted at 19:58h, 21 March Reply

      If you were afraid that they’re going to throwing punches at you,it’s because norwegians are psychopaths!

  • Heather
    Posted at 07:11h, 16 March Reply

    Great post! I absolutely love the idea of just being able to slap a tent wherever you happen to be for the night… that sounds so much better than having to find a decent campground. And Norwegian banking does sound just the same as German banking, which is about the most convenient/wonderful thing ever.

    I just discovered Yogi teas a month ago, and have been working my way through all the different kinds. I have 7 or 8 boxes in the kitchen right now… I don’t think I can go back to regular tea now, they are so good! I’m dying to know which one is banned… and why??

    • Megan
      Posted at 04:03h, 01 April Reply

      i completely agree with being able to hike or pitch a tent anywhere! makes traveling around the country so much easier when i have options aside from super expensive hotels!

      yogi teas rock! my favorite is blueberry green slimming tea. totally banned in norway ;)

  • Sylvia
    Posted at 19:23h, 16 March Reply

    Loved this post! So interesting to read about these things from a non-Norwegian’s point of view. So many things I have never even really thought about, just accepted! I agree with you about vacation in July.. I’m always like “I REFUSE to leave Norway in summer!” It’s goooorgeous and the whole atmosphere is completely different! Klem!

    • Megan
      Posted at 05:14h, 20 March Reply

      i know right?!?! norway is the place i want to be in july and i dont want to escape somewhere brutally hot!

      hoping you’re coming home soon so we can meet up when im not wearing sweatpants and a bright yellow sweatshirt ;) hhahah!

  • Andrew
    Posted at 16:44h, 17 March Reply

    Such an interesting list and such a contrast to Andrea’s. I saw so many similarities to Germany in her list, and so many differences here.
    11 is crazy. Seems so wierd to shut down the entire country for a month.

  • Carol
    Posted at 22:25h, 19 March Reply

    I was just reading an article about the cost of living in various countries and Oslo was towards the top – I had no idea it was such an expensive city!

    • Megan
      Posted at 05:07h, 20 March Reply

      ohhhhh yes. very, very expensive!

  • New Life in Spain
    Posted at 04:58h, 20 March Reply

    Hi Megan!
    Always fun to read a foreigner’s point of view on things like this! Can I add some of my thoughts? :)

    Number 2, the salary thing. It surprises me, and sounds really annoying if people talk like that!! I think most Norwegians who haven’t worked abroad don’t really know what is a good salary. If you have nothing to compare with, then how do you know? (Of course if you earn a LOT and there’s nothing to say about that, but we are talking averages aren’t we?) I know after having lived in Spain for a while that Norwegian salaries are extremely good in comparison. Not just amount of money obviously, but according to cost of life. I would say the same thing is true compared to England, where I have also lived, although this was quite a few years ago and I don’t know if it’s still applicable. And it’s not as extreme as Spain. But I wouldn’t go around saying how great it is compared to countries I haven’t lived and worked in, as I wouldn’t know! On the other side, great if people are so happy with their salaries though, usually not the case in Spain :P

    Moving on to number 11, Feriepenger. I believe this depends on the kind of contract you have. For instance, lets say you are a student who got a summer job in the summer months full time. Next summer, you will get 10,2 % of the money you earned last year in that summer job paid as feriepenger, as an addition but not a part of your salary from last year. Not in every job are people mandated to take July off (I have never been in any job) but I think there are some jobs where feriepenger is somehow included in the salary, which I guess is what you are talking about here. I don’t really understand how that works though as I have always gotten feriepenger in other kinds of contracts.

    Number 15. You do know about minipris at nsb? I never pay more than NOK 199/299 for a long train ride, brilliant! I love that I could get from Kristiansand to Bodø for 199 kroner :) Normal train prices are insanely expensive, but this concept is good. And the airport train ahhhh. Crazy expensive. I have only taken it once, when my company sent me off to a meeting and paid for everything. I always get the local trains instead when I am the one paying ;) They are not cheap either but more than 50% less. (For instance the Lillehammer-train runs by OSL once an hour)
    Public transport prices is another thing…huff og huff! Ikke bra!

    Well well, I hope you are well and happy and learning to live with the ups and downs of Norway :)

    • Megan
      Posted at 05:06h, 20 March Reply

      woohoo thanks for your comments love! i always love hearing a norwegian’s POV!

      as for train rides, i always always take the minipris tickets. but if you think about it…it is still heavily overpriced. it just ‘sounds’ better. for example. i pay 199kr both ways to go to hamar. that is about $80 LOL. that is freaking ridiculous. i can also pay 199kr to go to bodø each way. that is an amazing deal. it just depends on the length of the trip. but a 1 hour roundtrip to hamar costing $80? heck no. that is insane!

      yea i agree about salaries…just depends on where you are. i had much more money to spend in the US and things cost significantly less there.

      feriepenger is a touchy subject i think. most jobs i know (real jobs, not summer jobs or college jobs) close down for nearly a month in the summer. sometimes theyll have a skeleton staff, but most instances i have seen they do not and youre mandated to take the month off. obviously if you work a summer job or at a cafe, you dont have to take off and can work. but im talking about real jobs…like career ones. i think it is hard to tell a labor worker from poland he must take an entire month off in july when he really wants to work to help feed his family back home. while i love being able to have a month off, it is nice if it is optional and all jobs will allow you to work if you so chose. i had nearly a month vacation at my job in the US and i could take it whenever i wanted. but vacation in the US is paid by the company…not yourself. it was a very different system there.

      • New Life in Spain
        Posted at 06:36h, 20 March Reply

        So very true that if you are not going far, the train is ridiculously expensive! Oslo-Hamar should not be more expensive than Oslo-Bodø haha! But I love that you can get far for little money.
        About ‘real’ jobs- maybe this is different in Oslo as many things are centralized there? I have never lived/worked in Oslo but where I have been living and working (3 other cities) I haven’t come across people being forced to take holidays in July if they didn’t want to. That would be really frustrating! I like to spread my holidays and take small trips rather than use all in one go and I would NOT be happy being forced to do so!

        • alozie paul
          Posted at 19:36h, 27 June Reply

          Well I enjoyed ur fair views I would like to migrate to Norway I’m from Nigeria what do you say about RACISM.Personal Income Tax as percentage on gross.how long does it take to get a job.I run a company in Nigeria BETAMETAL Co.is entrepreneurship accepted -I love ur honesty-Best regards

      • Camilla
        Posted at 10:19h, 24 October Reply

        Hi, about the feriepenger and july issue…:) You said you have lived here for 2 years. Wait another 5, and you might see the need for taking july off, as the winter will get to you more and more. Personally, Im lucky in my work, as I can decide for myself when I want to take time off.
        About transport, there are more than 2000 (and god knows how much mountains) fjords in this country. If you wanted a ferry or a brigde on each one, what would the cost be you think? And people do complain, a lot. And in my experience, most norwegians would be less polite than an american while doing so. Your experience with custom service is not based on people not complaining. We just dont put as much effort into customservice here as you do in the US., unfortunately.

        Im not sure I understand your point of view in the way people dress. I have spent a good amount of time in LA and San F. I dont think norwegians dress more alike than there. Maybe you surround yourself with the same type of people? Anyways, try to go to Blå one evening, and somewhere on the westside the next, you might see a difference, like most places.
        In winter, anybody dress to survive…;)

        Skiing, well, its a part of our culture. Some say skiies were invented in Norway 1500 years ago. We get our first pair the year we learn to walk. And why shouldnt it be? We have 6-8 months of dark and winter:)))

        Anyways, a good post. But from the way you write, Im not sure you know yet why things are the way they are, due to practicalities.. Its very much on the surface:)

        But hope you enjoye our country, we need some fresh input from abroad:))

        • Megan
          Posted at 13:25h, 24 October Reply

          hi camilla!!! tusen takk for the comment!!!

          im soon leaving norway and let me tell you- it is with a heavy heart! have had a blast here and am sad to be leaving <3 hope you have an awesome weekend!

    • Ida
      Posted at 14:19h, 15 December Reply

      I am a Norwegian, trying to get my boyfriend to get to Norway with me… I have lived in UK for a while now.

      Your post is very interesting. I have to add that students in Norway get 50% off the airport train and also discounts when it comes to monthly tickets for public transport.

  • kelly
    Posted at 12:24h, 20 March Reply

    While I too have found that I am not making any more money here (the job I took in Norway actually had a lower salary than they job offer I had in the US – the south too, I would have been RICH in Tennessee!), I am expected to work fewer hours (I am salaried, not hourly) so I feel like I am coming out ahead in the whole scheme of life!.

    • Megan
      Posted at 04:19h, 01 April Reply

      i definitely agree with ya there! the job i had in the US actually gave me more time off (paid) than norway does to their employees…so i was doing pretty good. the biggest difference i have found is that an american’s motivation in the work place is so hard core that you optionally put in excessive overtime hours just to get ahead. it is not nearly that competitive in norway in the workplace and that people leave at 4pm and dont feel the least bit bad about it…like i would have in the states LOL :)

      • kelly
        Posted at 08:04h, 12 April Reply

        I love being able to leave early and not feel guilty about it! The problem is that I am not a morning person so I typically arrive after 9, and can’t really justify leaving at 4 all that often. I am going to try and work on getting up earlier though, especially when we move to summer hours and can leave at 3!

  • Ira
    Posted at 08:36h, 21 March Reply

    What’s up, I read your blog like every week. Your writing style is awesome, keep doing what you’re

    • Megan
      Posted at 04:19h, 01 April Reply

      thanks :)

  • Svenja
    Posted at 09:57h, 21 March Reply

    Hi Megan,

    uhh, I am so excited to have found your blog :-)
    Thank you for your lovely comment on mine!! Now, I am on my way back into blog world as all the moving is finally ready… I have made myself a cup of tea now and enjoy exploring your place and find the time to ‘deliver’ proper response.

    I love this. I have never traveled to Norway, but it certainly holds such great advice that I would always recommend friends and family to check this!! I did not know at all that camping is allowed basically everywhere! This sounds super attractive to me! Also, I knew that Norway wasn’t part of the EU (probably for oil and whale reasons?!) but I did not know that it has effects on food quality….

    Which kind of yogi tea do you need ? I am sending you some, if you like ;-) If that is allowed (not that you have to receive a letter from customs that they kept your yogi tea there (and enjoy it themselves, ha ha) … I am such a tea junkie, and I would not survive without my favourite teas =) )



  • Mark Catalano
    Posted at 05:54h, 23 March Reply

    Much on this list reminded me of life in Finland. Especially the salaries and healthcare. You can get free dental in Finland, but you must wait a long time and usually when something like a cavity happens to people, they just call a private dentist and pay because it is much more efficient. Also, even though Healthcare is free most people I know prefer using private care which is normally covered by your employer for those lucky enough to have it. So it is kind of a myth that healthcare is far superior in Scandinavian countries. However, if you do end up getting really sick then the system works well, even better than US.

    P.S. I would kill for a Trader Joe’s store in Finland! Love it!

    • Megan
      Posted at 04:17h, 01 April Reply

      that is interesting to know that our adopted homes are so similar! minus the dental care situation ;)

      i think healthcare is far superior in the US compared to norway. FAR SUPERIOR. the problem in the US system lies not in the quality but rather the availability of course. but when people in norway tell me americans should get free healthcare i just laugh because the healthcare in norway is anything but free.

      i have done many trainings and briefings to people moving to the US from norway and many have lived there before and surprisingly they tell me the #1 thing they miss from the US is the quality of healthcare there. i have a feeling that once i am able to get more of an income here in norway ill go private with things instead of public. i dont have the patience for the public system…i was kind of spoiled living in the US i think :)

      trader joes in norway would make me the happiest person on earth. although i have a feeling i wouldnt be able to afford it and the point of trader joes would kind of be obsolete given they cant really grow much in the north!

      • David
        Posted at 02:39h, 23 December Reply


        Here is a list of country healthcare systems ranked by outcomes of that system. Norway is ranked 12th, and the United States is 37th. I have lived in South America, Central America, Asia, and Europe. I am not impressed with the quality, availability (due to price) with the American system. Also, prescription medicine is less expensive in Norway. The United States has the cheapest consumer goods of any country I have ever lived in, and the most expensive healthcare and education. For me at least, I would rather live in a country with better educated, and more sophisticated people, than people who work 60 hours a week, to buy stuff. Americans, obviously not all, but a large amount value themselves on what they buy, and how successful they are based on what they have compared to others. Also, having lived in other capitals working for the embassy, I can tell you there is more to do in Oslo, than almost all suburbs in the US. I enjoyed reading what you wrote, it is certainly true you are writing this from an American centric perspective. The average worker you are referring to in the US, doesn’t have insurance, or very low quality health insurance, and poor education. Median wage in the US 25,000 compared to 34,000 a year in Norway. Median household income in the US average 50,000, where household median income in Norway is 98,000. Of course the United Nations found for the 12th year in a row, Norway was ranked the prosperous country taken into account income, health, and education. There are more mistakes that lead to deaths, malpractice, and other inefficiencies per capita in the US system. Working in the government, so many struggle to adapt, and many assume since it is different, that it is inferior. Also, taking into account that in the US dependent on state, income level, zoning, there are much greater inequalities. Education is free in Norway all the way up through PHD, and also at a very high level. So you can imagine, having no student debt to pay back as well, would certainly increase your spending potential. This of course has also lead to Norway having a higher percentage of college graduates, and higher percentage of the population having advanced degrees. In the US nothing is free, everything is based on private competitive practices, that don’t always produce better outcomes, and are not always ethical. Also, as an economist, looking at worker productivity Norwegians are more productive than the average US worker. The US worker certainly works longer hours, but more efficiently than those in the US. This is measured in GDP per hour worked where Norway is tops in the world (source below). I think as an American we think that working longer hours in a competitive frantic pace produces better outcomes, but no measurable outcomes show this. Also, in regards to your time off at your job that is not consistent with other jobs in the US. Working as an economist in the private sector you can expect a week off a year, and this can gradually increase over time. Even though the workload doesn’t let you take that time off. Norwegians also work the shortest work week on average in the world at 33 hours, with long maternity leave, and with those that have children more time off as well. The average worker in the United States will work a full month more per year, than a Norwegian, not counting the month long vacation you mentioned per year. A recent study showed that the Average American will spend 73 percent of his or her life at work or in school, and this includes retirement and before school begins. I am certainly proud to be from the United States, but unfortunately we are no longer number one in many categories apart from ones we should’t be proud of like percentage of population in prison, homicides, and gun deaths.

        • Megan
          Posted at 03:58h, 23 December Reply

          thanks for your message! i no longer live in norway so i dont really read too much of what is written/commented on this post (moved away from there over a year ago) but im sure itll be helpful to someone :) enjoy your time in norway! it is a beautiful country!

        • MADA
          Posted at 16:57h, 07 January Reply

          Agreed. The posted salary for my profession is equal, so if I move to Norway, that would be the same. I have been working (for the government) for almost 6 years and I only get 3 weeks of vacation a year and because I work in healthcare, I have to give 60 days notice to schedule vacation time. SIXTY.

          Healthcare in the US is hit or miss. I have a great plan, but it is expensive. My co-pays are typical at $25-$35/visit (US dollars). I recently moved from a different state and found out, from a new Dr, that my previous Dr had missed something that was causing serious health problems. My bi-weekly healthcare deductions are way more than what Norwegians pay yearly. I have an excellent prescription plan though, so I pay minimal amounts. But my friend who is required to use MediCare (due to a disability) has the WORST time finding good care and accessible care. I am waaay more fortunate than she. And don’t forget where the US falls on the scale for maternal deaths. We have our faults too.

          I was surprised at your experience with food quality here and there. First, I have lived in many cities and states in the US (I am a nomad at heart). I have experienced the full spectrum. As a student, I lived in a poor city in MD and found wilted and rotten food at a major chain. Just outside of the LA area, I found some of the best produce I’ve had in the states. Where I am (in CA) now, the produce (even at Trader Joes and Whole Foods) is limited and not the best quality. I find better produce (and a better selection) at Von’s. My Trader Joe’s produce is always going bad after 5 days. Really depends on where you live. *I had delicious, fresh, flavorful pineapple in Norway, in January that is waaaay more delicious than the pineapple I just got at Whole Foods. So disappointed.

          Transportation!!!!! Ugh. The transportation in Boston was great when I lived there. DC transportation (Metro) was pretty good, buses not so much. But everywhere else I have lived, the transportation has been ridiculously inefficient or non-existent, so you need a car. I found the transportation reasonably priced and efficient when I visited Norway (2016). Granted it was for a brief time, but even my friend never who lives there had complaints about the system. She doesn’t even own a car. There is nothing to do where I currently live. You have to drive 2 hrs to get to the closest major city. There was always something to do in the major cities I lived in except for one. But I agree, the suburbs in the US are only “fun” if you have kids and do family activities.

          I have a ton of student loans. This country is very violent and crime-ridden. Americans tend to lack respect for rules and all members of our society (be honest, we are a “me, me, me” society in general, as seen by our laws, etc). I am not struggling financially, but when I see family members, friends, and strangers that cannot make ends meet, afford healthcare, car repairs, etc. I cannot help but think that if we were more connected as citizens, this country would be a much better place. Cutting welfare, WIC, Medicare, education, Planned Parenthood, etc. are not the ways to build a better and stronger country. We need to rethink our direction.

          Americans do put a lot of importance on “stuff” and get their self-esteem from these material things. I am sure there are Norwegians that do this too. I am not comparing, just commenting. I did notice the limit on the number of items in Norway. In America we have entire aisles filled with tons of choices for toothpaste, cereal, toilet paper, make-up, cleaning supplies, etc. Do we truly need all of these choices? As an American, I know that I feel I have gotten the best item when there are 50 to choose from, but is that really true? I mean sometimes I do choose by packaging alone. When you step back and look, our way is a bit ridiculous and extremely wasteful. There’s definitely a better way.

          I know that there are great things that I will miss about the US whenever I decide to move, regardless of where. It is a great country and I will always be American at heart. But l have found that living somewhere new and constantly comparing it to what you’ve experienced elsewhere does you no good. You just have to adapt to what is available where you are and how things are done. I accept that there is no nightlife where I currently live and that things shut down in the summer which greatly decreases your options for fun and activities. Adapt. I accept that there are classes and fun things to do, but only during working hours for those of us who have to work. It is what it is. There are wonderful things about this area and I relish those things.

          • Megan
            Posted at 10:37h, 13 January

            thanks for your comments and thoughts! i no longer live in norway so i cant keep up with things there but this will certainly be of use to someone looking to move there!! appreciate the insight :)

          • Tarun Grover
            Posted at 18:50h, 25 December

            Spot on! We all need to adapt! I must say that the US is one of the most comfortable places to live in because everything is built around high consumerism.
            I have studied and i have worked in the US for almost 12 years. I had opportunities to be mentored and work with some of the brightest minds coming from all over the world in the US. However, when it comes to finding a place where you can grow both as a human and professionally, i think, sadly, the culture in the US has been deteriorating, not because of the people, but because of very high corporate greed. This is the very reason why US has drifted away from “collective thinking about fellow citizens” after FDR.
            Places like Norway, even if they seem highly controlled or highly taxed, they seem to have much less influence from the corporations. Their model is to make available as much opportunities for every citizen. How much do we as humans need to live happy? Good enough place to live and good enough to eat. Rest all are the things which can never really be enough for humans, be it clothes, money, cars, etc.
            Healthcare in the US is great, but it is always geared towards maximizing profits for insurance companies and not for the service of people. Healthcare in Norway is great too, but it is geared towards service of people. It challenges the people to think about what they are eating, how much physical activity they are getting rather than American style where doctors recommend innumerable tests to make sure one does not have 0.0001% chance of encountering an illness.
            Healthcare should be a service and not a privilege.
            I see a lot of innovation coming from Norway, with people working less hours and lesser money (as compared to US for high technology jobs).

            I just end this with a statement that no place in the world is perfect. We all need to adapt according to how we want to live and what we want to achieve.

  • Jan M.
    Posted at 20:20h, 25 March Reply

    Just a few tips/comments;

    Regarding the tax situation; If for some reason, you don’t give your employer a tax card in time before yor salary is paid out – a 50% tax will be filed from that paycheck. However – as the basic tax return is automated – at the end of the year, your total taxable income is calculated, and you’re only taxed the percentage that corresponds with that yearly income. You’ll get the rest back next year – with interests. (Unless it turns out you’ve been paying too little, then you get a bill).
    Many people find it easier to use what in norway is called “tabellkort”. It is basicly a chart of tax percentages, where the tax percentage is calculated every payout. Great if some months are good, some bad. But! Keep in mind that when entering a new year, your new chart is chosen on basis of last years income. If you had a bad year incomewise, but you know this year will be better – you need to ask to have this changed. If not, you will be taxed too low and get a huge bill next year.

    There are no interest or fees on unpaid (simply taxed too low percentage) taxes, as long as the bill is paid in due time.

    Food. I don’t know where you’ve been shopping, but these pictures are aweful. I’d advice you to find other stores, average store chains carry quite decent quality goods.

    Having things shipped to Norway. Well, shipping to norway isn’t always practical or cheap. But, if it is legal to import – it isn’t really that difficult. Get yourself an account with JetCarrier. They give you a recipient address in the US, they bundle up everything recieved in your name over the last week, and ship it to you in Norway. You still have to pay shipping and any imprort tax – but as they handle all the importing themselves, there are no extra fees for customs handling and such. They even handle really large shippings if needed.

    The level of conformity differs vastly from place to place. Some places are like a chinese school yard, others more the opposite. Citys with many colleges/universities are typicly much more diverse, as they draw in much more people from other parts of the country and the rest of the world.

    • Megan
      Posted at 04:13h, 01 April Reply

      such excellent tips! especially the tax advice! i put myself in a pickle because i have a processing visa…which means that im kind of in limbo at the moment and can not get a new tax card. it is tough being taxed so high on such little income! (im only allowed to work a part-time job at the moment) :) i heard from someone that once i get a new tax card i can immediately get the money back that was withheld…or i can wait. not sure what ill do yet! my visa is taking a ridiculously long time to process. i was told three months and we are approaching 5 months soon!

      about the food…i definitely shop at the better stores and pay a premium. but unfortunately, at these better stores, you still find the disgusting quality and mold. i remember going into centra during christmas time and finding so many moldy clementines that i nearly got sick. but the majority of the time it is okay. i stay away from kiwi (produce guarantee is pathetic when everything is normally nasty), rema 1000, rimi, meny (they try harder, but not hard enough), bunnpris, ICA, etc. i typically buy my produce at grønland anymore because there is someone always going through it to get rid of the moldy items. i am fine with produce that doesnt always look 100% and isnt pretty (b/c that has nothing to do with taste), but when it is molded…i find that unacceptable. most norwegians dont even seem to notice which tells me they are used to it.

      ill have to look into getting an account with jet carrier! great suggestion! i have mostly been able to get the things i need here and havent been too frazzled when i cant (i just get friends to bring it for me when they come)…but having an address in the US and getting it shipped sounds fantastic. sure beats having my mom constantly mail me things!

      i definitely agree that when you get international people in the mix, there is a little bit of individualism here…but unfortunately, i completely believe that norwegians are totally conformed. it is starting to get better…but i think it is by far the most conformed place ive ever been to in the world!

      thanks so much for your comments!!!

    • Espen
      Posted at 23:22h, 06 November Reply

      Just want to make a few commets, since I’m a Norwegian..

      1. Allemannsrett; Yes, that is a good thing. I thought it was like that everywhere in the world – until I travelled to the UK, and we wanted to paddle on a river. No, that was a privat river, and we were not allowed – unless we paid about 24 dollars a day..
      Thank God something is free in Norway :-)

      2. Salaries:
      Norway has a flat wage curve.. if there is something that is called that in English.. It is not that much of a difference if you work at McDonalds or work as an engineer.
      In Norway education is free, and people usually have a lot of it. But not always what the market requires.. like engineers and in medicine.
      The engineering part is probable because it is fairly hard. I remember we had a lot of math and physics. So many people study arts, languages, literature and suff where you will not get a job in many cases. Few people in the country gives few jobs like that.
      When it comes to doctors, the doctors have a say in how many students they educate a year. It has been educated to few for at least 15-20 years. I think many of them are afraid too many doctors, will give them more competition and lower pay..
      So when I’m at my local hospital, I usually meet a lot of German doctors there – with rather poor language skills.
      But back to salaries.. I have travelled and lived in other countries for 7 years, including the US, Canada, Spain, Greece, Thailand, Germany, Austria, Sweden, Denmark and Italy.
      I noticed that if you worked in a store in Spain or the US (especially chains like Walmart where 70% of the workers get extra state money to survive – even if they work a regualar 40 hour week) made pocket change, compared to Norway.
      At McDonalds they made $4.10 the first time I was in the states, and $7.74 earlier this year. You make about 3 times as much in Norway – doing the same job (and probably a bit slower, and with less smile.. I’ll come back to that later).
      Anyway.. jobs that require more school does not cost that much.. School is free, no tuition fee – so the student loan is for housing, if the school is in a different town and your parentes are not paying for you.
      I took 7 years at a university in Norway, a year at Hawaii Pacific University and a German university for a year. The government/state paid for it. I only had $12 000 in student loan after this period.
      So when I begun to work I was in no rush it make a lot of money to pay a $80 000 college student loan, as some in the US for example. In engineering the salaries are not that high, unless I had worked in the oil industry. A cleaning lady on a oil rig can make $100 000 dollars a year. That is sick.

      3. Taxes:
      You can do all that online now, and for most people an automated solution workes fine. They are pretty high, but the more you make – the more you pay. And those in need will get some, or more back.
      So far I’m not sure if I have paid enough taxes to pay for what I’ve got..
      Weeks before a baby is born, the mother starts 1 year of paid maternity leave. The father 3 month.
      All health related checks are free for the pregnent, including all the stuff they need.
      The parents will get money transferred to their bank account, once a month for every child – to help them cover expenses. Around $150 a month pr child.
      The monther can stay home with the child the another 2 years and get paid a reduced amount each month (compared to the first year).
      Kindergarten is subsidized.
      Then follows 10 years of manditory education (free), and another elective 2-3 years (depending on what school you choose). You are guaranteed those years.
      Ather that you can go to the university. All I paid was about $100 each semester. It didn’t matter where in Norway or abroad I took it.
      I worked after school to reduce my student loan, and to give me money to travell.
      Anyway.. I have children now, and they also get free education, and free healthcare until they are 18 years old. The period between 18 and 25 will go from free to full price for dental care. It gets more expensive every year until you are 25, and you have to pay the adult price.
      I had to stay (as most Norwegian men) in the army/navy/airforce for 1 year. During that period dental, doctor, optician is free. If you fall outside the society, and can’t get a job for long period of time – dental and doctor is paid by the state, because you have reduced income.

      4. Food quality. I don’t agree that the food quality is poor. But.. you can see stores that have bad fruit and so on. That is because of a low number of staff in the store – because of high wages, most stores are really understaffed. I have worked in one, and I know. If you see bad fruit, let the people who work there know. If you see it several times, contact the manager. At least where I live – the food is of OK quality. But it depends on those who work in the store – and not the products in the first place.
      The fruit that is imported from tropical countries have been in a ship for some time. If I stay in a warmer country and buys a pineapple, a coconut, a banana – they will usually always taste better then what we get in Norway. Because they are picked before they are ripe.
      Rotten fruit.. complain. That is disgusting.
      What I miss in most of the Norwegian stores is variety. But again.. that is no problem for me. I know which stores to use, and I travell (like most Norwegians) abroad several times a year – and tend to buy with me stuff I want. Every 3 month over 5 million people travel abroad. Think if that was the US, and so many travelled abroad.. 1,25 billion travellers a year.
      You will probably only find a handfull on products in Norway that is the same type/brand in the US. And even if it looks the same, it may not be just the same.
      Norway restricts a lot of additives, and azo based food colors and so on – because they are linked to allergies or cancer.
      I have bought a purple bouble gum in the US where it was written on the label that it contained substanced that had caused cancer on reseach animals.. I find is weired that it’s leagal to sell.
      Just like a bunch of pesticides used in the US that is banned in most of the western world – including the country that makes the pesiticide. And the result is polluted drinking water, cancer and birth defects and so on. It was a documentary on CBS (I think) a few weeks back.
      So you will not find as much blue candy here, and blue food coloring for example.
      You will see that Norwegian apples are less perfect then imported apples – because the Norwegian farmers must follow the Norwegian rules – but the imported food does not. Even though samples may be taken, and the imported fruit container may be garbage.
      And my last point.. it’s not that hard to find a job in a store, and it is difficult to loose your job in Norway.. which sometimes result in store workers who don’t give a shi*.

      5. people don’t complain..
      Yeah.. that is normally right. But my wife complain a lot, on everything that is not what she expect. And it depends on where in Norway the person is from – and what they are not pleased about. I complain when people do a piss poor job, and I have paid a lot of money to them.. like carpenters..

      6. Stuff banned..
      In general it is alcohol over 60% I think..
      A lot of food additives and food colors that is suspected or documented to be bad for the health.
      Some pesticieds and solvents.
      Red Bull was banned because of the coffein and the taurin – because children and pregnant women is not supposed to drink it. If it is not possible to buy – they can not drink it.. Now it is legal..
      Oh yeah.. when I was young – skateboarding was illegal. I was stopped by the police.. and I thought.. are you kidding me?
      Base jumping, paragliding, wing suits, mountain climbing and so on is legal – but not skateboards? It’s been legal for a few decades now.
      Some herbal products are illegal because of potential risk.
      A few weeks ago I heard that Segways were illegal.. But I was riding mine for several years, and never heard about it.
      It all comes down to one thing. If a person gets ill or hurt – the state has to pay for it. They are probably trying to reduce their risk.
      And if it’s not banned, it is because of a small market. 5 million people and small cities = less economical to add stuff to inventory that does not sell very well. The same reason with clothing.. even though – you will find a store that has most of it – but it requires an effort.

      7. Shipping..
      I’ve had very few problems. I order parts from EU and non EU countries many times a year. Over 200Nok = toll, which cost money because it takes time, and time = money. That sum is so low to protect local stores in Norway. In Norway, if you have a store – and you want to import a product from lets say the US, the US company will give the importer the right to be the only seller in Norway. And they can add an extra profit because of that, and the store price can not compete with a foreign web shop for example.
      I order some engine parts from the US, and they will usually not send to Norway. We “all” use JetCarries, for that. Car parts are extremely cheap in the US compared to Norway. I can probably buy 4-5 oil filters in the US for the price of 1 in Norway (of certain brands). Just as you pay 3 times as much for a pair of Levis jeans in Norway, compared to the US. Converse shoes are at least twice as expensive here as well. Not that I would buy those anyway, at any price.
      Books are toll free. I used to buy a lof from Amazon, because they were cheaper – and not translated to Norwegian. Now it’s more audiobooks for me, and the local library has a tonn of those.
      A tip is to ask the foreign web shop to mark the shipment as a gift, or that is has a value under 200Nkr – so you don’t have to pay toll/tax.

      8. tax..

      9. Hospitals:
      I don’t think you have the right impression here. I used to service the equipment on hospitals, and depending some on which hospital – the equipment is good and modern. We make some of the equipment for GE for example too.
      When it comes to the building.. if it was build in 1903, they are probably not allowed to change it. Can be a building of historic interest – even though the building looks like they used a milk carton as a blueprint.
      Keep in mind that you are free to chose which hospital you want to use. If you don’t like your local one, you can choose another one. The state will pay for the extra transportation costs.
      The standard for hospitals is allways changing, and the now national norm was first tested on this hospital. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rutHGN4IMB8
      All other hospitals will have a similar system. But that cost a shitload of money.
      Some hospitals could use an interior designer – but it’s function over form at the hospital so.. it is what is is. The hospitals does not have to make an ad, and show their new TV in the room, or the up to date color on the curtains – so they can sell their services.
      Certain procedures are not done in Norway. If you have a weird/not normal problem, you will most likely be sent to Germany, or the UK. It is not cost beneficial to train doctors in a procedure that they will have to perform every 9 years..
      Oh yeah.. one thing people from the US notice when they go to see the doctor is the lack of a total body check up. In Norway you have to ask for that, or they will just check the reason why you came.. Black eye.. looks good, nothing damaged. Bye.

      10. Banking.. It’s bin like that for at least 15 years..which was the last time people was allowed to use cheques. I thought that was normal. Just like the use of a chip in the card, because it is way safer then the magnetic stripe.. until I saw they didn’t use chip readers in the US, AND still used cheques. Is it the cost?
      The number of people does not matter when it comes to the system..it has to do with government control. All banks use the same serviceprovider, and they all have to be compatible. Many EU countries have the same.
      I miss more places to pay with the phone. I’m not thinking about the coke machines where you send an SMS to the machine to pay for a bottle, because that system is 20 years old.. but NFC.
      I can use NFC in only a few stores and pay for a few services. When I was in Singapore I could use the phone to pay for some of the public transports and for a few wendingmachines.

      11. Feriepenger.. other people have explained it right, so I will not elaborate more on the subject. I have allways been allowed to work in the summer if I wanted to. But most people want their holiday in the summer, so they can travel abroad with their children/familiy. I usually take 6-7 weeks of vacation a year, because I work extra hours and insted of pay, I take a few extra days as vacation. We typically take 2 week holiday in the summer in Europe somewhere, like Germany, Austria, Italy and so on. Sometimes we take the car, and other times we travel by plane. In the late autumn, we take a week in Mallorca or Crete – while they still have nice weather.
      Then we take a week or to in the Canary islands before Christman. During the winter we take a week skiiing in Norway or in the Alps somewhere. And in the Easter, we take a week.
      It is cheaper to travel from Norway by plane and stay for one week at a hotel and take the plane home again – then to take the bus to and from the airport we use.. that is Norway in a nutchell.
      Just like when I ordered a Scooter from China, and I paid more in transportation in Norway – for 50km then I did all the way from China.

      12. Conformity.. yeah.. maybe. Depends on where you are and so on, and how vain the people are – and what type of person they are.
      Just as when I travelled, and worked as a tourist guide – I could sport people from the US, the UK, the Netherlands on how they were dressed.
      When it comes to sport.. you will find them all – but not typical US sports like baseball. American football, lacrosse and Rugby are also almost non existing. But soccer, badminton, tennis, curling, hockey, figure skating, gymnastics, waterpolo, kayaking / white water kayaking, a LOT of martial arts (at least where I live), achery, sports shooting, axe throwing, swimming, diving, knife throwing, cross country skiing (if it is a place of Norway that has snow in the winter), ski jumping, biathlon, snowboard, snow what not.. . and many more.
      In my family you have to practice at least 2 sports, and 1 must be a matrial art. Our family use about $2000-4000 on sports related costs a year.

      13. Everything cost money.. well yeah… most things. Capitalism.
      But there are more things for free then you would expect – but just ask a local that know the area.

      14. That depends I think. But with high prices on many things – we have to think where I get best value for my money. At least those of us that’s not loaded with cash.
      For example.. I hardly ever go out with my friends in the city to have a few drinks. It is cheaper for us to travel for a few days to another country with lover prices, and hopefulle better weather.. or a trip to London just for a change.
      A planeticket to London cost the same as two Jägermeister shots in a bar.. so the question is.. do I want a trip to London og a few shots in a bar in Norway? I’d rather buy a large bottle of Jägermeister in Germany too. Costs 1/3 – 1/4 of the price in Norway.
      Just the same way with dining out. Apart from a trip to Peppes pizza we never go out. The food may be good, it WILL be expensive and the service is usually medium at best – unless the waiter is a Swede working in Norway.
      We save the money, and take an extra week of vacation.
      Also. . some things are really cheap in Norway. Like a pack of 25 Papmers dipers for kids.. I think we pay $1.50. How can they make it that cheap? Or if you buy clothes for kids and pay $1.50 for a pair of pants..
      It is tradision in Norway to own your own house, and people usually buys the house before they have kids. But the last 10 years have had an extreme price increase. Before I travelled abroad I saw a house for sale for $100 000. that was cheap for that house. When I came home – the same house got sold for $350 000, and they had done NO work on it.
      I think the houses are overpriced, and will probably fall by as much as 15-20% over a period of only 2-4 years. That is bad news for people with a massive loan on the house. The loan may be larger then the value of the house.
      New building codes have also made new houses much more expensive to build, and EU regulation/standardisation have changed a lot. People used to be alloved to build their own house, and the building permit was easy and cheap to get. Now it takes a lot of time, and cost a lot.
      Still it is better to pay on a house loan/mortgage, then to pay the same money to somebody else – just to rent a place.

      15. Travelling in Norway is expensive and it takes a lof of time. Trains are slow, using old trains or old rails. Driving a car is faster. Flying is usually expensive. I know people who insted of visiting family in Norway travels to Mallorca instead, and spend a week together there. Because it is cheaper to fly all the way down there, then the air fare in Norway.
      Roads in Norway is getting better – but not fast enough.
      We’ve had a government that have said, that if we build to much road, and to good roads – people will drive more, and a car driving in high speed pollute more then one that drives slow.
      That is also why car prices are INSANE in Norway. Cars are taxed for weight, engine size (ccm) and engine power. That is why you’ll almost never see an American car here. While the trend in Japan and Europe has been towards smaller cars with small engines (less pollution) – the US never did. And they have sold very few cars here since 1976 or so. A Camero with the V8 engine cost about 4 times as much in Norway as in the US. So a large Mercedes or a BMW 7 series are cheaper.
      I can buy 4-5 small cars for the same price as the larger one I need. I fail to see the logic in that. But as soon as it is large enough to be classified as a minibuss, it is suddenly cheaper again. Even though it’s heavier and use more fuel.

      As a Norwegian I would like to change the following.
      1. We pay about $10 billion in car taxes in Norway. I would love if they could use 50% of that on roads.
      2. Car taxes are lame. Larges safer cars are too expensive for young families to buy.
      3. A politician should have worked at least 5 years in a private company, and at least 33% of them should have worked in production of some kind. They should be paid the same as the average industrial worker in Norway. That way, they would feel how taxes has an effect on peoples economy.
      4. People waiting for a routine surgery should just be sent to Thailand to Bumrungrad hospital, and after the surgery they could stay there for another 2 weeks. I have done the calculations, and it would save the state for a lot of money.
      5. Gas prices: as a Norwegian we should get 1000 liters of fuel a year for $1/6 a liter.
      6. We should sendt people working in the service industry on a course to learn how to smile and be polite.
      First time I was in the US, I woundered why everybody smilied so much. it can’t be SO fun to work here and they can not possibly be in so good mood for so long time. Something in between would be nice.
      7. Simplyfy all import tax, and income tax should be flat on 15%.
      8. Remove all the toll roads. They are not cost effective. Just add 10-20øre for every liter of fuel. Would be more then enough.
      9. Hire a Chinese company se link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwvmru5JmXk
      to build a number of these buildings in the 10 larges cities in Norway, and within a year stabilise the housing price.
      10. Make it less proffitable to be a slacker with no job.
      11. freeze all taxes, and freeze all wage increses in Norway for at least the next 10 years.

      • Megan
        Posted at 01:36h, 07 November Reply

        Thanks so much for your comment Espen!!! Very detailed and informative! While this post was meant for foreigners…I definitely appreciate a Norwegian’s POV as long as it is informative and not attacking. Because foreigners see things differently when we move here and not like the locals, naturally.

        In response (which wont be long as I have to jet to work!), I loved reading the add-ons you put at the end. I definitely agree with each and every one (and I’m sure my fiance, the Norwegian of the household, does too!) I’ll never forget when I read in the paper that Stoltenberg was pulled over for speeding and got out of it and never had to pay that ridiculously high fine. I was appalled and thought he should have had to endure that at least once to see what it feels like to be ripped off immensely. But anyways… ;)

        And books are toll free?!?! I did NOT know this. I have about 5 different books (I’m not much of a reader, but love reading history-type books) saved on my computer from Amazon and was going to have them shipped to my mom to send here. Now I can just have them come directly here! Thanks for that tidbit.

        I also think it’s fantastic that in your family, everyone must play sports. I think it is so imperative for children to have hobbies and activities. I see WAY too many kids here pissin around after school buying candy and boller in stores and sitting around outside with friends. While this in important…it shocks me to see kids not go home and do homework or study…or play sports or be active in music.

        This is random…but I just read in one of the papers that they are bringing segways to Oslo for touring purposes. LOL. So perhaps this doesnt make them illegal in 2014?! Cant say im eager to jump on one now since the founder/owner of Segway died on one.

        I have no idea why the US doesnt use chips in our cards? I honestly had never really though about it. I guess our cards just work off of a different system? Since chips are newer around Europe, most machines take American cards with no problems (a lot of Asian cards don’t have chips too). But when I see newer cards readers pop up, you are required to have chips. When my family visited from the US, they couldnt even buy tickets at most t-bane stations because their card lacked a chip. I thought that was kind of shitty actually because most of the tourists in Norway are actually coming from the US and Germany. I understand most stations not having a machine that can take cards w/out chips, but Holmenkollen?? The only people up that way are tourists for the most part LOL ;)

        I understand what you’re saying about stores being understaffed and that is why produce is the way it is. But I find it inexcusable really. But then again, it just goes to show that customer service isnt a large priority to most establishments. And I dont think stores realize this, but once you let one thing mold, it perpetrates mold on other things. And it is costly over time if people are not caring. Which most people working in those stores do not care from my opinion. They just want to make money and go home and take no pride in what they do. That is why I shop at Ultra or Grønland. Ultra has the best customer service Ive experienced in norway (aside from NSB actually) and i refuse to spend money elsewhere. I only buy some stuff in grønland because im poor ;) haha.

        thanks so much again for your comments on here!!!

      • Karol
        Posted at 11:40h, 11 June Reply

        Hi Espen! Nice thoughts about the blog. One thing i read about your comment is that you work in hospital and service equipments? Do you mind sharing if you happen to know any companies hiring Field Service Engineer or Biomedical engineer specifically for mammography, ultrasound, IVD machines in Oslo? I’m planning to move to Norway this last quarter and hopefully it will give me an idea. Thank you so much!

  • Jessie B
    Posted at 16:19h, 30 March Reply

    I must say everyone should know these facts before make an entrance in Norway. Though it’s a nice country to spend quality time with near and dear ones but it’s always better to know the place before departure.

    • Megan
      Posted at 04:04h, 01 April Reply

      agree completely :)

  • Caitlin
    Posted at 02:09h, 02 April Reply

    You are so well-versed on all of this! amazing.

    Posted at 08:54h, 06 April Reply


    Love what you have written about Norway and living here. I have been here 2 years in May this year. I found it so confusing when i moved to Stavanger. But after a while you settle into the whole routine and figuring where things are.
    Food lasts longer and better quality if you buy from the Thai/Foreign food import shops and places like Norvina on Pedersgata, Stavanger.
    The problem i agree is less competition for foods. But generally try and buy local foods, it is possible to buy fresh food that lasts.
    I buy off the veg stall near Sparebank1 and H & M in Stavanger centre. If more people bought off the stalls, then you would find that the food does last longer.
    Another tip if you are vegetarian or vegan. You can buy vegetarian and vegan food in Stavanger. COOP in Madla sells in the gluten free section a lot of Swedish vegetarian foods. Tofu is easy to buy in Norvina on Pedersgata near the red church. Veg polser and other veg foods can be found in the Organic shop near Charles & De near Fiskeperien. Also you can buy hummus as well in Helgo Menu. Or buy Tahini paste and make your own.
    Stavanger i thought two years ago had no vegetarian food. Now i realise that it does.

    Stavanger and the area is amazing to live in.

  • Erika
    Posted at 10:37h, 15 April Reply

    Wow!!! What a great take on Norway that I would have never known! You shattered a lot of the myths that I had been thinking or assuming about it… each one of these was a pretty big surprise. Like health care, produce, banking. I did know about the conformity thing (I sort of wrote about that in the last comment I left you), but other than that, I didn’t! Great observations! :)

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    Great blog and you have many spot on points! So agree with the fruit. Miss Brazilian fruit so much… I have lived in both the US, Brazil most my life, and now in Norway. (2) There is no doubt that you have more money left of your salary after taxes in the US compared to Norway(high skilled job). But as you probably know there are many good reasons for that, reasons that you won’t really experience unless you’re settling down in Norway. Like paid parent leave for 48 weeks with 100% salary, free universities compared to paying hundreds thousands $ in the US, and that you in general work way longer hours in the US(atleast me).(12) I think come from their obsession with being equal. It feels like its frowned upon being diffrent or something here. That’s atleast my experience and its kind of wierd.

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  • Mick
    Posted at 05:10h, 03 June Reply

    hi Megan,

    really interesting blog,
    I moved to Norway last year from Scotland, and I discovered that it is way more different to the UK than I ever imagined!

    you are right -the banking system is really easy and efficient.

    The most prominent thing I noticed over the past year, is the almost complete lack of crime! I can leave my bicycle outside when I go to the shop, and it is still there when I return! I never fear about being mugged when walking home from the pub at night, and Ive even started to forget to lock my car when I park it in town.

    The thing I dislike most I suppose is the alcohol laws and prices: cannot buy it after 6 on a saturday?!! and because of the prices, going to the pub is a once a month treat rather than once a week!

    but I think norway is a really nice country to live in all in all.

    • Ian
      Posted at 05:28h, 05 September Reply

      Crime stats in Norway are just as bad as the UK however there is a different population dispersion and a lot fewer people so dependant on where you come from in Scotland and where you have moved to in Norway you will have a very different experience of the situation. Personally I have experienced more crime in Norway. I lived in the UK for 27 years and during that time had my car broken into twice, in Norway, during the first 3 years, I had a car stolen and my house burgled and then som e years later had a brand new, quite expensive bike stolen from our garden shed where it was locked up……which is worse in your opinion?

  • Julie
    Posted at 05:19h, 11 June Reply

    Hi Megan, What an interesting piece on Norway. I am a lover of Norway, having travelled there 9 times in the past 30 years. I intoduced my brother to a gal at the Norwegian Tourist Board (I worked in adventure travel in the S.F. Bay Area), they married, had kids and have lived in Norge for the past 18 years. I have a question about standard of cleanliness as compared to the USA – household cleanliness. Just now my siblings are sorting out the will/estate/trust left by my mother including 3 cabins on the same island in Canada. My brother living in Norway would like to buy out the rest of us so that he and his family can enjoy exclusive use of one of the cabins because of the the higher standard of cleanliness and overall standard of living in Norge as compared to the USA. His arrogance aside, I have not had such an experience with the many native Norwegians I call my friends. Can you weigh in on that one? BTW, I totally agree about conformity – as much as I do adore my Norwegian friends/family, I always sigh a big, colorful sigh of relief upon landing back at SFO in the land of free, whimsical & individual expression. Again, tusen takk for the excellent piece! All the best, Julie

  • Anette
    Posted at 14:13h, 12 June Reply

    I think it’s very difficult to speak for an entire country like this. Like the food quality?? I’ve never experienced that in the way you talk about it.. And the health system is great and many Norwegian doctors is actually on top of their field (discovering a cure for MS for example).
    This article just seems so negative, I couldn’t recognize much of this stuff. Hopefully you’ve experienced my country in a better way since you wrote this. It’s just plain wrong that foreigners think this is the way Norway is..:/

    And about feriepenger,you don’t always have to work at a place for a year to receive them. I have often received my feriepenger after just a couple of months (though it’s not a lot of course since it’s been such a short period).

    Take care!

    • Aaron
      Posted at 10:36h, 23 December Reply

      I am a foreigner from Australia living in Norway and I agree with Megan’s view about the food quality here. The bread and meats are good but fruits and vegetables from the big players like Kiwi and Coop are, in my personal experience, a real let down compared to the quality of produce found in shops throughout mainstream Australia.

  • Resti
    Posted at 07:32h, 20 June Reply

    thank for councils, I want to coming in norwey from the septembet but hotels there cost so much (its so difficult because i now stay in Albania and we have small wages) which city you suggest me ? becouse i want te stay for a long time. and if you know someone to help me , one day I will paid Him.

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    Posted at 13:49h, 12 July Reply

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  • Malin
    Posted at 03:30h, 15 July Reply

    Hi Megan. I’m a Norwegian, and i didn’t really relate to the things you wrote in your article. You got some things wrong, and I agree with what Anette wrote. And by the way, the food quality is great here. I’ve probably just seen 1 bad tomato in my entire life, and that’s it! The food is always fresh and of good quality.
    I agree that transport in Norway is expencive though.

    • Megan
      Posted at 04:29h, 16 July Reply

      id love to know where you’re shopping if you have only seen one rotten tomato in your entire life! i see more than one every time i go into the grocery store.

      i, unfortunately, dont expect many norwegians to be able to relate to this article. it was written for people who are not norwegian. norwegians grew up with such things, so they are used or do not know any different unless they have lived abroad for a significant amount of time. still awesome to get the perspective of a norwegian though!

      btw…you should check out TV2’s documentary they did on the bad food quality here. it was either in 2010 or 2011 i think :) and as i mentioned above, it is getting much better thank goodness!

      • Rafay Warraich
        Posted at 17:04h, 26 July Reply

        hi Megan, really interesting to read all this, as Im planning to move to Norway. But believe me after reading this Im having second thoughts in my mind and planning to change my decision. I was planning to do business in Norway.It would be helpful if you can advise me about doing business in Norway. You have mentioned several times the Norway is not a part of Europe but if think Norway is apart of Europe. thanks Rafay

        • Megan
          Posted at 15:29h, 29 July Reply

          Hi Rafay!

          Definitely do not have second thoughts if you’re coming to Norway to do business. There will be bad and good no matter where you go in the world.

          Norway is one of the best places to do business in the world in my opinion! And, as I was discussing with a friend the other day, Norway is like a 3rd world country in terms of entrepreneurship and product launching. It is SO far behind other places that it is waiting to explode. Try to be part of it…I can assure you that you wont regret it. You just need patience with the market here. It is a very conformed society and people are not very individualistic. But once you can sell to one influential person, it is a goldmine.

          As for doing the business in regards to the govt, recent changes have gone about and they have lowered startup costs and now have several grants available to those wanting to start up their own business here. This is a country full of chains and extremely few small businesses. The market is ready for something different I think… :)

          Best of luck! :)

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        Posted at 16:03h, 29 June Reply

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  • british_foodie
    Posted at 06:09h, 26 July Reply

    Have to agree on the food quality here, though I’ve not encountered much in the way of mouldy food like you posted – that’s seriously gross. My biggest problem with the food here comes from the sheer lack of variety. I come from the UK, which has an unfortunate and undeserved reputation for having poor food quality. I say it’s undeserved, because every supermarket you go to in the UK is packed full of different kinds of meat, sausages, vegetables, fruits – you name it. Food shopping in Norway, meanwhile, is frustrating, especially if you’re someone like me who really likes to cook.

    Let’s start with the meat. The first thing to say about the meat in Norway is that it’s absurdly overpriced. Two medium-sized steaks will set you back about £10 or more. The quality is far too variable to justify such an inflated price tag – frequently you’re stuck with a slab of thin, haggard meat that’s more fatty connective tissue than meat.

    Norwegian sausages baffle me – I walk into my local ICA and see an entire fridge area devoted to sausages…that are all exactly the same frankfurter-style hot dogs, just from different brands. In the UK, the same amount of store space has varieties of different hot dogs made from different kinds of meat, all replete with various spices, stuffings, etc. and generally of high quality – it’s only the extremely cheap ones that are of the less than 50% pork variety, you can usually pick up 97% meat sausages for £2.50 a pack. In Norway, meanwhile, all the Grill Pølser sausages are something like 48% meat and way overpriced. You can occasionally find variety, generally indicated by region rather than ingredients (English, French, Italian), but because they’re considered exotic they’re extremely overpriced and about £9 for three sausages (!).

    Potatoes, too. Again, I’m pretty used to a wide variety of potatoes for a variety of purposes – roasting, mashing, baking, boiling, crushing, salad filling, frying – you name it. Here, again, I see large sections of a big store like the ICA in Skøyen devoted to three kinds of potatoes, generally filtered by size rather than utility – small, medium, large. Stuff like starch content, waxiness or even what sort of cooking the potatoes are best for is often absent from the packaging, leaving you to just buy them and hope for the best. Not very helpful if you like to cook.

    Frozen pizzas are often said to be the national dish in Norway, and so I was expecting something a bit less bog standard than what I got with the Grandiosa here. The price varies between about £4-7 for a pizza (again, ridiculous), and that’s just the main ‘brand’ – those Big One pizzas go for around £10 and their “Take-Away’ version is, at £17, roughly the same price as an actual take-away pizza. Compare that to the UK, where the absolutely most expensive frozen pizza available is around roughly the £5 mark, and most others hovering round the £1.50-2.50 area, and you get an idea of how seriously Norwegians take their (average) frozen pizza. Peppe’s Pizza and Dolly Dimples, the two biggest pizza chains in Norway, are also nothing to write home about.

    That’s not so say that I dislike Norway or that it isn’t possible to make a decent meal here. I’ve generally found the vegetable quality in Oslo to be pretty good, despite your harrowing pictures above. And I’ve noticed it’s much, much easier here to buy decent-quality cooking equipment. You have to try quite hard to find a stainless steel pan without non-stick coating in the UK, but in Norway they’re pretty easy to come across. The one thing that’s pretty impossible to justify, however, is the ABSURDLY HIGH prices for kitchen utensils. I went back home to the UK and picked up a decent quality potato ricer for £4.50, a garlic press for £1.50 and a meat thermometer for £1.50. When I came back to Oslo, I found more or less the same ricer for £30 (?!?!), the garlic press for £6 (!) and the meat thermometer for £7 (?!?!).

    • Megan
      Posted at 15:25h, 29 July Reply

      I absolutely agree with you that there is a major lack of food variety here. While i can find 100 ‘health food’ stores, they are all tiny and contain the same things…making me so bored with food and going in there. I usually shop at these type of stores for things except fruits and vegetables. And to buy organic here, or locally, is absolutely outrageous. In the US, to buy those types of foods costs slightly more, but not to the point where it is unaffordable in my opinion. I just settle for shopping in Grønland.

      And i definitely agree with potatoes and sausages here! Although I don’t really consume either (I tried to take back on my usual eating routine from the US when I realized the Norwegian diet did NOT work with me!), the potatoes here definitely lack variety!!!

      Norwegians definitely got it right when they say the best pizza you can eat is what is made at home. Obviously this is because Grandiosa, Dolly Dimples, and Peppe’s is as good as it gets. I can’t stand ANY of it. My fiancee LOVES it…it baffles me. I know we grew up with different taste buds, but to think that Peppe’s is acceptable for a pizza is just beyond me ;)

      Luckily, I haven’t had to purchase too much kitchen equipment thus far (I’m poor), so I haven’t noticed the prices, but it is certainly nothing I expect to be cheap! Perhaps it’ll give me a reason to take a quick hop to London for a weekend ;)

      Thanks so much for your comments!!! I love reading other’s perspective, especially when coming from another country than me and comparing experiences!!

  • julia
    Posted at 00:50h, 13 August Reply

    What you said about conformity was really interesting! I’m movie to Norway in about a week (yikes!) for college and I’ve talked to lots of people but no one has mentioned anything like that. I dress rather off-beat, nothing crazy but definitely different, i fit in well in the rather artsy city canadian city that i currently live in. Now i’m worried that my black high top converse are going to make me an outcast!

  • Kirsti
    Posted at 06:14h, 16 August Reply

    Hello Megan! Very interesting to read your blog, and your perspectives on living in Norway. I have been working full time jobs since 1974, and has NEVER been mandated to take vacation in July! This summer I had 3 weeks in the US, and still have 2 more weeks of vacation to spend before 31st of December. All I have to do is to inform my boss when I’d like to take off, and that’s it! Of course you always discuss when it’s best for the company/coworkers etc.to take vacation, and together we work it out.

    FERIEPENGER = In Norway we have what we call “Ferieår” – and it’s from January to next January. Feriepenger is for me 12% of my income for this period, and in the company I work for, we get that lumpsum in mid-June each year. I know for sure some companies pay their employees BOTH feriepenger and ordinary salary in June – which is a pretty good deal I’d say. Ordinary salary from July (for me), even though I worked only 1 week due to the visit to US. Even if you havn’t been employed for a “Ferieår” you are still entitle to 5 weeks vacation – usually without being paid. BUT, if you have started in a new job, your “feriepenger” from previous employer will be transferred to your account, which enables people to take unpaid vacation if wanted.

    I have lived in the US, and know what you are talking about when it comes to fruit and vegetables…. BUT I also know that Norway has way too more rules and regulations when it comes to using pesticides – which I am very happy about actually. To me it’s not normal that fruit & vegetables last “forever”, nor that pastery/bread etc. seem to last for abnormal time. I think you would find the same food quality in the US if they were not allowed all different pesticides.

    HEALT CARE: You mention once we hit our cap of approx. $500 everything is covered for the remainder of the year. I think the amount for 2013 was set at NOK 1.850.- which is approx. $300.
    I found doctors and medicine way more expensive in the US compared to Norway. In fact, living there in 1992 and taking my son to the ER for a headinjury, I was charged $500 for 5 stictches.
    Undergoing treatment and me spending 1 day/night in the hospital resulted in unbelieveable amount of $, but was covered by my husband’s insurance company his employer had.

    I think you are a great observer Megan, and it was fun to read your perspectives and comments. I wish you all the best, and like I told my friends in the US this summer – while discussing Norway versus US; “We have to agree to disagree” on certain things. We all tend to love what we grew up with, and defend that.

    <3 ;))

    • Megan
      Posted at 12:27h, 16 August Reply

      So cool to get a comment from someone who lives in Norway and has had a different experience than me! I’ve had a wonderful time here, but some things can be a headache (just as some things were headaches in the US). You’re very fortunate to have worked w/ companies who dont mandate a July vacation! The companies I worked with both did and my fiance’s company does as well. He is very lucky to move to the Oslo division from Bergen this year and while they mandated a July vacation, he was able to convince them to allow it in September-October. It took a LOT of work though for him to do that! I haven’t really had a feriepenger pay out (only a small one!) but my fiance gets solely his feriepenger and no salary. It can make for harsh times for us…but it’s okay because we usually have saved up for it :)

      As for quality of vegetables and fruit…that is something I’m not sure I’ll ever agree on, but I did shop at Whole Foods and more organic type stores in the US. I hear that Europe’s standards and allowances are stricter than in the US, although I know they are not that great either way. In the last two years of me living here, I have seen vast improvement on organic offerings at regular supermarkets. My concern isn’t so much with the ‘chemical’ aspect, but more so the poor quality and people not taking care of them. I go into some stores and everything is just rotted over. It’s so disappointing. I remember seeing the TV2 documentary on the crap quality upon moving here and it was nice to know that they cared enough to make something like it. I normally buy all of my produce in Grønland here in Oslo because a lot of it is imported from the middle east, which tends to be around 90% organic anyways, even if not specified that way ;) I still would give an arm and a leg for Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s here. Most of my Norwegian friends that travel to the US go NUTS when they go to the grocery store and come back wanting to open their own franchise of anything LOL :)

      Regarding healthcare…I really don’t know much about it here in Norway. I have yet to go to the doctor here! In the US, I paid about 50kr per month for my vision, health, and dental plan w/ my company and I basically had to pay nothing out of pocket. It was awesome. So I’m sure anything I experience here is going to be different than that to some degree. If I had kids in the US, I’m sure I’d have different views on the healthcare system there! :) It was always just my dog and me ;)

      Thanks so much for your comments! So great to hear from someone else who has had different experiences and has been here for so long to get to really know things around these parts! :) Where in Norway do you live??? I’m just curious :)

      • Espen
        Posted at 00:22h, 07 November Reply

        Just want to correct you with the produce in Grønland being from the middle east.. it’s usually not. The stor owners may be from the middle east – but they usually get their produce from Bama/Gartnerhallen.
        They show up early in the morning, and handpick what they want. That’s how they get the best quality. They showed that on TV a few years back.
        Also.. I’ve lived in the middle east, and seen that they are not afraid of pesticides. They sprayed everything in that area. Every night they sprayed the park and the hotel guardens against moskitos – and the fields got sprayed too against other pests.. Agriculture is business there as well. High yields are important there as well.

        Large store chaines in Norway, want to pay as little as possible, and just orders 20-30 cases of produce. A truck drivers collect the cases, and does not care what he gets – just as long as the number of crates/cases are correct. If the store workers do their job, they go through the cases before they end up in the store – and can throw away rotten fruit before you as a customer sees it.

        As for frozen pizza.. that is for poor students, who want to use their food bugdet on beer insted :-)
        I have not eaten a frozen pizza since 1995!
        But I have noticed the price on some of them in the stores. From $2 and all the way up to almost $20.

        I grow most of our vegies/fruit/berries in our garden. But that is only for a few month. The rest of the year I buy from my local Meny shop. I have never seen and rotten fruit there over the 8 year period I’ve been shopping there. They do a good job.

        • Megan
          Posted at 01:43h, 07 November Reply

          thanks for your comments regarding this too!

          much of the produce ive seen in grønlands from the middle east. Not all, or not most, but a vast amount of it does for sure. israel is one of the main places ive seen goods from. but i dont shop like a typical norwegian and just buy a few ‘normal’ items. i shop like an american and buy a huge variety…a lot of which i cant get here in norway except in grønland (okra, tumeric, etc…although ultra started carrying both). while im sure many places in the middle east are spray happy, i know of many countries there where chemicals are NOT used at all. and as someone who is very cautious about what goes in their mouth in terms of chemicals, i can taste almost immediately when something is not 100% real and has something on/in it. this is why i enjoyed traveling to the caucasus so much. abkhazia, georgia, and armenia are completely natural and the fruit and vegetables are OUT OF THIS WORLD.

          ive had bad experiences with meny, unfortuantely. but most is not the produce, it’s other stuff. but i agree they are definitely better than rimi, rema1000, and other shops!

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  • Samira
    Posted at 07:21h, 17 August Reply

    One thing i know is There are so many good staff in norway. Beautiful country, less crime and not worrying about what to eat or where to to sleep. if u are Norwegian you have better chance with the good life. As an American or other foreigner it’s way expensive . I agree with some things you said but not others.

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  • Matt
    Posted at 11:52h, 30 August Reply

    I stumbled over this blog and was a bit set back by all the misinformation here, but then I realised that much of your perception is due to your lack of perspective since you are still very young. Lucky you. It does however seem like you are not very happy though – maybe europe is not the right place for you after all ?
    However, I would like to help people considering moving by clarifying some of the points on your list :

    1. This is not entirely correct, you can actually camp on private property given that it is not used for growing crops and you camp at least 150 m away from any buildings.
    2. Since you mention engineers: average petroleum engineers salary in US is $108000 in Norway the figure is $166200. The difference being a whooping 54 %. One thing to bear in mind looking at salaries and cost of living in Norway is that the tax system rewards having a mortgage by giving you a deduction for the interest you pay. Dinbank.no will give you a mortgage at 3.65 % deduct 28 % from that and you have 2,628 %. Deduct inflation from that and you will find that the interest you will actually pay on your mortgage in real terms are actually 0.128 %. And that also explains why rental is not desirable and hence not that common in Norway.
    4. I would be more suspicious if the food would not rot, genetic modified crop and pesticides used in the USA to make everlasting engineered superfood is not allowed her, luckily I would say.
    5. They complain in another way I guess ? And they are perhaps a bit less anal and picky when it comes to details ?
    6. Yogi teas can be found in several internet shops if you bother to google it. (With so few people around one can not demand that all sorts of teas are available in the shops)
    7. Use a shipping service online and you can order whatever you want from the USA
    9. All medical and dental needs for children are free up to the age of 18
    11. Feriepenger ispercentage of your wage to be used for your holiday next year. Your holiday is paid for : Ie. if you have 4 weeks of holiday in the agreement with your employer he gives you 10,2 % feriepenger based upon your salary the year before. If you are entitled to 5 weeks of holiday(most people are) you get 12 % feriepenger. You see, you actually get paid for the 5th week there by upping the percentage, right ?
    12. You will find most european sports are practiced in Norway – look around and you´ll see plenty of oppertunities. Heck, there are bowling alleys as well.
    13. Well, theres one thing that does not cost money: education. According to one report, the average cost of studying at a four-year private (non-profit) university in the US is now US$28,500 per year. Ie $114000 compared to $0 in Norway.
    The place where you live will have an internetpage telling you were you can book tennis courts, climbing walls etc. online for free usage, look up your place at yourcity.kommune.no
    14. The explantion is not that tricky: do not use more money than you can afford: In Norway only “dumb” people finance their buying needs using a credit card that you have to pay 20 -30 % interest on. You use your saved up buffer to finance unforeseen needs, and if you can not afford it that way you ask for a consumer credit at 7 % in your bank instead of using a credit card.(or even better you up your mortgage).
    15. Getting places is NOT easy, public transportation system sucks bigtime, I guess this is due to few people using public transportation. Fuel and cars are obviously still too affordable regretably.

    • Ian
      Posted at 05:19h, 05 September Reply

      I agree with most of that. Regards the rotting produce though, in the UK I am used to a high turnover of fruit and veg meaning that nothing rots in the shops, in addition the people responsible, be them shop owners or employees in the supermarket, take responsibility and keep a good control over their produce, removing perishing products – not too much to ask surely?

    • Megan
      Posted at 09:31h, 22 November Reply

      Thanks for your comments and congratulations on your upcoming move to Australia. Not sure if you’re Norwegian or not, but living abroad is a great thing and will give you plenty of insight to a new country and will make you reevaluate your own.

      1) Thanks for your comments regarding it. I attached a link on my post to the site for people that wanted to look at specifics.

      2) I mentioned engineers. Not petroleum engineers, unfortunately. As someone who works closely with Statoil, I have conversed on many occasions about this and have gotten some pretty great insight from them about it. The person who wrote the other 15 things have actually since relocated from Norway to the US and interviewed for jobs in Russia and Azerbaijan and the lowest salary of them all is what was currently being made in Norway. This is not the only case where I have heard of this. But in all reality, who really cares if you’re still making kick ass money of which country makes the most? An experience living abroad is priceless within itself. That is the reason many people move abroad for a while, anyways. It is also a great resume booster.

      4) Genetic modified crap? Im just curious if you have spent significant time in the US? Because I shopped at Whole Foods and many other stores known for their top notch quality, organic products, and no chemicals. So, I’m a little confused if you’re just making a joke or just one of those ignorant people who reiterates what they see on the news because it makes them feel better about what is happening in their own land? If there is one thing I know extensive amounts of information about, it is food. Rest assure, the shit they offer in stores here is NO better than what you would get at Wal-mart (lowest quality) in the US. But if it makes you sleep better at night to think that, keep thinking it. In reality, this bullet point had nothing to do with GMOs or pesticides. It had to do with food quality in stores. It is rotten. Bananas are moldy and people don’t sift through the produce to get rid of the moldy stuff, which perpetrates mold onto other items. THAT is what this point was about. I shop at Grønland a lot because they DO go through their vegetables and fruits with care and rid themselves of the rotted ones. And just so you know, most everyone I know who is Norwegian and has visited the US says their favorite thing about the states was grocery shopping and the quality of food they got.

      5) I truly don’t think Norwegians complain. LOL. It’s awesome I think. Sometimes I think people are taken advantage of, but it makes for a lot less confrontation at establishments, in my opinion.

      6) The bullet point said you can find Yogi teas anywhere but the one I love is banned. It was pretty clear. The one I can’t find is called Blueberry Slim Life. Apparently you know where to find it since you were quick to respond…let me know where it is!

      7) Again, you must not have read the bullet point. The reason you can not always ship from certain sites is because they ship to only the US, Australia, and the EU. But, as mentioned in the bullet point, if you email the sender and let them know you live in Norway, which is not EU but still part of Europe, they sometimes make exceptions. I had this problem on Etsy. I’m assuming you shop there frequently. I have not had issues recently, fortunately. The bullet point’s main stress was about the customs/toll.

      9) Good to know… :)

      11) “”

      12) Ok? I’m not sure what this is pointing to. While you may be able to find a lot of them, that doesn’t mean they are free or easily accessible. Skiing is. And there is snow here.

      13) Education does not technically cost money, but people do pay taxes here, so it is part of that, of course. I actually love the education policy here and am a big fan of it.

      14) Most Norwegians I know here do have lines of credit opened. I don’t think it is right to call them dumb as long as they make their payments.

      15) I think the public transportation here rocks compared to the US at least. Most Norwegians I know hate it and think it sucks. I’m personally fine never driving again!

      Thanks for your comments. But in all do respect, your perception that my ‘lack of perspective’ has to do with my age is just as ignorant as me assuming you’re an asshole for commenting on a post that is meant for foreigners moving to Norway, not Norwegians or people who have been residing here for 50 years. And to your surprise, I’m 30. And I’ve lived in another European country as well as many US states…so I’m not some homebody who moved here from the US with no culture or knowledge of societies and the world and decided I hate this country. In fact, I love this country and I love my life here. It is perplexing to me that Norwegians or people who have lived here for several years take offense to every little thing like it is a negative. How is me talking about the ins and outs from my PERSPECTIVE (blogs are just that) about fashion, banking, etc a bad thing? Trust me, no one is going to make their decision to move here based on my opinions from my BLOG. LOL. To say Europe ‘is not for me’ is just like saying ‘optimism is not for you’. Pretty shitty to assume we know that much about each other just from you reading my blog, which lacks a lot of my personal information anyways. But, if you’re needing to know, I have a great life here, great friends (both Norwegian and international) and I stay busy working and hanging with my dog and fiance. I also like to travel. My dog goes to daycare, just as he did in the US and SURPRISE! It is about the same price (although different service). I ride my bike (was just stolen but I bought another), I have wine days in the parks with my friends, and I go to several events all around Oslo in regards to healthy eating and sustainability within the food industry. Sometimes I go bowling, hiking, to the gym, or just wander around and admire the wonderful city I live in. Sounds like I’m pretty established and happy for a person who is so miserable that Europe might just not be for them, huh? :)

      • Lewor
        Posted at 22:13h, 23 March Reply

        Correct me if I am wrong, the rotten crops/fruits that are seen just prove how Norway ‘value’ natural life and a good thing, since Norway’s life expectancy is higher/highest among other countries in the world. :-)

        • Megan
          Posted at 05:52h, 04 April Reply

          Little confused…. ?

    • Bridget Mullis
      Posted at 03:19h, 29 November Reply

      Dear Matt,

      Some of this is informative, but certainly no more informative than the original post. Megan Starr is a finer writer with more flare and humor than you’ve conjured in your 15 points. Best wishes for improvement.

      • Megan
        Posted at 11:17h, 13 January Reply

        <3 <3

  • Matt
    Posted at 11:55h, 30 August Reply

    Forgot to mention, I am actually moving to Australia, leaving Norway, so I am not that in love with the country, just wanted to straighten out some facts.

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  • Ian
    Posted at 05:13h, 05 September Reply

    As a UK ex-pat who’s lived in Norway for some 14 years your comments bare the colour of someone fairly new to the country, having misunderstood a few things. Still, in essence you raise some good points.

    Regards the public transport being so good here, all I can say is that your experiences of public transport in the USA must be truly appalling. I find the public transport here both expensive and infrequent, not to mention staffed by people who can barely speak either English or Norwegian. There is no way a customer facing employee should not be able to speak the local language.

  • Ian
    Posted at 05:24h, 05 September Reply

    One last comment. I have never worked anywhere where people are forced to take holiday at any time of year. Yes, some businesses close down for a month but that is very much the minority. The only compulsion is that there is a mandatory requirement to take holiday but as it is always paid (in one way or another) then there is no financial loss and if you really need the money that badly then there is no law saying that you can’t get a holiday job for another employer thus getting paid twice for the period, by both your regular employer (holiday pay) and your temporary employer.

  • Antoinette Pieterse
    Posted at 09:40h, 10 September Reply

    Hi I live in South Africa. We have family living in Tananger Norway. Us as a family are thinking of moving to Norway to be closer to them. Have you visited South Africa, how does Norway compare to South Africa. I don’t want to move there and being worse off as we are now. We are living a good life at the moment, both of us have a good job and the kids are in a good school. Please help.

    • David Armstrong
      Posted at 12:58h, 12 May Reply

      Megan, a great Blog, thank you, having spent a brief, albeit awesome, three months in Norway last year, I chuckle and can relate to some of your points, but overall and incredible country with incredible people. Interestingly I am from South Africa and was somewhat shocked to see, (my opinion), a substantial number of similarities to my country, it’s changing national psyche, it’s current direction: strong social/welfare leaning increasingly exhibiting a more laid back attitude towards work, less ‘thinking’ but far more opinionated, decreased levels of service, indifference…seemingly an element of a social mindset…but still incredible, me returning home with a far more accepting – greater respecting – point of view for my equally beautiful country/people….but I will be back in Oslo in June this year :)

      Antoinette, overall I would say, from my limited experience, it compares well to SA; equally but ‘very differently’ beautiful, seemingly great principle and integrity, liberal yet ‘conservative, evolving yet grappling…although the weather clearly something to reckon with, very expensive but nothing a good budget, smart shopping, (Grønland a case in point – also great bargains at right time!), and a substantial mind-shift shouldn’t be able to deal with :)

      Furthermore, Antoinette, should you be interested, I have some wonderful SA friends in Holmenkollen, Oslo to put you in touch with should you wish, (mid 30’s, 2 kids ex Cape Town/Roodepoort)…..personally I would think Oslo first rather than ‘inland’, less of a ‘culture/lifestyle’ shock, supported by great public transport, beautiful architecture, a very ‘other’ ethos – much like Cape Town versus rest of SA – than perhaps to go further up country…harsher weather???etc….My few cents worth..but really a wonderful country. I would think, if one chose to adapt, accept and integrate…LEARN NORWEGIAN !! :) (A beautiful language and seemingly so easy of the palate, easy to grasp, if one knows Afrikaans…I am English, having since walked away with a far greater respect for the fact that I know Afrikaans :)

      • David Armstrong
        Posted at 13:16h, 12 May Reply

        Hi Megan,

        “it’s changing national psyche, it’s current direction: strong social/welfare leaning increasingly exhibiting a more laid back attitude towards work, less ‘thinking’ but far more opinionated,”

        A better word would be ‘dogmatic’ rather than ‘opinionated’ :)

      • Jackie Sasso
        Posted at 19:17h, 15 January Reply

        Is it easy to immigrate to Norway as a South African? Is it easy to find English speaking jobs?

  • William
    Posted at 03:36h, 13 September Reply

    I’m from the UK & have been living in Oslo for 6 years now & stumbled across this blog. I found it interesting but don’t agree with everything, although some of the comments are spot on.

    As regards 2 (salaries) I would say that they are compressed. From what I’ve seen those doing what could be considered low to average skilled work get a good salary, but those higher up the chain would probably be better off financially in other countries. I work in IT & was earning more in London than I am here & this is before higher taxes & the cost of living are taken into account!

    Re 4 (food quality) – I wouldn’t say that it’s poor, rather very limited in choice as well as over-priced. Incidentally VAT/MOMS is applied to fresh produce (albeit at a lower rate than on other goods) which I think is pretty outrageous really. I think it’s also no coincidence that many of the richest Norwegians own the supermarket chains. Eating out is pretty disappointing too with (often) poor service, lack of variety/quality & of course being very expensive. The pizza chains mentioned are especially awful.

    5 (not complaining). I agree with this & think it’s linked to 12 (conformity), below.

    9 (health care). After limited use I find it disappointing. You often have to wait a long time to get an appointment & opening hours of clinics & dental surgeries are short. In addition, don’t get ill in July since it could be a long painful wait to get seen to! As regards the price, I find it difficult to comment since all healthcare (although not dentistry) in the UK is free although is often not very good.

    10 (banking).
    I suspect most of Europe is similar to Norway. I’ve had Internet banking in the UK for over 10 years which has allowed free online transfers to any account at any bank. In the last few years it’s been same day (within 2 hours) too so I suspect it’s the banks in America which are the odd ones out (in the west at least)!

    11 (feriepenger). In my experience people generally get 5 weeks holiday which is paid & can normally be taken at any time of the year, not ust in the summer. I find the concept of feriepenger a bit strange though but I don’t see it as a problem.

    12 (conformity). I agreee & am frequently frustrated by how most people just don’t question things & tend to justify /accept everything here!

    13 (expensive/everything costs). I agree with this too & finding places with toilets can be hard work. In a large cafe there’s often just 1 for all the customers which results in queues.

    15 (public transport). I would say that this is not too great – I find it slow, expensive & not extensive enough. Even though Oslo is Europe’s fastest growing city, where I live (Bislet) there used to be 4 bus routes down the main road into town & that has been reduced to just 1 (no 37 – which is often overcrowded) over the last few years. I find that difficult to understand.

    I would also say that crime is on the increase & the block I live in has had a spate of burglaries over the last few years. But I don’t think Norway is alone in this regard. 1 other point that no-one has mentioned is the schooling system here (ie pre university). The nurseries I think are quite good but the primary/junior schools tend to finish lessons around 13:30 which means the kids either go home early or (more typically) attend something called SFO/Aktivitetsskole), which is little more than a glorified babysitting service on the whole (& costs around 2,500 kr I believe, a hidden tax meaning education isn’t really free). This is something I definitely don’t like.

    Having said all this Norway can be a great place to live, with the outdoor, sporty lifestyle & generally laid-back lifestyle, with good working conditions & clean air/water. I suppose nowhere is perfect though!

  • funkytown
    Posted at 10:30h, 26 September Reply

    I am from the UK and lived in Oslo working as a Scientist for 5 years. I lived in the same part of Oslo as William actually! Now I live on the west coast in a small fishing village…. massive difference in every way like one would expect.

    Oslo on the whole is great if you are into the arts and have a bit of expendable income. There is a heck of a lot of things going on. Loved my time going to jazz concerts and eating out with friends. You can find good food… but I guess that’s linked with income. I would think 500,000 NOK per year would be just about the minimum one would expect living by themselves. Otherwise its gonna be a rocky ride.

    Rotting food in supermarkets…. think this is really a problem in a few places in central Oslo on the whole and I have even seen a lot of little cheap shops pop up selling out of date food with new best before stickers over the top of the old ones. The same supermarkets elsewhere in Norway don’t seem to suffer with these problems. Lack of choice is however problematic… btw ICA in Sweden seems much much better than ICA in Norway so I think its all to do with control from the people with money. Things are changing though… even in my 5 years I have noticed the quality rise so there is hope!

    Transport, I always found ok. Those buses do get crowded but if you are willing to wait until after the rush it all gets much easier… the main problem is that it is quite expensive to use if you don’t intend to use it often… a simple trip into town and back is 30 NOK each way… that soon mounts up. I have the same problem here on the west coast in that respect… and the buses here run once per hour and stop after 6pm!

    Dentists are scarily expensive…. (get a place to Poland or Bulgaria and have a little holiday) Taxis too (get a bike!)….

    Getting to know the natives can be a challenge at first but to be honest I have more Norwegian friends now than English so I cannot grumble at all that way. People on the west coast are even more friendlier and talkative…

    Overall love my time in Norway up to now… can’t see me going back home just yet! :)

  • Sam
    Posted at 00:11h, 27 September Reply

    For the poster above. (Funky town) ^… I’m a scientist as well ( nuclear) and wanted to know what the work conditions are like in Norway. Typically in the US, it’s very cut throat ( from my perspective as a scientist) and can be political. Is norway similar do they treat employees well?


    • Alin
      Posted at 17:29h, 08 April Reply

      Hi Megan
      I just arrived in Bergen 2 weeks ago and got familiar with your site and I enjoy reading your posts. I am from Romania and Just wanted to say hi and maybe stay in touch. I am a big fan of american culture , especially cinema.

      • Megan
        Posted at 03:15h, 18 April Reply

        That is super cool Alin! Thanks so much for your comment and I hope you have a great time in Bergen! Keep in touch and stay dry from all that rain ;)

  • funkytown
    Posted at 13:13h, 27 September Reply

    Its variable. I was a bit unlucky with my initial job. My own experience was that there seemed to be a marked lack of quality and direction with a lot of the managers who really wouldn’t last 5 mins outside of Norway. Too much attention to courses (which usually go on for days and are little more than sticking motivating words on Post it Notes up on a wall), long drawn out meetings, endless spreadsheets and admin, coffee breaks, cakes, wine lotteries (now thats something not mentioned yet!) and getting home at 2pm on a Friday so they can get to the hytte for the weekend…. I’m probably making it sound good… :D

    After talking with friends both foreign and native Norwegian I think this is largely a cultural thing and something really affecting the guys in their 50s and 60s… certainly not the younger guys who are just as energetic and dynamic as anyone… now that was just my experience YMMV.

    If you find the right company (and I have now) you will be in for a treat.. . you would have to be looking at alternative energies (Hydro, Wind et al) I guess. Overall Norway is a great place to be.

    • Sam
      Posted at 15:09h, 27 September Reply

      Thanks Funkytown,
      I ended up having a brief meeting with Holden ( reactor test facility) in Norway however I wasn’t sure about Norway. Btw, I wanted to ask more questions but I didn’t know if I would be bogging down this forum :). If you could email me at [email protected] i can hopefully ask some more questions regarding life and cultural stuff as I presume it would probably be a lot different from growing up in the U.S.


  • Sam
    Posted at 20:30h, 27 September Reply

    One more thing for Funkytown ( and others…) is there a list somewhere for the top engineering and science firms in Norway? If not I’d like to hear some peoples thoughts on them.

    All the best

  • Andre F
    Posted at 13:28h, 10 October Reply

    Im a norwegian and i would say these 15 points are mostly true but what’s not true is that it’s expensive to travel. If u know the systems on trains and busses u can often get places for free beacuse norwegians are LAZY. yeah we are freaking lazy beacuse of our relaxed life style with high income and mostly wealthy parents (not rich but not poor either). also the thing about girls dressing the same everywhere i got a good laugh beacuse it’s sooo true. it’s not often ppl order stuff from other countrys so most ppl here buy from local or net based norwegians sites and everyday i see the same “style” or several ppl and i live in a VERY little place. But i love being a norwegian. btw if any1 wanna know something about norway please do ask me

    • Ola
      Posted at 09:53h, 26 March Reply

      Can you pls. Explain how to get places on trains and buses for free knowing the systems …thanks

      • Megan
        Posted at 05:50h, 04 April Reply


  • 30 Things You Should Know Before Moving To Norway :: InspiringTravellers.com - Travel the World
    Posted at 14:58h, 13 October Reply

    […] 15 more things to know about Norway, head over to Megan’s […]

  • October
    Posted at 06:56h, 25 October Reply

    I feel obligated to comment on your observation on the Norwegian public transport system.

    Unless you live in one of the big cities, chances are that buses and trains go quite infrequently. Unless you are within walking distance, you won’t get anywhere at the evenings. When you start to consider how expensive it is, you will find that there are few to none reasons not to own a car.

    • Megan
      Posted at 17:14h, 26 October Reply

      i understand completely. i think because i lived in the US, im just surprised at any public transportation. or the ability to get anywhere without a car! i have traveled a lot to other countries and aside from western europe, i havent been too impressed with public transportation anywhere else. im pretty lucky to live in oslo when it comes to this, i believe!

      • Bob
        Posted at 02:49h, 06 March Reply

        Try Germany. Everything runs on time and is state of the art.

        • Megan
          Posted at 06:14h, 04 April Reply

          :) love germany.

  • Kristine S
    Posted at 08:39h, 26 October Reply

    Im from Norway and some of these facts are wrong btw. We dont have to pay for everything. School is for free. And the teachers are very good. If u work good, I can garantee you a good paied job. A nice house and good neighbours. Every country got its ups and downs. At least were healthier than americans!!!

    • Megan
      Posted at 14:23h, 26 October Reply

      oh i had no idea there was a country competition going on here. do you even want me to begin comparisons? im pretty sure we both know that comparing a country of little diversity and 5 million people doesnt exactly match a country with extreme diversity and 315 million people. im assuming your ‘good teachers’ in norway taught you that ;)

      by the way…this post wasnt regarding just the US. people from all over the world were consulted before conjuring up opinions and suggestions (to people moving to norway…not norwegians already living here which i assume you are) above.

      thanks for the comment though ;)

  • angel
    Posted at 05:00h, 27 October Reply

    my best friend is Norwegian and i never knew any of the things on your list for instance paying tv taxes what is that about?
    she always make it sound like its so great to live there.

    • Megan
      Posted at 13:12h, 01 November Reply

      this post never mentioned that it sucks to live here? it is great to live here. all places have up and downs. if you perceived bulletpoints above as negative than that is probably representative of your view on them.

  • Emily
    Posted at 16:17h, 28 October Reply

    Hi there, I don’t know if someone has asked this before but are there American foods that you can’t get in Norway?
    I’m sending a package to someone in Norway and want to know if there are some food items I should include because they aren’t available there.

    • Emily
      Posted at 16:22h, 28 October Reply

      The ones that aren’t banned, of course.

      • Megan
        Posted at 13:09h, 01 November Reply

        i sent you an email! did you receive it?

        • Emily
          Posted at 01:51h, 02 November Reply

          I did and thank you so much for taking the time to respond. I will have to look into picking up some of those. What are a few of the healthier choices just in case?

  • Samuel
    Posted at 12:56h, 01 November Reply

    Tanx a million for those wounderful info-because its power.I am a Nigerian planning to come and settle down in Norway for greener pasture,going by your exposure do you know of any other country better than Norway where i can easily make financial furtune by hardwork?Am a graduate of microbiology

    • Megan
      Posted at 13:12h, 01 November Reply

      you’re most welcome. norway is a great place to work and earn a good living. however, things are super expensive here, so that does offset a little of the income, naturally.

      im not really well informed on countries that would pay a microbiologist well to be honest. im not even sure if that is a job that is needed in norway in the first place. i would start your research with where the job is in demand and go from there. if norway is on that list, id definitely recommend coming here. but i wouldnt come with the intent of making a financial fortune. things here cost a fortune, so it may take a while to get on your feet and start making an income. but it is a good quality of living here.

  • haythem
    Posted at 21:02h, 02 November Reply

    im a pharmacist and plan to go norway &they told me weather is a disaster coz im a cold hater.. is it a true?and about salary if salary 27 thousands kr monthly u can make at least 5 thousands savings or its difficult?thank u megan …really your way very nice.

    • Bob
      Posted at 21:09h, 04 November Reply

      You say you are a ” cold hater”, yet you are considering moving to Norway?
      If you hate the cold, I suggest you do not live in places which have temperatures below 0C for months at a time.
      In Oslo, if you take home 27000 NoK (after taxes), you may find it difficult to save 5000 NoK per month, depending on how much you eat or drink outside of your home.

      • Megan
        Posted at 01:26h, 05 November Reply

        thanks for replying on this bob.

        i agree about the cold comment. on the other hand, summers here are incredible. winters? not so much. but, if you dress for it, it’s not so bad (in my opinion). and if you find hobbies (although my winter hobbies are traveling away from it!) and like bob said again, saving a lot per month may be hard in oslo depending on your lifestyle and habits. rent is especially high, but if you could find a roommate, pay around 5000kr a month for rent (you’d only have a small room and a shared kitchen and bathroom), eat in every night, you could certainly make it work.

        however, i think just moving to a place to earn money and not enjoy the lifestyle and culture is not really right, personally. i understand we all have different needs, but id come here and learn the language and culture, in addition to earning good money if i were you. trust me, it’s worth it.

        • haythem
          Posted at 19:19h, 11 November Reply

          thank you for your advices&i have another questions i want know in details about the language;is it easy or hard?how many months or years to be good enough in it for public using?is the exam of norskprove 2&3 easy?what the good site for learning when person not in norway?and if you dont mind can you tell us how you pass the problem of language in details because i think you have good ideas?really your informations is helpful hope have many people like you do the same so world be more good :-)

  • mio
    Posted at 05:20h, 04 November Reply

    I’m belgian citizen but live in south of France and like to visit Norway exactly Oslo next 23/11/2013 and seek someone which have time to help me know this city.

    I paid costs for cars, restaurant…..

    I wait to write to may email [email protected]

    • Megan
      Posted at 01:27h, 05 November Reply

      hi mio! i unfortunately will be working during that time but i hope you find someone to help. your best bet is probably couchsurfing :)

  • henry
    Posted at 18:01h, 06 November Reply

    i know about norway that have a high lifestyle but when one think about lifestyle first thing is the car,i read its have a high taxs yearly maybe near to 3 thousands dollars i not understand how calculate the taxs of the cars so one can ride cars by good price?how much nearly?and what the difference between the immigrates that have nationality&immigrants have permanent residence?

    • Megan
      Posted at 02:55h, 09 November Reply

      car taxes are extremely high, as are car prices. i use public transportation…but i also live in oslo so it’s very adequate here. i know some places in the countryside are much easier to get around by car.

      unfortunately, i dont know much about immigrants that have nationality vs. ones that have residence. ill never give up my american nationality here. i guess it depends on where youre from and your attachments to it. sucks they dont have dual citizenship. seems so primitive not to when you try to compete as an immigrant nation.

  • adriano
    Posted at 18:15h, 06 November Reply

    i have 3 choices of visa study,tourist&skilled worker what the best of them if i want work in norway and if i not have a company in the first months because i not speak the norwegian language so study the norwegian language is good reason to can stay legal

    • Megan
      Posted at 02:53h, 09 November Reply

      do you have a bachelor’s degree?

      • adriano
        Posted at 16:13h, 11 November Reply

        sorry i late in answer,i have english bachelor’s degree 5 years im a skilled worker in them list,thank u for ur response

  • seo noida
    Posted at 01:07h, 09 November Reply

    Thanks a bunch for sharing this with all people you really realize what you are talking about!
    Bookmarked. Kindly also consult with my web site =). We may have a link change arrangement between us

  • Saulius
    Posted at 16:37h, 11 November Reply

    After 3 years of living in Norway I can tell that this blog is far away from the truth about Norway! As for the food you eat much more natural food that you getting in USA or UK, as for the “tea” ban, I can tell that nothing is done without reason in this country. And this is the only country I’ve been where the government works for people and not for corporations. I can continue this list forever, but there is no point as people will find out it self!

    • Megan
      Posted at 16:43h, 11 November Reply

      ok saulius ;) apparently you havent learned that people have varying opinions on things. the food here is no more natural than any other place…it all depends on where you shop. but im assuming they dont teach you that people can choose to shop where they want in lithuania? but if you really read the post, you’d gather that it was about mold and food being past expiration….not food quality guidelines.

      as for the ‘tea ban’…it is an all natural tea. no chemicals or unnatural particles in it. but i suspect soda is better, of course.

      glad youre enjoying your time here and hope that it remains well. if you take the points above to be negative, you’re clearly missing the point. of course someone coming from a country where standards of living are a bit lower is going to have a different opinion than someone coming from a country where standards and wages are slightly higher ;)

    • Megan
      Posted at 16:55h, 11 November Reply

      just fyi: the banning section of the post had nothing to do with why things are banned. no one gives a shit about that. it was mentioned so that people know to research before things are shipped or brought into the country. im assuming most people got that though….

  • Blessing Chikotosa
    Posted at 14:51h, 14 November Reply

    Hi. Good site. Am Blessing a Zimbabwean in Africa. I am so knee to come and work in Norway with my girlfriend. I am a plumber with more than 10 years experience. I have done my savings for airfares and start up money for accomodation and etc. My ptoblem is i went thru the visa requirement paper, and all am lacking is some to invite me in Norway. Do anyone know who can help even for a fee, with all necessary requirements. Thank you.

    • Megan
      Posted at 15:34h, 14 November Reply

      hi blessing…im a little confused? is your girlfriend norwegian? isnt she able to invite you here?

  • haythem
    Posted at 15:43h, 14 November Reply

    thank you for your advices&i have another questions i want know about the language;is it easy or hard?how many months or years to be good enough in it for public using?is the exam of norskprove 2&3 easy?what the good site for learning when person not in norway?and if you dont mind can you tell us how you pass the problem of language because i think you have good ideas?i repeat again maybe u not see it above

    • Megan
      Posted at 15:52h, 14 November Reply

      sorry about that haythem…i didnt see the previous comment.

      i think the language is fairly easy for a native english speaker. but i believe it may be tougher for someone who is not an english speaker (or speaks a germanic language as a mother tongue). on the contrary, norwegian can be difficult for english speakers because every norwegian speaks english…and better than ill ever speak their language! so, more often than not, it is easier to communicate in norwegian. and of course using it in public varies from person to person. i know people who can speak it in a week and others who have been here years and cant speak. i havent taken the language courses (whoops). but i think they would be fairly easy. maybe i took norskprove 2 and i just dont remember (i took some tests at some point). i dont really use it for a job, so i dont have to pass qualifications like others.

      as for learning the language from abroad…you can definitely check out http://www.mylittlenorway.com. this site has a lot of resources that are fantastic for people trying to learn the language.

      • haythem
        Posted at 21:01h, 15 November Reply

        thank you megan

      • Lisa
        Posted at 09:16h, 12 June Reply

        Hi Megan! Informative blog. I’m just curious, what type of work do you do in Norway to not need to study the language? Thanks.

  • Blessing Chikotosa
    Posted at 08:43h, 15 November Reply

    She is Zimbabwean and we are all here in Africa. We need to move there together.

  • mors
    Posted at 21:47h, 15 November Reply

    “The healthcare itself is very basic and does not include holistic approaches or natural forms of medicine (chiropractors included).”

    That’s a good thing. Why would the governement pay out of our tax money for snake oil ? Almost seems like it’s endorsing pseudo-medicine. Want to have your reiki or naturopahy or urotherapy ? Sure, knock yourself out, but pay out of your own pocket.

    • Megan
      Posted at 23:41h, 15 November Reply


      [hoh-lis-tik] Show IPA
      incorporating the concept of holism in theory or practice: holistic psychology.
      Medicine/Medical . identifying with principles of holism in a system of therapeutics, especially one considered outside the mainstream of scientific medicine, as naturopathy or chiropractic, and often involving nutritional measures: holistic medicine .

      copied straight from dictionary.com for ya. but i guess you’re all one for pumping drugs, drugs, drugs into someone and not giving them a right to choose their method of treatment??

      holistic approaches can often include therapy, chiropractors, etc etc. sometimes, in this world we live, it can be more beneficial to treat the problem instead of just the symptoms.

      but, you, obviously not well-educated on a subject you speak so firmly on, thinks holistic approaches are dumb snake oils. i know you’re probably norwegian and defensive on all matters, but really you should research or think before you comment on something that makes you sound kind of uneducated.

      • mors
        Posted at 09:26h, 16 November Reply

        “but i guess you’re all one for pumping drugs, drugs, drugs into someone and not giving them a right to choose their method of treatment??” First sentence and you’re already creating a strawman ? I’m all for methods of treatment that work, preferably having healthy life styles. People can choose whatever they want as long as a) It’s a well informed choice between what works and what does not work b) if it does not work and they still want it, they pay from their pockets.

        “holistic approaches can often include therapy, chiropractors, etc etc. sometimes, in this world we live, it can be more beneficial to treat the problem instead of just the symptoms.”
        What an amount of nonsense. Saying modern medicine only treats symptoms is a ridiculous statement and used by snake oil selers. http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/the-one-true-cause-of-all-disease/

        “obviously not well-educated on a subject you speak so firmly on” More stawmen and a bit of ad hominem. What happened to proper argumentation ? I’m well versed on the topic. You should perhaps look a bit into the mirror before telling others are “uneducated” on the subject.

        • Megan
          Posted at 13:26h, 16 November Reply

          im rereading this post and rereading this post and nowhere do i see that it is mentioned that i was looking for opinions on the healthcare system in norway. so you like people taking drugs? big deal. i really dont care. but just to ease your mind a little, im all for advanced medicine. i have a sister who is a nurse and a sister who is a doctor, and i worked in the US military in a hospital for 4 years. SO…i completely understand medicinal treatments. HOWEVER…sometimes, i think it is okay to give someone the option of how to be treated. by just giving people pain meds and not finding out why they are in pain, can be a problem for some people. some dont mind just being given weekly pain meds. by you saying that all people should be given drugs and are not entitled to receive the type of treatment they wish, or believe in just shows that you’re closeminded and ignorant. point blank. norway is slowly becoming a melting pot of cultures, races, and backgrounds. some people’s culture just doesnt believe in being jacked up on pain meds. a person with diabetes may wish to see a nutritionist instead of just take insulin daily in an attempt to correct their problem. a person suffering from celiac disease may wish to see a counselor or nutritionist instead of taking meds. to each their own.

          proper argumentation is fine. BUT…this post is not out there for norwegians who just want to be on the defense (trust me, life isnt perfect here, nor is it anywhere in the world). it is to potentially help people looking to move to norway. by me stating that the healthcare system covers basics, but not holistic approaches….you take offense and act like im dissing the healthcare system here. clearly, you should reread and see that i wasnt looking for an opinions on how the norwegian healthcare system runs. it already has its skeptics and advocates. i was simply making a point as an assistance to those looking to move or gather information about the topic.

          and let’s just remember, you can be rude or nasty all you want, but you’re the one taking the time out to comment on my blog. anything constructive or information you would like to add to help foreigners moving or curious about norway, please do share! however, my blog is not a place for politics or healthcare reasoning, so please refrain from future comments regarding subjects i honestly just dont give a shit about ;)

          hope you are having a wonderful weekend :)

    • Jan Johansen
      Posted at 07:04h, 10 December Reply

      Its for legal reasons, basically.

      You got a legal right to healthcare when medically neccessary. As well as consultations with a doctor to determine if something needs medical attention, etc. If doesn’t have clinical evidence that it has a positive effect, it is not defined as healthcare, and theres no money for it on the budget. Come back when you got some proof that it works. There are hundreds of nationalities each with their own traditional cures and fixes. I shudder to think what would happen if they were all to be fully funded with no quality control or limits. And if you don’t ask for evidence that it works, there is not enough quality control.

      There really is only one way of determining what gets covered as medical treatment, and that is stuff that has clinical evidence that it works.

      Megan: in general “only the news” is not a good source for these things. The news makes big headlines of every instance of things not working or going wrong, while ignoring all the things that works well. After a while of taking in news as your only information source, you’ll have a very skewered impression of how things work.

      • Lewor
        Posted at 21:57h, 23 March Reply

        I agree.

  • Shon
    Posted at 15:26h, 21 November Reply

    Very interesting!!
    Do you know any good law firm to help us moving to Norway? I would like to start some small business there…maybe a kind of small retail market or chains of grocery stores . Anyway idea on this

    • Megan
      Posted at 13:23h, 24 November Reply

      Hi Shon!

      I sadly dont know of any law firms that can assist. Norway is a great place to start a business, on the other hand.

      While I’m not a good starting point for this, you can perhaps contact ‘MESH’ which is home for some startups in Oslo. Their website is http://meshnorway.com/ and their facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/meshnorway

      Best of luck! Hope someone their can better assist!

      • Megan
        Posted at 13:26h, 24 November Reply

        panlegis.com is another good website for people looking to help those who would like to start their own business. never used them, just found them online! good luck!

  • tania
    Posted at 17:52h, 23 November Reply

    I have felt in love with Norway , I’d like to visit Oslo, Lysefjord, and one of my biggest dream is to see the Nothern Lights. But living and working in Republic of Moldova,now it seems an ireal wish for me.

    However … I hope that someday I’ll be able to make my dream true.

    Kind regards ;)

    • Megan
      Posted at 13:24h, 24 November Reply

      i hope you can too, tania! if you’re ever in oslo ill take you out for a drink or coffee :):) it’s a beautiful country. i have yet to see the northern lights, but im hopeful that one day it will change!

      • tania
        Posted at 05:19h, 01 December Reply

        Thank you for support, Megan !
        If someday i’m in Oslo I’ll know that I have someone who to drink a coffee with :)

      • tania
        Posted at 05:30h, 01 December Reply

        Thank you for support, Megan !
        If someday i’m in Oslo I’ll know that I have someone who to drink a coffee with :)

        I’ve forgotten to say … if you are ever in Chisinau you have too someone who can be your guide.

  • Robert Johannessen
    Posted at 16:40h, 25 November Reply

    You are completely wrong when it comes to health care. The hospitals are modern (Trondheim, Oslo, Bergen, Tromsø, Kristiansand, Stavanger all have modern hospitals) and the equipment is up to date. Yes, sometimes you have to travel abroad, but that’s in special cases. And going to the doctor costs like nothing. And why should holistic medicine be covered?

    • Megan
      Posted at 16:58h, 25 November Reply

      Hi Robert!

      I’ve been inside of two of Norway’s premier hospitals…one in Bergen and one in Oslo, and I can assure you that they were anything but modern. Even most Norwegians admit they are old fashioned. But don’t complain about it because they get the job done, generally speaking.

      And why shouldn’t holistic approaches be covered? Isn’t it sometimes better to treat the actual problem than the symptoms? Ask any chiropractor in Norway and they will give you a LONG rundown of the necessity of this.

      Here is an example (apparently Norwegians really like being pumped medicine…no offense to you at all…just so many people prefer to be loaded on meds instead of properly treated): I walk on ice for an entire month here in Oslo and end up in excruciating back pain as a result. Do you think it is a) better for the doctors to just pump me with meds to shut me up or b) allow me to go to a chiropractor so I can get readjusted and taught how to more properly walk on ice? The problem you get, as is with many places, is that the medicine companies are funded by the govt. No surprise there. The hospitals work largely in part with pharmaceutical companies and therefore form relationships with them. In turn, hospitals often will treat the symptoms rather than the problems. This keeps people coming back and then they use more and more meds.

      Obviously with certain situations like cancer, thyroid problems, or anything other threatening issues, you SHOULD use proper medicines to treat the problems if available (and if you religiously and morally believe so). But when it comes to pain, instead of being pumped meds constantly, the doctors should look at an approach to why there is actually a problem in the first place and treat it properly.

      As for people getting to choose their type of treatment, I think it is unfair to prescribe medicines to someone who is say, Hindu, that go against their religion. Part of owning up to becoming an immigrant society is ensuring that needs are catered to and met all across the board. Someone should be allowed to choose their method of treatment if it is affordable (which holistic approaches generally are extraordinarily cheaper in the long run). If a country offers freedom of religion, as Norway does, then people should be treated as individuals and should be offered methods of treatment they believe in and religiously can accept. I know Norway is not known for being religious, but it likes to give off the impression that it is open-minded, and part of being open-minded is allowing people these rights if they are citizens of your country.

      thanks for your comment :) nice to get varying opinions on the matter!

      • Jan Johansen
        Posted at 07:30h, 10 December Reply

        “apparently Norwegians really like being pumped medicine…no offense to you at all…just so many people prefer to be loaded on meds instead of properly treated”

        Megan, if you look up countries consumption of perscription drugs, you’ll see that Norway is towards the bottom of the developed world. This is in the case of antibiotics the result of deliberate policy. Americans actually consume 80 % of the worlds painkillers, so its not a small gap.

        Holistic approaches are not covered because you need evidence that stuff works before it gets financially covered. Therer really is no other way to do that. You can see it happening in chiropractors. There are a lot of different practices in the world, shading from solid medical treatments all the way to stuff that is not compatible with our current understanding of biology. Chiropractors in Norway are slowly becoming more and more covered as healthcare as they practice solid treatments that accumulate evidence that it works. Look at how physiotherapists and ergotherapists became a part of the medical proffessions.

        I obviously don’t know anything about your back pain, but it sounds as though there may have been an inflammation. As walking on ice does not generally knacker the backs of Norwegians who grew up with it, your muscles were possibly being worked in ways they were not accustomed to. Excessive loads on muscles working in unaccustomed ways would cause an inflammation. These are frequently treated with painkillers. Not suppressed but treated. Many painkillers have an anti-inflammatory side effect, and gets perscribed for inflammations. (In these cases, the painkilling would be the side effect:)

        • Megan
          Posted at 11:58h, 10 December Reply

          thanks for your comment jan! and your recommendations and suggestions for the walking on ice. actually, today i was trudgin around oslo and felt the same pain as last year. hahha i was like ‘OHHHH NOOO’. LOL :) hopefully i can figure out how to walk better so it doesnt end up like last year.

          i completely understand your perspective on medical treatments. and i understand most people’s. the original post was just informing people (the post is meant for foreigners) of what types of treatments are and are not covered in norway. it had nothing to do with my opinion on the subject. i only gave my opinion in the comments because someone attacked me and took the initial point as negative (which it wasn’t…it was simply informational). i personally feel that pain meds are overused everywhere. while much are of great use, some aren’t. id much rather see someone with type 2 diabetes be given meds initially, but also be given a holistic type of treatment by seeing a nutrition. most all type 2 diabetes can be reversed with proper diet. diet falls under holistic practices. i personally feel it is better to help someone cure/treat the disease in such a manner than to just be stuck on meds the rest of their life. but then again, like everywhere, healthcare systems have relationships with drug companies, etc. in fact, many studies indicate that 80% of all diseases/disorders can be treated with diet/nutrition alone. but that is neither here nor there. :)

          but nevertheless, thanks so much for your comment. it was good to see confirmation about the original point stating that holistic practices are not covered right now…but as many chiropractors and other doctors fight, perhaps it will be in the future :)

          • Case
            Posted at 10:12h, 29 January

            Great Great Great article. Tons of solid information. I have recently met some people from Norway and it sounds like a wonderful country and your article reiterates their portrayal. I realize this article is not one about medicine however comparing medicine and chiropractors and holistic med seems a little trivial. I know several chiropractors and it is not a practice of ‘curing’ any disease process. Body manipulation in order to deter or delay certain pains seems extraordinary. I don’t know many diabetics or high blood pressure getting treated and cured by chiropractors or holistic medicine, and I am speaking of here in the US and reading studies from abroad. Medicine is soooo far ahead of chiropractics and holistics that it isn’t even a real discussion. There are studies demonstrating the effects of going to chiropractors compared to going to physical therapists with similar end results. When the pain gets bad enough or the sickness has reached it’s limits, everyone goes to the hospital. There is no intensive care in chiropractic medicine and holistics for a reason. Just my two cents because i love medicine.

            Thank you so much for the article and I wish you the best with your back pain.

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    Posted at 17:02h, 01 December Reply

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    • Megan
      Posted at 17:08h, 01 December Reply

      thanks for that information, sebastian! it appears as though this website has taken content from ‘inspiring travellers’ blog and credited to me. with no links or real credit, actually. im going to contact them right away and let them know!

  • Sunil
    Posted at 07:08h, 05 December Reply

    Hey Guys,

    I found this articul interesting. I just moved month back to Bergen in Norway. If I share my experience about Norway so far that I found People are very clam and nice and of course they don’t eat spices like Indians and they don’t have temperature 45 Degree to heatup !!!
    But the best part is Smile that’s the best attire they are wearing all the time. Transportation is fix and buses are reaching on time you need to check bus time online before leaving. Bergen city is admirably beautiful and people and their hearts too.
    Luving this place !!!

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  • emmah
    Posted at 14:28h, 05 December Reply

    hey megan,i live in kenya and i dont kno anybody in norway who can invite me or somethng lyl that,whats the way forwad?

  • joweria
    Posted at 03:20h, 12 December Reply

    hi am jowe from uganda am learning norsk by my self using online study because here in our country they dont teach norsk but atleast am trying to learn it bse its my dream to speak norsk and to work in norway though i know its difficult to get avisa when u dt have invitation bt norge is the country i want to live in and work in, i ve read comment abt bad quality food, high cost of living whatever bt me am still insisting that its the country i wanna live in bse its my dream country since i was young the country i admired no matter what it takes and what they say, for sure am teaching my self norsk using my phone it has google translation whereby i can learn norsk atleast knowing it makes feel like am in norway though in reality am not bt its feel better to me and giving me hope that one day i will be able to go to norway and live there all my life. the difficult i find in learning norsk is the pronouncetion bse i have no one to talk to in norsk and my online teacher Kevin Rodrigues atleast records some norsk words and i listern too so that i can be able to pronouce it and i can introducemy self in norsk and reading it its not difficult any more to some extent .i jst want your advise on that, megan

  • yacine
    Posted at 23:42h, 13 December Reply

    canada and norway hava some similar points.
    thet are both boring, dull and are FEMINISTAN . they a have high taxes for a low government’s services offer.i consider canada and scandinavian countrys as being underdeveloped.
    Yacine from france

  • Alvin
    Posted at 01:12h, 15 December Reply

    Hi Megan,

    Interesting post.

    I have to say that I agree with most of your comments, while I disagree with others. Most, if not all, points have been reviewed/commented on already, however I think you should be careful calling Norwegians wanting to correct imressions/assumptions made about Their culture and lifestyle “getting on the defensive”. Please remember that while some Norwegians will have a rose colored viewpoint and/or simply fail to see anything wrong with what they are accustomed to, your viewpoints are based on a short time span and relatively few experiences or demographic/geographic variation. I love that you share your view of Norway and happen to agree on most accounts (all knit picking aside) – just remember that if youre creating a post aimed at “warning” people and encouraging them to think twice before moving there, you must surely be open to comments, suggestions and of course corrections from those who may know better. It can at times seem as if you are more concerned with defending your statements and discouraging Norwegian perspectives than to inform your readers and propective Norway bound individuals – which surely was the intent of the article, right? I completely agree that natives may have a different perspective, but you cannot assume this is always the case. For myself, while growing up in Norway, I have lived in the Uk, Thailand, Boston and, currently, Florida (with my American wife) for the past 8 years. So for people like myself, I cannot see how my viewpoint should be any different than yours and why you keep saying that this blog is intended forthose interested in moving to Norway; isn’t it completely irrelevant where the information stems from, as long s it is in fact correct? Anyway, just trying to invite you to see my (and probably more with me) perspective here.

    To the few points I happen to disagree with:

    – transportation is no more expensive in Norway than the US. Try a 7 hour train ride on the Amtrak and youll find the price is very similar to your $100 train ticket to Bergen. Factor in the currency and the fact that Norwegians earn more, and youll find that public transport is actually fairly cost effective in Norway. Buses are also cheaper than trains in Norway, just like in the UK and the US (dont even get me started on train ticket prices in the UK!). Keep in mind that commuters buy month cards or annual cards for shorter commuting distances which are very affordable. The flight train to/from oslo airport is a little pricier indeed but no one needs to take it. It is an express option if you absolutely have to be at the airport within 15 mins (aka youre running late) or just prefer the comfort of it. Youe right that the public transport sucks in the US thought, unless you live in a major city of course (and even then everything tends to be outdated).

    – food quality in Norway is not necessarily the best (partly due to the fact that we have to comply with a lot of EU food policy laws, contrary to what you are stating) however where is it? The quality is no better in the US. The variety is way better in both UK and US, but quality? Not so much. I have studied nutrition so I know what Im on about here. The reason why people have mentioned pesticides onhere is because it is relevant to your claim that the quality is worse, simply because food tends to last longer in the US due to pesticides, etc. which are illegal most other places int the world. The fact that you are comparing wal-mart foods to the typical Norwegian shopping isle tells me you are not up to date or knowledgable on the US food industry. There are lots of items, both in Wal-Mart an at Trader Joes/Wholefoods that contain GMO (again, illegal in Norway) and numerous ingredients that are strictly banned in Europe. But as you are stating here, it is my impression that most Americans are more concerned with mould (completely harmless almost 100% of the time) than they are with ingredients (and GMO products) that have been proven tomause cancer and all sorts of mental and physical illnesses/dysfunctions. So stating that the food quality is better in thefUS based on the amount of mould visible on certain fruits in certain Norwegian stores (I rarely see mould on fruits/veggies when back hom and never really have) is simply a little ignorant.. That being said I think most Norwegians suck at customer service and are generally lazy and have absolutely zero pride in what they do!

    -conformity: this I mostly agree with, but if you look away from the major cities you will find that conformity levels are extremely low and not dissimilar from what youll see in the US. Certain parts of the five major cities are indeed very bad however, Ill certainly agree with that, and it puzzles and annoys me every time I return home. You never really feel uncomfortable being yourself or dressing however you like though, and that has to be said. You might just get a few strange looks thats all!

    -complaining: Norwegians do not complain in public (in private we complain a lot) the way Americans do. We tend to despise confrontatiok ag avoid it at all cost. Not sure if it stems from the good old communist days where no one were supposed to create fuzz in front of others or if there are other reasons for this). However, Norwegians tend to be blatently rude if annoyed by someone/something, acting like five year olds who were just told they couldnt have more ice cream. I suppose it is “our” (I like to think that I do not act in this way as I have been very americanozed in this regard) way of letting others know how we feel.

    -“nothing to do here but ski”.. While I agree that there is more to do in most major cities in the US or other parts of the world than in Oslo, it has to be said that most Norwegians play many different sports (I have even actively played rugby and baseball in Norway) and the options are just as many (however slightly different and more expensive) as in the US. Entertainment wise notcso much, but still comparable with US cities of approx half a million inhabitants.

    Anyway, thanks again and I hope you see my points!

    • Megan
      Posted at 02:23h, 15 December Reply

      Hi Alvin!

      Thanks so much for your comment.

      In no way, shape, or form, have I discouraged comments from Norwegians who want to comment with a perspective. The comments I’m discouraging are “AMERICA SUCKS!”, “YOU’RE A DUMBFUCK”, etc. These comments, are not welcome. And yes, they are mostly coming from Norwegians ;) Norwegians do have a reputation here for being internet trolls but not standing up to what they say and hiding behind fake emails. All Norwegian bloggers can confirm this ;) The hate comments Norwegian bloggers (my friend used to run the biggest fashion network for bloggers here) get is disgusting…from fellow Norwegians. That is why I inform people to use their correct email address and name in the ‘forewarning’ I wrote…because those using real emails are leaving real comments. Regardless of whether I like the comment or not, I let them post. Those leaving “YOU STUPID FUCKING AMERICAN” as a comment, are pathetic and using a fake email with fake name. In which case, the spam folder picks up and deletes for me ;) I encourage all perspectives. But people need to be aware that this post is based on perspectives as a foreigner….not as someone who has lived in Norway their entire life. Just as it would be the other way around if someone wrote one for people moving to the US. If I had been an American who had never lived outside the US, I would have a much different opinion than a foreigner who had moved to the US but lived mostly in another country.

      – Transportation is expensive in Norway. Hands down. I didn’t say it was signficantly cheaper in the US…b/c it is not. But hopping on the bus/tbane/trikk here just on a short 2 minute ride is $5. That is ridiculous. A one week pass in Oslo for the train just for one zone is around $40 or so. In NYC it is $30. Not much cheaper, but still covers a much wider area. I’m only comparing to NYC because it is the only US city with adequate public transportation hahah ;)

      – The quality section had NOTHING to do with pesticides, etc. The thing people are grossed out by is that molded things sit in grocery stores for weeks and go untouched. As someone who eats 90% organic, I am in full understanding that those foods mold and go bad MUCH quicker b/c they dont use chemicals, but to see lazy grocery store workers not actually take pride and pick them out from the bunch is a disgrace. And people constantly say ‘well…..they are understaffed’. No excuses. Moldy and old food is nasty. It also perpetrates mold on other products. It’s as simple as having a worker go through in the mornings to check the items. It’s not a hard concept, but one that seems too difficult for people working here to understand :)

      -” I understand this country is made for skiing and quite frankly, there is not much else to do here, but I swear, everyone does it. ” This was copied pertaining to skiing. I never said there was nothing to do here but ski. But in the winters, there isn’t much else to do and it capitalizes on the elements and gets people outside. Every single Norwegian will admit the same. I’d rather a country be active and all participate in the same thing than to have many people not active at all, if I’m gonna be honest. :)

      Thanks SO much again for your comments! I truly do appreciate them and always welcome you back to other posts (I tend not to post on Norway as much these days because I’m so at home here that I just don’t think to write about it in the same fashion that I once did!). I love living here and have the most fantastic group of friends here, both Norwegian and international. I hope you have the same in the US and you’re enjoying the sun this winter (at least one of us will be haha!!) :):) GOD JUL!

  • Our Top 5 Posts For 2013 :: InspiringTravellers.com - Travel the World
    Posted at 14:14h, 22 December Reply

    […] content in its entirety) This was a two-part post that Andrea did with Norway-based blogger Megan Starr providing essential things to think about before deciding to relocate to this Scandinavian […]

  • Peter
    Posted at 05:03h, 30 December Reply

    Hi Megan, thanks for the info!

    I’m interested in visiting/studying/living in Norway at some point in the future, hence finding your blog. I can see from a US perspective, there are some heinous cost-of-living differences, though I’m interpreting these things as a person living in Canada (Toronto, to be specific), so obviously things are considerably different (it can be cheaper for me to drive to Buffalo, NY to buy a bunch of stuff, rather than getting it locally), as much as they are similar.

    I appreciate the perspective, and I’m no less discouraged. Maybe the pizza options are a little drab, or the lack of variety in produce, but I’m sure I’d survive. I would be interested in hearing some perspectives on vegans living in Norway, so if anyone should happen to see this, don’t hesitate to message me!

    Otherwise, don’t let the cranky folks get you down. What’s that saying about opinions and assholes? :)


  • Ric
    Posted at 07:41h, 31 December Reply

    Hi Megan. Interesting enough that I read everything the whole way through. Informative also. I’m a Yankee originally from Columbia, PA and my wife’s Norwegian. We moved to Roa in ’98 for year so Toril could deliver our second child Sara in Oslo as the healthcare for pregnant women is quite good – and almost free. Moved back to Scarsdale, NY Dec ’99. We’ve lived in Geneva, Switzerland also for a 10+ years and find that is our preferred place to live. None the less we moved back to the Oslo suburbs (Jar) this past June so Sara could go to the Oslo International School in Bekestua and get her IB. Getting an IB in the US is simply cost prohibitive unless you are really rich, and I’m a retired UNHCR officer and no longer get the education grant from the UN for a child’s international education. I do still work abroad with the UNHCR on short contracts and am currently in Erbil, Iraq until end January. I am also a big time foodie which brings me to your opinion of the quality and availability of food in Oslo. I fully agree.

    However with a bit of diligence and time and $$, one can find decent fruit, veg and other items but not in the ICA, RIMI, REMA, etc. One has to shop around. Generally MENY is OK and the COOP Mega in Beskestua also. For meat there is only one shop in town, it’s Strom-Larsen. Pricey, but aged prime NY strip and rib-eye is pricey even in NY. On the whole we find a lot to complain about but like you said the locals don’t and think we’re being “picky”. We are. A weekend in London or Dublin or Scotland or Geneva keeps us happy. Thanks for your insight and Happy New Year from Iraq!

  • Ruqayyah
    Posted at 08:05h, 10 January Reply

    I just read the bold headlines and they all sound so depressing. I thought Britian was bad, having so much deficit. Then I researched Norway and found that it’s one of the richest countries- then I found they take away 50% of your income tax. So what excatly are you left with but to complain? And there are only “15 Things We Should Know About Norway” mentioned instead of 30.

    • Megan
      Posted at 01:38h, 16 January Reply

      the other 15 are on the other blog linked to above.

      yes, norway is very expensive, but it has its benefits, too. it just depends on how important those things are to a person of whether or not you feel like you get a ‘good deal’ living here.

  • Ray Bruun
    Posted at 20:21h, 12 January Reply

    Interesting stuff. I may be moving back to Norway in a year or so, since my son seems set on doing so. Haven’t lived there for almost 40 years, back when it was a relatively poor country (mid-1970s). Have Norwegian citizenship and personal number; nevertheless, figuring out how everything works will be interesting, as will looking for a job. Am a civil engineer here in California, so the high demand for engineers sounds encouraging, anyway. Thanks for the blog.

    • Megan
      Posted at 00:21h, 13 January Reply

      you’re very welcome! best of luck with your move and i hope things work out for ya! oslo is a great city (that is where i live) and i love living there. well, i prefer summers, but winters are not so bad either haha :)

      it’s amazing to see how much has changed in a country since your departure from it. i cant even fathom what norway was like just about 40 years ago compared to today!

  • Dany
    Posted at 20:49h, 14 January Reply

    A company approached me to work at least two periods of eight months in Norway. I consulted a lot of website and it is difficult to find a good answer to the cost of living. Your website is the best I’ve viewed so far. :-)

    I want to have approximate prices for the following:
    1. A normal one bedroom apartment already furnished. Is it so difficult to find in reality (Comments sites seem to say that this is the case?
    2. Cost of nourishment for an average grocery store for a week?

    In fact, I want to know the average cost of life if I take public transit to work with a flat average quality and not too abused in restaurants.

    Thank you in advance,


    • Megan
      Posted at 01:37h, 16 January Reply

      Hi Dany!

      Thanks again for your email and comment :)

      As for the average price of a one bedroom, furnished apartment, it is really hard to say. It completely depends on the city in Norway you plan to live, and then further depends on the area of town. Here is a starter for ya though…this is Finn.no and they are the best place to look for such information. Everything is in kroner, but if you divide it by around 6, that should give you an estimate of about what you’d pay in USD. In a good area of Oslo, I think you’re looking to pay around 10,000kr (like $1700) a month for good living quarters in the city. That would be the lower end of things if you’re looking in a safe, nice area. However, I would definitely not come here and make less than what you’re making now. A lot of jobs in Norway pay more if they are unskilled (cleaners, grocery store workers, etc), but around the same as the US for those jobs that require education. There are some that make more in the US, and some that make more here, depending on the job itself. The cost of living here is extreme. So, I would just make sure that if you are moving here, you have all your ducks in a row before doing it.


      Grocery shopping is quite expensive too. I shop mostly organic, so I pay a lot more than the average person. But, I think you can get away easily with $100/week on food and eat decent. I spend, personally, around $150ish a week and I juice (which is expensive) and don’t really eat meat. But like I said, I shop organic.

      Transportation is expensive too, but if you buy a monthly pass on the train in Oslo, it will run you about $100/month. Which, in the grand scheme of things, isn’t bad at all if you’re taking public trans every day! If you’re paying for individual rides, it is around $5 per ride anywhere you go within the first zone (not regional trains and buses). Public transportation here is very good compared to most of the US, so I don’t ever really miss having a car. :)

      I hope this better answers your questions! Feel free to write back if not and I can help to the best of my ability!

  • Gunnar
    Posted at 17:17h, 17 January Reply

    May is the most beautiful month, when the snow gives way to green and the sun is shining. It has the highest rate of births and, strangely, suicides. Mental health issues have been increasing steadily the last couple of decades, although dangerous cases are remarkably few. The Norwegians keep it at bay by going to the forest.

    Gun laws in Norway are more liberal than many US states with respect to maximum amount of firearms (particularly in the countryside people are heavily armed), but require an FG-certified gun safe and a valid licence. Citizenship is, to my knowledge, not required for obtaining a hunting or sports shooting licence.

    Except that one time a couple of years ago Norway has the lowest murder rate of any country. Oslo is the safest capital in the world and the police are calm, friendly and helpful. If you’re lost in the city, don’t be afraid of asking them for directions. Norway is also generally so safe the police do not usually carry firearms on their person. In the countryside, the local lensmann (sheriff) may be a couple hours away and so may the nearest neighbor.

    The Norwegians, for historical reasons, are fiercely patriotic. All schoolchildren learn about the proud Viking age and the ridiculously unfair and repressive Danish dictatorship of 1536 to 1814. Nationalism is prevalent, but foreigners concerned/disturbed about the amount of red, white and blue flags everywhere and civic fervour during May 17th celebrations (which many Germans and Frenchmen dislike for some reason) may rest asssured that the nationalist movement has been and remains largely a liberal/leftist movement.

    Although the state subsidises all registered religious groups, matters of religion are considered very private by most of the locals. It’s not the first topic a Norwegian will be interested in discussing or even talking about, rather preferring to go to the forest.

  • Ana
    Posted at 08:55h, 20 January Reply

    I am thinking of moving to Norway from Canada, and the thing that scares me most is the lack of information when it comes to figuring out the red tape. I will not speak Norwegian at first, but am very happy to try to learn it and to integrate. But I have lived in Europe before, and one thing that freaked me out was how there was this hush about the rules and the benefits. It is as if people didn’t want to inform me about them so i cannot use them, even if they were there! Any thoughts on that?

    • Megan
      Posted at 11:17h, 21 January Reply

      Hi Ana!

      Thanks for your comment!

      I understand about the information kind of lacking for moving to Norway. It is all there, but it is in weird locations or not easily found in English, sadly. But I agree that it should be more available since so many people are moving to Norway for their jobs from other lands!

      What kind of specific info are you looking for?? I can do my best to help!!!

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  • Ash
    Posted at 11:37h, 27 January Reply

    Hi Megan

    what you wrote is very interesting, definitively not bias. I have a question. would you consider living in Norway forever ?? if no why? Also what is the average cost of living there? like rent + transport + bills + food. I am trying to evaluate a job offer for 28000 per month. I want to know what I could possibly save from this?
    Many thanks

    • Megan
      Posted at 11:43h, 27 January Reply

      Hi Ash!

      Thanks for your comment!

      I would consider living in Norway forever if things fell into place correctly (so far so good!) It’s a good country, relatively safe, access to good water and food and shelter, etc.

      The average cost of living is EXTREME, on the other hand. It is astronomical, in my opinion. The disposable income level for Norwegians is quite lower than Americans on average. I am told this even by colleagues of mine who have lived in various countries as well.

      Is the 28,000 a month in Norwegian kroner? If so, do you have a savings account currently in place and a decent amount in it to get you started here?? Also, what is your education and what kind of job offer is it? (I’m only curious because I want to ensure it is of good pay….sometimes Norwegian companies offer really low paying jobs in some fields to foreigners to attract them without giving them more information about the cost of living, etc). Also, where are you from and what is your educational background?

      Sorry for all the questions, I am just curious because depending on some of that, I can definitely give you a well-informed decision of how your living situation could be here :):)

  • Which Countries Offer Working Holiday Visas for Canadians?
    Posted at 21:25h, 28 January Reply

    […] 30 Things You Should Know Before Moving to Norway […]

  • Chris
    Posted at 00:15h, 01 February Reply

    Thanks for the blog. Great tips. I assume you are a teacher. I am an English teacher from the states. Is it difficult to find employment as a US citizen in teaching? Thanks

    • Megan
      Posted at 02:17h, 01 February Reply

      hi chris!

      im going to be very honest when i say that, yes, it is VERY hard for teachers to find employment in norwegian unless youre fluent in norwegian. and really fluent. although, its not impossible by any means! every single teacher i know that is not norwegian has ended up at the international schools. some are happy with it, some are not. i know people who have a masters in teaching and are struggling to find a job even at the intl school. its really a luck of the draw and right timing kind of thing.

      teaching does pay better here than in the US (but of course, the cost of living is extraordinary here). good luck! if youre really looking to move here, i def suggest starting to learn norwegian….even if you plan to teach english at a public school!

  • Larsvedoy
    Posted at 17:56h, 01 February Reply

    Dear Megan,

    I really like your post and and all comments, and although you warned me it wasn’t meant for us Norwegian, I totally agree on everything you wrote. Well, everything except one thing. Actually, I got out of bed just to correct you on this one gross error. I simply couldn’t fall asleep knowing you are gravely misleading future visitors to our nation. Fact is, not all Norwegians ski!

    Besides that it’s all good – good night!


  • andrew
    Posted at 18:34h, 01 February Reply

    Hello Megan i am considering on moving to Norway if all go well sometime after may, everything you have written in here are very helpful indeed, since the question i am going to make is kinda of a similar to a commenter Ash,educational background goes like this, first of all i am Greek, I’ve finished school here at my country and at this time i am Undergraduate to an open University in European History, i know English and some Spanish, mostly what i have in mind in working if i eventually go to Norway is in security industry since there i have more experience and diplomas alongside!! Is it a good idea or better is there any chance of a concrete job to find in that kind of a field?? Sorry for these questions since you are not a information agency!! :)

    • Megan
      Posted at 05:03h, 02 February Reply

      Hi Andrew!

      I apologize in advance as I really don’t know anything about the security industry or what the demand is for it in norway specifically!

      what i can advise, and strongly advise, is to learn the norwegian language. most jobs that require education (and most that dont require education) will mandate that one knows norwegian, as well. norway is a very small country and has a lot of immigrants living in it. many of them are refusing to speak the language and hardly no english. this actually kind of pisses a lot of employers off and they are only hiring people that can communicate in norwegian (and rightfully so!)

      for me personally, i work in international business and marketing, so i use english at my job. i imagine the security industry may have global offices, but work at a country level with norwegians…meaning the language knowledge is imperative.

      aside from language skills, i would definitely suggest contacting some security agencies here and setting up appointments face-to-face with them. and then come up here for a week and meet with people. from my experience, i learned that contacting people from abroad (as i did in the US) and telling them that ill move here with a job offer, is not going to gain a lot of attention or responses. norway has a lot of people desiring to move and live here! it is very expensive and unless an industry is in HIGH demand, they will not consider foreign employers unless they bring something extremely unique to the table. i think by meeting them in person, you up your chance of showcasing your personality and why they should hire you.

      ugh…i know this was all over the place and i apologize for that! norway is an expensive country, and i would definitely work on obtaining employment before moving here. but in order to potentially obtain employment, you will probably have to come here and meet a few people in person and build networks. :) hope that helps at least a little!

      • andrew
        Posted at 13:13h, 02 February Reply

        it did thank you very much!!hope everything works out for all of us fighters out there!! It’s a very noble thing you are doing and helping and giving the heads up for everyone!! best of luck!!

        • Megan
          Posted at 13:34h, 02 February Reply

          thanks so much for your nice comment! im really glad this was able to help you at least a little bit :) best of luck to you!!!

  • andrew
    Posted at 13:41h, 02 February Reply


  • mitchell
    Posted at 04:05h, 04 February Reply

    Hi I am currently planning on moving to Norway , can anyone tell me what the general labour job climate is like ? I’m from Vancouver island BC Canada so geographically speaking we are very similar but in western Canada you have never really needed to much formal training in anything to get a decent job , is it hard to get an alright paying job

    I will def have to look into getting on a fishing boat

    • Megan
      Posted at 04:19h, 04 February Reply

      hi mitchell!

      im not much help here (hoping that someone else replies to your question) but i can tell you that my fiance is a labor worker here in norway (he is norwegian, however) who does bricklaying and tiling and he did have to receive formal training for all of it. most of his coworkers are polish or from somewhere else in europe or asia, however. im not sure the training they had to have to be able to do the job specifically, but i imagine it would need to be semi-similar to what he was required to have. even to do labor on oil rigs in norway requires a bit of training. as for fishing boats? i have no idea…

      i know this wasnt much help and i really hope that someone replies back in the meantime.

      I found this link and hope it is helpful for you and can answer some of your questions! http://www.gotonorway.org/Work-and-jobs-in-Norway/jobs-unskilled-norway.html

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  • Emad
    Posted at 08:08h, 07 February Reply

    Hi Megan

    I would like to travel to norway stay their be a citizen work and live there but in a legal way can u help me with Info how get a job ?
    Thanks a lot mate

    • Megan
      Posted at 07:49h, 11 February Reply

      hi emad!

      it is very difficult to find a job here without prior norwegian knowledge or family here. where are you from? if you’re european, it is MUCH easier. if you’re not european, im afraid possibilities are slimmer.

  • Karina
    Posted at 11:42h, 09 February Reply

    I don’t know where you’ve been, but food quality is not bad in Norway. We also don’t have to take off work in July. We get 5 weeks in a year of vacation time and can place it wherever we want. The only places that closes down for three weeks are kindergardens. We all want to go on vacation in the summer because we love the heat. If you want to go in the winter, just do that instead or as a second vacation.

  • Adriyana
    Posted at 10:32h, 12 February Reply

    Hi Megan,

    I have read all the comments, your post and the additional post from your friend and I found them very intriguing especially since I had a Norwegian friend and she was very nationalistic, of course, although seeing the bad sides too, but also with the opinion Norway offers very-well paid positions and after you subtract all costs of living from your salary you are better off than compared to Germany. With which I strongly disagree, despite salaries in Germany are still low, but you can live still good. But she studies to be a teacher so as I understood from the comments here, this position is well-paid but for other skilled positions – lets say in IT and business area (like entrepreneurship, marketing, international finance, banks, analysts, etc.) you can be better off in Europe maybe. I am Bulgarian (so in Eu), recent bachelor graduate in International Business in Berlin so I was thinking about doing my master in Scandinavian countries and especially Norway in either Bergen or Oslo.

    So my questions are according Uni life – if you have any info about it? Like living costs for a student in Bergen and Oslo, is it easy to find part-time student job without Norwegian (although I am motivated and would like to learn it hopefully within a year on conversational level). Are there also some student discounts for transport or any other areas? Also which city you would recommend – price oriented and also like where you feel better (atmosphere)? I read from one Bergen Uni that the costs of living for a student there are around 900-1200€ per month. Do you know if you can live ok with that amount and what is the situation for Oslo? I really appreciate your help and tips. Thanks again and I am looking forward to your reply.

    • Adriyana
      Posted at 16:45h, 22 April Reply

      Hey Megan,

      do you think you can give me any tip or advice? Thanks :)

      • Megan
        Posted at 16:12h, 23 April Reply

        sure….well maybe :) about what?

        • Adriyana
          Posted at 05:42h, 24 April Reply

          For my post above. I guess you are pretty busy and a lot of people comment here so I thought you haven’t seen it that is why I commented on it.

          So my questions are according university life – if you have any info about it? Like living costs for a student in Bergen and/ or Oslo, is it easy to find part-time student job without Norwegian (although I am motivated and would like to learn it hopefully within a year on conversational level). Are there also some student discounts for transport or any other areas? Also which city you would recommend – price oriented and also like where you feel better (atmosphere)? I read from one Bergen University that the costs of living for a student there are around 900-1200€ (8000-10 000NOK) per month. Do you know if you can live ok with that amount and what is the situation for Oslo? I really appreciate your help and tips. Thanks again and I am looking forward to your reply.

          • Megan
            Posted at 07:15h, 01 May

            Hi there!!!

            Sorry for delayed response :)

            Anyways, I’ve lived in both Bergen AND Oslo. I know many people who love Bergen, but I know many who don’t. Most people I know like Oslo. I personally didn’t care for Bergen (mostly weather related and lack of things to do). Oslo is a little more expensive, but there is much more here, so you can find cheaper food and beers I think (because of competition amongst places). Student discounts are offered in Oslo extensively. I’m not so sure about Bergen though! I know the problem I had as an American is finding a job in Bergen, just part-time, did not happen for me. In Oslo, I found one extremely quick. It is much more international in Oslo. But Bergen is absolutely gorgeous. It is definitely a hard decision.

            I’m not so good at giving amounts of money needed for monthly things. I spend a lot more money than the average person, and I travel a lot. But I know eating cheap here is very possible if you try! Where are you coming from? I’m just curious.

            Please feel free to email me or write back on here if you have any other questions. I apologize I can’t answer them better! Hopefully someone on here can chime in!

          • Adriyana
            Posted at 02:15h, 21 May

            Hi Megan,

            thanks for the info :) I come from Bulgaria but I study in Berlin, Germany. If I consider to go to Oslo I will definitely ask you for some tips for cheaper places, etc. Thanks again a lot for the help :) And if somebody can give some more info about the monthly expenses in Bergen and Oslo would be great! Thanks, guys :)

  • Svein
    Posted at 15:47h, 17 February Reply

    Want to move to Trondheim in Norway from a spanish speaking country? I help you learn norwegian if you help me learn spanish.
    Please take contact.

    My email adresse is [email protected]


  • Flytting Stavanger
    Posted at 12:18h, 03 March Reply

    Bedriften tilbyr gode priser, solid kvalitet og høy service til kundene. Selskapet har som uttalt mål å bli den foretrukne leverandøren innen flytting, renhold og transport.

  • JV
    Posted at 10:55h, 04 March Reply

    Hello from Ireland Megan,

    I tough about moving into Norway, I’ve got contacts to get a job, NOK 500K per year. I have been in Norway for short visits linked to my work, and it is very expensive(and Ireland supposed to be one of the most expensive countries in the EU). one thing I’ve got to say, my Norwegian friend earns NOK 500K per year, after taxes about NOK 392K (€46,000) Prices in Ireland are about half of Norway when it comes to housing, groceries and going out. That same job in Ireland gets you NOK 290K – 300K per year, after taxes about NOK 230K (€28000). There is a difference of €12K more in Norway, but, a 3 Bedroom house outside Dublin is €1200, in Norway in General in the Suburbs is about €1400 and smaller. That’s €2400 more per year, groceries for a family of 4 in Ireland is about €200 a week, and that’s eating the best(Steak, fresh meat, vegetables, good food, wine ,etc) in Norway is about €350 a week if not more, that’s €7800 more in Norway. Utilities (Utgifter faste) electricity, heating, services, council taxes, etc waste collection in Ireland is about€3000, in Norway is about €4500. That’s €1500 more in Norway. Road Tax, vehicle tax, Insurance and related for same vehicle in Ireland is about €1000, in Norway is about €2000, that’s €1000 more in Norway, and I’m not counting leisure activities and other bills such as Satellite TV €400 in Ireland €1000 in Norway, a pint in a pub in Ireland €4.90, in Norway €10. eating out for 2 in Ireland €60, in Norway €100. all add up and you end up with at least over €12000 difference, without counting leisure activities, clothing, etc, so it could easily be about €15K more easily, so far I am better off in Ireland by €3000. Child benefits in Ireland as I understand, I would get a total of NOK 2000 (€250) per month for my two children, while in Ireland I would get €300 (and Ireland its much cheaper).

    Having said that, there is one thing that people from the UK and Ireland have to consider which the Norwegians and the rest of Europeans have and we in the British Isles don’t and it is subsidized child care. It cost me €1300 per month to send my 2 boys to Crèche, in Dublin you will pay about €2000. In Norway, I would pay about €400 per month for my two boys in Crèche. that’s about €10800 savings If I’d be in Norway. Also People in Norway can claim fuel costs back to get to work, so if you drive a lot like I do and many Norwegians do as well, to work outside the city, they would end up paying like €2000 a year in petrol/diesel, while I would pay about €4000 or more.

    In the end if you have children it would work out the same as in Ireland even if people in Norway earns more, but Crèche is only until the age of 4 then they go to school for free, after that, I think you would be better off in Ireland unless you work for Statoil, I’d say that Ireland its a much better place to live. that’s why in 2006 before we hit crisis we were the best country in the world to live according to the UN.

    We also have a similar type pf universal health care system in Ireland.

    Having said that, You guys in Norway have something we don’t and that is your advantage. OIL!!!

    Watch this link bellow


    • Megan
      Posted at 06:18h, 04 April Reply

      aghhh im just now seeing your comment!!! heading to watch that video now!

      and thanks for taking the time to leave a comment with a lot of detail! i know itll help people when considering moving here (a lot more than things in my post too haha!)

  • Faraz
    Posted at 21:43h, 05 March Reply

    Ive been in norway for almost 5 years now and Megan you just spoke my heart out. Living in norway can be very frustrating and depressing so people should really think about before they move here.
    One important point for entrepreneurs is that there aren’t many entreprnuers in norway. Secondly no matter how intelligent or smart you are, people here will judge you for the kind of work you do. It doesn’t really matter how much you make but if you work behind a cash counter, some people would still look down on you and tell you that its good you’re working even though its low salary. Students especially willing to work part time speaking english only will have problems not being able to speak norwegian even though almost everyone speaks good english in norway but not everyone wants to communicate in english. Its also hard to find a part time job if you can’t speak norwegian but small franchise stores like 7eleven, Narvesen and chains like Mcdonalds and Burger King employ english speaking people and there is a fair amount of competition.

    • Megan
      Posted at 06:16h, 04 April Reply

      thanks for your comments :) living here is like living anywhere else- all places have ups and downs. and everyone will have a unique experience.

  • Gideon Ahiable
    Posted at 17:48h, 12 March Reply

    Am Gideon from Ghana and i want to school in Norway, work and become a citizen…Can someone help me with it…

    • Megan
      Posted at 06:13h, 04 April Reply

      hope someone is able to help……

  • lucas *****
    Posted at 14:16h, 18 March Reply

    in norway it is many places to leave .. but living on places like oslo ,holmekollen is wery expensive .. so iwd recomand a pleace in østfold like fredrikstad and askim and mabye halden .. you cat talk english here it is no problem .. just dont ask the oldest grandma :D

  • lolinto
    Posted at 21:59h, 19 March Reply

    Superb article. I was checking out frequently this site for prompted! Very helpful facts particularly the remainder of the sections :) I actually deal with similarly info much. I was looking for this selected info for a incredibly prolonged time period. Thank you and also involving fortune.

  • Eunice
    Posted at 14:07h, 20 March Reply

    Great blog! I am a Norwegian-American who has lived in Norway most of my life, and I must say that Norwegians do complain, its just that they aren’t always straight forward about it when they do. If they complain it is mostly to friends and family or talking behind peoples’ backs. Don’t be discouraged though Norwegians are friendly once you get to know them. They can be a bit stand-offish at first but that passes. :)

    P.S. If you are a nurse (RN) good luck finding a job you can live off of with just a single income. :(

  • paul evans
    Posted at 09:37h, 29 March Reply

    megan hi can you help .i am from the u k and want to work in norway where the hell do i start , thanks paul

    • Megan
      Posted at 05:49h, 04 April Reply

      Hi Paul!

      The best way to start is to hunt for a job within your sector. Luckily, with a European passport, you have it MUCH easier than I do. But I don’t suggest you coming here jobless. It is far too expensive of a country for that :( You can start hunting on finn.no (probably use Google Translate in your toolbar to translate the page!). That is the best job resource for Norway. If you happen to work in oil or engineering- you should have no issues finding a job here!!

      • Matundu
        Posted at 19:13h, 04 September Reply


        • Megan
          Posted at 19:36h, 04 September Reply


  • Mohamed
    Posted at 18:04h, 31 March Reply

    Dear Megan,
    Am Mohamed
    From Egypt & I have GF Norwegian we r planning to marry
    So is it easy for me to get permanent or residence visa n Norway
    An am working as a banker n Egypt for 4 years so, do u think I can get good job n my field with good salary in Norway especially am speaking English and Arabic?
    Thanks for your support

    • Megan
      Posted at 05:48h, 04 April Reply

      Hi Mohamed!

      Unfortunately, I have no idea how easy it would be for you to come here from Egypt :( I can usually tell people that are coming from US or Europe, even…but not really Egypt. My apologies. Hopefully someone will see this and be able to offer advice :) Best of luck! Norway is fantastic :)

  • ephraim
    Posted at 08:22h, 04 April Reply

    Hi Megan!

    Great job! This is so informative. I am planning to migrate to Norway but dunno how. Lol

    Any advices?

    Would greatly appreciate it!

    Thanks a heap!

    • Megan
      Posted at 03:20h, 18 April Reply

      Hi Ephraim! Thanks for your comment- where you moving from?

  • Anna
    Posted at 06:13h, 08 April Reply

    Hi Megan! I hope you enjoyed Norway!
    I’m Norwegian, and I find this very interesting to read – I actually learned a bit as well! And yes, conformity is a big “problem” in Norway. At school you’ll always find the clones with long, blonde hair (often with extensions), tanned skin and lots of makeup, wearing expensive brand clothes to seem rich and become popular. They use their whole salary on their appearance, and for me, that is insane. Some of them can of course be brunettes, but with clearly colored hair. (I am also a brunette and I’ve colored and highlighted my hair a lot of times, but I always want it to look natural) These “gangs” are very typical in high school.
    I’m commenting on this because it was funny to read that someone from another country noticed this, because it is so true! I’m not saying I’m original, I wear white Converse all the time (now the low-tops are the ones used the most, amongst with Nike Free, New Balance and Toms), I’m not standing out in any particular way, but I’m fully aware of it! Haha. Norwegians are weird.
    Hope you’ll be back some time, and visit Ålesund (where I’m from).

    • Megan
      Posted at 03:18h, 18 April Reply

      Girl i have nikes, toms, converse, and new balance shoes too LOL! :):) I think Norwegians are great- just a little harder to crack than other nationalities! Thanks so much for your comment and stopping by! I hear Alesund is freaking fantastic and I definitely hope to get there soon! <3

  • prince.nahidinho
    Posted at 17:34h, 19 April Reply

    hi this is nahid from bangladesh,i am contacting with a travel agency to work here in norway .is it possible to come there and work as a salesman ?i want to how much will i income after paying the taxes?as they will treat me as a foreign worker .they told me that they will give me 6 euro per hour and 48 hours i have to work in a week?please let me know the information because i am so tensed about that

    • prince.nahidinho
      Posted at 17:41h, 19 April Reply

      and how much time they will let me work ?and what is the language in norway?i english i okay?there?

  • hisham
    Posted at 06:10h, 21 April Reply

    Hi, I am from Egypt and I am veterinarian, I am planninig to move to norway to study norwegean to get a licence as A veterinarian in Norway( I get NOKUT certificate). I ask, Do think that I can find find A job in norway??

    • Megan
      Posted at 15:12h, 22 April Reply

      hi hisham…unfortunately i dont know anything about that field :( you may want to try contacting a vet here and ask them about the demand within the field….

  • Erik
    Posted at 13:56h, 22 April Reply

    After reading your 15 observations and your responses, I can tell that you stereotype and generalise quite heavily about us Norwegians. You know there are millions of us, yet you claim we all conform, don’t complain and so on and so forth. I’ve seen other Americans trying to understand Norwegian and Nordic cultures in general, and more often than not they fail. Hollywood tries to mak money off of our history, ancestors and cultures (Frozen, Thor, Vikings), not understanding its sources. You think you understand us Norwegians, but in reality you don’t. When Norwegians try to correct your misperceptions, you attack them. No offence, but you come off as arrogant in your descriptions about those conformist, silly Norwegians with a “Third World” marketplace (your exact words). Patronising and offencive, as well as factually wrong. We are not a “Third World” nation by any stretch of the imagination. We’re not the nation with 40+ million unisured, the highest incarceration rates on the planet (along with North Korea), teenage pregnacies up the roof, 7.4% unemployment, record high budget and trade deficits, or 80,000 gang members in LA alone.

    You make factually false claims about health care and prosperity. The United Nations rank Norway way ahead of the US on heallh care. Our system is also cheaper than yours, in addition to covering everyone. It’s simply factually wrong of you to suggest that the US health care system is better. As for prosperity, you’re also wrong in stating that the average US citizen is more prosperous than in Norway. Norway’s per capita GDP is well above the US, and any taxes spent here goes to a greater degree back to the people than it dos in the US. We don’t start wars in Islamic countries or bail out corporations to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars while ordinry people have to sell their homes and lie on food stamps. Income inequality is considerably higher in the US than in Norway.

    In one reply, you made a snarky comment about the poster being told by her teacher how everything works in the world. I realise it was probably a comeback towards her claims about good teachers in Norway, but it did sound like you suggested people were being brainwashed. You’ve made comments that seem to suggest that we Norwegians think as we do because we just don’t know any better, which – if this is your view – is indeed both arrogant, patronising, offencive and flat out wrong. For one, Norway has one of the freest presses on Earth (no. 3 on Reporters Without Borders, with the US at no. 46), and we have lots of newspapers to read (many Norwegians love reading newspapers). Most people under 60 understand at least some English. Our views on Norway aren’t simply based on ignorance (sure, there are ignorant people), and many Norwegians are also critical of our own government and the way things work. I guess we just tend to dislike it when foreigners (who generally don’t understand us or our system properly) make the criticism. Aren’t Americans the same way? Also, if we want to talk about “not knowing any better”, remember that you Americans were the subject of indoctrination and propaganda during the Cold War, and in particular during the McCarthy era. And if anyone’s patriotic and defencive, then surely it’s the “‘Murica no. 1” Americans with their apple pies and freedom and liberty. Why crititicise others for what your countrymen do just as much, if not even more?

    Who cares what people wear? If you care so much what someone else wears, I think it’s your problem and not theirs. The fact that you think what people wear is a problem for you personally, says a whole lot more about you than anyone else. Maybe you’re superficial for judging people on their clothes rather than the content of their character? This isn’t a Hollywood movie where evrone needs fake teeth, this is a very weathered nation with climactic challenges. Many people dress practically instead of looking for attention. My cousin once went to New York City and was perplexed by all the people there complimenting him on his t-shirt and shoes. It seems to me like the US (or at least NYC) has a more superficial culture than Norway.

    We have bad food? It depends on what you see as good or bad food. I’ve had good experiences with food here 99% of the time. Your claim that all food in Norway is bad, is a generalisation without merit. Like others have pointed out, natural food rots. Maybe GMO and pesticide-ridden food doesn’t. If it’s a matter of staffing and control, then mention that rather than saying the food is inherently bad. Also, not all stores are staffed and stocked the same way.

    • Megan
      Posted at 15:11h, 22 April Reply

      thanks for your comment ;)

    • Tots
      Posted at 18:47h, 22 June Reply

      Second your comment. :) Helt perfekt Erik!

  • Melissa
    Posted at 20:23h, 27 April Reply

    Thanks for all of the interesting info. I was wondering if you might have any advice for a family traveling to Norway? And when I say family I mean extended family not just immediate family (over 20 people including small children and teenagers, and grandparents). I’m looking for major and minor things that as Americans we might not think to consider. For example I discovered the cabins we were thinking of staying in have washers, but no dryers. Also one site said that the washers do not have a cold setting. I also discovered that some places may charge us to use the public restroom. And from what I can tell free wifi is not as common there as it is here. I know things are expensive etc. (That bit of advice is proclaimed on every site you go to), but I’m looking for practical advice, regarding things we might have a tendency to take for granted.

    • Megan
      Posted at 07:08h, 01 May Reply

      Hi Melissa! I’m just curious how long yall are traveling for?? Cabins are definitely a great way to go…will you be renting a car? Washers have a cold setting :) Also, I dry everything on a dry rack. If you’re staying at a cabin, I suspect the washer will have one of these with it. If not, there may be space outdoors to hang stuff. You can also go to any grocery store and buy some hangline (not sure of actual name) and clothes clips to hang stuff inside or outside. I often travel with this. Wifi is not as common here, but it is common enough compared to other European countries. The wifi signal isn’t as strong as the US, but I don’t have too many issues :) Yes, you will def get charged a lot to use a toilet. Sometimes around $2 per use! It’s absurd and I can’t figure out why they do it (they say it is to keep restrooms clean and stocked with toilet paper, but that’s lies lies lies!)

      It is quite expensive here, but things can be done cheaply if you wish. For example, maybe try only eating out once a day instead of three times. The grocery stores have freshly baked bread (and it’s AMAZING compared to US bread) and you can just buy loaves of that with toppings and eat it for lunch and breakfast. Sandwiches for those meals is very typical Norwegian :) Never buy bottled water here- water out of tap anywhere is incredible and very fresh. I’d recommend everyone bring a water bottle (I know us Americans tend to bring our water bottles when we travel anyways, so this shouldn’t be anything strange).

      As for clothing- it rains here a lot. Especially if you’ll be near the fjords in western Norway. Umbrellas do not suffice. I recommend waterproofs pants and a jacket, as well as some type of hiking boots or outdoor boots. It will get very muddy if it rains.

      If you need meds, I’d bring from US. Things like Tylenol/IB Profen are expensive here. I stock up at Wal-Mart on the generic stuff every time I go home just in case. I’d also bring allergy meds from home if you are traveling during allergy season.

      Hmm…I’m not sure what else advice I can give! But if you want to email me, please do! I’ll do my best to answer any questions! [email protected]. Have an AMAZING trip!!!!

  • eve
    Posted at 20:01h, 29 April Reply

    What does it take to become a resident of norway?Do you have to have so much money that your worth first?Does someone have to sponcer you?

    • Megan
      Posted at 06:59h, 01 May Reply

      hi eve! it really depends on where youre from to be honest. where are you from?

  • zara
    Posted at 03:33h, 11 May Reply

    hi. i am from pakistan ,about to come to norway. i am a doctor by profession but i dont know much about health system of norway and pay scales. can anyone tell me true facts as enlisted in your blog.i would be grateful

    • Megan
      Posted at 08:21h, 15 May Reply

      I’m so sorry Zara but I don’t know anything about the health profession field here as I come from a business background and it is light years different. I hope someone sees this in the discussion and can contribute :)

  • zara
    Posted at 03:35h, 11 May Reply

    many of my friends have already moved to us n uk ,former being paid higher..i just want to know some insights

  • zara
    Posted at 03:37h, 11 May Reply

    waiting for some advice

  • Lynda
    Posted at 08:40h, 15 May Reply

    I would really love to migrate to Canada with my family. I hope i will get advise from this forum. Thank you.

    • Megan
      Posted at 08:46h, 15 May Reply

      Hi Lynda-

      Unfortunately this article has everything to do with Norway and nothing to do with Canada- So I’m not sure how much help anyone (including myself would be) as you’re looking to move there. I do apologize.

  • ophthalmologist
    Posted at 06:23h, 19 May Reply

    i am from Syria and i am an eye doctor . i want to visit Norway to find a job , is it possible ? and what about the salaries for specialist doctors in Norway?
    thank you

  • 30 Ways to Understand Norway » 30 Ways
    Posted at 15:06h, 19 May Reply

    […] with our country. The 30 ways to understand Norwegians are picked up from Inspiring Travellers andMegan Starr. Below you will find all their 30 ways to understand Norway, I have also included some pictures from […]

  • Catherine Rooney
    Posted at 17:16h, 28 May Reply

    Hi….Thanks for the info on Norway Living. A drastic and shockingly difference compared to Pennsylvania here in the States. I was thinking of traveling to Norway–possibly relocating there–but the cost of basic necessities, transportation, in-home amenities, (a tax on a TV??) has completely changed my mind. Besides all that, I am a non-conformist, argumentative, and love my privacy (don’t want my banking or any other personal information “out there” for everyone to stick their nose into). I’m not into this “socialized” Medicine either—I absolutely hate it here, unfortunately it has been shoved down my throat, and of course I abhor taxes of any kind. What’s up with the job rate of pay—are you kidding me?? A plumber or MacDonalds worker gets a not much different rate than an Engineer?? Where is the incentive to even pursue a College education or even do a good job?? Yeah, shocking for me….guess I won’t fit in there…but I love the scenery!!! And your information has prevented me from suffering much undue grief…Thank-You.

    • JV
      Posted at 05:52h, 31 May Reply

      Catherine, I am Irish and I have lived in The Netherlands before, married to a Polish woman and I have traveled to nearly every country in Europe (North, South, East & West), I have been in Asia, China, South America and the USA, I am thinking into moving onto Norway as well, I am doing well in Ireland, but I am more fond of a bigger social net, which you also will find in Ireland but I see Norway with a more brighter future than Ireland per say, Norway has pretty much a granted future for the next 100 years, they export as much oil as the big players in the world but their wealth is shared amongst 4.5 million inhabitants. They have a sovereign fund for when the oil runs out, they will be able to maintain their quality of life in post-oil Norway when you and your children will be dead.

      You have to travel to Europe/Norway in order to experience the “socialized” medicine, it has no impact on your health and the quality of health care. Xanax in the States is the same Xanax in Norway, but nearly free, and you are paying for all that our of your taxes, is not free. The reason why Norway and so many European countries can afford it is because we don’t spend a massive chunk of GDP in the Military like the US does, they spend more in the military than the next 10 countries combined, I’m not saying is good or bad, I’d much rather prefer to see the US as the global superpower than China or Russia. And we don’t pay more income taxes than you do, the income taxes in Norway are even a bit less than in the US depending on your earnings, indirect taxes are higher in Norway, the corporate tax in Ireland is 12.5% compared to the 35% in the US.

      The socialized medicine has made nearly every single European country to rank above the US in health care, US ranked 37 behind most of Europe. I have been in US hospitals and I have been in European Hospitals (Not in Norway), yes, the buildings are much modern in the US than in here, but the building and car park won’t be curing your cancer, is the inside, doctors, the state of the art machines, which are as good and as new as in the States.

      Regarding Norway’s egalitarian system, don’t see the glass half empty but half full. An engineer would make more than a cleaner in Norway, it is a total lie that a cleaner would earn the same as an engineer unless you’re cleaning the floor in an off-shore drilling base which is very dangerous and demanding. The salary gap would be much closer than in the US, but don’t see yourself as earning just $3-4K per month more than a cleaner or a McDonald employee. look at how would your life as an Engineer would be in Norway compared to The States. You would work from 8 til 4, have 5 weeks of paid holidays (The feriepenger just means, that they can pay you in 11 installments or if you choose in 12 installments but you will be earning yearly anyways, by Norwegian law, you are entitled to a minimum holiday pay of 10.2% of your yearly salary, most companies offer a higher percentage and the minimum time of annual leave is 5 weeks compared to nearly nothing in the States). Sorry Megan, but the Feriepenger comment is wrong, you DO get paid holidays in Norway. Mothers get 49 weeks of maternity leave with full pay, fathers can take 14 weeks of full paid paternity leave combined with the mothers.

      You will have a piece of mind that your children will be going into University for next to nothing without having to remortgage your house (In most of Europe is similar). If you get unemployed, you will be paid a percentage of your salary instead of a flat rate of $200 per week line in the US and Ireland) In Norway the unemployment allowance is about 62% of your salary. You don’t have to pay for healthcare like in the US, if by any reason you don’t have health insurance in the US and you are being diagnosed with Cancer, what happens then? You might get treated in the US but then you’ll be owing to the hospital for most of your life.

      Norway’s egalitarian system doesn’t mean that a cleaner earns the same as an engineer. The problem with the US is that a cleaner’s wage is not enough to make a living, they simply doesn’t. You tell me of a cleaner who can afford to pay rent/mortgage for a house, a car, eat decent food, save some money, travel abroad on holidays and send their kids to college, all of this by doing just one job of 40 hours a week… The fact that he/she is a cleaner doesn’t mean that they have to live like dogs, everyone has the right to make a decent living and be happy.

      As an Engineer, you will earn more than a cleaner, but does it really bothers you that you will earn double than a cleaner instead of 10 times more? don’t see it as earning as much as a cleaner, see it as a cleaner earning enough to live like a human being.

      I was offered a NOK 500.000 a year job in Norway, now I got an offer for NOK 610.000 (over $100K) for the same job, plus a relocation package, this is nearly double the cleaner’s wage, and the cleaner won’t have a relocation package and other benefits such as more relaxed working hours and a working environment on the par with my profession. The cleaner still have to clean and work harder for their money, no matter if you are in Norway, USA or the Moon. This is not Cuba.

      So the salaries are not all the same, there are gap differences, just not huge like in the States. In conclusion, look at things from this point of view:

      What does $100K gets me in Norway and what does the similar pay in the US gets me in the US

      Work out the daily living costs, bills, mortgage, cost of buying a car, other things, etc between the two

      Take into consideration that day care is heavily subsidized in Norway, so you will have less expenses in Norway if you are having children.

      You will be getting an allowance of about $6500 per year from the Norwegian government on top your salary and $13000 if your wife doesn’t work, plus you can claim some mileage back for your fuel costs to drive to work depending on your driving distances.

      You get about $200 per moth per child in child benefits

      No need to pay for insurance or worry about being accepted by your insurer to undertake a procedure (Massive and priceless piece of mind)

      3.4% unemployment rate in Norway Vs 6.7% in the USA

      Better and fairer unemployment benefits, pension, disability, etc

      Almost next to free college for your kids.

      Working times in an office is 8-4, and if you have children you can leave at 3:30 from time to time top pick up your kids by school. This is priceless because many people work hard, get loads of money but never spent enough time with their children arriving home at 7-8pm when they are going to sleep, the when you’re 55 you would wish you could spend more time with your children. Ask anyone driving a Porsche in the US about that and they will tell you with watering eyes that they missed they son’s childhood.

      Add all this and see what is the real cost and benefits of living in Norway, how much better off you will be financially how much piece of mind and quality of life you will have, then make your decision.

      If you want that Porsche and that sailing boat at any cost, then by all means, without being sarcastic but realistic, the US is the place for you and you should be blessed as half the job is done for you by being American. If you want quality of life and if family comes before that Porsche and the sailing boat, then Norway or any other rich European country is the place for you.

  • Carly
    Posted at 09:59h, 29 May Reply

    Norway is also very cold! I live in Norway, so I know that.

  • Zizou
    Posted at 19:36h, 04 June Reply

    Hi everyone.I am US citezen,single, plan to move to Norway to live there.is it easy to find a job there?and get a work permit???does anyone give me some advices plz thnx in advance.

  • Mona
    Posted at 03:08h, 10 June Reply

    Hi Megan,

    I am Indian but me and my husband is planning to move in Oslo city. I have 5 Month old baby so can she survive in that temperature? Please give me some suggestion?

  • Mona
    Posted at 03:08h, 10 June Reply

    Hi Megan,
    I am Indian but me and my husband is planning to move in Oslo city. I have 5 Month old baby so can she survive in that temperature? Please give me some suggestion?

    • Norse
      Posted at 00:11h, 10 August Reply

      No stay in india.

  • Hans
    Posted at 12:01h, 21 June Reply

    Remember that 200kr is not $80 it is about $33. I know it can be confusing with converting. I just don’t want people to think something is way more expensive than it is. I have been in the US for a year now and I miss the esyer way of life in Norway and the fact that how much money you have doesn’t really matter as much as it does in the US.

  • Tots
    Posted at 18:42h, 22 June Reply

    Dear Megan,

    1. Yogi tea and red bull is not banned. I have been living in Norway for the past two years and I can always walk to the local Coop or Kiwi shop to buy both, even more so, a wide variety of Yogi tea.

    2. Conformity? Really girl, what century are you from? Trends come and go. Believe it or not, I have met many many many people who have their own style and do not look uniform. The fact about the Canadian Goose jacket is true, everyone has one, ever asked yourself why? Norway is extremely cold and has bipolar weather, as in it rains/snows/hails etc all at the same time so it makes sense why one would wear the Canadian Goose jacket in winter as it is both warm and waterproof. What would you rather have people where? Low quality jackets which are useless in Norwegian weather to ‘stay unique’?

    3. Number 15 on your list about getting to places. Blondeness has surely gotten the better of you. Judging by the fact that Norway has many fjords, large mountains ,and islands and they have got respect for the natural environment and are trying by all means to preserve it and still meet the needs for humans to get to places both efficiently and effectively, it is clear that Norway has done a good job in terms of transportation and the time taken from point A to point B. Having lived in Western Norway which you mention so confidently, sogn og fjordane to be more exact, I am pleased by a. the time taken using a speed boat to get to bergen b. the scenery c. the lack of pollution d. the luxury and comfort on the boat and e. the cost. Sure some say that everything esp. transportation can be made cheaper in Norway but then, if that were to happen would it be at the same standard?

    4. While others may think otherwise, I find your blog post is deceiving and misinformed in many ways which I also believe is the typical American thing to do and would suggest that your future posts about Norway be directed to your experiences in whatever part you are in in order to avoid a. generalisation b.misinformation and c, deception esp for those planning on moving to/ visiting Norway.

    • Cindy
      Posted at 11:55h, 01 September Reply

      yea trends come and go but what if everyone wore the same trend, like EVERYONE.
      conformity is so high here in norway, like you can tell if a girl is norwegian because they dress in a particular way, Im not even kidding… its very obvious because regardless of the trend, they all end up in the same style because thats whats popular and people don’t have the sense of individualism here..

  • Bikram
    Posted at 02:42h, 25 June Reply

    Dear Megan,
    I am student from Nepal and i have recently completed my Bachelor Degree in business Administration.So, i am planning to complete my MBA in Norway.

    So, can you suggest me, how good is norway for international student like me having Moderate economic background? beside this, what are the possible chances of part time job over there? last question, can you say approximate living cost for student living a normal life style over there?
    I will be eagerly waiting to hear some fruitful suggestion from you.

    Your regards,

  • Bikram
    Posted at 02:44h, 25 June Reply

    Dear Megan,
    I am student from Nepal and i have recently completed my Bachelor Degree in business Administration.So, i am planning to complete my MBA in Norway.

    So, can you suggest me, how good is norway for international student like me having Moderate economic background? beside this, what are the possible chances of part time job over there? last question, can you say approximate living cost for student living a normal life style over there? And, normally which part of Norway is comparatively cheaper??
    I will be eagerly waiting to hear some fruitful suggestion from you. :)

    Your regards,

  • Pedro
    Posted at 06:30h, 01 July Reply

    Great! Needed smth like this. I live in norway since last here and i m just getting paranoid about such ilusions i have been having after i know this drunk and basic culture/society, and its behaviour, ignorance and conformism as well. I had never seen a reality like this.
    I will share this page when i open my FB account again.
    But i d like to add a NOTE: feriepenger is paid from first here.
    Thank you for this!

  • Pedro
    Posted at 06:40h, 01 July Reply

    I mean ‘year’ not ‘here’

  • raja junaid
    Posted at 01:09h, 17 July Reply

    Hii I’m a lawyer of high court in Pakistan and have 6 years standing I wanna settle in Norway BT I don’t HV any relative in Norway plz guide me wt to do help me in dis matter

    • Norse
      Posted at 00:12h, 10 August Reply

      No stay in pakistan

  • DV
    Posted at 09:34h, 22 July Reply

    Norway *IS* part of the European Union, but like the UK they do not use the Euro as currency.

    • Megan
      Posted at 05:09h, 23 July Reply

      its a pretty well known fact that norway is not part of the EU

  • Aimar
    Posted at 00:53h, 04 August Reply

    Many receive advise but only the wise benefit from it…! I live in it and yet I’m blind to see the truth…! Can’t wait to kiss Oslo goodbye… The most boring country I’ve ever settled…! Living is sky high and yet I’m here… I’m gonna quit my responsibilities very soon boss… Or get me the hell out of Norway… I’m mean NOW….!

    • Norse
      Posted at 00:13h, 10 August Reply

      Good > Get lost

  • JV
    Posted at 16:09h, 10 August Reply

    Who the f**k is this guy “Norse” telling people in this thread to get lost? These are qualified professionals, have some respect, oh wait a minute, they are from Asia or Africa…. Norse ***Here’s an eye opener for you*** Do you know what’s the difference between Norwegians and us Irish? We respect others independently of their ethnicity. I might or I might not agree with you, but telling people to get lost for the sake of it tells you what kind of race the Norwegians are. I will lecture you and enlighten you why Norway is not near the best place in the world and why you will always be Sweden’s bitch:

    – There are les than 700 Irish born citizens registered living in Norway, as per the Irish Embassy in Oslo’s website. There are over 2000 Norwegians born living permanently in Ireland. Ireland and Norway’s populations is nearly the same, about 5 million inhabitants. So I have the MORALS to tell you “Norwegians, get lost” You are 1300 people too many, the balance is not equal, you are taking our jobs. If Norway is so good, why are you in my country? Scram, shush!, get lost, adios, sayonara.

    – Is Norway the best place in the world and the richest country in the world as Norwegians brag about? Please! not even near, your GDP per capita might be one of the world highest, but so is the cost of living. If Norway’s cost of living would be as low as Ireland’s (which is one of the dearest in Europe) while keeping your existing GDP per capita, then I’d shut up. As I explained in an earlier reply in this thread, you earn 30%-40% less in Ireland than in Norway, and for highly paid jobs, you might end up earning more in Ireland, and Norway is not 30%-40% more expensive than Ireland, no way my friend, Norway is 100% dearer than Ireland, so your disposable income after taxes and expenses is lower than ours, even with all your high salaries and all your oil. WTF is all this about Norwegians not eating out much because is too expensive? Let me hear this straight, you are so rich, but you ca’t afford to indulge yourself eating out periodically, what are you Nigeria? Yeah rich, very rich country, stay at home because eating out is a luxury, like in the third world.

    You have all the oil you can ask for? Yes, do you use your oil money wisely? so-so, you are putting most of the oil revenue into the bank so to speak for the rainy days when oil runs out. Do you seriously trust that your rainy day money which by the way is saved in foreign currency and companies will be there and all honkey dories when oil runs out of Norway? That’s like me getting €1 million Euro, stop working and live on that million for the rest of my life while keeping the lifestyle I currently have. If I live close to be 60, that million will be gone, then how do I eat, oil?

    You have the classic curse of an oil rich nation, you rely heavily on your oil and you become lazy, you just happens to administer it better than other third world countries because you have Sweden and Europe as your neighbour and as an example, but none the less, you put all your eggs into one basket. You don’t diversify, you don’t make jack shite but oil and fish. Look at Sweden, they have no oil and they are MUCH developed than Norway, better roads, infrastructure, welfare service, healthcare. They are diversify, they have Ikea, Volvo, Saab, H&M, Tetra Pack, Ericsson, etc, etc. What do you make besides oil and salmon that I can find in shelves all over the world? A Norwegian formula cream which is owned by Neutrogena, which is an American company, so is not even Norwegian.

    – Your roads are full of potholes, ours are much better, we even have motorways, do you know what’s that? Driving in a Norwegian dual carriageway is worse than driving in a Romanian road, and I have been in Romania, I am not exaggerating. And don’t give me the excuse that Norwegian cars have to use spikes in winter and the country is so big, weather conditions…. Sweden is even bigger than Norway, same weather, same spikes on the roads and they are of the best standard, also Finnish roads. I have driven in the Finnish artic circle and not even a pothole…Your government have way more money than ours and Sweden’s and yet you can’t even manage to have decent roads, with all your oil money?

    – Your houses are ugly and small, Irish houses are nicer, Swedish houses are much nicer than Norwegian houses too.

    The customer service in Norway is next to non existent, and this is because people don’t give a shite. Irish cashiers salutes you and they mean it, and they are not sticky fake nice like American cashiers, have you heard of Irish hospitality?

    -Norway is boring as hell. Beautiful landscape, but Ireland is beautiful too.

    -You think you are better because you have a lot of Swedish working as waiters, that’s because they want to travel around and you might be better off as a waiter in Norway, but if you have gone to college you are far better off in Sweden, ask a Swedish engineer how much he ears in Sweden and compare it with the same position in Norway.

    – I had a job offer in Norway, they offered me NOK 500K per year, then, a better offer for NOK 750K per year, plus the rent paid for one year, I said no. I earn only 30% less than NOK 750K per year and I would be much much much better off in Ireland. because my Mortgage is only €800 per month instead of an average of €2500 per month n Norway, I eat out and hit the pub every weekend. I go on holidays abroad. I have a good car and no complains.

    – I saw a lot of old cars and basic cars in Norway, come to Ireland and you will see BMWs, Mercedes, Audi, and better and newer cars on the roads.

    – And we did all of this without oil, we have just discovered oil in the Irish sea and it seems that there might be a little gold mine there, so like Scotland we have the prospect of keeping our productivity, PLUS oil money.

    Get off from that cloud “Norse” I wouldn’t live in Norway even of they pay me a million. Its boring, people are cold.

    • Gail
      Posted at 01:59h, 02 November Reply

      Dear Megan,
      why don’t you remove this horrible posting by JV ?
      He’s deeply ignorant and he’s insulting Norway in any way he can think of, and we should all be no end happy he has no plans to move to our awful country….
      He’s also way off the general topic you say you want on your blog.

      Loving your blog, by the way, it’s very useful for both Norwegians and foreigners.

      • Megan
        Posted at 12:36h, 02 November Reply

        thanks gail!!!

        i apologize if you were offended by his comment, but i don’t remove posts unless they are full of curse words and obscenities (trust me, i get a LOT of hateful comments towards me on here… many of which i’d love to remove!) mainly because i want people to see all sides of everything. my post is an opinionated one based on my personal experiences, which you can see many people do and don’t agree with! because of that, i welcome all comments as long as they are not full of nasty comments containing excessive curse words.

        hope you had a great weekend! :)

      • JV
        Posted at 13:50h, 02 November Reply

        Well Gail my good man, you didn’t mention anything about Norse’s hateful comments, what about that, do you condone then as you condone my comment, is it ok to be telling lawyers and doctors to get lost being judged purely on their nationalities?

        You not saying a word about it says it all, I was right in not moving to Norway, I don’t want my children to grow up like that, you can ask the 2000 Norwegians living in Ireland, there must be a reason why someone leaves utopian Norway to settle in a drunken nation, 2000 reasons, thats more than 700 reasons…

  • Abdi
    Posted at 12:33h, 14 August Reply


    dreaming to be in Norway one day God willingly

  • Tarek
    Posted at 06:26h, 01 September Reply


    I just want to know if its possible to live in norway after finishing my master in barcelona, as im now in Barcelona\Spain and my Master will finish on November, and i have a student residency in Barcelona.

    Could you please advice me with the best way to live and find a job in norway?

    Thanking you in advance your support.



  • Syver
    Posted at 17:33h, 01 September Reply

    My top tips for moving to Norway:
    1. Don’t be a rude snotty-nosed American. Your country – or should I say, the American stereotype, i.e. you – has got a bad enough rep as it is in Oslo, and this post ain’t helping.
    2. Never favour Sweden. In fact, don’t even compare the two countries. That’s an insult in itself.

    That is all.

  • dali
    Posted at 10:33h, 27 September Reply

    dear megan
    I found the information you wrote here was very useful , so for that I thank you … I am a Lebanese citizen who has just completed my bachelors degree in biology at the Lebanese official university faculty of sciences.. I am willing to continue my masters degree in molecular biology at Oslo university.. but I’m really lost in all the official paper work that should be done.. I was wondering if you could please help me on this matter or if you can please provide me with an email of someone who can..I have read the eligibility requirements at the official website of Oslo university and i found that I was eligible…can you please help ?
    Best regards

  • Ciara
    Posted at 16:29h, 01 October Reply

    Hi, everyone.

    I live in Ireland and was think of travelling to Norway to work for a month or two. I was thinking in Olso since i have family near by, but i was mostly wondering what the monthly salary is like for a Waitress / Shop assistant. Also is it very hard to live in Norway if you don’t speak Norwegian??

    Thanks, Ciara

    • Megan
      Posted at 16:35h, 01 October Reply

      Hi Ciara!

      I worked in a cafe upon moving to Norway and I made around 18 euros per hour. Livable, yes, but in an expensive country like Norway, it is not the best option, but was definitely the best for the time being :) I think I was paid well compared to other cafes, however. I am not sure how much shop assistants make. Being Irish though, you may want to explore working at an Irish pub in Oslo so you don’t have to worry about language barriers (many cafes/restaurants require Norwegian which is easy to learn but may be pointless if you’re looking to stay only a month or two). One pub I know that hires foreigners is The Dubliner http://dubliner.no/

      Good luck! Sorry I’m not more help!

  • Robin
    Posted at 17:21h, 14 October Reply

    Food here is poor? I’ve nearly never seen the sort. Maybe 1 in 30 to 1/100 packages of meat I could get a bone, but some times I have gone years without a single piece of bone. In the store vedgies are always fresh and look apetizing. Then again, my area might just be really good at this and we have 2 malls + 5 local stores competing in prices and Products.

  • Abby
    Posted at 16:17h, 16 October Reply

    Hi Megan,
    I liked your post and I was impressed by the amount of responses it got, good on you! I am a ‘global citizen’ without any particular affiliation to a country, so I think I would be somewhat objective with comparisons (so far I have lived in three continents (the Americas, Europe and Australia) )

    When compared to other places I have lived in, Norway is the mecca of seafood. never tasted anything more delicious than ishavsrøye! the mussels and oysters are sublime, ans so are the scallops! also love the shrimp. since you lived in bergen you know about the glorious little fish market. But beef is substandard when cooompared to Australia. Seriously. Maybe the cows just don’t have the huge pastures or something. And the vegetable variety is also a sad, sad situation. Yet some interesting things are happening, like the bondemarked farmers markets, and some milk farms are starting to produce artisan cheese. Watch out for those!
    I find the busses in Norway a lot nicer than the Aussie ones, and also the train and metro in Oslo are cleaner and more modern. But agree in that the roads need some attention. My goodness, those tiny roads and people driving at 120kph. I am under the constant impression that I will die in a frontal collision. And bike paths are nonexistent in most places so riding to work is a serious game. So there is obvious room for improvement. The thing to note though is the extreme geography and climate the statenvegvesen has to deal with. In face of that, all the tunnels and roads and bridges between islands start to look like real feats of engineerng, which they are.
    at least in Oz, I find it pretty hard to trust the doctors. I had a head injury and had to wait for six hours, just to find that the x ray folks had closed 10 minutes before closing time. In usual consultations I always get the feeling they want me to leave because they need to meet as many patients as possible per day to make more money. I haven’t had that experience in Norway. On the contrary, if you have an accident say diving, they are going to send an helicopter to get you and in the hospital they will start immediate care. No insurance paperwork, all the exams you need etc. Yes maybe one doesn’t have a class system super option, but they will use the resources to a good level.
    Yes, they are lower. In my line of work I would make about 30k more in the same position in Australia. But Oz is super expensive, so the return is about the same. The difference is in the job security. Those three year enterprise agreements are crap. In Norway if you get a permanent job it is not easy to lose it. That lets you plan a life. Also, in Australia your pension
    could actually run out. I think that would be a bizarre concept in Norway.
    I have been around the world, and there is no lanscape like the Norwegian lanscape. And the air, so clean. I was in Asia a short while ago and I wanted to cry, how can people be punished with a deadly layer of poisonouis smog like that. One can’t see the other side of the street almost. Of course if you live in Oslo this difference will be harder to notice, after all it is a city and cities tned to be polluted. But if you get out, oh, the air, the crystal clear water, the mountains. Norway is beautiful.
    my two cents :)

    • Megan
      Posted at 17:31h, 16 October Reply

      thanks so much for your comments <3 i get a lot of aussies who stop by and since i havent been there, i cant make any comparisons or opinions on one place vs. the other! so i know they will be SO grateful for your comments <3

  • Ane
    Posted at 15:55h, 21 October Reply

    Hello! Just came found this post because I’m looking for sites with negative things about Norway… Hahaha!! You know, us Norwegians in general have nothing bad to say – and I’m looking for a foreign friend who might move here.

    You are so right about the food – sometimes I get really sad when I go to the grocery store. I live in the country side in the West (my town has a Kiwi and a Prix) and it’s just sad. I’m Norwegian but I’ve lived for several years in Italy and France. What I really miss is the food and whenever I go on holiday I just love going to huge grocery stores and look around.

    Anyway, just wanted to say that if it’s your first year working and you don’t have any feriepenge rights yet, you are not forced to take a holiday. You have the right to work instead (I did that). The system with feriepenger is a bit complicated: feriepenger are not taken from your salary each month, it’s “extra” money that your employer gives you based on how much you make. BUT in exchange for getting this extra money, you have to pay your employer for your holiday, in the sense that they will take all your salary for july because you’re not working in july…

    • Megan
      Posted at 16:05h, 21 October Reply

      oh i feel so awful you came across this when searching for negative things. yikesss :)

      but i do enjoy living here and have lots of posts about it :) these are just things foreigners often are concerned about prior to moving to a place. to be fair, recently was in germany and found many of their grocery stores to be far worse ;) thanks so much for your comment!!!

  • Dylan
    Posted at 19:24h, 27 October Reply

    Hey, I’m a studio Musician form SA and i was thinking about moving to Norway, but cant seem to find information on my profession. So i guess what my question is, is if there is a possibility that i could actually make money in the music industry living in Norway or not?

  • avalee cohen
    Posted at 17:59h, 31 October Reply

    Many of your assertions about Norway are incorrect and you might want to be aware. I don’t have time to go thru most of the problems with your dislike of Norway, but your statement that dental is not covered as part of free medical care is false. My granddaughter (a non citizen, temporary resident living with her working in Norway parents) received a notice in the mail after being in the country for only a few months. She was instructed to go to her local dentist on such and such a date and time. They showed up and received a full dental check up for free. The rest of the family will also be receiving free dental checkups and care if needed.

    Additionally, why should Norwegians have to worry about saving for a rainy day – they receive free education K-college, free medical, and a government pension is provided when they retire. I seriously doubt they will be running out of oil reserves any time soon.

    The cost of living is high in Norway, but the standard of living is considered by many measures to be one of the highest in the world. Ok the food is crap I’ll give you that. But that’s what Italian and Parisian holidays are for. Which they can afford by the way.

    • Megan
      Posted at 00:57h, 01 November Reply

      my comment on dental is absolutely not incorrect lol. if someone is under 18, annual checkups and procedures are covered, yes. but for the standard person? nope. i assume you haven’t lived here for the last 3.5 years have you?

      in addition, when you find this free medical care, please let me know. i’ve been so unfortunate to have only had universal coverage whilst here and would have loved to have not paid taxes and gotten free health care. would love to hear more about this system.

  • Preston Lyons
    Posted at 23:24h, 31 October Reply

    If I’m just fed up with the US and moved to Norway with very little capital would I starve and freeze to death?

    • Megan
      Posted at 00:53h, 01 November Reply

      sadly, probably, yes.

    • Guro
      Posted at 10:36h, 03 February Reply

      Norwegian, here, just wanted to make a comment regarding vacation time. When you take your holiday will depend on your work place. Some companies may enforce vacation to take place in July, and there are those couple of weeks where daycare, etc. will shut down completely that we call fellesferien. However, with a lot of work places, you will find that those who prefer to take time off at other times of year are free to do so. I work in healthcare, and I can choose to spend my vacation weeks the way I want for the most part. So if I want to have my vacation in February, April, August or October doesn’t really matter. But most workers will choose Summer months, and employers will have an easier time to find temps since a lot of students take up Summer jobs. So maybe you and your friends are a bit unfortunate with your workplace’s vacation system, but there are a lot of places where you have the freedom to choose.

      Also, any excess tax you pay will be returned to you with interest the following year, so yeah, it sucks to pay 50% for a month or two, the extra money is returned to you next year come summertime (slow system, I know, but you get used to it).

      • David Siew
        Posted at 03:13h, 14 February Reply

        Hello Guro, i am David from Malaysia. I am graduated from Shanghai Jiao Tong University , School of Medical since 2007. Now i involved in
        nutritionist line. Is that easy to get a healthcare job in Norway?
        Can you guide me on this issue?

        Thanks and hope can hear you again.
        Dr David.

  • shima
    Posted at 09:23h, 01 November Reply

    I was thinking of moving to Norway (to see the northern lights everyday) but looking at your list, UK and Norway sounds pretty much the same xD both got free health service, online banking, return taxes and renewing tax every year, expensive food and transport, low salary haha its pretty much the same( well I did of knew they were same from the start). I guess I still got 2 more years of university and then only I can move to Norway and I don’t even need to apply for visa or anything

    • Megan
      Posted at 12:39h, 02 November Reply

      you’re very lucky you don’t need a visa :):) best of luck with everything! especially if you end up moving here one of these days!

    • Megan
      Posted at 12:40h, 02 November Reply

      by the way, i’ve lived here 3.5 years and have yet to see the northern lights ;) hope your plans aren’t to move to oslo or southern norway :P

      • Shima
        Posted at 16:59h, 02 November Reply

        Yes. I’m planning to move further North for the lights. Actually, it is the only reason I really want to move to Norway otherwise the facilities in UK are same or even better but when I come back home tired, I just want to look up and seem the glamourise lights. :D

        • Megan
          Posted at 17:03h, 02 November Reply

          best of luck :) hope you see them up there frequently! wish i had made it up that way more!

  • Mark Murray
    Posted at 14:59h, 01 November Reply

    I like your work Megan. I’ve been here 5 years and love it. The cultural querks can take a while to get used to.

    • Megan
      Posted at 12:38h, 02 November Reply

      that is awesome to hear! i wish more expats shared your same experience!!

  • Janne
    Posted at 07:39h, 02 November Reply

    Hi. Love the list.
    About the fruit and vegetables found in Norwegian shops; in Norway it is not allowed to use chemicals to preserve. The result is that fruit and vegetables goes bad faster. . I don’t know if the places you mentioned are organic shops. Norwegians are used to find rotten fruit, but that said, the employees should do a much better job and remove them more often. So don’t be afraid of what you have been eating of fruit and vegetables in Norway, think more about all the chemical you get elsewhere!
    About holiday, it is the Ferielov that regulat it. If you don’t have feriepenger from last year, you only need to take 2 weeks holiday.

    • Megan
      Posted at 12:30h, 02 November Reply

      but you guys do have chemicals and pesticides in foods and produce. that is very common knowledge.


      that link will explain to you, in norwegian, the dangers these impose. based on the chemicals and pesticides in foods, these foods should perhaps hold up a bit better in grocery stores- or is it the laziness of the stores and their employees who is to blame?

      • Janne
        Posted at 07:52h, 03 November Reply

        In Norway nr 1 is not allowed, amongst others.
        Yes, we uses chemicals to prevent diseases.
        But it is not allowed to use chemicals to preserve fresh food better in shop shells.


        • Megan
          Posted at 09:18h, 03 November Reply

          so you’re to tell me that those chilean blueberries that are in stores during certain times of the year contain absolutely no chemicals to permit them to last the journey across the world and selling process here?

          • Janne
            Posted at 10:41h, 03 November

            I’m telling you it’s safer to buy Norwegian food, because Norwegian producers follow Norwegian regulation. It is not allowed for imported food, but control is not always easy. But I guess it is not the imported food you find of bad quality in Norwegian shops?

            All food make up is not allowed in Norway, also gen manipulation. In Norwegian milk, it’s milk of high quality, with nothing added to prevent the milk from getting sour.
            If a Norwegian farmer have 450 000 in celletall, he’s not allowed to delivery it to the dairy. In U.S, the limit is 750 000.
            A Norwegian farmer get less paid if the celletall is over 220 000, so almost all milk sold are under 220 000.

            Kjøttdeig and other meat products are sold with their original color, not in a added colored red state.
            This is why Norwegian food products looks a lot sader, but it is safer for consumers.
            This is common knowledge for most Norwegians (not the celletall- only special interested know that!)but we sadly don’t communicate it to foreigners.

          • Megan
            Posted at 10:51h, 03 November

            i dont disagree with you that norwegian products are better than what is being imported from the EU (trust me, i have seen the sizes of brussel sprouts and leek in EU countries and they are about 15 times the size and are quite tasteless). but unfortunately, until grocery stores here begin selling only norwegian products, you will find pesticides/chemicals on products in the stores. my issue with quality hasn’t anything to do with the makeup and shelf-life, it has more to do w/ the laziness of store employees who don’t do their job sorting through things and picking out mold. mold perpetrates more mold, and a lot of food is being wasted as a result. :(

  • Syver
    Posted at 12:33h, 02 November Reply

    Megan – we do not want you here. Please leave. You’re painting a perfect picture of the arrogant, obnoxious and loud American that we’ve all come to know and hate. Stop reinforcing the stereotype and just leave.

    • Megan
      Posted at 12:42h, 02 November Reply

      LOL. thanks for your comment.

  • Patricia
    Posted at 16:26h, 02 November Reply

    I live in Norway. I think one thinkg obody talks is the freedomand and peace we have in this country. Here the kids still can be free and go out without need a grown up. I don’t think the prices are so up if you think how much you earn every hour a normal skilled worker earn up to 500nok per hour that means that the train 200 nok is paid with around 15 min of your work so not bad at all. Medical system is ok the pay 180 nok per consultation is very cheap. I’m not in love with Norway but I need to accept than the average of standard of life here is much higher than inthe Us. You make me confused because sometimes you write like you are making very good and others like you don’t have money for the basics. Hope you are doing better now that you are out of here

    • Megan
      Posted at 16:29h, 02 November Reply

      was this directed at me or another commenter? i never said i dont have money for the basics. and i still live in norway?

    • Lolo
      Posted at 16:51h, 22 February Reply

      Sorry, but he is kind of right… 500kr per hour?? 80k per month? 900k per year? You call it average salary ? Which Norway you are talking about? This is salary for vice president, if you are really good.. I would mention one another thing – Norwegians think it’s the best and perfect country and feel that every bad opinion about them is wrong,, Funny that you can see it clearly in the comments :)

      • Erik
        Posted at 12:59h, 23 February Reply

        Lolo, 900K is obviously not average, but it isn’t necessarily something obscene that only the vice president makes. I know of a number of people who make over a million with just high school education. Granted this is in industry doing jobs with inconvenient working times, lots of travel and overtime.

        • Lolo
          Posted at 05:53h, 24 February Reply

          I haven’t said it’s impossible. It is possible in every country in EU or US… especially when you are in industry, extra hours etc. but Patricia said that “normal skilled worker earn up to 500nok”, like it was average salary. It isn’t truth at all, it not “normal”, like you said – it s not average.
          In 2010 average was 450k kr per year, today it’s probably 50k more. It’s 250kr per hour, don’t forget about a tax :) so for train ticket you are not working 15 minutes but 2h, and it’s rather one of cheapest tickets :) And we need to remember that “average” doesn’t mean that most of people earn this kind of money. Just to clear up, I don’t like when people give improper data. I like Norway mostly because of the nature aspects and I was thinking to maybe look for the job there, but the problem I had was that I could afford pretty much the same as I have in Poland today on managers position in production industry (projects leading) . The salary I was offered in Norway was 3 time higher than my actual, but prices are also 3 time higher :) so it’s pretty much the same and because of some disadvantages I found when living few months in Norway I didn’t decided to take a job. Out of curiosity – what industry you had in mind saying that easly it’s possible to earn more than million/year as your friends do?

          • Max
            Posted at 09:36h, 25 February

            At average salary (around 450,000Kr in 2014) the tax rates would be 26.7% after your allowances. this would leave you with around 330,000 Kr/pa which based on the OECD data is 1400 hrs (!408 in 2013), so 235 Kr after tax, so that’s not an hours work after tax.

            The truth is Norway’s great for unskilled manual labour, anything that can’t be automated pays really well in comparison, look at the rates for kids working at McDonalds for instance. For skilled and professional workers this benefit isn’t there, that’s equality for you, and the progressive tax system ensures that those on high rates of pay have higher rates of tax.

            The upside of this equality is that the overall quality of life is higher, better educational opportunities for all, and hence better social mobility, longer life, and especially healthy life for most. The 10% lose out compared with say the US or the UK, but the other 90% benefit. For people immigrating one challenge is that it is a very educated population with a high level of participation (more women work than in most other western countries) so you’re education that makes you “special” where you come from is just meh here.

          • Lolo
            Posted at 05:15h, 26 February

            Max. You are Norwegian ? For sure you are acting as one :) No offense to you personally but it’s no accidence that very often in europe norwegian are seen as nation that don’t want to hear anything bad about them and a country, even if it’s true… :)

            You are using OECD data which gives “actual working hours”, and yes, Norway has 1400 hours per year. Now little bit of equation.. (and here I need to comment your sentence – maybe Norwegians are educated in meaning they are graduating schools, but the education is pooor, I have worked there some time and right now working with them remotely, mathematics, economics- veeeeryy poor. It seem like primary schooling is struggling, you can double check that on PISA tests/OECD results, Norway is way below average..). anyway. if you multiply 250 working days and 7,5 hour work day , it’s far away from 1400 h/year. Have you wondered why is that? one of the reasons is highest level in europe of sick leaves (over 2 times more than eu average) and shorter working hours. So not that healthy…. or just little lazy. My personal observation is – both! and I would add – not efficient.
            Regarding market for professionals – It’s totally opposite to your description. Norway biggest companies are attached to natural goods which just happen to be in that region, there is just little piece of industry to compete with world. Main market is fossil fuels, oil, gas and fish (besides regular post, healthcare, telecom. etc. ) and there you can find good job and good payment comparing to rest of the world, but low payment of main manufacturing industry/services is not caused by “very educated population” because it’s not, is due to no competition on the market. In EU my education and experience is not “special” as you described, in fact it’s special in Norway, but there no big market for that, and payments are flat. No big manufacturing, no big brand names (as for ex. 5 Mil. Denmark has).
            Don’t get me wrong, I like norwegians, I just wrote few bad thing about them, there are also few good, as for any nationality :) as they just happen to fortunately sit on the gold and holding whole economy on that but thinking themselfs as very smart and brilliant , as they are not above average (remember economy in 80′ and 90′, when there was crisis due to “dutch disease”).
            One more thing that is funny is norwegians pointing out whole how “green” they are with electrical cars and hydropower etc. . but they forget that it is mainly build on big income from exporing and selling oil and gas, which are one biggest disasters for nature in eu. and they are biggest explorer in this parts of world.. :)

          • Max
            Posted at 10:58h, 02 March

            Not Norwegian, but I do live and work here.

            Yes the 1408 hours is low, but it’s more than Germany at 1388 or the Netherlands at 1380 and not a lot less than Denmark at 1411, so I don’t think your generalisation holds much. I don’t know where you come from but there are few places where people work 250 days of the year. Also account for the higher workforce participation than say countries like Germany and it’s about the total hours worked by the population per head, not just what people in employment do. Still we’ll stick with the general prejudice because the country has a family friendly environment, to keep workforce participation high.

            The PISA data is a open to interpretation as it doesn’t align with the countries with high scores having any real competitive advantage in western economies. I can’t comment on your specific experiences, but it’s not mine, maybe I’ve just been lucky as I work in one of those businesses associated with Oil and Gas.

            Sure the economy has a strong tenancy towards the exploitation of natural resources, but actually avoided the Dutch disease for the most part. The Norwegian paradox is well known in economics, that is even after the rents of oil and gas are accounted for the productivity and income are amongst the highest in the world, with a low R&D investment. You also have to see the context of where the economies grew from post 1945 as Norway had never had a large manufacturing sector.

            As I said if you expect a significant benefit from having a higher education Norway isn’t the place to be, you point out yourself that the payment is “flat”. Sweden has a large manufacturing sector with world known names, and twice the population, Denmark, not so much.

          • Lolo
            Posted at 06:01h, 03 March

            Max, Denmark does not have large manufacturing sector with world known names? Moller-Maersk, Carlsberg, Danfoss, Grundfos, DSB, Lego, Arla, Bang & Olufsen and more, more, more.. Name one brand like this in Norway not connected with oil&gas or money from these industries? (I can agree to fishery, Norsk Hydro, yara, end of list.) Sweden has also good brand names and good economy (probably better then Danmark) Norway does not, and this will be a big issue when oil won’t be that beneficial.
            You’re writing that maybe your are lucky with job, but please read my post once again – I already wrote that in oil&gas industry there is no problem to get a good paid job, so we are on the same page. I was writing about “regular” industry, which create goods, because you’ve said there are qualified norwegians and there are not that many, I just lack of industry not connected with oil. Out of curiosity – whats your job? Do you work near big city, in offices or somewhere offshore/small town? I’m just interested…
            Regarding working hours..hmm.. I think you missed my point. I was trying to raise that 1400 is not “on paper” for regular full time employees. We were discussing how much you can afford for one hour work and here for higher work positions Norway is not on the bottom of list, but not on the top as well (OECD Income) and due to salary flatness it’s higher in average, but we are talking here about qualified workers… and of course lower working hours is common ratio for let’s say “wealthy” countries, regardless of difference in hours counting (ex. feriepenger, contract working etc.) I don’t know how about your job but if you have ever worked in other branch in Norway or worked with germans and dutch, dannish you know exactly what I’m talking about. ..and one of highest ratio for sick leaves in Norway is not mistake – you should know it as well, ikke stress :) . Norwegian economy grew since 45 to 70′ but growth rate was lower than that for most western nations, until oil was found and then two times in almost two decades of “dutch disease” (didn’t avoid it) until gouverment started the Found… Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying that norwegians are stupid and not saying it’s not a good life over there etc etc. What I’m saying is just – it’s not that great after all for everybody for living standard and it’s not that bright future as most of well know economists see for Norway today, same with education.. Anyway I’m very happy that even of different views and experiences we can have a cultural and reasonable chat which is unusual today at internet ;)

  • Oda
    Posted at 23:24h, 02 November Reply

    I find this post a little narrow minded and it seems that you lack experience in what you are talking about.
    1. Norwegian girls don’t only wear converse, what was that all about.. Yes, the converse shoe is popular in Norway, but not more than in other countries? There are a l lot fewer people here than in the US, so obviously there will be less variety in clothing styles when you take a look around you. And the mom shorts and t-shirt? This is as untrue as it can get; Norwegian girls don’t wear t-shirts very often.. In fact, in summer the Norwegian girls mostly wear skirts, dresses, skinny jeans/shorts and cute tops.
    2. The food quality here is NOT poor, it’s actually extremely high compared to other countries! Norwegians value local and non-imported food, and that means the variety is not as high as in the US for example, BUT the quality is extremely high, especially when it comes to meat, dairy and seafood. If you find fruit that has gone bad, it most likely has to do with the people working in the store and their laziness when it comes to changing out the food.
    3. You make it seem like Norway is a boring country where the only thing to do in winter is skiing. True; us Norwegians love skiing and everybody does it, but there’s a lot more to do here. If you got bored during winter time here, it’s only because you lack creativity or energy. Norwegians love out door sports and value our resorces, and there’s a good assortment of things to do here, be it outdoors or indoors.

    • Megan
      Posted at 01:25h, 03 November Reply

      your replies seem just as subjective as you make my post out to be.

      and nowhere did i mention that girls only wear converse sneakers?

      the wild caught seafood here is incredible. but how often does one come across wild caught salmon in a grocery store? the farmed fish industry here is becoming problematic in that other countries are refusing to purchase it. and i agree 100% with the food quality in stores being at the poor discretion of the shopkeepers and workers. seems as though other norwegians (based on comments here) disagree with that and think that those norwegians in the stores work their tails off to keep things fresh. great to see someone else sees the reality of things. :)

      • sanjeewa
        Posted at 14:05h, 17 February Reply

        if i have to move to norway how could i find a job in there.megan

    • Kenan
      Posted at 12:42h, 06 January Reply

      They wear whatever! Norwegian girls are beautiful. So Let’s kill the matter:)

  • Liam
    Posted at 23:16h, 14 November Reply

    Hello, thanks for writing this helpful article. I just want to know if they like Americans in Norway, how long it will take me to be a citizen, when or if I can join the Norwegian army if I’m a non citezen, and how much would a house cost me when I move there.


  • Liam
    Posted at 23:21h, 14 November Reply

    Oh yeah and how long do I have to take Norwegian?

    • Jessica
      Posted at 17:40h, 08 March Reply

      Liam… if you are immigrating to another country and English is your primary language, it is arrogant that you assume there is a time limit that you “have to” learn another language. If you are planning to attend the University of Oslo, they require 1 year of Norwegian language prior to taking other classes which are taught in Norwegian.
      According to many websites I have been researching, many Norwegians speak English also but this is not a universal truth and not everyone will speak both languages.
      So how long? As long as it takes you to master a language that is not your native tongue. If you’re a fast learner and immerse yourself in the experience it may take you less time than if your cognitive language skills are not as great and you’re not immersed in the experience.
      (I am a US citizen who is looking into the Masters program at UO as my daughter is looking into obtaining her Bachelor’s degree there).
      I would recommend reading as much as you can about the culture, people, history (its VERY diverse for being a small country!) and cultural including daily things like “don’t give your hostess white flowers if you are invited to dinner.”
      UNLIKE many other Americans, I am seeking to blend in rather than stand out. I’m excited about Norway’s firm stance on NON-GMO and as well as their non-chemical approach to food. Its a different way of life. The best thing to do is to educate yourself and then do a LOT of watching and listening.

  • muhammad waqas
    Posted at 06:11h, 21 November Reply

    hi..it is quite informative and and interesting..thanks for sharing your experince.
    I am a certified doctor,completed my medical graduation almost 2 years back.
    I want to move to norway in order to find job as a general practioner ,and in case if there is opportunity for speciality training i will happily go for it.
    BTW i am from pakistan,non eu country.
    reasons for moving to norway ..Handsome salary,better medical training.
    any suggestions please,that might be helpful.!!!

  • Savings Grappling Oslo | Grappling, BJJ & MMA Training Tips, News and More
    Posted at 15:33h, 29 November Reply

    […] 30 Things You Should Know Before Moving To Norway – … – Awesome! I will show my boyfriend prior to moving to Oslo, although things aren’t much different in Canada compared to the difference between US & Norway so it …… […]

  • Afrim
    Posted at 14:02h, 01 December Reply

    Hello i like to know how to apply fro living in Norway with family plz informed

  • Sengehalmen
    Posted at 15:09h, 14 December Reply

    Wow… Nice guidelines! ^^

  • Mattias
    Posted at 04:07h, 15 December Reply

    Norwegian healthcare is one of the best ones in the world

  • Abdala
    Posted at 19:35h, 24 December Reply

    Dear Megan

    thank you for your information about Norway, it was so helpful and thanks for other people who makes comments too, i would like to know how Norwegian people deal with Arabian immigrants in Norway specially the Islamic one?
    i am a Libyan citizen and i am searching for European country to immigrate to, i really like Norway

    Best Regards

  • Ann
    Posted at 17:42h, 04 January Reply

    Hey there,
    I’m a doctor, doing residency in usa, will do fellowship and then plan to move to Norway because they have a better social system. I’m European. Any ideas how it is for docs? How hard is the language to learn. Where’s best place to move with most amount of sunshine?

  • Kenan
    Posted at 12:31h, 06 January Reply

    I Love Norway, Coz of Low Taxes, Cold Weather and Free Recycling:P

  • Nilma de Wit-Mahabali
    Posted at 09:06h, 13 January Reply

    Hi Megan,

    Hilarious, you put a smile on my face today. I moved to Norway, Oslo 1,5 year ago. I love the country and I am lucky that the Norwegians I met are nice, warm and giving people. But all the stories you have mentioned above are soooo true. If I would have know in 2012 what I know now, I would never have the Netherlands to migrate to Norway. To add to your list: (1) Most norwegian refuse to speak english unless you display some knowledge of Norwegian first. My husband (2 meters tall, blond and blue eyes) gets mistaken for norwegian all the time, so he smiles end explains in english that he is dutch. Resulting with people turning there back on him and not speaking with him at all. So rude! I am originally from South-america, so 1.60, black hair, brown eyes, but I can speak a little bit norwegian. and they are all nice to me en speak english to me. drives me crazy. (2) you have to pay for everything and everything is expensive (3) yes they make a lot of money here (like 2 times more then Holland), but everything is more expensive (cost of living is average 3,5 time more expensive than Holland). (3)And they are not masters in saving, because the family has money and helps the young generation. The young generation studies, not because they like it or because they want to achieve something, but because they want to have the stuy grant that comes with it. They loan the max amount of money, againt the lowest amount of interest and than put it on a savings account. they do not have start paying back the first 7 years after they graduated. And when they start, they get 30 years tp pay everything back. we are talking approx between 30.000 and 60.000 euros saving when they have reached the age of 26. (4) They have an amazing amount of norwegian traditions (food related) that go back to the time that they were a poor country and they try to force there horrible food down everybody’s throat (is like Dutch food, yikes, no taste and just bad). (5) giant gap between rich and poor is getting bigger by the minute. If you are not rich or norwegian by birth, it is nearly impossible to buy a house here. you have to save 20% of the houseprice and be able to show that to the bank when you apply for a mortgage. and this is really mean, because actually helps the rich to become even richer and the poor will stay poor. Say the rent of your house is 20.000 kroner per month. and you pay that without a problem every month. now you want to buy a house og 3.5 million kroner, if financed for 100% that would be approximately 18.000 kroner a month in say 25 years. But you wont get a loan because you must have to produce a savingsamount of 700.000,- kroner first and then they are willing to loan you 2.8 million kroner. Now if you would be a homeowner you would be able to have taxdeduction for the houseloan of approcx 35%. so going back to the 18.000 kroner per month in case of a mortgage, you would be able to save real money. Instead of renting for 20.000 kroner, your are now a houseowner for 18.000 kroner per month and you get money back from the tax every year, which will make your real amount per month evern lower. BUT ONLY for rich people. (6) Big is brother is watching you!!!! You can not eat or drink what you want when you want, because this is the last district of the russian communistic replublic!!! Many many many monopolies here, vinmomopolet (you can only buy alcohol al the goverment shop, during the hours that they allow you to) if there is fat or sugar in something it will be ridiculiously expensive or just not available! And that was just the first year :-D

    • Max
      Posted at 09:54h, 25 February Reply

      1 .In my experience most Norwegians are actually falling over themselves to use English, which can be frustrating when you’re trying to learn Norwegian.
      2. The outdoors is free and there’s lost of it, education is free up to and including University, healthcare is vastly subsidised (and I could take case with the way its described above, if only that US health care is so much based on who your insurer is and how you obtain that care. It can be great but it can be terrible as well) and the engansdeler is low. What is it that you expected to get for free anyway?
      3. and 5. Oh look where the savings come from. I’m not Norwegian by birth and had no problem buying a house as I had saved previously, maybe its the Scots Calvinist traditions as well. Sure this can be tough for people coming from other countries, but Hello, the system isn’t designed for that, sorry. Oh and it’s 15% not 20%.
      4. Never had the stuff forced on me, but Norway was the poor man of Europe all the way up to the 1960’s. People forget that because of the Oil money now but the traditions are strong.
      6. Norway used to have one of the highest levels of Alcohol consumption in Europe and the ‘pol system is shared with Sweden, Finland, Iceland, the Faroe Islands – its a Nordic thing.
      The place is just different, and as someone coming in you have to go with the flow. If you search around there are ways to work the system (even that 15% deposit – look up Husbanken)

  • Sebastian
    Posted at 09:17h, 14 January Reply

    I am thinking about moving to Norway with my girlfriend who happens to be….Norwegian. Anyway I was looking into some of the data that you gave, and there is a little misconception. In what regards to the disposable income, you have to take into account the “Real” disposable income, not the “nominal”. Also this analysis must be done per capita, if you see the US DPI just nominaly, you will find is much higher than anywhere else in the world. Bare in mind that the US is still fore fronting in what regards private and personal wealth because is the country where the most rich people live(due to the extreme capitalist approach you see being take), this is follow by China only. Try finding this information on Eurostat you will find that the average disposable income in the whole EU area is of 21,911 meanwhile in Norway alone, is a whooping 28,009 if you do the math this is 27.83% higher than the average in Europe where we know the quality of live is very high. Just wanted to clarify this, congrats on the rest of the post it was very intuitive and entertaining to read.

    • Megan
      Posted at 09:23h, 14 January Reply

      thanks for your comment. would love to know how you feel about things 3.5 years after living there, however. there are also many taxes unaccounted for that come at certain times of the year that norwegians must pay on (tv tax, taxes if you own a car, etc). and disposable income in norway may be higher than other countries, say for example, germany (where i live now), but the cost of goods in norway is 500 times higher in some respect. not sure of your nationality, but id be curious to see your opinion years later after living there for a long period of time :) i had a good life in norway, but was very thankful the lifestyle there was super minimalistic or i would not have been able to afford it. i could only afford to eat out once or twice a month.

      • Sebastian
        Posted at 09:50h, 14 January Reply


        I am originally Colombian, and I have been living in England(London) for 3 years in regard to your question. I want to point out that the disposable income already takes into account the income tax, as such, the data that I am giving you already accounted for these factors. It will always depend on your job, even if taxing policies make sure to close the gap in between income, I have always been surprise by the incredible quality of life in Norway. For instance, my girlfriends family is very well of and I have actively saw her friends buying houses or affording extremely expensive thing at a very young age which neither In England or in Colombia would be possible(just to tell you how much cultural awareness I have of living in 2 extremely different societies). It is very interesting that you mention Germany. In comparison Germany is extremely well, it is the backbone of Europe and the way its developing is nothing but a jaw-dropping fact. I do agree that me being an ambitious person and having a passionate love for money staying in Norway is not an option, I am more of the capitalist type, however it is a matter of opinion. Either you can go and fight with wolfs to try to get on top in countries like the US(which I personally intend do) or go to an egalitarian country with Norway, which offers and extremely high quality of life with a moderate and stress free life. But as a step forward to your career It is very tempting.

        • Megan
          Posted at 10:01h, 14 January Reply

          the taxes i spoke of before are only for certain people (people who own a tv or who own a car) so i doubt that is taken into consideration when drafting out a disposable income…but i could be wrong! nevertheless, i made way less in norway than i did in the US, and prices were around 500% higher. what i discovered, on average, is that people without education do well in norway as they treat unskilled jobs well. but people who have education often make more in the states. except teachers. i noticed teachers in norway made more :) what my qualifications woudl get me in norway would make around $25,000 less in norway. it is certainly a unique society. the wealth gap in norway and scandinavian countries is increasing higher than anywhere else in the world, however. and at a drastically rapid rate.

          that is cool youre from colombia! went to bogota, cartagena, and medellin this past summer! amazing country (and FOOD!)

          i have found germany to be a good in between the US and norway for me. I love the US and eventually plan to settle back there. germany is good for now. salaries here are ridiculously low, however. and taxes are ridiculously high. i havent discovered what people get out of having high taxes yet though, so it still leaves me wondering. maybe roads lol? the healthcare here is an in between and not completely government subsidized which i prefer as you can get a doctors appointment almost immediately. and apparently they prefer to not shove drugs down patients throats as i experienced in norway. we shall see how things go :):) i have a lot to learn about germany despite having lived here years ago for a while!

      • Max
        Posted at 10:07h, 25 February Reply

        But eating out isn’t a big thing in Norway, not in the way it is in the States.

        I think the key is understanding how the average Norwegian lives and if you can shift to that lifestyle rather than seeing if you can carry on living the same way you did in your previous country. Sure there are things I miss at times, but there are also many things I appreciate.

        Life centers around the home and family, you do more stuff for yourself, but you also have a great environment for raising a family, and real opportunities for your kids based on ability not how rich their parents were. Hey you could almost say its where the American dream is actually a reality.

  • Sebastian
    Posted at 09:24h, 14 January Reply

    Also another question, I want to work in financial services, ans right now my main language is English, but obviously I intend learn Norwegian as a part of my cultural adaptation to the country. However as for now, how hard is to get a Job in this sector in Norway, if anyone knows, feedback would be much apprecaited.

    • Megan
      Posted at 09:39h, 14 January Reply

      i wish i was able to help there… hopefully someone will see and reply. i come from a marketing and sales background and norway isnt really a consumers paradise like the US, so jobs for what i did were not in abundance. i ended up working in travel in the end. made much less money than i would have in the states, but had fun nevertheless. good luck!

      • Sebastian
        Posted at 09:52h, 14 January Reply

        How did you manage without the language?

        • Megan
          Posted at 10:04h, 14 January Reply

          i actually was fluent in norwegian. i learned it prior to moving there and then worked at a cafe before getting a real job to use and gain confidence in speaking. i was lucky enough to stumble upon a ‘great’ job that was done all in english and involved travel writing. turns out it was shit in the end as they never paid me on time, were disorganized as all hell, and did some things that were unethical in my eyes. there are many jobs out there, you just have to be patient and take some cafe work in the mean time. cafe jobs pay really well! and you knowing spanish and english is super beneficial!

  • Erik
    Posted at 16:53h, 22 January Reply

    Hi Megan, I enjoyed reading your blog post as a Norwegian married to an American who has lived in both the US and the Netherlands for comparison. I think you are mostly spot in your observations ;-)

    I’d like to add that people might also want to be prepared for that Norwegians can seem quite rude and offensive if you don’t understand the culture. Norwegians are also not proactive like Americans. They will not try to anticipate your needs and suggest thing in advance. Norway is a place you generally have to ask yourself for most things. E.g. if you visit the doctors office he isn’t going to start asking a lot about your health. He expects you to ask him about things that trouble you. This can end up seeming rude. E.g. you trip on your bike and fall. A Norwegian pass you and ask if you are alright. You say “I am fine.” American’s always say they are fine not matter what. So people are used to push the issue a bit in the US I think. A norwegian would then quite likely think the American is genuinly okay and leave the injured person, who actually would have appriciated some help. Norwegians are also not likely not hold up doors and such for women, as the equality of genders ideas make men not treat women all that different from each other. That is both for good and bad.

    But I got to address one point I thought was a bit unfair. That is your comments on food quality. While I agree that food often looks fresher and you likely have less cases or rotten fruit in the US, I don’t think it paints an accurate picture especially in comparison to the US. Norwegian food has quality benefits which yo don’t touch at all making it look as if it is all a big negative compared to say the US. A couple of things:

    1. e-coli, salmonella etc is almost unheard of in Norway, while a lot more common in the US. While food might not always be fresh looking in Norway safety wise I’d claim it is among the best in the world.

    2. Additives and preparation. There is no food makeup on food in Norway. We don’t wash meat in clorid like the US and the meat is not full of antibiotics and steroids. An issue which is causing major health problems in the US and other countries. Norway has among the worlds lowest if not the lowest usage of antibiotics. Which benefits you when e.g. at hospitals, where you don’t risk getting anti-biotic resistant bacterial infections.

    3. You say food quality in general but I have a feeling you mainly mean vegtables and fruit. E.g. when it comes to more processed foods like say bread, I’d say quality is in genereal much better in Norway. The average bread I bought in the US was quite artificial and felt more like hot dog buns we buy here.

    4. Healthy living. It is quite hard to avoid sugar and salt additions in food in the US. When visiting with our small kids we struggled to find baby food without salt added e.g. That is the easiest thing to get in Norway as there is no baby food sold with salt. Also very many food products have added sugar, giving a sweet taste to a bit too many things. The US does of course have some amazing specialized stores, but your average Target or Walmart is quite lacking in more natural foods. E.g just getting some whole grain breakfast cereal without added sugar can be quite hard to get in the US without going to specialist health food stores.

    I am sorry this came off sounding very negative towards the US. I do love the selection of food you have in the US and meat is so much more tender there I think. My intention was mainly to show that there are good things about food in Norway too.

    • Megan
      Posted at 18:55h, 22 January Reply

      thanks for your comments erik! that is why i love this post- we all have different view points and can share them! :) we all have different opinions and i love when people respectfully share them to others on here! just because you and i had a different experience doesnt mean one is right and the other is wrong.

      hope all is well and youre enjoying winter :):)

  • Evelyn
    Posted at 13:13h, 23 January Reply

    Could you recommend any employment websites for foreigners interested in moving there?

    • Megan
      Posted at 14:31h, 23 January Reply


      the site is only in norwegian, but with google chrome’s translate bar it should help! that is the number 1 site locals use to find jobs :) im not sure of any other sites to be honest.

      good luck

      • Geir
        Posted at 07:20h, 16 March Reply

        As a norwegian job-hunter there is a few sites you can go to, but the currently two largest ones is:

        http://www.finn.no and http://www.nav.no, and the others are mostly directed at specific recruiting systems.
        Otherwise its fully possible to search for jobs using google, but you will get better results if you use the native language for norwegian based jobs. Possible that there is own international sites for those who is not norwegian, but i am afraid i dont know any of the sort.

  • David Perry
    Posted at 14:31h, 23 January Reply

    Is there any Plastering jobs in Norway, if not I can always join the military and whatever happens, happens and I can become a refugee. my home in the united states is nice but I want to proof my self I know the things are way different but it will be a great start for me. and thoughts?

    • Erik
      Posted at 04:47h, 24 January Reply

      I am sure there are plastering jobs in Norway, although my impression is that it is a much more common thing in the US as you put plaster on the exterior of most houses. We don’t do that in Norway. As a craftsmen it is not as clear whether you qualify to get a residence permit. Certain special skills in strong demand will often qualify like e.g. welders. Also for special skills we don’t train people on here like sushi chef e.g. Trying to get a job in construction might not be the best as we get huge amounts of polish construction workers comming to Norway. If you want to check the exact requirements to get a work permit, this is the page for the immigration authorities for americans: http://www.udi.no/en/want-to-apply/work-immigration/job-seekers/?c=usa

      As for the military, you can’t do that. This isn’t the US, you have to be a Norwegian citizen only to serve in the armed forces, atlhough they are working on changing that as there has been writing about people who are born with dual citizenship here who want to serve and who are not allowed.

      With your current background, if you really want to come to Norway, your best option is probably to come as a student. Education is free in Norway also for foreigners: http://www.studyandscholarships.com/2009/02/tuition-free-universities-in-norway.html#.VMNpucZhjd0

      But you need to pay for living expenses, and Norway is a much more expensive country than the US, so you likely need some savings. Perhaps you get the right to do some work while your here as a student. Not sure about that.

      • Megan
        Posted at 05:29h, 24 January Reply

        thanks for your reply for him erik! its hard to respond to all of the comments on here, nor do i have knowledge about many of the things you mentioned above :) have a great weekend!

        • Erik
          Posted at 09:03h, 24 January Reply

          thanks ;-) Married to an American so nice to help.

          I actually got a random American a job within a couple of days. He had by some odd circumstances gotten my email and knew I was Norwegian. So he asked about how to get a job in Norway and what was required. Curious I asked him what his background was and I thought “hey, he would be really usefull at my office”. Went to my boss and told him we really ought to hire this American guy that I got an email from. My boss looked at his CV too and was impressed. Called him in for an interview and he was hired. Probably one of the better hires they did :-D

          • Megan
            Posted at 10:29h, 24 January

            thats so cool!!! im sure he was really appreciative for the help (i wish i had had that same help!) and im glad it all worked out for the best! where in norway do you live? i just moved to germany recently and miss good ol norway every single day. and thanks for helping people on here. i feel so bad when i cant reply to everyone or offer some know how. and my knowledge wont increase as i no longer live there :( i just hope people get the answers they are looking for! :):)

  • Sindre
    Posted at 22:30h, 03 February Reply

    I’m a norwegian living in USA at the moment. Even though I can agree upon most of what you are writing, there are some things i disagree on, probably because of us being raised in different societies.

    First of all, the clothing. Have you ever been to an american university? Most of my class mates walk around in sweat pants and a university sweater. I’m living in a global community, with people from all over the world, and there is one thing we all agree on. Americans do seriously not know how to dress.

    The second thing i really disagree on is the food. I really, really, really hate american food. The fact that you can keep a bread in your cabinet for three weeks, and it will taste exactly the same is really scary. The same can be said for milk, sour cream, mayo, meat and not to mention fruits and vegetables. Food are supposed to go bad after a certain amount of time. You know, that’s how the nature works. After I moved here, I bought some apples in the grocery store. They looked as perfect as an apple can look, but the taste was the most disappointing thing ever. My room mate decided to save one of the apples to see how it developed, cause we could clearly taste that this apple wasn’t grown the same way as the apples we eat in Norway. Almost a half year later, it’s still not rotten. I’d rather have some food go bad in the grocery store than having to eat food that doesn’t go bad at all.

    This is not meant as criticism or anything. It’s just that we’re people from different parts of the world, both living far away from home, and it’s pretty clear that we have a different view on what is good and what is bad.

    • Megan
      Posted at 03:26h, 04 February Reply

      thanks for your comment sindre! :) hope youre enjoying life in the US :)

      i definitely think it is very easy to get shitty food in the US (just as i think it is easy to get shitty food in norway). it really comes down to where you shop. if you’re shopping at walmart or a mainstream grocer, you’re very likely to get that for sure. same if youre buying out of season goods. just as if i was to buy blueberries in norway at the moment- they are shipped from CHILE! tell me those dont have to have a long shelflife lol. i have no idea where youre residing, but if you look around for farmers markets or go to a grocery store such as sprouts, whole foods, krogers, or many others, believe me, you will receive better quality. and the price is still substantially lower than norway :) i live in germany now and the produce here is really bad- so i think it is everywhere in general.

      the comment, however, was actually about the quality in the stores itself. many times when i shopped in norway, the stuff was rotted at the store. i get there are sometimes oversights, but it was more often than not. it just takes an employee not standing around on their cell phone to go check the produce once a day and pick out the molded stuff as it perpetrates more mold and becomes wasted product.

    • Erik
      Posted at 03:40h, 04 February Reply

      That is interesting Sindre, when I lived in the US I did notice the thing with the bread. How it kept insanely long. I didn’t realize it was the same case with fruits. That might explain why it looks fresher in the US. It is a piece of cake to keep out rotten fruit in the store if it takes half a year for it to rot. Wonder what they do with the fruit to make it keep that long though.

      As for clothes. Like Megan said about Norway trends among girls have a tendency to spread to everybody. But I kind of felt similar about the places I lived in in the US. People wore very similar types of clothes. Typically the sweater with a hood. At the time I was there was occasionally people in Norway who dressed kind of punk or goth like. But I didn’t see any American’s having such alternative styles at my Uni. When I did see any it was a Norwegian exchange student.

      But if you go to bigger cities like New York or Seattle you see a lot more diversity. It might not be that the lack of diversity in clothing in Norway is due to it being Norway, but due to Norway only having quite small cities. I think small towns are quite homogenous anywhere in the world.

      • Megan
        Posted at 03:48h, 04 February Reply

        uh oh…. i may or may not be currently sitting here in a hoodie while writing this lol!

    • micheal
      Posted at 06:34h, 06 February Reply

      Pls can you help me come to Norway . am a Nigerian

      • Erik Engheim
        Posted at 08:54h, 06 February Reply

        Micheal look at my reply to David Perry earlier about plastering jobs in Norway. To get to Norway you have to be either a refugee, married to a Norwegian, a student at a Norwegian university or you got a job there. Studying at a Norwegian university might be the best option since, getting a degree in Norway means your skills are automatically acknowledged. Although the study is free, living in Norway isn’t, so you got to save up quite a lot of money. You might be able to get a job on the side.

        Education from any western university will likely get accepted. Secondly you need either very good Norwegian or English skills to get employed. You got to be aware that anybody who comes of as being from a non western country will face discrimination in the hiring process. So if you speak and write good english and have a western sounding name, then that will help a lot.

        I know this all sounds a bit negative. But I wanted you to know reality. Coming from a developing country like Nigeria isn’t easy.

  • Our Top 5 Posts For 2013 - InspiringTravellers.com | InspiringTravellers.com
    Posted at 08:58h, 04 February Reply

    […] content in its entirety) This was a two-part post that Andrea did with Norway-based blogger Megan Starr providing essential things to think about before deciding to relocate to this Scandinavian […]

  • micheal
    Posted at 06:29h, 06 February Reply

    Pls I want to come to norwayNorway I love the conutry

  • Fatoumata
    Posted at 19:11h, 07 February Reply

    Hi does it take a long time to speak Norwegian? It is hard? How long did it take for you to speak Norwegian fluently?

    • Kenan
      Posted at 12:48h, 20 February Reply

      It’s a 6 months full time job to learn Norwegian to get a B1-B2 level language, and as you practice it gets more purified… coz speaking and listening is the hardest part…

  • Liam Joy
    Posted at 18:28h, 09 February Reply

    Hello Megan and others. I would like to know if I, a New Yorker, can move to Norway for study purposes and while I’m going to college have a residence permit and after college apply for citizenship? Thanks.

    • Erik
      Posted at 07:11h, 10 February Reply

      Liam you can study in Norway, just make sure you have about 13 000 dollars each year. The study itself is free. But you got to have this money either through part time work in Norway, study grants, loans or whatever to cover living expenses.

      Check immigration authorities: http://www.udi.no/en/want-to-apply/permanent-residence/?e=n&c=usa You typically need to have had residency in Norway for 3 years to apply for permanent residency. You have to pass a Norwegian language test to get permanent residency though. My wife was been in Norway for 7 years without permanent residency because she hasn’t bothered to take the test. Although she could easily have taken it.

      Here are the requirements to stay as a student: http://www.udi.no/en/want-to-renew/study-permit/

  • shay
    Posted at 15:49h, 11 February Reply

    Hi Megan, thank you for your tips. I guess I’ll be needing them when I come to Norway.
    I’m an Iranian who have lived in London, UK for around 10years, but it’s been about 4years since I’ve come back to my country, (Iran).
    Me and my friend are planning to come to Norway to continue our studies, but from your post I’m kind of terrified about not being able to find work afterwards. What do you suggest for me to look up for?

    Thank u, shay

  • Breanna Wilson
    Posted at 23:23h, 11 February Reply

    Crazy about the fruit and food quality. I had no idea!

  • Luis Lara
    Posted at 21:07h, 12 February Reply

    how is the life in general? I mean the people smile? are they rude or racist? what’s the main religious ? everybody speak English? I am Hispanic with brown skin and I hear that the people is really racist. I been dreaming with this country my whole entire life. I don’t know why. like I was from there in my other life or something.

    • Megan
      Posted at 03:42h, 13 February Reply

      hi luis! it’s natural to dream about norway ;) i used to do the same about iceland as a kid and always still wanted to visit norway and other scandinavian countries as the nature is just unspeakably amazing (it lives up to the hype- trust me!)

      life in norway is pretty easy going. not much chaos or craziness, but it is fun and chill. in some ways for me, too chill- which is why i traveled a lot. but the average person can easily enjoy themselves. im just restless.

      racism is everywhere. i know many people who feel norway is the most racist place on earth. i know some that feel the opposite. while i feel there is discrimination there, i felt there was in the US too. the difference with norway is that they have only been doing this immigration thing since the 1970s or so, so it is extremely new. fortunately, there are many opportunities for immigrants in norway compared to many other european countries i have traveled to.

      everyone speaks incredible english there. even the older generations. as for religion, the country is more apathetic than anything else. many atheists, but what i have learned is not necessarily that people dont believe in god, its just more that they dont care one way or another. but, there are churches and if you are religious, you will surely be able to find a place to worship.

      the people smile, but dont really smile at strangers. go to a bar and meet them- they will be outgoing and smiling a lot ;) ;) hope that helps a bit!

  • Liam Joy
    Posted at 18:17h, 12 February Reply

    Wow, thanks a lot Erik! I hope I can make it work. Do you know of any jobs an 18 year old can get?

  • Hybee
    Posted at 02:29h, 13 February Reply

    Just got my visa for family immigration to Norway so scared of what I will be meeting there. The language stuffs got me thinking, am a Bsc holder am thinking of having my Masters when I get there but it seems according to this post an unskilled worker receives more than a skilled worker. Hmmm…

    • Erik
      Posted at 06:44h, 16 February Reply

      Hybee, you will be better off as a skilled worker even in Norway :-D The salaries are just more compacted than say anglo-saxon countries where the difference between the bottom and top are much wider. Also keep in mind that Megan writes from an American perspective. America is richer than most other countries so salaries in Norway might not seem impressive to her. But I know from colleagues from other European countries that Norwegian salaries for skilled workers is usually a lot higher. An austrian told me doctors make twice as much and work half as much in Norway compared to Austria. Housing in America is also exceptionally cheap. Compared to many other Western countries there are more opportunities for finding cheap housing in Norway.

      The beneficial economics of living in Norway really kicks in when you start getting kids. In places in the US such as San Fransisco where you make the really high salaries child care cost could run up to 2000 dollars a month. In Norway it is around 300 dollars. Giving birth, all the checkups etc is free and health care for the whole family is almost free. You got full pay for a year to look after the kid. If you were going to pay for this out of pocket that would cost a lot of money.

      • Megan
        Posted at 06:57h, 16 February Reply

        my friends also told me that you get paid when you have a kid just for having a kid. pretty impressive. :)

  • Jada Rain
    Posted at 03:32h, 16 February Reply

    Hi, I’m seventeen years old and I live in the U.S. I would like this to change very soon. I am employed, but I’m very underpaid. I work as a musician, so I was wondering if there are any local orchestras or choirs like we have here in the U.S. Also, I’m wondering where I would need to go online or call to reserve a place to rent in advance. I am planning to move right after I turn eighteen, so maybe around the first week of August. Also, how does the currency translate from USD and how is the cost of living in places other than Oslo? I am planning to go to University, do you know anything about school costs or general acceptance rates? Thank you for your post, it has been very helpful thus far.

    • Erik
      Posted at 07:05h, 16 February Reply

      Making a living as a musician is probably hard anywhere in the world. Most of the people I know who are into music do it as a side job. There are orchestras and choirs for sure but I know very little about the music scene to say much about that. One simple option for first visit to Norway might be to simply use Air Bed and Breakfast. Once you are in the country you can look for more permanent stay. The normal site to look for appartment and houses is finn.no (rental section is at: http://www.finn.no/finn/realestate/lettings/browse1). It is all in Norwegian so you probably ought to use google translate. There are probably some services that cater to foreigners. Even if it is in Norwegian you shouldn’t have any problems calling the ones putting out the add and talking to them in English.

      School costs are simple. There are no school costs :-D But living expenses is high so you are expected to have about 13 000 dollars each year either through savings or part time work. Not sure about how acceptance rates are today, but back when I was a student it was mostly difficult to get into the most prestigious places and some really popular studies like journalism. Depends a lot of what you want to study. You don’t have to worry that you pick a shitty college in Norway, as the quality is fairly even. They are all state funded, so there aren’t really any institutions with way more resources and opportunities to offer students. It is a bit different from the US were you often have large Universities which offer all kinds of courses. Norwegian ones are much smaller and more specialised. So where you end up is determined largely on what you want to study.

      Of course student culture and activities can vary a lot. My impression is that NTNU in Trondheim has by far the best student life and traditions.

      • Megan
        Posted at 07:19h, 16 February Reply

        thanks for your help answering people erik :):)

      • Jada Rain
        Posted at 20:16h, 17 February Reply

        Thank you so very much!!!

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  • Heather
    Posted at 14:22h, 24 February Reply

    I am an American who applied for family immigration for the first time a few months ago. I have read that it takes 9 months to receive an answer, however, I have heard that it can take much less than that. I notice there are some Americans here who have applied for the same thing here or similar, so hoping that someone might know how long they normally are taking now to give an answer? Thanks in advance :)

    • Megan
      Posted at 07:06h, 25 February Reply

      ugh i wish there was a definitive answer to this but there isn’t. it took me two months when i had mine, but i had already had a visa in the country. it really does vary from person to person, unfortunately. :( good luck though!

    • Devon
      Posted at 06:45h, 25 May Reply

      Heather, I am applying as well to be reunited with my husband, when I last checked the website it is taking anywhere from 6 months to 13 months. I just depends on how many applications they are receiving at the same time.

  • Alieke Emmanuel
    Posted at 06:04h, 05 March Reply

    Hi. I am 24 and i hold a bachelor degree in philosophy. I am planning of moving to norway for job. Pls what are your advice for me

  • Soundarya Krishnan
    Posted at 07:57h, 05 March Reply

    Hello, I am a engineering grad from India. I’ve got an offer letter from a Norwegian company and I am asked to join from June. The bad part is, I am not used with snow AT All and I am a vegetarian!! Will I be able to survive the harsh cold weather? It would be really helpful if U’d brief about the current rental values and the food expenses.
    Thanks in advance! Cheers! :)

    • sara
      Posted at 05:13h, 09 March Reply

      Hi Soundaraya , i am also from India and an engineer .Can you tell me from which company have you got the offer ? I would also love to apply .Thanks in advance.

  • Joane Pag
    Posted at 00:20h, 06 March Reply

    Hi Megan, good day!, I’m a Physical Therapist graduate from the Philippines. I”d like to work in Norway. Could you please help me, how can I find a Physical Therapist job in Norway?

  • Barry ThePeevish
    Posted at 21:45h, 07 March Reply

    I am an American citizen. In my youth my father was in the U.S. Army and he was stationed in Karlsruhe Germany for three years. So I was there from 1979-81. Those three years were the best of my life. After turning 30 years old I became very interested in my family roots, heritage, and ancestory. Now that I am 45 years old, I have learned a lot. So much so that I have even renounced my Christian upbringing for the faith of my ancient ancestors. Today the religion is known as Asatru. I have also decided that Norway is where my heart says I belong. The land of my Gods, those of the Aesir and Vanir. Becoming a Gothi(priest) of Asatru in now my life long goal. Although I am glad to have read this blog, it also saddens my heart to see how Norway is being plagued by non northern European immigrants that have no business there. No, I am not a racist, but I must say that I am a very “Folkish” Heathen. I am hopeful however there are communities in Norway that would not be so badly infested with alien ethics. In the end, I just want to go back to my roots, and live a peaceful life without being forced to be around people I don’t want to be. Thanks for all of this information.

  • Carrie Rundhaug
    Posted at 21:02h, 08 March Reply

    Thanks for the article! I agree with some things you mentioned and some not so much! But that is the fun of the internet now a days! I am actually an American who is married to a Norwegian. We lived there for the first year of our marriage then returned to the US. Now we are headed back with our two young kids in tow.

    One of the things I want to point out is that there is a difference between living in the North of Norway vs the South. In all the times I have been there and all of the people I have met that the North is similar to the South in the US. Also there are tons of perks for living in the super northern states.

    Erik hopefully you will see this. Seeing as you are married to an American although its been awhile did you apply for the resident permit in Norway or elsewhere. This is the one thing we can’t seem to get a clear answer on. Also typical lead times for it to come through?

  • Vivian
    Posted at 16:17h, 11 March Reply

    Thank you so much for this lovely post, I am sorry that there are so many rude people (commenting) that can’t seem to comprehend the point of your blog.

  • Geir
    Posted at 07:43h, 16 March Reply

    A Norwegian here, i would like to poke at a few points just as a minor heads-up if it havent already been said at least it will be confirmed.

    The stereotype “Norwegians are rude”
    I have heard this one a LOT, but i think its a general state of the social culture that people are not very “including” and maybe directly shy as a people. We can be rather direct when we are serious and rather sarcastic in our joking that could often be confused.
    From the example of earlier of “i am fine” we will take you up on your word and think that you are fine, and some people might help out anyway. The reason to why we dont stay and make sure you are fine is that we are rather “private” if you say you are fine and dont need help its a common way to think that you dont need us interupting or disturbing you while you collect yourself.

    On the other note of sarcasm, our humor is RATHER dry by international standard i will presume, and if a norwegian sound VERY rude or say something aweful you have to check their body language. If they are mad they most likely are, if they smile its just a badly timed norwegian joke flowing through.

    Plus that we norwegians never really use forms of “titles”, i personally have to admit i have ignored being called at by “sir” or “mister” and i have by more or less accidental given you a cold shoulder despite the situation.

    “Norwegians are nationalistic”
    You thought Americans were bad at loving their country?… I am afraid that we norwegians are on a equal scale there, to the point that someone go to the lenght at attacking ( verbally ) whomever criticize their beloved homeland. Would be a explaintation to some of the “trolls” on this, but i am pretty sure we are not *known* to be trolls (Maybe more as the cultural trolls you see in tourist shops everywhere), and at worst it could be just general internet people from anywhere casuing a ruckus under false flags.

    From earlier in the comment about the dutch that only spoke english; fear not, most norwegians can speak english to these days especially of the younger generation. And if someone turn the back on you for not speaking english they are most likely embarrased by their lack of language and rather retreat than to be of inconvenience to both you and themselves. ( Most likely themselves )

    I hope i didnt make too much of a mess on my english there, but hopefully it helps getting a bit on insight of the mystical “Norwegians”
    Also my notes are not to denounce anything said in the blog as its personal experience and opinions, in fact they are mostly accurate but they miss a bit of the reasons to why things are as they are. ( As “Feriepenger” and the holidays are regulated by state forexample, and other cultural “oddities” )

    • Inga
      Posted at 17:07h, 01 April Reply

      Sounds like Norway would be a paradise for me. I often feel that foreigners (I grew up in Estonia) do not understand my dry jokes and do not appreciate my directness (meaning that what I am saying is what I mean). A culture where no means no. Sounds good to me ;))

  • nodae
    Posted at 20:30h, 17 March Reply

    Hi. Thank you for your post. I have a question about tutoring in Norway. I`m hoping to head to Oslo for a Masters degree and while I’ve saved some money for studying, I will probably need to seek employment while I’m there. I’m not really sure what non-skilled jobs I’d be qualified for but I’m fluent in a few languages so I though maybe tutoring might work. Is there much call for tutoring work? I’m qualified as a TEFL teacher too…but I’m not sure that holds much against the highly educated Norwegian population.

  • Victoria Barney
    Posted at 15:39h, 04 April Reply

    Benjamin Fulford has stated on MIKE HARRIS: Short End of the Stick March 31 2015 with Guest Ben Fulford, youtube video that everyone in Norway is a millionaire at the 1:28:54 mark.

    He said, “What Norway does have… a government fund that runs it for the people, everyone in Norway is a millionaire every single person, managed for the people by a very competent group of planners who manage their assets.

    Is this true?

    • Megan
      Posted at 16:05h, 04 April Reply


      It is not true. Very far from true. But it really depends on how you look at things. If the government invested directly down to each and every citizen or resident, it could be true. But that isn’t the case. The Fattighuset (“Poor House”) in Oslo has lines that wrap around the corner daily for people looking to eat. Not just foreigners or immigrants, but actual Norwegians. I watched a segment on the news about this around the holidays and was astonished because most Norwegians only refer to their immigrants as being less fortunate and don’t realize that there are several born and bred Norwegians that are hungry or poor, too. I had a British visitor come to visit me in November of last year and his first remark was about the amount of homeless people on the streets of Oslo. While some were certainly foreigners/immigrants, many were also Norwegian. I worked at a cafe for a while before my visa became processed in Norway and when I would be the first into work in the early mornings, there were often homeless Norwegian guys sleeping on the benches outside, even during the middle of winter. Never tried to cause any harm- I’d just give them a warm coffee and pastry and chat with them for a bit as I was always ridiculously early to my job.

      With that being said, there are no places completely void of poverty. We just hear about it in some places more than others. And while Norway’s poverty problem is unknown to many, I do truly believe that foreigners and immigrants coming to live in Norway are given a remarkable and incomparable opportunity to earn fair wages and have a great life. I do disagree on how these people are assimilated into society to a degree, but that can be said for almost anywhere. As for the Norwegians living on the streets, I am not too certain what is the main cause for it, but I do know heroin (especially) and other drugs are a problem for several of the homeless, which is also the case in the US. It is always a work in progress everywhere.

      There is a very good chance for a great life in Norway if one works hard, learns the language, and builds a good network. As for asylum seekers, there are some reformations that need to take place in the system, but it has created a much better and safer life for so many people around the world that it is not for me to judge or complain about. Especially as a non-citizen and someone who was fortunate enough to grow up in a land where I was educated, had access to clean water, and always access to food :)

  • Pedro
    Posted at 11:58h, 07 April Reply

    I’m in the eleventh grade (16 y.o) and I am thinking abou going to Norway for a few months when I finish high school. My ideia is to, when I finish high school, I find a job here, even if it is a low paid job, to save money (I am already saving money now). And then, I would go to Norway, just for a few months and if I managed to get a job I would stay (even if that is unlikely and not my objectiv). I’m portuguese by the way. So, how much money do you think I would need per month?

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  • brian
    Posted at 23:27h, 07 April Reply

    Been a dream of mine to visit Norway for some time now. But not sure if my trade would keep me afloat like it does in the US . How good is the construction industry in Norway. Is it slow /busy high pay low pay any info would be great

    • Megan
      Posted at 12:40h, 13 April Reply

      hi brian!

      i dont know too much about the construction industry in norway although i do know they are hiring a lot of eastern europeans these days (my ex worked in industry!) the pay seems pretty decent though as they respect labor jobs a lot more in norway than many other places i have seen. hope this helps!

  • Regina
    Posted at 09:30h, 13 April Reply

    I think there have been so many generalizations at some point, but some are also true from both the blogger and the comments.

    On being rude:

    Based on my experience, not all Norwegians are rude, but not all Norwegians are nice just like any other race. I have lived in the south (Larvik) and had so many pleasant encounters, also some unpleasant ones. The first time I have lived in Norway, I noticed that my neighbors are really nice, they offer help, they constantly ask us if we were fine. They say ”hi” every time we pass by their houses. I am from the Philippines and was a seasonal worker. I only come to Norway every 6 months to work in agriculture I had 1 term in 2011 and 1 term in 2012. I also met so many foreigners like me: Asians, South Americans, Eastern Europeans, even russians. Some are nice, some are not and some are shy specially if they don’t talk Norwegian or English. I also met many Filipinos, I smile at them, some wold smile back, some don’t.

    Maybe it’s about who you are, and your upbringing and sometimes we are just so used to what we have known is correct or necessary. Many Norwegians are good-natured and sometimes, they are too shy too express their thoughts in English, reason why sometimes they don’t speak to you because they are afraid to speak English incorrectly and you misunderstand and get offended. Many Norwegians really feel very sorry if they upset someone and they really want to avoid that so it makes sense to them not to say anything at all if they don’t really know the right word and the meaning. Since they think you don’t talk Norsk, they simply chose to be quiet. At some point, when I try to speak Norsk and I feel it’s going nowhere, they try to help and guide me, in fact they find it nice of you to try to blend in. Sometimes, they just simply speak English but before they talk, they ask sorry if their English is not so good, things like that… I always hear this ”beklager, aayyyyyy.. no speakk good english” things like that.

    I am now married to a Norwegian and living in Nordland. When I travelled to Norway last December, KLM left my luggage at Amsterdam. I was The customer service people in Oslo airport seem to feel what I feel and did their best to locate my luggage. Looking at their faces, I felt that it was as if they were in my position. When they got the trace, they assured me it will be delivered to my husbands’ address the following day, and it right!, it was delivered the following morning.

    On the quality of Food:

    I’m sorry but I have to disagree. Having worked in Norway particularly in the agriculture, I have witnessed how the Quality control goes. We are always put on pressure because from time to time, some representatives from Food control would appear and check all the corners of the production area to check if it is clean and the sanitation is above average. They check everything: the machines, crops, Freezer, even our uniforms. One single dot from the vegetable, our client company will return the rest of the delivery which is around 1,600 packs for every 1 palle. That’s how high the quality is, in our company alone. I guess it’s the store employees who fail dot monitor isles or shelves.

    Some points though are very true though and Megan thank you for also highlighting the things you have seen in the news.

    • Megan
      Posted at 12:35h, 13 April Reply

      thanks for your thoughts regina! i do agree with you about it being the store’s fault that the produce is rotting, NOT the farmer. that was my point in that part- people in store’s don’t often take pride in their work or go through things to see if it is bad/good/expired :) did get a lot better over the years of me living there, however! hope you have a wonderful week!

  • Leesy
    Posted at 08:12h, 14 April Reply

    Megan, it’s like you read my mind! As a fellow US ex-pat living here almost 20 years, you touched upon many points, both positive and negative, about living in Norway.

    I’m quite surprised at the defensiveness concerning your food comments…I have experienced frequently the poor quality of fresh food that supermarkets try to sell you, but in fairness, it has gotten A LOT better in the last 5-10 years. When I moved here in the mid-90’s, it was like visiting the Soviet Union-no selection and maybe 3 fresh vegetable products at your local Rimi. Now supermarkets here resemble the rest of Europe, at least.

    I’m glad you commented on the salaries as well. That was a shock to me, since all I could hear from Norwegians was “We are so well paid here.” As a teacher, I was paid much better in the US than I was in Norway. Even now, pay between Oslo and DC area schools are comparable, but after taxes and cost of living expenses, you have it better in the US.

    I haven’t had too many positive experiences with the health care system here, so I avoid it as much as possible. Sometimes I am forced to go to private clinics because I can’t get hold of my “fastlege” for days on end, and I don’t want to wait 3+ hours at the ER in Oslo. But I love the fact that if I get a serious illness, my family and I won’t be in debt for the rest of our lives. But there are not keen on preventative care, in my experience.

    Otherwise, Norway is a lovely place and has a lot of positives. So much easier filing taxes here than the IRS hell we have to deal with, and I agree with Norwegian banking awesomeness!

  • Daniel Caldwell
    Posted at 18:09h, 14 April Reply

    Thank you for taking the time to educate people on Norwayland. :D

    • Tochi
      Posted at 08:44h, 15 April Reply

      I appreciate this information.

  • John H. Chamberlain
    Posted at 03:07h, 15 April Reply


    Great list (the first 15, at least. Haven’t gotten to the next 15…) On the ‘feriepenger’ part, employers do not withhold part of your pay each year in order to pay ‘feriepenger’. If you earn, say NOK 300,000 in one year then the next June you will get your regular paycheck for June PLUS 11% of 300,000, or 33,000 on top of your June paycheck (whatever that may be). One actually DOES get paid for July (fellesferie/national vacation). Note, however, that the first year one works, one will not get any ‘feriepenger’ in June, because ‘feriepenger’ is based on your previous year’s earnings. Believe me, THAT hurt, the first year of living here.

    Other than that, your comments are pretty ‘on the mark’ and I agree across the board.

    Sincerely, JHC

  • Sheri-lee
    Posted at 05:36h, 21 April Reply

    Hey, love your blog. Would you know anything about international study in Norway?
    I would love to study abroad but at a lower cost than it would be to study here in Australia or New Zealand?
    Also what kind of visa would I need I would like to work as well as study just to support myself.. Is this a common or possible thing?

  • Norwegian
    Posted at 15:08h, 21 April Reply

    Hi! Haha this was super funny to read! Thank you
    Im not going to comment on rights and wrong, but you should propably change store where you buy your fruits and veggies :p
    i think the main reason for our natural veggies and fruit comes and is seen by you as bad quality is because most of it is grown in Norway and its natural.. Not sprayed with a bunch of chemicals to make it look like a million buck but rather taste like it and be healthy :) (might also be a part of our strict toll) :D

    • Megan
      Posted at 16:09h, 21 April Reply

      i shopped at ultra (in oslo) and meny and jacobs. they were the best places where i ran into semi-better customer service. otherwise, i opted for farmer’s markets or co-ops as the grocery stores in norway are nothing short of repulsive the majority of the time (gotten better over the last few years, of course, but still poorly taken care of). anyways, there used to be constant articles on aftenposten and other norwegian media channels regarding how ‘nyt norge’ products were falsely giving norwegian the impression they were healthier than products grown outside of norway and it was actually false. they had the same chemicals, they were just grown closer to home. just look at the norwegian salmon industry. there are reasons countries like russia constantly threaten (and sometimes do) boycott it. it doesn’t always have to do with sanctions politically, but because norwegian salmon standards have slipped and what is being sold is poor quality most of the time (i even stopped eating salmon after living in norway for a while). and now with things like this happening: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/apr/17/norway-approves-mines-controversial-plan-to-dump-waste-into-fjord , i’m going to ensure i dont eat any of it now while living in germany as much of the farmed salmon here is imported from norway.

      and what part of norway do you live in that most things are norwegian grown though?? LOL. i’d really like to know because i saw blueberries imported from chile, cherries imported from washington state in the US, and all kinds of stuff coming from asia. sure, when something is in season, you can get a norwegian variety of it (like anywhere in the world- this is not unique to norway), but most often, no. and if there is a norwegian variety of something offered year round, id be alarmed as that does not mean it is being grown sustainably and seasonally. anyways, glad you found it funny :) . im not sure why norwegians take it so personal when someone points out that they have rotting fruit and vegetables in many grocery stores ;) it is more or less stating the obvious a lot of the time. i wouldnt get worked up about it… hopefully it will continuously improve as i have seen it over the last few years.

  • Teddy Grimstad
    Posted at 15:31h, 25 April Reply

    One thing I like to point out for people who visits my home Country are, the road and tunnel fees. If you are traveling with A RENTED CAR
    be aware of that most of the TUNNELS fee are collected through A ” photograph ” is taken of the car while entering the tunnel, therefore you need to notify the Car rental about your home address so your tunnel fees can be paid, that can take up to 2 to three months before the Bill reaches the rental company. If you fail to do so, they can and will charge your credit card without hesitating. Goats and ships are occupying
    the tunnels, be careful when you enter these DAY or NIGHT. And one advice when driving in 50 kilometer zones KEEP THE SPEED LIMIT
    or you have NO MORE license eg: You drive 80 Km in a 50 ZONE you license is revoked for LIFETIME. Cordially Norwegian American
    Teddy Grimstad
    http://www.teddygrimstad.com NASHVILLE COUNTRY MUSIC PRODUCER

  • Teddy Grimstad
    Posted at 15:40h, 25 April Reply

    One thing I like to point out for people who visits my home Country are, the road and tunnel fees. If you are traveling with A RENTED CAR
    be aware of that most of the TUNNELS fee are collected through A ” photograph ” is taken of the car while entering the tunnel, therefore you need to notify the Car rental about your home address so your tunnel fees can be paid, that can take up to 2 to three months before the Bill reaches the rental company. If you fail to do so, they can and will charge your credit card without hesitating. Goats and ships are occupying
    the tunnels, be careful when you enter these DAY or NIGHT. And one advice when driving in 50 kilometer zones KEEP THE SPEED LIMIT
    or you have NO MORE license eg: You drive 80 Km in a 50 ZONE you license is revoked for LIFETIME. Cordially Norwegian American
    Teddy Grimstad

  • Mohd D
    Posted at 06:31h, 23 May Reply

    Hey , Im from jordan , I do live and work in KSA , Im planing to migrate to a good country which have peace and good income . Im not looking for the perfect life but good enough to live a normal life .
    Im interior designer and digital developer , I have a diploma in interior design from NDA (British academy) . I would prefer to have a job first and after that make the movements , Plus I would like to visit the country or the city first .
    So how to contact any agent to find a job for me ?
    & how can I have a visitor visa first and make some interviews in there ?
    And if I found a job after the first visit . How to move and how easy is it ?

    Many thanks ,

    Mohd D

    Cheers .

  • Erik
    Posted at 13:58h, 25 May Reply

    I wanted to correct you on one important thing. Everyone in Norway is entitled to 5 weeks paid time off per year. I should know, I am from there. And feripenger is 10 percent or so of what you made the year before. Thats money you get on top of everything else.

    • Megan
      Posted at 14:12h, 25 May Reply

      interesting that i dont know any norwegians except those working fr the government that received this vacation allotment :) most i know received 4 weeks (or less) and their feriepenger paid for it.

  • Okunade Odunayo
    Posted at 15:44h, 26 May Reply

    I want to move from Nigeria to Norway, I really dont know how to go about it .. maybe you could help me out ,,,,, Megan Thanks

  • Christina - CavaforLunch.com
    Posted at 12:48h, 07 June Reply

    Hi Megan! Thanks for a great post – I’m a Norwegian and I still enjoyed it :) After a few years as an expat abroad, I totally feel your pain regarding the banning of the Yogi tea… It’s horrible to do so! Stupid government. But I must say I disagree with you on one special point: the complaining… In my opinion all my fellow countrymen complain about EVERYTHING all the bloody time. They never. stop. complaining.

    Love your blog xx

  • Christina - CavaforLunch.com
    Posted at 12:49h, 07 June Reply

    Hi Megan! Thanks for a great post – I’m a Norwegian and I still enjoyed it :) After a few years as an expat abroad, I totally feel your pain regarding the banning of the Yogi tea… It’s horrible to do so! Stupid government. But I must say I disagree with you on one special point: the complaining… In my opinion all my fellow countrymen complain about EVERYTHING all the bloody time. They never. stop. complaining.

    Love your blog xx

  • Tobie
    Posted at 09:39h, 20 June Reply

    I’m a petroleum engineering graduate with hopes of getting a job in Norway, could you navigate me through the steps

    Posted at 12:12h, 25 June Reply

    Hi dear MEGAN !!
    I want to be communicate with you. I have something to ask you .. its very important so please be in contact with me thru Facebook, mail, Skype …
    Facebook : Neer zon wagley
    gmail: [email protected]
    Skype : Nirjan wagle
    p.no: +977-9812099016 ( +977 is country code )
    Waiting for your reply .
    Thank you .
    Nirzan , from Nepal.

    Posted at 12:13h, 25 June Reply

    Hi dear MEGAN !!
    I want to be communicate with you. I have something to ask you .. its very important so please be in contact with me thru Facebook, mail, Skype …
    Facebook : Neer zon wagley
    gmail: [email protected]
    Skype : Nirjan wagle
    p.no: +977-9812099016 ( +977 is country code )
    Waiting for your reply .
    Thank you .
    Nirzan , from Nepal..

  • Vosfjall
    Posted at 17:09h, 14 July Reply

    My great grandparents actually emigrated from Norway to Scotland, due to the grinding poverty which was the norm in Norway then and to have the chance of decent farmland. In fact, for most of its history, Norway has been poor, and exported people in huge numbers. Its rumoured that you still tell the physical difference (shorter, darker) today in those descended from tenant farmers scratching out a living on the small allowance of land they were given after slaving away (Norway outlawed slavery late) as opposed to those that actually owned the land. Don’t expect as a Norwegian ever to actually buy your own farm, you had to be born into the right family six centuries ago.

    I’m not sure I really believe the stories about how supposedly rich it is now – it sounds like noveau riche talk from people who were previous unaccustomed to the basics. I recently travelled back, and I’m always reminded of what a depressing country it is. I stuck it out for nearly a week this time, before retreating to the more pleasant conditions of Sweden. What I don’t understand about Norway is, if it is so rich, why are salaries so low (except for engineers) and why can’t its people afford to do normal, fun things, like travelling from one end of the country to another on a railway or motorway in summer, or eating out at a restaurant more than once every 4 months. What is the point of oil fund if the taxation is so high that people need it to fund their pensions (because they can’t afford to pay for them out of their salaries?)

    And its not just supermarket food that’s poor quality. Every single place we stayed at had poor quality accommodation. Yes, the famous hytte. Not only were the showers invariably dirty, but the grass around them would be uncut, bits of old machinery and wood tended just to be left to rot in random places, lights wouldn’t work, kitchens were beyond dirty (there was one that was such a hellhole that I still feel sick if I think about – a hytte there with no private toilet cost 695 NK for one night). Car parks and footpaths unfinished and whole places that were just a mess.

    Hammerfest – why are the people there so rude? We had one driver try to ram his car into us when coming from a side street, then blast his horn and gesture aggressively at us (the rest of the world and even Norway doesn’t use priorite a la droite, because it causes accidents). We went into a shop near a ferry terminal to ask when the next ferry was, and got the rudest reply – is saying you don’t know politely too much trouble? Or maybe the ferry company could put up a timetable? Rude, lazy people, who can’t be bothered – mind you, whats the point, since you get paid much the same no matter how little work you do or minimal effort you use (unless you’re a male engineer, of course).

    And why are the roads so bad when the taxes are so high? I actually have a theory about this. Norway has so little industry apart from oil, it has to make up projects to employ the otherwise lazy and unemployable Norwegian male. So it builds ever more crappy tunnels (seriously, widen them and light them properly and put in cycle lanes since cyclists spend so much money touring your country) and bridges, but its all totally uncoordinated, so you still have crappy, twisty B roads linking them together, with little overall improvement to the roads network. If I paid that much tax, I would be asking my government serious questions about why there are no dual carriageways north of Trondheim and no railways north of Bode (and even that one was built by Russian and Yugoslav prisoners of war). Sweden manages it, and it has similar terrain in the north and ravines on the Bothnian coast to cope with.

    Ah, Trondheim. For some reason, despite the massive Norwegian taxes, you have to pay a road toll to pass on the road that goes near it, then another toll if you have the (audacity? tenacity?) to enter it in your car. Once in, you will see lots of miserable looking people trudging about in the rain, having given up waiting for one of the unreliable and over-priced buses. Admittedly, Trondheim has a lot of new roads. They’re just empty, and don’t go anywhere.

    But at least there are pavements in Trondheim. In many places, there aren’t. Residents just have to walk along the main road (and it really is the main road as there is only one north of Bode) even if they want to visit their neighbours. At least they won’t have to walk to a restaurant though. Because there aren’t any.

    And despite the high taxes, Norwegians still have to get their cash card out to pay their doctor! Right there and then, the hospitals even have little pay points for them.

    I dare say if you live in Oslo or around, you might even have a reasonably nice life. The rest of the country seems to be marketed as a tourist trap, to con as much money as possible out of unsuspecting tourists. And whats with the lavish Thai exhibition at the Nordkapp? Sure, the Thai King visited once. But I don’t go to the northernmost point of mainland Europe to see the results of a government advisor’s Thai girlfriend’s job creation scheme.

    Part of the reason Norway is such an awful country is that Norwegians never criticise it, and can’t listen to those who do. They have presumably driven away anyone who can constructively criticise and are left with lots of people telling themselves how wonderful it is.

    I’m trying to think of good points about Norway. Mountains can be quite scenic, though the Faroe Islands are more dramatic. Fjords are bigger than in Scotland. The Norwegian men tend to be good looking, although they age quickly and you wouldn’t date one of them, because they’ll likely be lazy and earn less than you. And have an internet girlfriend from an exotic country.

    Thank goodness for Sweden. It may have its faults, but its like a ray of sunshine compared to Norway. In fact, there are any number of European countries which “do” European living standards, culture and scenery way better than Norway.

  • Married a Norwegian :)
    Posted at 01:57h, 27 July Reply

    This was so fun to read. I grew up in the US, met and married a Norwegian, and lived in Norway for 2 years. We are now back in the US and while I miss many, MANY things about Norway, it is good to be home. I completely agree with just about everything you mentioned. most of all- the health care. So many people give such high regards to health care in Norway (which it def. has its perks) but I agree about outdated machines, old hospitals, ( I went to visit my SIL after she had a baby at the hospital and it looked incredibly old and dingy inside) and not sure if you mentioned the long wait time for basic procedures/surgeries.

    I lived in Stavanger where the military base is located and the military would have to send the wives to England for their yearly mammogram checks because the machines in norway were too outdated to meet the proper standards in the US. This was CRAZY to me. Also, if you need something done such as a minor surgery, or procedure, you often get put on a “waiting list” and usually have to travel to Oslo to get it done. This was also crazy to me. My father in law waited months and months for a knee thing (forgot what it was) to be done and my mom had the same thing done (in the US) and had an apt. right away , etc.

    Something else that I think was hard for me was people not saying hello on a “tur” or walk. I would get pretty frustrated that no one would say hello or even make eye contact while walking/jogging on the beautiful paths, streets, trails, wherever. (i’m from the south where people give hugs to strangers so i’m on the other end of the extreme. but still. no eye contact or smiles) ugh.

    anyway, we sometimes talk about moving back to norway but i start having flash backs of the long dark winters and people who don’t smile at me when i pass them and how freakin expensive everything is there… and i feel happy where we are.

    banking IS totally awesome there, -My hubby and I talk about this at least once a week.
    I miss the bread- A LOT.
    I also miss norvegia cheese!
    I LOVE the style there
    I miss the nature and fresh, fresh air the MOST!
    I don’t miss the rain.
    I miss how safe I felt there.
    I miss all the cute blonde babies with rosy cheeks and winter hats all tucked in their sleeping bags inside there giant strollers.
    I miss all the cute downtowns.
    and I truly miss walking everywhere! and the “smallness” of it.

    thanks for the post! :)

  • Frederick Delaware
    Posted at 11:17h, 03 August Reply

    The website http://www.norwayuncovered.com was banned in Norway in 2003 and the owner was given a prison sentence of 6 months suspended for two years but only on the promise it was taken down on his return to England. When he returned to England it was not taken down. The website highlighted the downside of several aspects of Norwegian culture, especially the intense dislike the Norwegian establishment had for Muslims. How prescient of the website owner when in 2011 Anders Breivik, white supremacist and virulent Muslim-hater went on his killing spree.

    There are a hundred things on this website that the outside world ought to know. I can thoroughly recommend it.

  • Elisabet
    Posted at 16:54h, 12 August Reply

    I haven’t lived in Norway since I was five just turning six. I ham now sixteen so about ten or eleven years and with all the things that you have said are correct. Gods I don’t know how my parents survived some of the time. I had forgotten and then I went to Iceland on a school trip (which is an awful lot like Norway) and I forgot that they speak a varied version of old Norse and I said,
    ‘Tusen takk’ (A thousand thanks) and got stared at and I was like ahahahaha it’s just ‘Takk.’ I had forgotten that the fruit went off and everything is expensive. Even thought I was in Oceland it brought back memories of when I was little so much so that I missed my home.

  • stella
    Posted at 12:18h, 19 August Reply

    Norway is great for young people with no assets who come and get into the system early. If you are middle aged have already paid for your children’s education, you will get precious little out of the system, and will have the joy of paying for their children’s education, too. The healthcare costs just as much as in the US (12% of our annual income goes to this tax), getting decent retirement benefits is based on 30-40 years in the system, and if you were foolish enough to save any money in your former life, they will want to pare that down 1% each year with their wealth tax.
    I find Norwegians individually to be pretty nice people, but there is a deep-seated conservatism and xenophobia that is papered over with reams of regulations designed to force them to behave better. Mostly it doesn’t work – the Norwegian will get the job.
    They are also rude, as I was warned by a colleague my first week here. The default behavior in public is to pretend you don’t exist – they’ll drop the door ahead of you, occupy the whole sidewalk, etc. The people who have been polite in public have been foreigners.
    Norwegians have a passion for process. Meetings upon meetings, regulations, paperwork and more paperwork. Usually the decision has already been made higher up, but they are going to make it look like it’s democratic. Buying a pencil at my workplace probably costs 10 times the already ludicrous price because 5 people have to be involved in the process.
    I read above that there is great trust here. Well, the people trust their government, or have given up trying to influence it. At work, there is no trust – part of the reason for the mounds of paperwork is that they don’t trust the employees to behave decently. Which is weird, since most Norwegians seem pretty honest. One of my co-workers said that it is a national passion to observe your neighbors to make sure they don’t get away with anything, or get any benefit you don’t. Maybe that is the origin – if someone steps out of line, they implement a “process” to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Add up enough of those processes and you have a suffocating system. Not my cup of tea. I would not have come here if I knew what I know now, and will leave if as soon as I get an opportunity.

  • Ike
    Posted at 15:31h, 19 August Reply

    It took forever to reach this part of town with the long stream of comments.
    Coming from East Asia (and not being too specific since Japan and Korea are quite similar) I must say that Norway is actually overall cheaper. To begin with definitely hospital care and services are much better, faster, efficient, high-tech etc than Norway. BUT the more expensive treatments are not properly covered while in Norway the more expensive the treatment the less you end up paying. In other words, if you had cancer in East Asia you would end up in debt due to the treatments needed and not necessarily healthier. In Norway you wouldn’t end up in debt but you could end up dead due to the slow service and waiting times.

    The quality and price of groceries in East Asia is frankly more expensive and worse than in Norway. Someone mentioned shipping times… well at least you can get produce from the rest of Europe but in East Asia well…… China is a land of pollution and fake everything, Japan is a land of radiation, Korea only produces locally what is being protected by import taxes mainly rice and beef. So the closest other countries are South East Asian countries and they only do tropical fruits. So it is either from Australia or the US. And even with cheap manual labor you still find rotten produce from time to time, and the cheaper produce are tasteless and small, unless you pay 3 times the price for “premium” produce which turns out to be twice the prices here in Oslo. So for twice the price you get the same taste quality as in Oslo…….

    Imported meat is cheaper than locally produced meat and also cheaper than in Norway but it is not that high quality because it is imported so it arrives frozen). Locally produced meat is just as good and perhaps tastier than meat in Norway BUT about 2.5 times more expensive……

    Heck even locally produced electronic goods are MORE expensive than in Norway.

    Clothes? Even more absurdly expensive……..

    Furniture? Even Ikea charges about 30~50% MORE than in Norway to match local prices (even then local prices are still about 10% more expensive than Ikea).

    Pizza? HAH! The frozen pizza sold in Norway is actually of higher quality and MUCH tastier than the pizzas sold at pizza restaurants back at home and MUCH cheaper. To eat a similar quality pizza you would probably have to pay the same amount you pay to eat Pizza at a restaurant in Norway. To eat a pizza matching the quality of Pizza you eat in a restaurant in Norway then you would probably pay twice that amount in East Asia.

    Pay? Sure relatively speaking I got paid more back at home….. again BUT I worked pretty close to 12 hours a day… let be more specific, about total 9 hours are spent working, the other 3 hours are spent wasting time because the senior employee / team leader / boss hasn’t yet gone home…. and only 2 weeks paid holiday. Heck that in itself makes Norway the undisputed winner.

    Sure there are some minor inconveniences in Norway like…… not having a CV at every corner (like Paris has pharmacies), not being able to have food delivered to your doorstep within 30 minutes any time of the day, and I mean any time. Not being able to go out for drinks without calculating the monthly budget every time. And then to return home from said drinks to recalculate the monthly budget….
    Actually getting some proper medicine instead of being offered the all-mighty paracetamol or ibuprofen. Seriously no cold medicine?

    I am actually very happy to be in Norway especially since I like cold weather and global warming is certainly driving temperatures in East Asia.

    I would say that only some places in the US or Canada or the UK are comparable in the work-life-nature balance and you can rule out eh capitals of those countries.

    But some people prefer crowded and polluted places and foods with so much preservatives pumped into it that you could keep bread in the open and not having it rot for 2 whole weeks…. or buy bright red apples that have been waxed to bring out the color.
    And do you know that if possible all exporters of fruits and produce spray their products with preservatives to prevent them from rotting when crossing the vast oceans? In fact that is one reason that in East Asia it is recommended never to eat any fruit or vegetable without first having it washed properly, not for fear from pesticides remaining, but because of the preservatives sprayed over them so that they last the shipping process.

    The US is the more advanced version of Korea/Japan but with produce and groceries being cheaper due to all that vast land they have and shorter logistics.

    In fact most likely the only advantage the US has over Norway are cheaper cars, cheaper produce, cheaper groceries, and cheap manual labor. Hence the more you can earn due to your job the better it is to live in the US than in Norway. But once you reach a certain thresh-hold where you still earn more than you can ever spend then the US has nothing more to offer and you are better off in Norway where if you are rich enough you can actually enjoy the socialist aspect of Norway AND its capitalist side, or the UK is also good. And then you have the rest of Europe and Africa a stone throw away.

    The US is an island culturally speaking.

    However I personally would advise against living in an EURO country. (I said EURO and not EU). The EURO is a flawed and dangerous product.

  • Bob
    Posted at 09:25h, 24 August Reply

    Hi, I’m Bob 26 years old male. I have a college degree in computer-aided production engineering. I would love to work and live in norway.
    I admire your culture, way of life, I’m not picky about anything. In my country jobs simply don’t exist. So if theres anyway this could work, pls contact me [email protected] thank you

  • Jendy Jasper
    Posted at 04:05h, 30 August Reply

    Thanks for this nice weblog. U have few questions to ask.
    1)Which course would you advice a foreigner to do in Norway (Mechanical engineering, electrical and electronics engineering, computer science and financial mathematics.)?
    1)Are the laws banning foreigner from trading the foreign exchange market(FOREX)?
    3) Are they racist?
    4)What part time work is more suitable
    for a student in Norway?
    5)What skilled works best suits a student?
    6) How tough is
    it to get a JOB or admission in Norway?


  • flyttebyrå oslo
    Posted at 08:02h, 03 September Reply

    Great article. i know when i was moving in oslo i got to know a lot of strange rules they have here. plus registering with your post office turned out being a bit of adventure. If you dont speak Norsk its ok because lot of mover do and its easy communicate. Just look for flyttebyrå oslo and if you you prefer english speaking ones then just use Oslo Akershus Flyttebyrå they are good. Other then that remember that in Norway you will spend more money faster then anywhere else but there is always a way around finding things cheaper there

  • Rickie
    Posted at 13:22h, 05 September Reply

    Forget Norway – come to England! Everything here is “perfect” Superb health care. First-class transport. A modern and vibrant country. Forward thinking in ALL respects.

  • randy singh
    Posted at 20:30h, 30 September Reply

    hi i’m a fire officer living in trinidad and tobago considering moving to norway.i have two kids and my wife and currently made ten years as a fireman and now forty.will i get something worthwile as my job in norway and will the transition for me and my family be too difficult?please reply because i’m contemplating.

  • Matt
    Posted at 04:29h, 04 October Reply

    Hi Megan ! (and other helpful people)

    I am a computer engineer (B.S) and doing my master in science Information security. I am just wondering , do you need Information security engineers overthere ? and any idea about salaries ?


  • Saif
    Posted at 07:16h, 14 October Reply

    Hello Megan,

    I am an electronic engineer and I have graduated from Germany. Now I have one job offer in Oslo and one in Hamburg

  • V8
    Posted at 17:55h, 18 October Reply

    I think nobody noticed that Norway is very beautiful and has very beautiful women that are independent and don’t act like princesses (ekhm american women). I think those two things are important to consider before moving, at least if you’re a guy.

  • Van (@snowintromso)
    Posted at 14:07h, 26 October Reply

    I actually had an argument with the boyfriend (Norwegian) about this because he actually thinks Norwegians complain all the time, I just don’t notice it. Haha, no way! Just send him your post :D

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  • Tulasi
    Posted at 06:52h, 18 November Reply

    Hi Megan thank you so much for this post. I am originally from Brazil but had spent the last 15 years of my life in NYC. In September I got married to my Norwegian fiancee and now I live with him in Oslo.
    Well let me tell you, I don’t like this place! Here are my reasons.
    1. I accidentally left the US with an expired passport (totally my fault), which everyone at JFK missed out. So when I got to Norway I was put in prison (yes, a regular criminal prison cell) for 6 hours, without any phone calls and not even a cup of water. It’s a freaking expired passport for God’s sake, not a bomb vest. They seemed to be very happy to have some action going on at the Norwegian Immigration.
    2. After my wedding my fiancee and I applied for my visa, only to find out a) We can’t live the country (not even Denmark/Sweden) for 9 months. b) I can NOT work or have any income for 9 months. c) I can’t take free Norwegian classes.
    What makes me really f*** upset is that Norway receives a bunch of refugees that come here, don’t do a freaking thing, use the system to get as much free money as they can. And here I am, married to a freaking CITIZEN, with a career that would be of much value in Norway (I work as an Art Director in Advertisement), waiting for the country to decide if I will be able to stay or not.
    3. So to make my life better, a month after my wedding we find out I am pregnant. Oh boy! DO NOT GET PREGNANT in NORWAY!!! First of all, I can get a freaking Dnumber which is the number you use for all your health files, THEREFORE I cant go to a doctor to even get a blood test. So if you dont have any extravagant amount of money to pay for private doctors, you are screwed. Your first free visit to a midwife (which you have no rights to pick your own) is only at week 20, so basically you don’t know anything about your baby until then, not even a ultrasound. Then you have to apply for a hospital to give birth, and that can reject you and send you to some place else (good luck!) and on your due date, surprise! You don’t have a doctor, your delivery MUST be natural and it is provided by any random midwife available at the moment, in case of complications you might get a C-section by another random Doctor who probably don’t even know your name.
    Well, honestly I could go on and on, but Im guessing that’s enough reason to dislike a country so much. Norway is outdated, has many communism values and laws, and the norwegians are rudes as hell. Forget about personal space, people will push you away and will not apologize.

  • umair shah
    Posted at 00:47h, 02 December Reply

    i am a student in master programme in Portugal. i want to move in Norway for work. so plz guide me

  • Kitta
    Posted at 13:50h, 14 December Reply

    I am an American optometrist looking to move myself to Norway since I’ve heard there is a demand for optometrist and very few US or UK trained optometrist. I do still have student loans here in america to pay off–I just want to make sure I will be able to sustained my life there in Norway and also still pay my student loans in the states???? I am wanting a better quality of life in a smaller quieter better structured country. Thank you

  • David Qarawi
    Posted at 14:36h, 11 January Reply

    I am an American citizen holding a master degree in computer engineering from Ukraine. I used to work as a translator and computer specialist for the last 15 years. I know Russian, English, Turkish and Arabic languages. I am thinking to move to Norway. I wonder if I can get a job in my fields of expertise, translation and computer maintenance.

    • Megan
      Posted at 01:59h, 20 January Reply

      hi david! nothing is impossible, especially if norway is looking for people in your field. i would start by looking to see if your education transfers at http://www.nokut.no and then start looking for positions at http://www.finn.no to see what is out there. good luck!

  • Graham Bruce
    Posted at 06:42h, 29 January Reply

    Hi Megan,

    I have a friend in Norway and her family assure me that a television licence is required for any kind of display monitor in the home, even if one only has a computer. I find this very difficult to believe because, were one only have a smartphone, would a licence be require for this ?

    Many thanks for a very informative site.

    Kind regards,


  • Orestis
    Posted at 12:47h, 02 February Reply

    Hi Megan.You’ve done a great work here.Bravo!! I’m Orestis from Greece.Me,my girlfriend and our 1 year old son,thinking to move in Norway.I’m an electrician and she is an economist.I’ll appreciate the opinion of a non Greek who lives there.Thank you for your patience.

  • Slimani
    Posted at 19:47h, 03 February Reply

    Hi , Thanks for this helpful informations ,
    actually i was dreaming to go in Germany to continue my studies but after what happening now , i did change my plans , i have some few friends in Norway , they are still there working studying , Everything is fine , about me i’m a technicien in repair computer and network , and i’m a programmer and web developer , but i don’t know if i should go there to studying or training or working , and i don’t plan to stay more than 4 or 5 years there , actually i just like to share my comments with you after i found that everybody make a beautiful conversation here :) , Thanks a lot

  • The Guy Who Flies
    Posted at 09:40h, 12 February Reply

    Just read this again as a refresher since I head off to Kristiansand soon. Thanks as always Megan for sharing your knowledge and experiences.

    • Megan
      Posted at 09:57h, 12 February Reply

      aw thanks so much!!! have an awesome trip! i never made it down that way but hopefully one day ill find myself there!

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  • RoadTripBus
    Posted at 16:56h, 16 February Reply

    Very interesting & helpful article I didn’t know these things. In Norway I like especially ‘Allemannsrett’ :D

    • Megan
      Posted at 04:46h, 17 February Reply

      it is one of my favorite things about the country!!!

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  • Jill
    Posted at 22:01h, 19 March Reply

    I relish, cause I found exactly wwhat I used to be having
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  • Chris
    Posted at 16:37h, 25 March Reply

    My take on things as an American…..Australians are the nicest people in the world, I never met one who wasn’t very friendly. Dutch people are also very nice and civilized. America still rocks in 2016 although it’s certainly no utopia. Europe has more and more serious problems and all the big-hearted generosity to all the international refugees will only come back to haunt Europe, as has already been seen for many years in Western Europe. At least in America we have Phil Hendrie (completely unique entertainer), no issues with freshness of produce, there’s always a good sports match/game on tv almost everyday, you DON’T have to pay for every single thing, the country is huge and varied so there’s always a good new place to explore and get away from people if you want, we have Donald Trump and he’s very entertaining, Burger King and Taco Bell kick ass, education can be expensive but you can solve this problem if you’re determined and resourceful, and I’m tired now so I won’t continue anymore. I do like Scandinavia though, especially Sweden. I hope to see Stockholm someday. But I hate cold climates and that’s a big drawback to living in Scandinavia. Finally, let me say that there’s no utopia in the world. Some places are better than others. I lived in China for six years and that place is pretty nuts, I stayed about four years too long due to certain reasons. Personally, I think Australia, New Zealand, and various tropical islands throughout the world are the best places but we all have to live somewhere. Just try to get enough laughter, sleep, and exercise in your life and you’ll probably be fine:-)

    • Megan
      Posted at 21:23h, 25 March Reply

      thanks for your comment, chris! and i totally agree- not a single place on the planet is a utopia!!!

      • Brian Simasiku
        Posted at 15:36h, 06 April Reply

        Megan i am a University Lecturer from Zambia, got a Masters in Business Adminstration, I have been looking forward to the slightest opportunity to move to Norway, kindly advise me

  • Victoria
    Posted at 15:32h, 06 April Reply

    Hello. I am currenly from Puerto Rico, and the situation here in the island is very dire for us the young generation, 21 to 30s, and Im ;ooking at the idea of moving to Norway. my boyfriend is from Norway and Im currently stuck in the ugly process of visiting with a turist visa of 90 days, i spent 46 days in Norway a few days ago, and was looking to visit once again in the summer, my question is if the days are accumulative or if the 90 days clock restarts after a certain time period, like 3 months from now. Also, I would also like to know if the process to getting a student visa or a seasonal work visa was easy for you, around how much you paid, because I have read their visa webpage but is kind of complicated. I would really like to talk to you, i have many other questions Saint Google cant really answer. Please help.

  • Brian Simasiku
    Posted at 16:34h, 06 April Reply

    Megan i am a University Lecturer from Zambia, got a Masters in Business Adminstration, I have been looking forward to the slightest opportunity to move to Norway, kindly advise me

  • Harsh
    Posted at 12:40h, 20 April Reply

    Hi Megan , I am pleasure to encounter this blog accidently and its really coincidence as I am thinking to get lifelong decition if I am choose us or Norway. I am from Sri lanka 41 old who has Bachelor in Local university and got masters in same stream at prestigious university in United Kingdom. I have my own well settled sisters in Norway (oslo) and LA USA. Migrating as a skill worker is quit impossible to both counres according to my academic background (Business studies doesn’t have much opportunities as I guess). So if I am going to either country its as a student visa and then for the possible path to settle. What I think right now is if am going to Norway I can apply to public uni in Bergen or oslo (I ope I can get placement as I am academically qualified) and find a job there and settle. Another option is to apply for Montessori diploma in LA (which my sis done, she is living there for now 12 years) and find placement in school and settle. Coz according my sis it’s easy to fine placement in school as they have contacts. Even thou I now now many things about both countries via my sisters, prob is each one says the country they live is the best. So I am in prob to choose one as this is my lifelong decision as I am not teen now. What I want to know from u megan is, If I am choose Us for my destination would u think that I would be able to settle in US and get good life ,,,and if I choose Norway what wud be the life as a stat up student in that country and go beyond that and settling there. Which country has most opportunities? I know about Europe as I was been there but never been to us or Scandinavian country. Appreciate your answer. (Harsh from Sri Lanka)

    • Megan
      Posted at 10:09h, 21 April Reply

      Hi Harsh!

      Ohhhh what a difficult question. And one I certainly can’t answer in its entirety, even though I’ll do my best. So I will just list pros for each place (if anyone else wants to chime in, please do so!)

      Pros for Norway: Education is free (well, tax payer paid). If you want to go there under a study permit, you will accrue a lot less debt than in the US most likely. There are exceptions of course, but if you study at a public university, you will encounter this. I know you won’t be able to work a great amount though on that visa (like 20 hours a week, no more). But the government won’t allow you to live on the streets and you can get cheaper housing (pending it is available), etc. There is adequate public transportation (in Oslo), so you won’t have to worry about needing a car to get around. Raising kids here is cheaperish. The government gives every couple a stipend when having a child to get set up, etc. You also won’t have to worry about healthcare here as you will be put on government/universal healthcare once under a proper visa.

      Pros for USA: You will likely fit in and feel less segregated as a foreigner. You will find many Sri Lankans all over the place and will immediately feel like you have a family in the place (aside from your family already there). The weather is amazing and you have daylight all year round at consistent levels. You can find any ingredient you seek without any issues (ie: goraka, tamarind, curry leaves, etc etc) as you will have hundreds of foreign grocery stores. If you’re on a student visa, you can easily find work (much easier than Norway as a foreigner). English is the main language so if you have a good grasp of that, you won’t be discriminated on a job based on language skills. If you’re looking to develop a home over time, I think you will feel more ‘at home’ in the US than Norway. In Norway I think you’ll always feel like a foreigner first.

      These are my opinions on the pros of each place. In the US, you will eventually need a car. But there is public transportation, it is just a massive country and can be difficult to maneuver around carless after a while! You will also have to get student insurance upon acceptance into a school (it is rather cheap though!) In both places I am confident you’ll have a great life! I think Norway will be a bit of a stretch diversity and acceptance wise, but the quality of life may initially be better there. USA is diverse and you really can become whatever you want there. Every immigrant to the US has told me just that, regardless of whether someone born there still believes it.

      Best of luck to you! I am sorry I can’t offer much more regarding this but I hope you have a chance to visit both places and make a decision based on that! And I hope someone chimes in with more information or opinions on these comments!!!

  • Harsh
    Posted at 22:30h, 21 April Reply

    Thanx Megan for your swift reply

  • akhil nair
    Posted at 09:10h, 24 April Reply

    hi nice to see you megan .megan my question is how i can buy land here and what is the proedure

  • sagar gautam
    Posted at 10:31h, 26 April Reply

    hey it is good hear about norway i want to read in norway . i am from nepal ii ant tod bachelour what can i do plase woud you mind it ?

  • michael
    Posted at 22:16h, 27 April Reply

    Hi, I just got admitted to study in Norway Nord university, I have other admissions at the UK, and Canada, comparing their graduate live after school would you suggest i study at Norway?

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  • Lara
    Posted at 15:53h, 24 June Reply

    I´m an Australian living in Norway and I must agree with the fruits and vegetables not being the freshest…with the exception of strawberries in the summer of course!

    • Megan
      Posted at 10:48h, 20 July Reply

      I still dream about those Norwegian berries….. sigh….

      Germany’s pale in comparison!

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  • Sir David Haddon
    Posted at 06:44h, 15 July Reply

    ME: wrote America is great why change it? The American Government is probably has the worst corrupt government in the free world.
    2016 we have someone running for president that is tied up in Treason, with Terrorist Middle East Nations, and many other crimes. Her husband has an foundation taking hundreds of millions of dollars from countries that Support Terrorism, there isn’t an agency that isn’t corrupt.Our Radical Islamic President which we didn’t know about till after he was voted into office, wants to trash our Constitution, has our southern border wide open for anyone from anywhere to walk right in, American tax payers are supporting 30 Million Illegal Invaders and the millions of birth right citizen children, and now the President is bringing tens of thousands of Syrian Refugees into the country and supporting them and not knowing if they owe allegiance to ISIS or not. Has the Blacks and Whites in turmoil with blacks killing police because of our Presidents policies IF THAT MAKES AMERICA GREAT WHY DO I WANT TO RUN NOT WALK TO GET OUT OF AMERICA?

    • Ali Hamdan
      Posted at 23:39h, 28 July Reply

      Dude!! just vote for Trump and all your problems will be solved….I feel your anger and since our government is corrupt that means all of them are implicated including all the republicans you voted for!!!

  • Sarah Chyczewska
    Posted at 21:10h, 19 July Reply

    Hello Megan,

    I like to ski, have a teaching license at the graduate level, and believe I could use a big change. Norway right now is a place I am dreaming about. (Scandinavia in general.) However, I suffer from depression. I like winter because I like snow, I love skiing, and don’t mind wrapping up a lot every time i go out. I am afraid, though, of the dark and cold making me sad and anxious. Do you know anything about rates of depression in Norway? Are there doctors for it? Is there a general understanding about what it is as opposed to a taboo?

    • Megan
      Posted at 10:38h, 20 July Reply

      Hi Sarah!

      I completely understand your desire to move to Scandinavia- the winter, clean air, etc :) All things I miss now living away from it. On the other hand, the winters ARE dark… and to be fair, a bit depressing. I spent my winters traveling and my summers staying around Norway and I never fell victim to it. But I have many friends who suffered from it big time. I found this map with depression rates around the world (and it was used on some major scientific sites as well): http://www.fgfinder.com/images/fg-blog/depression-rates.jpg I hope that helps! Good luck <3

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  • Peter Worley
    Posted at 15:04h, 27 July Reply

    Hi, I have English relatives in Norway who are citizens, would that make moving there easier? I’m sick of this regressive country and would like to move somewhere more progressive, like Norway, Sweden, Denmark or Finland. Convincing my wife will be the most difficult part!



    • Megan
      Posted at 16:21h, 27 July Reply

      Hi Peter!

      Ugh, sadly, that doesn’t really make it any easier. I found that with Norway, you really need to find a job ahead of time, find a job in a bar if you’re an EU citizen until you land something better, or get married to a Norwegian (which convincing your wife of that may be a challenge haha!) Have you considered the Netherlands? Their visa policy is much more lax and the lifestyle is still a decent quality of life for sure! :) Scandinavia and Finland tend to have much more stringent visa policies, unfortunately.

      • Ali Hamdan
        Posted at 23:49h, 28 July Reply

        Thank you Meg for the truly honest and informative things you have said about Norway.. I am a Lebanese- American for 30 years and i was looking into moving to Norway because of people like Sir David… I will probably come and visit first …Thanks

        • Megan
          Posted at 09:41h, 03 August Reply

          id definitely visit any place before moving there. even though living in a place is SO different than traveling to it, it will give you an overall jist of the costs and lifestyle, etc. :) good luck!

  • Megan
    Posted at 06:44h, 30 August Reply

    Hi Megan! I am planning to move to Norway post graduation from Nursing school. I was wondering if you had any tips for me, in regards to finding a job, applying for visas, apartment hunting, etc.?

    • Megan
      Posted at 21:43h, 30 August Reply

      Hi Megan :)

      Just curious what is causing or what is the reason for your move to Norway? Is it just out of the blue or is it because of relationship, etc? That can make a bit of a difference! Let me know and I’ll do my best to provide some tips :P

      • Megan
        Posted at 21:46h, 30 August Reply

        Thanks so much for your reply! My main motivation for the move is because of a relationship :) and many friendships that I have made through my travels in Norway.

        • Megan
          Posted at 22:31h, 30 August Reply

          Aha! Yep same reason as me back in the day :) That makes it a bit easier because you have a reason and purpose. I get a lot of people who want to move because they just like the idea of Norway without realizing it isn’t the world’s easiest country to just pick up and move to. For all that has been said about immigration and UDI there, I found the workers to actually care a bit more about the cases and trying not to screw people over completely (I currently live in Germany and the immigration experience here is degrading and disgusting and I’m leaving as a result). Nevertheless, I have no idea how to find an apartment aside from looking on finn.no. Finn.no is your source for everything Norwegian (and it’s only in Norwegian so you have to Google translate it). On that site, you can find jobs, apartments, furnishings (on the gis bort section people give away free stuff), etc. It is like craigslist but slightly less sketchy.

          The only thing I think you may have issues with is your Nursing education. I know a lot of times people have trouble in the medical field transferring education over to Norway. if you look at Nokut.no, you can get your education approved and evaluated there. You will definitely need to do this as soon as you can to see if anything will transfer over.

          As for visa options…hm. This is where things get a bit grey. If you have a job offer quickly, you can get a visa with little to no issue. BUT… finding a job as a nurse will probably prove to be difficult as for what I mentioned above. I found this link: http://www.norden.org/en/hello-norden/norway/work-in-norway/work-as-a-nurse-in-norway but i have literally no clue if it helps. I don’t come from a medical background but rather a marketing and business one.

          I hope you are able to successfully get things set up and squared away there! If you have any other questions, please email me! I am not sure I can answer as i havent lived there for two years but i will definitely try! :)

          • Megan
            Posted at 23:10h, 30 August

            I definitely have realized that it’s much more of a challenge than I had expected! Everyone keeps reassuring me that not being fluent (I only know the simplest phrases) in Norwegian will be fine, but would you recommend for me to take the time and focus on really learning the language? From a work standpoint I know that it will be practically a requirement, but in general I was wondering if it’s something terribly important.
            Your help is so appreciated! I am having a hard time finding a lot of Americans who have made the move and my Norwegian friends aren’t as familiar with the process!

          • Megan
            Posted at 08:02h, 31 August

            learning the language is definitely important despite like 100% rate of norwegians having exceptional english. i started learning before moving to norway, but i found that when i got there i was pronouncing everything wrong as i moved to bergen (which is a very different dialect). once i moved to oslo it was like ‘ahaaa… this is where the easy dialect comes from’.

            the best thing about norway is that if you struggle w/ the language but try, people will appreciate it. there are many people living there who make no attempt with it at all and i think it is horrible. and norwegians are too nice to say anything but i never was. it is of course up to you, but i certainly recommend learning the language soon because i think being able to speak just a few words of it will make you be viewed a lot different in the eyes of the employers. one thing i loved about norway (that germany is horrible at) is that if you are learning a language and you ask people to help you, they will. in germany people just shout at you (okay, not all, but more so than in norway).

        • Kari
          Posted at 17:10h, 09 September Reply

          Agreeing with what Megan said – I did the move too, and no matter what all of your English speaking Norsk friends tell you ahead of the move – learn the language ASAP if you plan to live there. Like now, ahead of living there.

          Unless your friends are willing to hire you (which is a very big avenue to get a job in Norway – networking), the percentages are very small that other Norsk’s want to hire a non-fluent person. There are some jobs here and there for english-only speakers, but I doubt any in nursing. My experience (before the haters come out) is that Norsks intuitively trust other Norsks over foreigners, and many are insecure doing business in English.

          No matter what my friends and family had told me for years.

          • Megan
            Posted at 16:57h, 12 September

            I concur on all levels here. Even just showing a little language capabilities shows that you are proactive and willing to assimilate to their culture and everyday life.

  • John doe
    Posted at 11:48h, 31 August Reply

    I think you are the kind of person that would complain in any country you live. Get a life

    • Megan
      Posted at 11:54h, 31 August Reply

      trolling online and using the name ‘john doe’ because you have no balls to use your own? brilliant ;) sending warm wishes to you in sverige.

  • Shavkat Samadov
    Posted at 07:27h, 05 September Reply

    Dear megan i wat to move to Norway i am from Tajikistan
    Can you tell me about any posibilities for me ?
    Kind regards

  • fulgence
    Posted at 07:49h, 09 September Reply

    Want to move to scandnavian countries please your guidance
    am in Tanzania

  • Sofia
    Posted at 17:03h, 10 September Reply

    After 8 years in Norway i can tell you that it is a very big challenge to live here, so if you are thinking of it, i advise you directly and honestly, no don’t do it!!

    After 8 years in Norway if you didn’t become crazy then you are a hero!! And I’m so proud that I’m learning much life lessons and training much my mentally to just live a normal life even in Norway with Norwegians.

    It is very important to say that i’m living in a small place (Hamar) not in Oslo and not in big cities which can be much easier to live in.. in small places the challenge is much harder..

    • Megan
      Posted at 16:49h, 12 September Reply

      I love reading other’s experiences and opinions on here. I am sorry you had a difficult time! I definitely think city life (meaning Oslo life) is much different than life in smaller areas :P I doubt I would have coped in Hamar. I went there once and it was gorgeous, but just so small for me.

  • aju
    Posted at 09:56h, 15 September Reply

    I Megan, I am from India , I am planning to do my master In norway and like to settle there , can you pls advise me ,is it easy to get stay back there after my study .
    can I bring my wife toNorawy while I am studyng there

    • Megan
      Posted at 09:15h, 16 September Reply

      Hi Aju! Everyone’s circumstances are different and they may look at that accordingly. I suggest reaching out directly to the UDI (udi.no) for more concrete answers as you’ll have them in writing. I haven’t lived in Norway in two years and hold no knowledge to what is happening these days! Another website that is good to check out is http://www.lifeinnorway.net Good luck!

  • Tariq Mohamed
    Posted at 19:44h, 26 September Reply

    Hi i am tariq from trinidad and would like to live and work in norway

  • Arash
    Posted at 22:41h, 14 October Reply

    I’m from Iran. I want to move Norway; first for PhD level in universities for free, and then I want to be a citizen in Norway. Is it possible or not? please guide me. what can I do?
    Thanks a lot!

    • Megan
      Posted at 14:30h, 18 October Reply

      Hi Arash, I haven’t lived in Norway in years but I would start with UDI.no to look at their immigration options. Good luck!

    Posted at 23:13h, 17 October Reply

    Hello Megan, guten Abend :-)

    I am from India, and my core competencies include a stronghold over foreign languages, and European ones at that. I have got degrees in three of them already, and speak two more. I work under the tutelage of the Goethe Institut here in India (the official German cultural centre, you would certainly know about it) as a German teacher in various schools and colleges. Other than that I am also a teacher of Spanish. I have been learning Norwegian and Swedish on my own for some time, with a view to shift to either Norway or Sweden (whichever is easier, to be perfectly candid). I was hoping to get an insight about the kind of opportunities that might exist over there in Norway for polyglots like me, not necessarily in the teaching sector.

    What do you think? Is it going to be worthwhile? Could you help me out with my query? It would mean a world to me to be honest :-) Hoping to hear from you soon. Bis bald und ich wünsche dir einen schönen Tag ;-)

    • Megan
      Posted at 14:25h, 18 October Reply

      Hi! I am so sorry I can’t provide you with much information so I am hoping someone on here that has subscribed to the comments can :( You are very impressive with your language skills! I, unfortunately, haven’t lived in Norway since 2014… I am now located in Kazakhstan, hence my inability to help. Good luck with your search though!!!

  • Victoria godwin
    Posted at 16:16h, 20 October Reply

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  • marian
    Posted at 18:47h, 20 October Reply

    Hi Megan, i hope you doing good. My name is Mimii and i am Nigerian. I am a nursing student here but moved to Norway because my husband got a job as a engineer here. I have been here for almost 3 years and i am loosing my mind!!!. I am finding it hard making friends…….or at least finding people that have the same interests with me. I like to hang out, club, travel, i loooove fashion……in fact I am obsessed with fashion, pop culture, celebrity, music and i can really dance :-) Its so sad because i can’t do any of the things i love here but i wish i could meet people that are like me. i just turned 30, no kids. I wish i could have girlfriends i could travel with or hang out with. Plz do you have any tips for me?……crying

  • ushie john
    Posted at 01:42h, 21 October Reply

    Hi Megan,am Ushie from Nigeria and I wants to move to Norway to stay and may be continue my schooling there but I don’t knw if it a gud idea for me

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  • Nasrah
    Posted at 20:30h, 24 October Reply

    Hi Megan I would like to move to Norway to work and obtain a Norwegian citizenship please what can i do so to live and work in Norway legally. I in Uganda please

  • Farooq
    Posted at 16:39h, 25 October Reply

    Hi, MeGAN, I am a spray painter in italy. Can I find a job in Norway. If yes. There is also a language problem.I can speak English to little bit…Please tell me about this. Thanks.

  • julieta london
    Posted at 13:28h, 28 October Reply

    I’m not a great fan of Norway as I’ve been there a lot and the boiled potatoes and fish and lack of social life is jarring. But London is hectic and full time childcare is half my salary. I have a son with a Norwegian who lives in Oslo. I’ve quit my job in london around 50,000GBP and have nothing planned to go to in line of work in OSLO. My Norwegian isn’t great but I need a job as my partner is a student and need to eat and support my son – and him. Any advice? I’m a British Citizen aged 39.

  • Mr Johnson Paul
    Posted at 03:46h, 30 October Reply

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  • Gunn Elin
    Posted at 20:34h, 12 November Reply
  • Abby
    Posted at 06:52h, 18 November Reply

    I know this post is 3+ years, and most likely don’t check it any more, but I have a question, perhaps you know the answer to. My grandparents (no longer living) immigrated from Norway to the US. Like most Americans of my generation (born in the 80’s), we’re a beautiful mixture of many different nationalities, and often (sadly) have very little ties to our ancestor’s cultures, as many of them shed native languages and traditions at some point over time, to fit into this crazy huge mixed country. Alas, I have given myself the monstrous task of updating our family records for my young daughter and her generation of family members. I came across a Norwegian website in my searches that had my name already recorded, as well as my (non-Norwegian) husband and our daughter. I was also given a family ID number and personal ID number. My question is: are these just arbitrary numbers meant to help organize this particular website, or are these recorded by Norwegian government? The website doesn’t look too official, but I really can’t tell. My American web designer standards are pretty high, ha ha. Here is the website: http://www.hemneslekt.net/getperson.php?personID=I153584&tree=Hemne If you have any insight, that would be greatly appreciated. I had read something about obtaining a personal ID number when applying for a VISA (we have no plans to do so :) ) Could that possibly be what this is? I was just a little surprised to find my personal information recorded anywhere. A great family resource though!

  • julieta
    Posted at 16:46h, 22 November Reply

    Funny Video Elin. Does anyone have a list of reputable recruitment agencies? I’m a postgraduate and qualified teacher (in UK), I’m sending a form to the UDIR..to get my teacher qualifications recognised …but what do I do next? I would consider a career change. How easy is this?

  • Tani
    Posted at 06:42h, 08 December Reply

    wow… thanks a lot the information was really helpful for me.

  • Things To Know Before Applying For A Mortgage Loan | Last Mortgage
    Posted at 07:20h, 08 December Reply

    […] 30 Things You Should Know Before … – Norway is a complicated, beautiful, and a sought after country these days. This post describes thirty things you should know before moving to Norway. […]

  • Pablo
    Posted at 15:52h, 14 December Reply

    “I just saw a situation with a boy having to travel to Germany out of pocket because the heart procedures he was having done were from the 1970s and doing more damage than good”

    Suuuuure. My God, how blind can a person be? If we have hight-tech in Argentina, they have it and better in Norway.

    • Megan
      Posted at 10:56h, 13 January Reply


  • Mustafa
    Posted at 07:09h, 30 December Reply

    Hey Megan, I am currently in high school living in canada and I have recently read this article about how Universities in Norway are free of charge. So I was just wondering about how much money do I need per year to live happily in Norway. By happily I mean open to have breakfast with friends and going to theatres without worrying how much I spend. Hope I wasn’t too late with the comment

    Thank you ?

    • Megan
      Posted at 10:42h, 13 January Reply

      Hi Mustafa! I no longer live in Norway (been gone like three years), but I know there are many sites out there that can perhaps be of help! http://www.lifeinnorway.net is a great starting point! I think Van at http://www.snowintromso.com may have some information too :) I never went to university there, so I don’t know much more :) Also look at Germany. It is where I live now and uni is free here and it is a much cheaper cost of living in Germany than Norway. It will at least provide you options!

  • Clare
    Posted at 02:05h, 25 January Reply

    Hi I found your observations very interesting esp about the food / fruit issue! I think we all have a tendency to look at the best in our home country once we have left it behind and cast a more critical eye on where we are.
    Your comment about conformity is right it’s a product of both political approach e.g. Not hugely capitalist as well as a strong sense of community and group togetherness taught in schools. Coming from the UK with family who are native and have lived there 20yrs plus the Norwegians are very proud of their country and it is wonderful.
    The best thing for me was relaxation the slow non stress life style the clean air although I am a V8 lover but clean air comes at a price! The water is great and for the first time in years my skin was 21 again. Food also is organic no intensive farming additives added to everything. I would say it’s a great place to be young in and old in and have a family in it would have been dull to be a teenager there unless it’s all you have known. London and America plus Spain seem to be favoured destinations for younger Norwegians probably for that reason yet after a time away they all seem to miss the snow, abit like the English miss the rain!
    I don’t speak Norwegian it’s the biggest issue and not really worth learning intensively unless you are staying long term but it does hamper work prospects in a major way. Norwegians can be protectionist re jobs and language can be used to shut casual workers out. I am not sure if this is a bad thing because it means if you plan on staying you have to show commitment and invest in Norway England should have learnt and taken a similar approach to late now !

    As for the free holiday thing English people don’t get holidays at all! Paid unpaid we work the most in any EU country but have very little quality of life compared with many countries. Also your comment on travel costs being expensive that’s relative we in the U.K. get truly screwed there also and the quality and service is appalling at least in Norway you can see where the money goes. The political system is very democratic as a process and morals in government lack of corruption fraud is treated harshly and applies to everyone not just those at the bottom or in the middle but the top also great and most noticeable compared to both the USA and U.K. Where these political practices are off the hook.
    Quality of housing is another one less with USA Canada but U.K. Europe it’s better in Norway by far and in most areas cheaper Oslo being the most expensive but compared to London very cheap for rentals and even buying.

    A downside is the state nannies people at times , don’t smoke or drink too much don’t buy big v8 cars but your rubbish in this or that bin etc but in most cases it’s for people’s welfare but if that’s not your lifestyle outdoor healthily moderate drinker non smoker it’s not your kinda place.
    Norway has far more up sides than down sides I think having spent time there the people are distant until they know you than they are friendly pace of life is several gears down from London USA pace but once you get in the groove it can be addictive. It’s good to keep your thrill side alive either through travelling ice climbing otherwise it can get dull but dull can be good at a certain age. Finally standard and quality of life for the elderly was also very good older people socialised more than the UK and children went most places without a fuss except bars generally it’s a very inclusive atmosphere for all.
    Downsides are poor food esp fruit quality of food in restaurants general lack of customer awareness but not rudeness. English specific irritations being bumped into in bars a lot without an apology once they knew I was English the apology was handed over fast! they don’t que at bus stops, I was often the first at the stop but somehow always the last to get on the bus! And they walk up stairs the side you are walking down these are small cultural differences that all resonated with the English people I spoke to whilst there.

    • Megan Starr
      Posted at 18:27h, 27 April Reply

      Hi! I am so sorry for the delayed response! I have been traveling non stop and am finally getting caught up! Thanks so much for your comment and insight! I no longer live in Norway, but I love that this will help provide opinions for other travelers or potential expats to Norway! :)

  • Sarah Chrish
    Posted at 11:08h, 01 February Reply

    According to me, Norway is one of the lovable places in the world. Also, it’s a pollution free country. I was there in Norway for 3 years. Really that was awesome.

    • Megan
      Posted at 11:57h, 10 February Reply

      Norway is awesome! But definitely not pollution free…. Bergen is the most polluted city in Europe.

  • Ginger
    Posted at 14:54h, 09 February Reply

    I am interested in being an English language tutor or classroom teacher in Norway. I taught English on a Korean Army base years ago and I loved it. I studied Korean as I taught the Korean soldiers English (American English). Is this done, over there? If I wanted to “go over” for a year, or even just three months, is there any need for an English tutor? I have a degree in English with a certificate in professional writing, so my grammar is good (typing lax, if anyone is noticing, but this is email).

    I don’t speak any Norwegian yet but have begun today. My son and I are going to visit Norway this year and so I’m going to be ready with at least a little cabability.

    Trying to think of anything else I might be useful at. American slowpitch softball (played and coached), western horsemanship (riding over 40 years).


    • Megan
      Posted at 11:55h, 10 February Reply

      Hi Ginger!

      I am only one person giving an opinion on here but I think moving to Norway to teach English is a bit of a stretch. What I mean by that is that most Norwegians speak impeccable English. They are taught it from a very young age and their education is enhanced further by television, movies, and mainstream media as the government does not dub things. I often had Norwegian correcting my English :P

      On the other hand, since your education is English based, you may want to look at http://www.nokut.no as they will decide if your education transfers over without issues. To become a teacher in Norway, you typically need a pedagogical based degree (I think). So even if your education transfers over, many schools may require a certificate stating you’re okay to work in schools. I am not saying that there are exceptions to this, but I never once ran across an English teacher in Norway that moved there from abroad just to teach. I have friends that work at the international schools in Oslo and Bergen and this may be something you’d want to look into. I think that is the only recommendation I have…

      On the other hand, there are other countries in Europe where English teachers are needed. Right now, there is a major need in the east (Ukraine, for example). The cost of living there is super cheap and you’re paid fairly well if you get in with a company or businesses. You can also look at some companies in Germany (where I live now). I think Scandinavia would be the most difficult to find a job in, however.

  • Ginger
    Posted at 14:56h, 09 February Reply

    Wasn’t thinking – can you take my last name off of my correspondence if it’s posted publicly? Just don’t need a lot of attention

    • Megan
      Posted at 11:47h, 10 February Reply

      Done :)

  • Jo
    Posted at 20:08h, 27 March Reply

    Hi…I don’t usually write on things like this but I thought it was worth and ask! My husband & I travelled to Norway to work for 3 months in a lodge last summer. We were paid fairly low as he was getting to know if we would be any good! Luckily he liked us and we are heading back this summer and he will be paying us better. We are from the UK and I am concerned about paying tax. Could you point me in the right direction to find out more about this. Our Boss asks us to write a monthly invoice for wages so I guess it will be up to us to figure out paying our tax to Norway. I think we must visit the police and register but that is as far as I have gotten. I don’t even know what the minimum warning amount is to start paying tax. Unfortunately my Norwegian is very basic still so having trouble translating a little.

    • Megan Starr
      Posted at 18:03h, 27 April Reply

      Hi Jo!

      Sorry for the delay- I’ve been computerless for a while :) Ohhh taxes. I feel so bad that this is one area I will struggle to help you in. I definitely can recommend http://www.lifeinnorway.net though as the information is usually up-to-date there. I am slowly building a resource library for Norway here on the blog and hope to have it launched early this summer to help w/ questions like this! Good luck!

  • Frank Reisland
    Posted at 12:10h, 30 March Reply

    I lost all my patience already in the paragraph of salary. I’ve got deep knowledge into wage level in many countries, with most kinds of work and what you write is almost completely nonsense when it comes to explanation why mid level and high level work is not paid well in Norway. I am also considered to a troll and I did use my “fake” email when posting this. Well, not really, trolling to social democratic crackpots is when you express a hate for socialism. I say I truly prefer to have them dumped into the Norwegian sea to die. I hate everything about socialism and in particular the steal and share- mentality. I hate legalized theft which includes taxation and public fees. Enough of that, just wanted to give you a little background.

    OECD – better life index is completely irrelevant in context of quality of life and specially when non-egalitarian countries are in your group of compare. The reason why is that the wealthy people rise the average so that you get unrealistic numbers of what is average. The average wage in US is far below the Norwegian counterpart after you have stripped the top 10% wages off the statistics. Now we get to the part where you are perfectly right.

    From mid range wages and up, the salary is poor in Norway. It is hard to get rich in Norway not to speak about wealthy which is completely impossible. We had three people who wanted to get wealthy from a point where they were rich and all three had to search for citizenship elsewhere to manage. There is maybe three positions that pays more than $1 million dollar (not including bonuses). With bonuses and if you find the very few places where this is possible, you can earn $750 millions in bonuses. For more than that you will have to flee the country. Only three places I can think of where this is possible in Norway. Now back to ordinary positions and salaries in the mid leader and up to top leader, not inclusive. Your salary will typically be at most $300k and a normal salary at mid leader would be $100k. The average so called industrial wage is $55k. This would count for about 50% of all workers. As you can see the salaries in Norway is very much equalized. If you’re bright with the right education it is easy to find work that pays $300k including bonuses. In Norway you can only land such a deal with great luck. They are so few those positions that offer such payment. If you’re self-employed there’s of course a totally different story, but mind you, it is really hard to make money in Norway. Thus, if money is important, stay the heck away from Norway OR be sure to be smart enough to come up with an idea, preferably one where you need no physical address so that you can move your business entirely out of Norway when taxation begins to hurt too much. The tax progression for private income is steep and lands at 55% from every dollar above $100k. On top of that you’ve got 24% vat and in addition an ocean of special fees, including fees that makes a gallon of fuel cost five times more than South Carolina and cars twice as much and in worst cases for really nice cars, as much as ten times more. Norway is a butt hurt crazy country when it comes to making cars the number one enemy. This was also true long before climate hysteria. Of course there is an exception for electric cars where there are no taxation of fees at all. In fact, the fee is negative because you go free on ferries, toll roads, parking, taxi lane, and even free electricity to charge it up, but who cares. Only crazy people would want an electric car running on batteries with all the limitations this gives. Conclusion, get rid of that OECD nonsense. You don’t need it to make your point as I have shown you. You see, the crackpot socialists in Norway already know the OECD numbers doesn’t tell much about reality unless you’re comparing egalitarian countries.

    • Megan Starr
      Posted at 20:10h, 30 March Reply

      Can someone buy Mr. Frank a good ol shot of Aquavit ;)

      Didn’t read most of your post (no offense… just on vacation in the Faroes and don’t live in Norway anymore, so I don’t care), but at the end it was the ‘get rid of this non-OECD’ nonsense that threw me. Statistics only matter if you agree with them. Got it :) Anyway, enjoy Norway. Awesome place and I miss it very much… haven’t lived there in years.

    Posted at 16:57h, 22 April Reply

    I am happy that most of my question will answered ,even you can come on what up number 265999757539, i wish i go and work in Norway help me

    • Megan Starr
      Posted at 18:00h, 27 April Reply

      Hi! Perhaps check out lifeinnorway.net if you’re looking for some more updated stuff on moving there! It is up-to-date

  • Devon Mathew
    Posted at 17:48h, 22 April Reply

    i am a Norwegian looking for indian hindi speaking contact for a bussiness supply contract, any interested person with bussiness experience of raw material supply should contact me on this email
    [email protected]

    • Megan Starr
      Posted at 17:58h, 27 April Reply

      You’re the first Norwegian I’ve ever met using a Yandex email address. Please no one reply to this.

  • Elin Merethe Oftedal
    Posted at 23:19h, 30 April Reply

    Hi Megan,

    I think its a lot of fun reading how “foreigners” experience our country. I think its somehow a inside – outside situation – once you are inside you look at things quite differently than when you are on the outside. Its hard transferring from one side to the other – because of both the “cognitive map” of the outsider – who in a way expects to go about his/ her life the way he/ she is used to, but also because of the strong institutional framework in Norway, consisting of laws, regulation, strong culture and of course our “cognitive map”.

    Regarding food: What you find in the supermarket can be limited. Some stores are better than others, but I would love to have Whole Foods (I have only been in one Trader Joe store, and that particular one, did not impress me). However, we used to buy stuff on the market – and now we buy a lot of our produce such as potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, berries, eggs and other Norwegian produce straight from the farmer. We dont eat that much steak, we eat a lot of lamb – especially in the season. In general we get very good meat from the butcher shop – and in bigger cities, there is always at least one. We eat fresh fish, which we sometimes catch ourselves or order directly from the fisherman. There we also get shrimp (those smaller, salty ones), crab, mussels etc.) . In the fall, we pick mushrooms. We are not as good as the Russians in knowing about mushrooms, we mostly know varieties of chanterelle and porcini. We also make juice from the elderberry flowers and in the fall we also gather berries ourselves and make jam and juice for the entire year. Well, I say we – but I think we do that in my family – and I know many other families that does the same. The people who dont do that, they know about it, but they are not into it enough.

    Also, you say that there is not much to do. I think differently, but its maybe because I am on the “inside” – – In the winter, I have gone to yoga, I have joined artcourses, I have joined dance courses, in addition to the gym. It depends on what you like to do of course – some people are more sporty – and there are actually a variety of sports. You are right that tennis is something you have to pay for, its not that common – it used to be viewed as “elite” – but sometimes its easier to find squash -courts. But maybe part of it is to find a group of people to join their activities – such as tennis, soccer, hockey (not on ice) if you dont like skiing and other outside winter sports. In the summer, bicycling is a big thins. You can also golf – in fact- if you are member in some club outside of the country – the green- fee is not too bad in comparison. But you have to be member somewhere.. Boating is a big thing and if you go out with a boat you will notice a parallell world out there. I have never seen any foreigners at the boat – sites – its completely hidden. The same is the cabin – culture. Norwegian are a lot friendlier and approachable at their cabin.
    Also, many people entertain a lot, but its hard to get into the tight knit group of friends. I found this article quite interesting – how the “cold” Norwegians actually are very tight once the ice is broken. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2017/04/24/how-close-is-too-close-depends-on-where-you-live/?tid=sm_fb&utm_term=.a1195bc8ceea

    Ok, I could go on -…somehow I wish I could do something to make an easier transfer through the outside of Norway through to the reasons that most of us “dont complain” – because we are genuinely happy. We know that its not perfect, but we feel we have a full life. Also, I want to add – that I have lived in Scotland, France, USA and Thailand – and I love other countries – but to me Norway is the safe space and my base.

    • Megan Starr
      Posted at 12:08h, 26 July Reply

      Thanks so much for your comment, Elin! So much has changed since I was living there three years ago, that I love getting updates like this on this post! It is immensely helpful to others :) Hope you’re having a great summer!

  • Yogeswaran Supramaniam @ Rajamohan
    Posted at 16:07h, 07 June Reply

    Hello there, I am from Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, age 37. 10 years of working experience in IT sector, mainly Oil & Gas, Business Services and Operations. Currently in my last paper for Masters in International Studies. Appreciate if you can advise me the proper process and guidance on how to apply for migration.

    Appreciate your feedback, Thank you. Kindly drop me a line at [email protected]

  • Roisin
    Posted at 13:14h, 14 June Reply

    hey, I’m from Australia and am thinking of moving to Norway. I’m also a type one diabetic. Do you know if there’s any help that I would receive there?

    • Megan Starr
      Posted at 17:54h, 18 June Reply

      I am not 100% sure, but I know that Norway does a great job at covering chronic illnesses compared to some other places (ahem… USA ;) ) I’d definitely check out lifeatnorway.net for more information (he has a lot of updates from Norway there and has a team working for him whereas I no longer live in Norway). Good luck!! Norway is incredible!

    Posted at 23:15h, 03 July Reply

    Great Article!

    I was talking to my girlfriend yesterday about Norway, but the only problem its we are from a tropicall country, and Norways seems pretty damn cold!
    Thanks for sharing these informations with us!

    • Megan Starr
      Posted at 11:49h, 26 July Reply

      Norway is cold… yes ;) But it adds to the beauty there.

  • Captain Schemo
    Posted at 00:08h, 05 July Reply

    Hello I wish to flood Norway with as many refugees as possible.Is there a way to sneak in a few million without anyone noticing? My submarines and boats are eagerly waiting to be of service to Norway.Thank you very much Cpt. Schemo.

    • Megan Starr
      Posted at 11:48h, 26 July Reply

      What are you talking about?

  • Cody
    Posted at 05:51h, 07 July Reply

    Hello, I am interested in the Tattooing and piercing side of things in norway if you have any information on it?

    • Megan Starr
      Posted at 11:48h, 26 July Reply

      Hi Cody! I am sorry, I don’t. But I hope someone here sees your comment and replies. Good luck!

  • Paul
    Posted at 15:34h, 07 July Reply

    This is a great post and thank you for writing it. It is very informative and has actually made me stop and think. Let me try and explain.

    I live and work in the UK. I’m half Scottish and half Ugandan and a British Citizen and lived here all my life. I work for the Crown (Civil Servant). I’m paid very well, have massive amounts of leave (holidays = currently 40+days a year) and work about the same hours as you do in Norway (37hrs a week on flexi time). So all sweet; so why am I thinking about moving to Norway. It’s kinda odd. I just love the place. I’ve been on holiday there a few times and it’s just amazing. Don’t find it expensive at all in fact find travel and accommodation way cheaper than here (sorry this is not meant to sound disrespectful). In fact didn’t find anything that made me think ouch. Then again I live in one of the most expensive regions in the UK. I find the Norwegians to be very kind and friendly and the country is stunning. I also have relatives that live in Oslo – they are Norwegian. I’ve been thinking about moving to Norway for a year now, not too sure of my motivation, partly board with life here (my job is slowly doing my head in), I love the outdoors, met a Norwegian guy I’ve fallen for (it will never happen but it may be clouding my judgement). I’ve also started teaching myself Norwegian – enjoying it and thinking about doing a course at Oslo Uni next summer. This will give me a chance to learn the language properly and live in the country rather than just visit. Funny after reading you blog I’m kinda wondering if the UK is better and just holiday in Norway despite always loving it since I was young. Also not massively sure how the Norwegians feel about people moving to their country. At the mo the UK is very anti-immigration so you kinda feel other countries may feel the same and being a half cast I’m not too sure how I’d be received. My cousins are okay as they are born Norwegian, I’d be an incomer. Here in the UK I’m fully accepted and just seen as being British and nothing else. I’m trying to learn as much as I can so I make the right decision. Don’t want to die thinking I wish I’d tried.

    Anyhoo thank you for your time. It’s given me a lot to think about.

    • Megan Starr
      Posted at 11:51h, 26 July Reply

      Thanks so much for your comment! I am sorry I can’t reply with additional info as I no longer live there (I know I sent ya an email a while back!) but I really hope you learn Norwegian and can find yourself there. The people are lovely and welcoming to those who want to assimilate into the society and contribute :) Good luck!!

      • Paul
        Posted at 17:25h, 27 July Reply

        Hi Megan.

        No worries and I’m very grateful for your reply. I really hope I’m able to master the language properly and hopefully be able to move and live there. It’s really good to hear they are good people and I’d love nothing more to be part of their society. Fingers crossed.

        All the best too to you and thank you

  • Becky
    Posted at 12:32h, 10 September Reply

    This is really interesting! I’ll keep this list in mind of I ever get the idea of moving to Norway! :D

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  • Hannah Elfers
    Posted at 04:40h, 27 November Reply

    Hi! my name is hannah and i would really like to move to norway. ( im only 12 and in he 7th grade lol so right now i dont really know what im doing with my life XD) I am planning to be roommates with my best friend there. and…dont norwegians speak a different language? If so, i need to learn so i can understand signs and stuff lol. im really good at the accent though. and i do know some norwegian like, hei hvordan gar det! that means hi how are you doing in norwegian right? anyway, i live in america in west virginia and if i never get a chance to live in norway then my other big dream place to live is oregon which is a state in the US. so is west virginia XD) i am mostly american, but i aslo am scotirish, german, british, swiss, and french. im everything BUT norwegian lol which is kinda sad for me. being norwegian sounds cool i guess. and ive always had been more interested in northern countries. ( i really like snow and cold weather). and the word norway just sounds KEWL. and norway is a beautiful country with its nature. and i want to move there and your tips helped me a lot. and going to a foreign country also is really KEWL. so i hope you get a chance to read this comment because i really like sharing my thoughts and hopes and dreams with other people. <3

  • Miro Christoph
    Posted at 13:47h, 03 December Reply

    Norwegians don’t complain and about the food. I read the same thing in Michael Booth’s book – The Almost Nearly Perfect People: The Truth About the Nordic Miracle. He says it’s typical for all Scandinavian countries. Really interesting. On the other side on the Balkans people complain almost about everything but do almost nothing about it :)

    • Megan Starr
      Posted at 18:18h, 05 December Reply

      I am laughing so hard at your comment! Germans love complaining too. They have it down to a science!

  • Wallace
    Posted at 22:04h, 04 December Reply

    You mentioned that hiking was free, and it is an industry to which I belong here in the US. Do you know of a Trail Guiding certification? A friend of mine is in Iceland and any trail guide there has to be certified. I am strongly considering relocating, but finding a job in my chosen field is a factor.

    • Megan Starr
      Posted at 22:10h, 04 December Reply

      Hi Wallace! Your question has left me completely stumped! I never met anyone who was a guide there. But this site to the Norwegian hiking associate may help (or you can message them and get answers!): https://english.dnt.no/

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    I am an civil engineer from middle east , and i were living in tentioned area , and i am also stateless , holdind document travel , so how norway deal with such cases , specially i am now jobless , and i intent to move to norway to be a good citizen , and work there in my field.
    Please help

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  • Kevin Teppen
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    I am interested in moving to Norway from the US. I have been trained as a landscape architect and civil engineer in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Do you think is would be possible? I am Norwegen and have extended family in Norway. Thanks for your insight.

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