What to Expect When Moving to Norway
Norway is an inspiring country filled with jaw-dropping landscapes and beautiful vistas. Its stunning natural beauty is complemented by a high quality of life supported by a well-developed social system and a stable economy. Many people worldwide choose to move to Norway, and here are a few things to expect.
Free Healthcare and Education
Every citizen of Noway has the right to medical services and education. They are provided free of charge by the government; of course, this means higher tax rates, but it’s a trade-off that most find beneficial. If you have a job lined up in Norway, which I highly recommend, you will most likely have plenty of benefits, much more than you are used to in the US.
Norway is expensive. Standard items like groceries, clothes, and automobiles are all very pricey, though public transportation is readily available and links all major cities. The cost of goods and services may be high, but so are wages, so it sort of evens out.
Culture and Heritage
It will become apparent to you that the Norwegian people are proud of their heritage. They are especially proud of the Allemannsrett, a law that states that anyone can camp or hike anywhere that isn’t private property in Norway. Norwegians can be reserved and generally do not complain or cause a scene in a public place. Conformity is the norm; everyone dresses and acts virtually the same, and it is required to like skiing.
One common misunderstanding is that all citizens of Norway get a month of paid leave of work each summer. This is only partly true. All citizens get a month off, but it is not paid, and if you haven’t saved, you are screwed! The Norwegian government is also notorious for banning otherwise common things like Red Bull.
When you apply for citizenship in the country, you may need to take several factors into account. You may benefit if you have advanced or graduate education. It can also be helpful if you have a relative in the country or marry someone with citizenship. Think about whether you would like to apply for a work visa as well. This can help make sure that you are eligible to work for a company when you arrive.
The local language is Norwegian and will be spoken by the vast majority of people that you meet. English is the most commonly taught foreign language in the public school system in the country. You may be able to talk to quite a few people who will be able to converse in basic English. But it would help if you also made an effort to learn basic words and phrases in the native Norwegian language.
Also, international shipping can be costly.