Living In Norway Expat Guide – that will be the topic of today’s article.
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Moving to Norway is a desire that every expat shares. And of course, it’s a good decision that we cannot make for you. But, we can guide you based on our experience while traveling and relocating to the country. With modern ease of travel, lots of people today are looking at packaging their lives overseas.
If you’re seeking new adventures as an expat, exploring a country with high-speed internet and cheap travel options are the best. One place that remains a top choice among expats in today’s world is Norway. Given its quality of life, friendly cities, and stunning geography, you’ll definitely enjoy Norway.
But, how do you plan your next relocation? Of course, it’s okay to get a visa. Meanwhile, it’s quite essential to know what it takes to live in Norway before planning to get your visa. That’s why we recommend this ultimate guide for anyone looking to resides in Norway. Does that sound interesting?
Well, depending on your budget, there are many ways to enjoy the Norwegian culture. While it’s true that Norway has leaped into the forefront of global consciousness, there’s so much more to this gorgeous nation. Moreover, Norway is the northernmost of the trio of Scandinavian countries. It also shares a long border with neighboring Sweden to the east.
However, we have compiled this article to walk you through the living in Norway expat guide. Not only that, but we will walk you through the interesting facts about living in Norway as of 2021. So, if you’ve been surfing the internet to get the right information about Norway, worry less as we’ve got you covered.
What Expats Should Know About Norway in 2021
Sifting through this content, there’s always the same questions being asked repeatedly regarding immigration rules, learning their language, and finding employment. Moreover, it would be a good idea to answer these questions today. Without further ado, let’s look at what expats need to know while relocating to Norway.
Is living In Norway Good for Everyone?
Well, this is a million-dollar question, if we say. Nonetheless, the answer, of course, is that it depends on your plans. To start things off, you should ask yourself this simple question: what are my expectations? How long do I plan to stay in Norway? Is this relocation the best option that’s available to me?
Let’s say you’ve been living a typical American lifestyle and you decided to move to Norway. You’re likely to find it hard to plan. This is because; American lifestyle is good; at the same time, Norway is one of the happiest places in the world. In fact, their lifestyle and foundation of happiness are what we love.
How’s Norway Immigration Rule?
Well, Norway has a relatively small population (more than five million people). This way, immigration service plays a huge role in impacting the country even much more than moving to the United States. Depending on your purpose, immigration has strict rules for all emigrants as of 2021.
With the coronavirus outbreak, moving to Norway has become more challenging to expats in North America and even the Africa continent. But, we’ll do our best to compile the basics of Norway’s immigration service in this article.
Can I Move To Norway From Outside EU/EEA?
Of course, you can! On the other hand, the process might be complicated if you’re not a citizen of an EU/EEA country. Although there’s always an opportunity for job seekers, but the general rule is that you’ll need a job offer to be granted a work permit in the country.
However, seeking employment outside of the industries such as research or oil and gas may be challenging. This is because; Norwegian employers don’t want the long wait to get a working permit in the country.
Is it Easy to Find Jobs in Norway?
To be honest, this has been one of the questions that got many people’s attention on the internet. Since many expats don’t have family members or where to reside in Norway, they rather look for a job. Meanwhile, if you’re planning to relocate because of this factor, you must research well.
Absolutely, as a small country, Norway has areas with a skills shortage. So, it’s easy to find jobs in industries such as healthcare, construction, and ICT. Besides, the energy industry remains a major employer in the country while high competition for positions. Read further as we discuss the jobs in detail.
How Can I Find Somewhere to Live?
Finding accommodation in Norway’s major cities is becoming quite challenging, especially when the lockdown began. In fact, most newcomers arrange accommodation by themselves before moving to the country. This will tide them over for a few months while they’re looking to find the right apartment.
On the flip side, the process of renting a house is fairly similar in Norway. Most emigrants go through one of the online marketplaces to get to the right place. Again, to know how renting an apartment is easy in Norway, you can deposit a certain amount upon your arrival to the new apartment while you pay up.
Do I Need To Learn the Norwegian Language?
Well, you can learn the Norwegian language to communicate better. But, there are no legal requirements for anyone to learn the Norwegian language. Meanwhile, since obtaining permanent residence is a whole different thing in Norway, learning how to speak Norwegian may fasten the process.
Where Is The Best Place To Reside In Norway?
Since we all know that Norway’s cities are small, there are tons of beautiful places to reside. Moreover, it depends on how in-demand your profession is. If you do have a choice, or you’d love to reside in the major cities where you could secure a job, read further as we have everything listed in this article.
Interesting Facts about Living in Norway
The kingdom of Norway is a Nordic country located in Northern Europe. Also, it’s one of the most mountainous countries in Europe, for its stunning fjords and other outdoor activities. We’ve compiled a list of interesting facts about Norway. Without further ado, below are the fun facts to know about Norway.
One of the Happiest Countries
Unsurprisingly, Norway always appears in the world’s happiest countries. Many other reports, such as the Global Peace Index, have proven that this country is safe and peaceful. With their unique natural environment, great outdoors, and many other things to explore, it’s no doubt that Norway is peaceful.
Oslo Is a Modern Art Hub
Oslo, as the capital of Norway, is an interesting blend of traditional Scandinavian and a home to a modern art hub. If you’d like to visit a place in Norway to discover the modern Norwegian artist, this is the right place. Not only that but this city is dotted with many art galleries, allowing you to dive into this creative world.
Home to Delicious Cuisine
Whenever you think of Norwegian cuisine, maybe nothing comes to your mind but a delicious one. This is because; the cities are full of cool contemporary restaurants that focus on seasonal and local food. As is expected, you’ll enjoy different seafood in Norway, but they’re usually more savory, with meat.
Best Rail Journey in Europe
As of 2021, Norway’s rail journeys are voted as one of the best in Europe. For example, the Flam railway has been deemed as one of the most beautiful railways in the world today. Although traveling through the road is good but taking on a rail journey is a great way to see the scenery, particularly between Oslo and Bergen.
Norwegians Are Sporty People
It’s no doubt that Norwegian is quite sporty people. In fact, during the winter season, they hold the most medals of any country for the winter Olympics. In the 19th century, Norwegian also pioneered modern skiing. More so, you can visit the world’s oldest ski museum, which is Holmenkollen Ski Museum.
Home to Sweet a Christmas Tradition
The country has a sweet Christmas tradition. Every year, the Kingdom donates a Christmas tree to the United Kingdom. Aside from this fact, the spruce stands proudly in Trafalgar Square in London, which is a token of gratitude for the British support to the country during the Second World War.
Home to Polar Bears in the Wild
In Norway, you don’t have to worry about seeing polar because it’s quite popular in the street of Oslo. And, of course, Svalbard, one of the northernmost inhabited places on the planet, is a true Arctic haven. This area is perfect for sightseeing other Arctic wildlife, including native land mammals and arctic foxes.
Pros of Living in Norway
The kingdom of Norway has a unique positioning globally with its diverse cultural background and be a Nordic country existing in the northwestern portion of Europe. Aside from this fact, Norway also claims a section called the Queen Maud Land in Antarctica.
In addition, the core territory of Norway consists of the northern and western portions. Besides, most of the country features high and several mountainous terrains with various natural features and adventures. Also, Norway is famous for its numerous fjords.
There are over 400,000 lakes to discover when you start living in this country. Also, you can explore more than 239,000 registered islands across the nation, so if you’ve always thought about living in Norway, these are the pros and cons to note. With this, you’ll consider if it’s the right choice today.
Plenty of High-Quality Housing
Don’t be surprised that Norwegians have a lot of high-quality housing. They take great pride in caring for their home, and you can find numerous properties on the market that reflect the country’s high standard of living. Most of these houses use bright colors to accentuate the visual aesthetics of their region.
Incredible Outdoor Lifestyle
If you’ve ever craved an outdoor lifestyle, then Norway is going to be the best place to satisfy your needs. The outdoor opportunities here are endless. From hiking, camping to skiing, the benefits of living in Norway cannot be overemphasized. Also, you’ll discover that cycling and walking paths are prominent in most cities.
Home to a Beautiful Landscape
The beautiful landscape visibly strikes most people that visit Norway for the first time. Norwegians care greatly about the environment; that’s why it has an impact on their daily lives. Moreover, they have a visible effort to keep each city clean that’s why you should prepare to start recycling in ways you never thought.
A Country with a Fairly Low Crime Rate
While it’s essential to take precautions wherever you decide to live, you’ll find out that Norway is relatively safe, having a low crime rate. Also, most children walk themselves to school without worrying about what would happen to them. The overall crime rate has been relatively low (9.6%) since 2014.
Best Healthcare System on the Planet
Although a lot of people may think that Norway offers free healthcare systems, but the truth is that the country operates on more of a deductible-style system using a one-payer approach. Nearly everyone pays for their prescriptions and doctor’s appointments. Meanwhile, when the citizens pay up to a certain limit (2200kr), everything that follows would be free.
Family-First Approach to Life
The priority of Norwegians is to spend time with their families before anybody else. Besides, it is expected for their parent to leave their place of work, if needed to care for their children. To back this up, the government also establishes a generous parental leave policy for both parents to welcome family.
Relatively High Salaries
The salaries that you’ll find in Norway are relatively high compared to the rest of Europe. It’s a remarkable fact considering that Norway doesn’t have an established minimum wage. This means you’ll have enough money when your employer recognizes your job.
Free Post-Secondary Education
If you start living in Norway, then you’ve automatically qualified for post-secondary education. Fortunately, you don’t need to be a citizen to attend the country’s college classes or the local university. As long as you’re an established residency, then you’ve met the qualifications of post-secondary education.
Cons of Living in Norway
Since we don’t have a perfect country, Norway has its disadvantages despite the awesome landscape and beautiful outdoor activities. Without further ado, let’s quickly walk you through the cons of living in Norway.
High Cost of Apartment
If you’re going to start living in Norway, then you might plan to rent an apartment in the city. On the flip side, renting an apartment or purchasing a home can be very expensive, especially if you choose to live in the major cities. It’s as much of a problem once you adjust to the economy because you’ll find a home.
Home to Consumption Taxes
Merverdiavgift is a form of sales tax or VAT applied to any goods and services in the country. So, put in mind that you’ll always see the cost of the tax in the price listed for consumer goods. That way, it can be so expensive to go to certain places in Norway. Also, the standard MVA rate as of 2018 was 25 percent, but you’ll pay a lower rate of 12 percent for movie tickets and public transportation.
Price of Alcohol Is Very High
If you want to buy alcohol in Norway, you should prepare for a high price. Upon arrival to this country, your tax obligations will go up based on how strong you place the level of alcohol consumption. Meanwhile, be prepared to pay about 85kr for a half-liter glass of your favorite beer and 125kr for a glass of a craft brew.
Adjusting To Different Space Can Be Challenging
Life moves a lot slower in Norway than it does in the rest of Europe. Therefore, you need to consciously reduce how much effort you put into things sometimes to live within your budget. The culture even looks down on people who attempt to rise above what everyone else is doing.
Finding Work Cab Be Challenging
At times, finding work can be challenging if you’re not highly educated. Even if you’re an emigrant, it can be tough to carve out a spot for yourself. So, hiring managers want to know if you’re sticking around because training new people outside the industry can be expensive.
Public Holidays in Norway 2021
|Date Observed||Types of Holiday|
|January 1st||New Year’s Day Celebration|
|January 21st||Princess Ingrid Alexandra’s day (flag day)|
|February 14th||Mother’s Day Observance|
|April 1st||National Holiday|
|May 1st||Labor Day celebration|
|September 13th||Election day (flag day)|
|October 24th||United Nations day|
Aside from the holidays listed here, there are many others we didn’t consider. This is because; the date may changes as time goes on. Some of these holidays include; all saints day, Halloween observance, crown prince Haakon’s day, Boxing Day celebration, repentance day, queen Sonja’s day, and many more.
Cost of Living in Norway 2021
The stunning scenery, high standard of living, and rich cultural heritage in Norway have contributed to living standards. They also pride themselves on both cultural diversity and natural resources. So, if you want to spend the rest of your life in Norway, this guide should help you with the cost of living.
On the flip side, you should understand that Norway uses the Norwegian krone as their currency, abbreviated as kr or NOK. To help you get a grasp of how much it worth to live in Norway, take a look at the following analysis.
|Total Living Expenses in Oslo (city)||Average Cost|
|One-bedroom apartment (per month) without rent||10,800 kr|
|Four-person family (monthly) without rent||40,080|
|Basic utilities for 85m apartment||1,505 kr|
Estimated Salaries in Norway
Norway is known to be one of the wealthiest countries in the world. With this in mind, you should know that the country is great for those looking to advance their careers and boost their earnings. Without further ado, here’s an overview of the average yearly salaries in some popular Norwegian cities.
|Average Salaries In Oslo (Capital City)||Estimated Salaries per year|
|Software engineer (2021)||630,500 kr|
|Cashier and customer support||526,750 kr|
|Financial analyst in Norway||490,200 kr|
|Accountant and copywriter||600,800 kr|
|Salary Averages for Bergen (2021)||Estimated Salaries per year|
|Software engineer (2021)||450,523 kr|
|Cashier and dentist||805,000 kr|
|Financial Analyst in 2021||500,700 kr|
|Copywriter in 2021||546,790 kr|
Healthcare and Dental Costs in Norway (2021)
As mentioned earlier, residents and students that have been in the country for over a year can use the Norwegian healthcare system. It may not be free for everyone, but it ensures that everyone gets the care they need in due time. For example, people have to pay around 180 kr for an appointment with a GP.
Travel and Transportation Cost in Norway
The transportation system in Norway is very modern and punctual. Therefore, getting around with any transport system is pretty easy in Norway. Also, you can choose between trains, trams, and the underground public transport system.
Furthermore, cross-country travel is just as organized as that of the United States. Meanwhile, the best way to buy tickets and find departures is through the country’s main operator known as the Enter.
Food Prices in Norway (2021)
Of course, one of the best/cheapest ways to eat food in Norway is to buy food at the supermarket and prepare it yourself. This is because; buying food in restaurants is quite expensive. While many restaurants serve a good-value lunch menu, a good tip for an expat is buying and cooking the food.
|Supermarket Products in 2021||Average Price and the cost|
|Liter of milk and loaf of bread||Average price = 48 NOK|
|Local cheese and twelve eggs||Average price = 140 NOK|
|Two-course meal in a mid-range restaurant||Average price = 300 – 350 NOK|
|Two-course meal in a high-end restaurant||Average price = 450 – 650 NOK|
It’s no doubt that life in Norway is unbeatable. By many standards, Norway is a wealthy country, and you can explore the world of outdoor adventures. So, are you ready to move to one of the happiest countries in the world? Read this guide thoroughly to understand everything needed to move to Norway.