Living in Norway
Norway is one of the northernmost country in Europe, surrounded by Sweden to the East, Denmark to the South and United Kingdom to the Southwest.
Norway is considered to be one of the richest country in the world. Its capital Oslo is said to be the most expensive city.
An Expat should keep this in mind while negotiating their salary with the employer.
Norwegians are reserved people. They’re mostly honest and are introverted. Expats, many a times, find it difficult to gel with them. But as time passes, Norwegians are likely to open up to foreigners.
Getting used to the work culture in Norway can be a little difficult for expats.
Norwegians do not follow any hierarchy. When assigning tasks, bosses seek their employees’ opinion.
The salaries in Norway are comparatively higher than other European countries.
The standard of living both for expats and Norwegians is quite high.
The population of Norway is over 5 million out of which most of the population lives in the south. The north is sparsely populated.
Oslo is the largest and the most populated city.
Public transport in Norway is excellent. It has metros, trams, buses and trains working efficiently and linking to most urban areas. The cities here are small, so you can also choose to walk around.
Politics in Norway
Norway is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary democratic system of governance.
The King is the country’s head of the state, according to the Constitution and can select his council.
As the Head of the State, the king is the official representative of the Norwegian society and industry.
The King is also the commander-in-chief of the armed forces.
All in all the country’s power is distributed between 3 institutions: The parliament, the government and the courts.
Economy of Norway
Norway has a stable economy with a growing private sector, a large state sector and an extensive social safety net.
Norway has opted out of the European Union during the referendum in the year 1994.
The country is rich in natural resources like oil, gas including hydropower, fish, forests and minerals. The government of Norway, through extensive regulation, manages the petroleum resources of the country.
The petroleum sector provides around 9% of jobs, 15% of GDP and 39% of exports.
Norway is also one of the world’s leading petroleum exporters. Oil production has reduced drastically as compared to the year 2000. Norway creates state revenue from petroleum sector activities. It has made the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, valued at over $800 billion.
The government uses up to 4% of fund’s value to help balance the federal budget each year.
After excellent GDP growth in 2004-07 the economy has slowed down in 2008 and has returned to reasonable growth in 2010 and 2015.
The price cut in oil prices in 2015 caused the growth to slow and increased unemployment and weakened the Norwegian economy. Later the economy has become stable.
Buying and renting property in Norway
Expats relocating from western countries might find accommodation in Norway to be a little less spacious but other than that, the standard of accommodation in Norway is quite high.
Expats can find comfortable, and plush living quarters in Norway. While looking for apartments, expats should first see that the heating equipment is in place. As they would need that in winters.
The competition for renting property in Norway is quite cut-throat. Expats can attend open showings of property. Leave their contact details with the landlord and hope to get contacted by them.
Most lease agreements are signed for a year or sometimes even two to three years.
Expats are required to pay three months’ rent as deposit before moving in.
Expats can buy property in Norway even if they aren't from a European country. Recently many expats have moved to places like Oslo with an intention to settle down.
It is advisable to hire an agent when you’re buying property in Norway. You can also attend open showings which happen usually on weekends. Or you can look at listings online.
Schools in Norway
Norway has mandatory education for all children from the age of 6 to 16. The Norwegian government takes care of education and schooling is thus free at public schools.
Citizens and residents of Norway have the right to free education at public schools.
The public schools have three main parts to it: Elementary school, lower secondary school, upper secondary school.
Children of expats usually study in private or international schools.
Private schools at one point in time were illegal in Norway. Only private schools which had a religious background to it were allowed to teach, but post 2015 this has changed and private schools have been growing ever since.
There are international schools as well in Norway which offer International Baccalaureate, German and French curricula and also British IGSCE.
Fees at these schools are generally expensive and the seats are limited so it is advised that you reserve a place well in advance.
Here’s a list of international and private schools in Norway for you to choose from.
Weather of Norway
Norway faces extreme climate all-round the year. As there is a lot of sunlight in spring the snow melts and the temperatures can quickly go up. This mostly happens in the month of May.
In summers the temperature can go up to 25°C to 30°C.
Weather in Norway is the best during May and September when it is very mild and clear.
Winter can get very cold and temperatures can go up to -25°C.
Check the current weather of Norway, here.
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