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5 Reasons to consider moving your family to Norway

Norway Travel Gear

If you are thinking about taking the leap and moving to Norway, congratulations! This northern European nation is a brilliant place to call home and is an excellent destination for young and growing families.

Need a push towards the right decision for your family? Read on for five reasons why Norway is such a great place to live to help you decide.

An outdoor lifestyle

If you love being active and enjoy spending time in the great outdoors, Norway is the perfect destination for you – even in the winter! Many Norwegians grow up on the slopes and can ski like pros – and even if you aren't a skier, there are lots of activities to encourage the kids to ditch the video games and get out and about.

From hiking, camping and fishing in the summer to simply getting outside and playing in the snow in the winter, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the beautiful fresh air and scenery that Norway is known for.

A unique culture

One of the great things about being an expat is the opportunity to experience a new culture – and a move to Norway is no exception.

A major advantage for British expats is that many Norwegians speak excellent English, which can make shopping and getting around easier. But there are also plenty of things that are distinctly Norwegian to experience – your family will love trying new foods and local customs.

A bright academic future

All expat parents are concerned with the cost of schooling abroad – and one of Norway's major advantages is its relatively inexpensive school system. While the school fee index in the link doesn't include Norway in the list, it offers a useful resource when weighing up Norway compared with other nations, where the cost of schooling can be more expensive.

Schools in Norway offer a well-rounded education and public education is not only inexpensive, but also of exceptional quality. And as the kids get older, parents can take comfort that Norwegian college and university education is offered free of charge – good news for every family.

Excellent living standards

Norway is known for its exceptional standard of living, which is one of the major draws for expatriates. Like in the UK, healthcare – except for dental care – is of a high quality and covered under the national system.

Norwegian culture is also deeply rooted in family – and most workplaces offer at least five weeks of holidays for those on full-time contracts, so you can spend even more time with yours!

You will also enjoy a high quality of housing; whether you choose to buy or rent, most Norwegian homes are kept to excellent standards. However, it is important to note that housing costs may be higher than what you are used to and to factor this into your budget.

Working culture

Norway's working culture might offer a refreshing change – in addition to the aforementioned five weeks of holiday, most Norwegian workdays are 7.5 hours long, and your evenings and weekends are your own.

Many Norwegian employers are also sensitive to family issues – if you need to leave the office early to collect the kids from school, it is generally not a problem (though you should always check with your employer first!)

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About the Author: Edel

Edel is an occasional guest writer on Life in Norway - a regular traveller and always on the lookout for the next hot destination.

22 Comments

  1. An outdoor lifestyle => if the weather is good, yes. If you live in Bergen it is about 10 days in a year!

    A unique culture=> Really? This is one of the reasons i am considering to move from Norway, lack of history and culture

    A bright academic future=> this one i have not experienced. But yes it is cool that education is free

    Excellent living standards=> this was what i have read everywhere on internet before moving to Norway, but after 3 years i can easily say that it is a big LIE. Living standards are not high at all! Yes you make good money but you spend lots of money as well. Everything is incredibly expensive, going out for dinner is a luxury which you can afford probably 2 times a month. Food prices is crazy, when you got to a grocery shop you end up with spending 1000NOK but just 1-2 bag easily. So i am sorry but i do not agree at all!
    I really do not want to write my experience about health care system cause it is a joke! I believe an African country has much higher health care standards than Norway. If you need to a specialist it takes min 1 month, doctors never take you serious, and you have to be really demanding to get what you want. It is just nightmare for me! And the first reason why i have decided to leave this country in near future.

    Working culture=> That is the best thing here! Very relaxed and comfortable conditions. But is it enough to live in a country permanently and make it home? Answer is NO for me.

    1. Hi Elly, I think you’re mixing up standard of living with cost of living, they are two different things. You have lots of good points though – perhaps you’d be interested in writing your own blog post about why you’ve decided to leave Norway? 🙂

      1. I think socializing with friends, going out for a drink or dinner is also part of a living standard, so is quality of the food you get. Half of the food and vegs here are already half rotten when they reach to grocery stores. And you still pay 5 times more than a European country for that. So at the end it decreases my life standard for sure 🙂

        In my opinion; it is a nice country for short term, it is always good to experience living in a different country; but not really a long term place unless you were born here 🙂 I am from Southern Europe so it is maybe normal for me to not to like to stay here forever buy my husband is English and i think he wants to move since the 2nd month we arrived here 🙂

    2. This country really can finish with a marriage, for those who can leave this jail to go to other country together there is a chance, for me…

  2. Hi
    Ive been thinking of moving to trondheim
    Would love to get some more information about this city
    Im a video editor
    Is there tv production in that area????

    1. If you dont speak Norwegian, you will make the worse mistake of your life, beside that everything said on this page is half of the truth; Norway is a dark, cold and rainy nightmare with no oportunities.

  3. What are the laws around residency for freelancers? And how about residency for those who work for a U.S.-based organization? Thanks.

    1. For EU/EEA citizens, you can register as self-employed here, as long as you can prove an income. For others, you’ll need a close family link, a job with a Norwegian employer, or an offer for study.

      1. Hey David

        Do you know of exceptions for non-married or engaged couples or sponsorship by families? I have a Canadian passport and am self-employed.

        I suspect Norwegian language classes would not be substantial enough to merit a student visa. Jeg besøke Trondheim for tredje gang senere. Takk for skrev nettsted.

  4. hey david, Thanks for your info.
    I am Canadian wanting to move to Oslo very soon.
    Id love to get your advice on a few things. I’m not sure if this forum is being used as the last post seems to be quite old. So ill just start by saying hi and if I hear back from you, fantastic.
    Thanks again! -John

  5. Hi David,

    I am offered a good job in Bergen and consider moving from Holland to Norway. Can you tell something about how children 9-12 year old can integrate in norwegian schools mainly language wise. Is there any special program offered? Thanks!

    1. Suzana: If you move to Norway permanently and your kids are to start school here, they will be taught “Norwegian for foreign language speakers” in school. This is the responsibility of the municipality (Bergen). It will probably be a good idea to contact the municipality directly and speak with someone in the education department. Good luck 🙂

  6. I can deffintly tell this article is made by an american.

    I am a 17 norwegian girl and is currently an exchange student In america. Let me just Get one thing straight. Us Norwegians have vacation time is not always to spend time with family.

    Something i see a lot in articles about why Norway being the best country is the usual about our free days and health care system and all that. But being in here in america something i really miss about norway is that i am not threated as 12 year old. Here people have so many stupid rules and parents are so controlling of their children and spanking children is so normal here, grounding too, which i promise you is shocking to us Norwegians!! Before i came here i was practically an adult here i am 12 again and i just hate this place .. People are just so stupid and i can’t wait to go home in 4 months. I never knew people could live sutch a shitty life and i am never coming back!! There is a lot more to this about why i don’t like certain stuff about this culture, this was just a small summary

    1. Marte I find your comment to be hilariously true. I am an America. Born and raised here unfortunately and my husband and I are doing everything we can to leave. Leave as soon as you can and go back to your beautiful country! I am also impressed with your english!
      Best of Luck!

  7. I want to move to Norway but I’m broke as a joke.
    Every picture I see off Norway is breathtakingly beautiful.
    I hear it’s not too hard to find employment there and that it’s very low in unemployment.

  8. Hi, all.

    I have to say that many of the things your saying about Norway is right. I am norwegian born and rasied here, i lost both of my parents at the age of 20, they didn’t have any sort of ensurance, and i was all alone with every expenses that cause after someone is gone.

    The norwegian gouvernment gave like 19.944 NOK for the funeral and for me it cost 54.000 NOK = 9,000 USD, how in the earth can you afford this, if you don’t have family that is supporting you with the finances. Than you’re lost in space, so say it nice.

    I know some of you would say you can get something called children’s pension from the gouvernment, but that’s only till you’re turned 18, after that you’re all alone financially.

    To live in Norway you need a work, than you have a good live here and i would say one of the best in world, but besides of that, it’s really hard to live here. Everything cost a furtune, and i use normally 500 USD to 600 USD on food expenses only.

    So to live a good and no conserned live in Norway you need at least 3,500 – 4,000 USD in earnings, to pay all the bills, rent for your home, ensurances, etc. Anything you buy in norway have astronomically high prices on, so beware!!,

    1. Stephen,

      How do you look for work in Norway, prior to moving there?

      I am a hairdresser in the US, and my husband is a master stylist with 44 years experience.

      Any help or advice is greatly appreciated.

      Christi

  9. I am a social scientists doing my Masters and hoping o do my PhD in Norway and maybe stay there. But the thing is I am yet to start a family.If I get married before moving maybe he wont like to move and if I move without getting married , what if I never find a man in Norway! Are there people from different parts of the world there and does inter racial marriage exist?

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