81: Challenges of Moving to Trondheim

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Life in Norway Show Episode 81: Originally from Canada, Kristine moved to Trondheim with her partner and is now happily settled. But it hasn't all been plain sailing for her.

Kristine arrived in Norway just weeks before the pandemic, which led to a unique relocation experience. Everything from meeting new people to learning Norwegian suddenly became more of a challenge.

Trondheim's Nidaros Cathedral in the winter. Photo: David Nikel.
Trondheim's Nidaros Cathedral in the winter. Photo: David Nikel.

On today's show, we talk about what to expect when job hunting as a foreigner, some of the cultural barriers you’ll need to overcome, and the challenge of learning Norwegian.

We also cover the things that Kristine likes about living in Trondheim, and those things she still finds challenging.

Listen to the show

You can listen to the show using the web player below, or on your podcast player of choice. This includes: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, and Spotify. Simply search for ‘Life in Norway' on your platform of choice to get started.

I have stopped publishing the podcast on the Life in Norway YouTube channel, as I’m focusing on building up an audience for videos there. Let me know if you prefer listening to podcasts on YouTube and I’ll see what I can do!

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A New Start in Norway

Kristine's Scandinavian adventure began when her partner was offered a position at a research institute in Trondheim:

“We decided that it would be a great opportunity for him to apply. At the time I didn't necessarily love my job, and also not having kids, it seemed like a cool opportunity to try something new.”

Main building at NTNU.
Kristine studied for a Master degree at NTNU.

However, that optimism quickly turned on its head when the pandemic lockdown hit just weeks after they moved to Trondheim:

“It was an exciting time. We had a new apartment to furnish and everything felt new, but that quickly changed. My partner's work were really good at making sure that news was communicated to them.”

Challenges of Relocation

One hurdle Kristine quickly faced was that most things are closed on Sundays: “You really have to change your habits and routines. In Canada, I did all my grocery shopping on Sundays, so having to adjust to that at first was a challenge.”

Kristine also talks about other challenges including finding a job, dealing with a different administration system, and the importance of using Facebook in Norway.

We also discuss the challenges of learning Norwegian. During lockdown, she used the Duolingo app to get started but says that only takes you so far:

“Taking Norwegian courses now is much easier, but it's also still difficult to practice. But that's on me too. It takes just one little incident where you feel a little insecure and then maybe you don't want to go out of your comfort zone for a while.”

About David Nikel

Originally from the UK, David now lives in Trondheim and was the original founder of Life in Norway back in 2011. He now works as a professional writer on all things Scandinavia.

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