80: Moving from Nepal to Norway

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Life in Norway Show Episode 80: Surendra Thapaliya tells us his story of moving to Norway from Nepal to study, and how he found a job in Oslo after completing his Master degree.

We often feature interviews with people relocating to Norway from the United States, or like me, from the United Kingdom. I'm always on the lookout for people from other places, and today we feature one of those stories.

Images of Nepal and Oslo, Norway.

Surendra Thapaliya is originally from Nepal, and moved to Norway in 2016 to study at BI, the Norwegian Business School. He’s since gone from strength to strength and now lives with his wife in Oslo, where he has a senior marketing position.

We talk about studying in Oslo, the differences between life in Nepal and life in Norway, and his own projects helping other from Nepal study abroad.

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Nepal to Norway

I started off the show by admitting my own ignorance about Nepal, so asked Surendra to describe his homeland and how it differs from Norway.

”Nepal is a very small Asian country in between China and India. We have an area of about half of Norway, but we have 30 million people. We are divided into three regions. The southern part is mostly plain lands on the border with India, the central part is more hilly, and the northern part is mountainous. It’s a very diverse country. We have more than 100 different languages, for example.”

Studying in Oslo

He said there was a “huge difference” in the styles of education between the two countries. “Back in Nepal we have theoretical studies, we focus on books and theories. In Norway, it’s more about practical work.”

He describes Norwegian student life as a bit more “formal” than he was used to in Nepal. “I had a formal relationship with my classmates. Back in Nepal, when I have a very close classmate I used to go to his home and get to know his family.”

But here, Surendra says if he wanted to see a Norwegian friend he felt as if he had to send them an SMS first before even giving them a call.

Working in Oslo

After eight years in Oslo, Surendra is settled in the Norwegian capital. Culture Intelligence, the company he now works for, markets itself online in English, but he says that a lot of the marketing material they do produce is in Norwegian.

In Oslo, Surendra does a lot of different activities outside of work. “I have a YouTube channel for a Nepalese audience wanting to study abroad. I am also active in the Nepalese community events in Oslo. Other than that I like to go hiking with my wife.”

Links from the show

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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