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'Get outdoors': Essential tips for a better life in Norway

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
'Get outdoors': Essential tips for a better life in Norway
Readers of The Local shared their tips for making life in Norway better. Pictured is a person on a hike in Norway. Photo by Darya Tryfanava on Unsplash

Norway is typically ranked as one of the hardest countries for foreigners to settle in. The Local's readers have shared their tips for improving the quality of life in Norway.

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The Local's readers have delivered their verdict on life in Norway. Most readers in a previous poll said they saw their long-term future in the country

Over the last for years Norway has been named one of the worst countries in the world for foreigners to either live or settle, according to surveys such as the InterNations Expat Insider survey. 

With readers split on whether life in Norway made them happy - but the majority also planning to stay for the foreseeable future - it's only natural that many shared their tips for improving the quality of life in Norway. 

Learn the language and get outdoors 

The saying goes, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do". Our readers mostly suggested that when in Norway, do as the Norwegians do.

READ MORE: How foreigners in Norway have made themselves 'more Norwegian' to fit in

Learning the language was the most common recommendation when readers were asked what tips they had to improve the quality of living in Norway. 

Emilio, who lives in Narvik, also pointed out that the cost of the language was quite high. 

"Learn very good Norwegian before you come here. Everyone says education is free, but you always need to pay for Norwegian language classes," he wrote. 

Therefore, to hit the ground running and enrich your life as soon as possible when coming to Norway, it may be worth taking the time to budget and account for the cost of doing a language course. 

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Many of those who suggested learning Norwegian, also in the same response, said that learning to love the outdoors would improve things in Norway. 

"Study Norwegian and try and speak it when you can, even a bit. Get outdoors as much as possible. Join neighbourhood groups doing clean-ups," Katherine shared. 

Finding like-minded people with similar hobbies and interests, such as sports, was also a common suggestion. Many also suggested joining clubs and participating in dugnad, which is a form of volunteering that comes in many guises. Another popular tip was integrating into your local community as much as possible. 

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When it came to trying to form friendships, one reader advised that it's best to try not to get offended by the reserved nature of the locals. 

"Look around you, take a deep breath and do not think people are unkind because they just respect your privacy and value their own privacy," Luk Warlop, who lives in Oslo, said. 

Meanwhile, a reader from South Africa shared that finding a community and social network, in addition to having a plan-b, are also factors which can help make living in Norway better. 

"Try to learn Norwegian and find work before moving to Norway. Try to find a community beforehand, especially with expats from your own country, which will form part of your friendship and support system. Understand that not all opportunities may be available to you and have a plan B. Find a therapist to help you transition to life in Norway," the reader in Sandefjord wrote. 

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