Moving to Norway For Members

Six questions that will answer whether Norway is the place for you

Robin-Ivan Capar
Robin-Ivan Capar - [email protected]
Six questions that will answer whether Norway is the place for you
By considering these six questions, you can better assess whether Norway is the right country for you. Photo by CALITORE on Unsplash

Considering a move to Norway? Before you pack your bags, it's important to understand whether life in the country aligns with your lifestyle and expectations.


As the allure of Norway continues to captivate the hearts and minds of those looking to move to the country, it's crucial to take a sober look at the many perceptions of living in the Scandinavian country. 

READ MORE: Is Norway still an attractive country for foreign workers?

By considering these six questions, you can better assess whether Norway is the right country for you.

Can you handle the (harsh) weather?

It's no secret that the Norwegian weather can be unpredictable.

Summers in the east and south can be mild and pleasant, with long daylight hours, but winters can be dark and cold, particularly in the northern regions.

READ MORE: How to dress for the cold weather in Norway

Furthermore, the western parts of Norway can get quite wet (Bergen, the country's second-largest city, is often called "Norway Rain Capital").

Therefore, Norway's weather may be a good fit if you thrive in colder climates and enjoy outdoor activities like skiing or hiking.

However, you may find the climate challenging if you prefer warmer temperatures year-round.

Can you adapt to day-to-day life in Norway?

One of the harsh realities newcomers to Norway quickly encounter is the high cost of everyday expenses, particularly when it comes to dining out and indulging in small luxuries like coffee and snacks.


With prices that often surpass what many are accustomed to in their home countries, people find themselves making difficult choices about where to spend their hard-earned kroner.

As a result, embracing free or low-cost lifestyle choices becomes not just a preference but a necessity for many immigrants.

Indulging in a daily latte or espresso quickly adds up (for example, a caffe latte at Espresso House will set you back between 60 and 70 kroner).

Therefore, many newcomers to Norway find themselves switching to filter coffee or forgoing their regular caffeine fix in favour of more budget-friendly alternatives.

READ MORE: Cost of living: How expensive is Norway compared to a year ago?

The same is true for dining out in Norway, which can be a delightful experience but is often reserved for special occasions rather than everyday indulgences. Restaurant prices reflect the country's high cost of living, making meals at eateries a luxury rather than a routine affair for many foreigners (and, let's face it, Norwegians too).

It is no surprise, therefore, that Norwegians prioritise leisure time spent in nature or with family and friends – which doesn't come with a price tag attached (most of the time).

If you value a slower pace of life and opportunities for outdoor adventure, you might find the prevailing lifestyle in Norway fulfilling. However, if you crave constant social activities, restaurant meals, and regular nightlife outings, you may need to adjust your expectations.


Is Norway's office culture a good fit for you?

Norwegian work culture is known for its egalitarianism and emphasis on teamwork. While this approach fosters a supportive work environment, some people accustomed to more competitive workplace cultures may find adapting challenging.

Many of their new Norwegian colleagues will prioritise work-life balance over career advancement, which may frustrate those seeking rapid professional growth.

READ MORE: What to know when searching for a job in Norway

For those who prioritise career advancement and financial success, adjusting to Norway's more laid-back approach to work may require a shift in mindset - here, it's essential to manage expectations and recognise that career progression in Norway may be more gradual and less linear compared to other countries.

On the other side, many newcomers to Norway will enjoy the focus on work-life balance - especially when they have kids or are able to spend more time on themselves.



If you can't get enough of seafood, moving to Norway can feel like hitting the culinary jackpot. Pictured is the Fish Market in Bergen, western Norway. Photo by Georg Eiermann on Unsplash

Will you be able to make friends?

Building social connections in Norway requires proactive effort, as Norwegians can be somewhat reserved and may not initiate social interactions themselves.

If you're willing to take the initiative and actively engage with locals, you'll find Norwegians welcoming and friendly.

However, if you're accustomed to more outgoing social dynamics, adjusting to Norway's introverted culture may take time - and relentlessness when it comes to inviting locals to join you at a bar or café.

Do you like seafood?

Norwegian cuisine reflects the country's rich heritage and diverse natural landscapes, yet it often finds itself overshadowed by more renowned culinary traditions.

While some Norwegian ingredients are celebrated for their exceptional quality, the overall reputation of Norwegian cuisine tends to be... subdued (to put it mildly), with many considering it bland and unexciting.

READ MORE: Does Norwegian food deserve to be ranked the worst in the world?

This reputation stems partly from its traditional emphasis on simple, hearty food, with an abundance of potatoes, root vegetables, and preserved meats.

Compared to the bold flavours and intricate spices found in cuisines from other regions, Norwegian dishes may appear relatively tame. However, within this seemingly unassuming cuisine lies a hidden gem: the outstanding quality of Norwegian seafood.

For lovers of seafood, Norway is nothing short of a gastronomic paradise. With access to some of the world's most pristine and bountiful waters, Norwegian fishermen harvest countless delicacies, including fresh salmon, cod, shrimp, and shellfish.


Can you learn the language?

While English proficiency is widespread in Norway, particularly in urban areas and among younger generations, mastering the Norwegian language is vital if you want to enhance your experience and integration into Norwegian society.

Learning Norwegian goes beyond mere communication; it's a gateway to understanding the nuances of Norwegian culture, traditions, and social norms.

READ MORE: Why you should learn Norwegian even if you don't need it for work

By speaking Norwegian, you'll signal your commitment to embracing Norwegian society, fostering deeper connections, and forging meaningful relationships with locals. So, while you can definitely get by just on English, in order to truly thrive, you'll need to master the language.

Proficiency in Norwegian also opens doors to professional opportunities, particularly in sectors where local language proficiency is valued (honestly, this is the case for most industries, with public sector jobs, such as those in government, education, and healthcare, virtually always requiring proficiency in Norwegian for effective communication and collaboration).

Expect language courses to be expensive, but consider them an investment. By focusing on language learning, you'll often position yourself for faster advancement in your chosen field and expand your career horizons.

READ MORE: Why do people move to Norway, and where do they come from?


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