6 Things to Know Before Moving to Norway
For many of us, Norway is rather different from our home countries. Even the Swedes or Danes would have things to contrast their country to their neighbors. Moving to another country can be a challenge, but it is a much smaller one when you know what to expect. Here are some things that you will probably face while living in Norway.
Healthcare can be frustrating
Norway offers healthcare coverage, but only after you reach a certain amount of visits to the doctor. The first visits cost, but when you reach the threshold of 2040 NOK, you finish paying and are entitled to free medical care. A typical appointment costs 135 NOK. Dental and vision are not covered. Also, you might be surprised by how old and outdated some of the medical facilities and equipment are. The procedures can sometimes also be rather frustrating, but in general it does not take long to see a family doctor. For more information about the healthcare system, visit Helfo.no.
Everyone is alike
People usually dress rather simply, and the style trends are the same in the whole country. People in Norway are not at all into having their own style, being outstanding and individualistic. This applies to other areas as well – sports, for example. Everyone in Norway is sporty, meaning everyone skis. It wouldn’t be that difficult to find people, who occasionally play soccer or basketball, but it is not as common as everywhere else in the world.
Transportation takes much longer and is rather expensive
Norway has beautiful nature – mountains, fjords, lakes, rivers, etc. All of this is great, but it also comes with a price, namely a price for the transport. Oslo public transport ticket costs 30 NOK. 50 NOK if you buy it from the driver (check out the pricelist). Also, if you go from city to city, be prepared for a real journey, because unless there are tunnels drilled under mountains, you have to either go through mountain roads, or drive around the mountain, and that might take hours. Also, waiting for the ferries slows down the pace.
Many things are computerized
Probably the rather inconvenient geography forces Norwegians to get the best from Information Technology. Debit cards are accepted in most places, but that’s only the beginning. You can pay for doctor’s appointments via a machine at the office, and you can book a hairdresser’s appointment online. This is also partially due to the fact that manpower is expensive in Norway.
Norwegians love their country (and language)
Norwegians can be nationalists in a certain sense. Nobody will harass or attack you because of your nationality, but Norwegians love their country and aren’t that fond of foreigners. Therefore, while most of them speak English and are fine to speak it when it comes to public services, casual social situations, such as buying groceries at the supermarket, or asking for help on the street. But if you want to work for a Norwegian company, especially a white-collar job, Norwegian is mandatory.
Driving is a luxury
Public transportation is expensive, but not as expensive as owning a car. Starting from car prices and taxes on them, which can go above 100%, to gas prices, maintenance, and even large fines for traffic rule violations. However, the tendency is that many Eastern Europeans face a real challenge giving up driving, so they manage to find ways to drive in Norway.