Norway is a Scandinavian country which has a rich history, magnificent geographical features and experiences extreme seasons. For anyone interested in the history of Norway, the Vikings is something worth considering to read.
Due to the mountainous topography of Norway, much of its population is concentrated in the South around its capital city of Oslo. One can always enjoy the magnificent glacial fjords and over fifty thousand islands in Norway.
Just like the other Scandinavian countries, Norway receives expatriates from every part of the world who come as students, workers, accompanying spouses, seeking family reunification, visiting professors and the rest.
Residency permit and visa
Each of these categories of expatriates have specific eligibility that must be met to qualify for either long term or short stay in Norway. It is always important to check on the requirements for a specific stay before deciding on whether to travel to Norway.
Not having the required documentations or meeting the set out eligibility criteria renders an expatriate an illegal immigrant which may attract injurious sanctions such as deportation and being barred from travelling to any European country within a given period.
The Municipalities (Kommuner) in Norway are the lowest levels of governance which does all forms of grassroot services provision. Some of these services include childcare, primary education, unemployment and other social services, waste management, and economic development among others.
Getting a personal number
Due to the criticality of the municipalities in the social system of Norway, anyone moving into the country should register within eight days and get a D-number. It is only when registered that the municipalities gets obligated to provide an expatriate with the necessary social services like any other resident.
The D-Number is also called Personal Number (Personnummer) which compares to the personal identification number or Social Security number. I Norway, the number is obtained through a formal registration by the local tax office.
Actually, one would say that the personal number gives an expatriate an actual entry to the Norwegian society. An individual must present himself personally at the local tax office and register you as a resident in Norway.
Upon registration, the office then issues the resident with a Norwegian personal number which may take between ten days and four weeks to arrive at the person’s registered address.
The personal number is required in virtually every place including opening a bank account, tax remittances, accessing public health services and purchasing of internet and many more.
Accommodation in Norway
Proper housing is the first thing an expatriate may want to get once on arrival in Norway since for someone who does not have alternative temporary accommodation from friends and relatives can only put up in hotel rooms which can be a very expensive option.
Housing options in Norway offers expatriates different forms of accommodation that meets their unique expectations and needs. Despite the variations in cost and location of the housing facilities, one can always be sure to get a properly designed house with the necessary facilities such as heating to beat the extreme temperatures there.
One can rent detached houses, semi-detached homes, apartments and many more. Due to the basic need of housing, it is important to put it as the first in the to-do list once in Norway.
As a result, the knowledge of Rental process and rules is necessary. Nonetheless, the process of getting a house in Norway is not different from most of the countries. With the house rent, deposit and the valid documents showing eligibility to reside in Norway, one gets a suitable accommodation.
Typically, all the houses in Norway have essential services including house heating system, water supply and well-designed floor space to meet individual needs.
Prepare for cold winters
Being in the artic zone, Norway is colder than most of the Scandinavian countries hence functional heating systems and well insulated buildings is a key priority when renting a house.
Travelling in the very expansive Norway from Rossøya ( Ross Island) in the northern most point to Pysen in Manda to the south can be so interesting but this requires a properly designed mobility system.
This distance and the relatively cold climate in the country is the reason the country has invested in developing a well-functioning and environmentally sensitive mobility system.
Different transport companies operate in various routes in Norway. Some of these mobility firms specialize in local transportation while others offer the long distances. If not interested in using the public means of transport, it is also possible to buy a car, get the correct driver instructions and certification to enjoy smooth rides on the almost traffic free road networks in Norway.
As expected, an individual may prefer private car rides private transport to public means. Walking on foot in Norway, especially during extremely cold winters may be a risky affair.
The very low temperatures of up to negative 42 degrees Celsius is likely to result in frost bite. This means that if one is not able to use motorized transports and only needs to move over a short walking distance, proper clothing is necessary. The Norwegians often say that in Norway, “there is no bad weather, only inappropriate clothes.”
The public transport is well established with a network of buses, ferries, trains and planes.
The Norwegian job market
The Norwegian job market is liberal to expatriates, especially those who are skilled in various industries. Recent surveys showed that most of the Norwegian companies experience skill shortages hence providing an importance chance for anyone interested in exploring the job market there.
The salaries in Norway is satisfactory with everyone earning at least a living wage. As a result of this favorable working environment, the Land of the Vikings, as Norway is often referred is an attractive destination for an expatriate.
Social security is key
It has systems that ensure a healthy balance between life and work, childcare, education, equal rights and social justice. The normal working days in Norway is forty hours per week and nine hours daily.
As an expatriate with foreign qualifications but intending to get work in Norway, it is important to contact If you need your qualifications recognized in Norway, such as foreign vocational education and training certificates and diplomas, contact the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education that recognizes or approves such certifications.
With a properly formatted curriculum vitae that meets the Norwegian layout, you can make applications to any relevant institution and expect to get feedback without any forms of discrimination whatsoever.
Demonstrated competence and skill base is key in the recruitment processes in Norway.
Moving to Norway as a student
Just like any other country, applying to study in Norway can be bureaucratic due to the intricate details required from students, especially those coming from outside the EEA and EU.
Nonetheless, one can be sure to get quality education from these universities that may boost their competency and profile in their careers thereafter.
Completing a university education and getting the critical certificate is often an expensive endeavor but in Norway, education is completely free for everyone including the international students.
As a rule, Norwegian universities and state university colleges as a rule do not charge tuition fees for international students.
This peculiar move by the Norwegian government is aimed at ensuring that everyone accesses quality education. Nonetheless, an international student intending to study in Norway must be very sensitive to the fact that nothing is always exclusively free.
While you do not pay tuition fees in Norway, the cost of upkeep is high in Norway hence proper funding to meet other expenses such as housing, food, travel and clothing are critical.