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Old 12-19-2007, 12:16 PM
 
284 posts, read 1,125,153 times
Reputation: 143
Default What is it like to live in Norway?

As a 4th-5th generation Norwegian-American, I'm enamored of my family's homeland. I've never been to Norway, but hope to go one day. Even if I wasn't of Norwegian descent, I think it seems like a great place to live - progressive, socialist and one of the wealthiest countries (per capita) in the world.

I see a lot of responses on here that talk about the issues surrounding moving to other countries. I'm not looking to move there. (I'd love to but it's just not in the cards).

I'm really just interested to know what it's like as a place to live. How does it compare to other countries?

Norway never really ranks high on people's lists of places to live (although the objective lists place it high) and I've actually met people who have never heard of Norway!!! These people are not friends of mine...

Thanks!

 
Old 12-19-2007, 12:35 PM
 
1,148 posts, read 3,931,917 times
Reputation: 540
I have visited Norway. I'm fluent in Sweden. I can understand Norwegian. Bokmål is easier to understand than nynorska. The latter is rarely met although it's relatively common in the west coast. I've been to the west coast (mostly Larsnes), Oslo and Lillehammer. The nature near Ålesund is spectacular. Norway is much more mountainous than Sweden and Denmark.

My brother work in Norway as an Ophthalmologist. There are many Swedish educated medical doctors working in Norway. The salaries in Norway are higher than Sweden but so is the cost of living.

Norway is not socialist.

I've lived in three European countries, Sweden, Hungary and England. My perspective will not be the same as yours. You might like things I don't. Also it depends what criterias you use to rank countries. It would help if you could ask specific questions.

Last edited by internat; 12-19-2007 at 12:47 PM..
 
Old 12-19-2007, 12:55 PM
 
284 posts, read 1,125,153 times
Reputation: 143
I didn't mean to say Norway is Socialist with a capital "S" as in the form of government, I meant socialist with a lowercase "s" as in the socialist ideology of government's involvement in attempting to equalize aspects of people's lives. For example, health care, education, child care, workplace policies, retirement, etc.

I have seen other pros and cons lists of living in different places. I'd like to see what people think are pros and cons of Norway.
 
Old 12-21-2007, 01:18 AM
 
Location: Shallow alcove hidden from the telescreen
2,655 posts, read 6,926,484 times
Reputation: 1208
Default It's like this...

If you like the outdoors and nature, fishing, hiking, skiing, camping (even in winter), you'll like Norway. It's cold a big part of the year, but cold weather in Norway doesn't necessarily mean "bad" weather. There is a saying, "no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing."

Social policies are way to the left compared to the U.S., but the average Norwegian would not want to remove the social underpinnings supplied by the government. Taxes are high, and it's expensive. Norway is a monarchy, yet a social democracy with elections, a parliament and a constitution.

Norway in day-to-day living can be bureaucratic. There are rules and consequences for everything. Norwegians spend a good deal of time complaining about all of the rules. One inconvenience for me after having lived in the U.S. for many years is how restricted store hours are in Norway. Big grocery stores close early, and many are closed all together on Sundays. Labor unions are strong and determine a lot in how businesses run. This is not necessarily a bad thing; the standard work-week is 35 hours with a minimum of 3-weeks paid vacation per year, generous parental leave rules, paid sick days and holidays.

All in all Norway is a relaxed and calm place. Oslo is busy. The population density in and around the capital is similar to San Francisco, but Oslo's population is barely over 1/2 million, so the city is far from overbearing, at least compared to other big cities of the world.

The language can be a trick. As internat mentioned there are two standards, Bokmål ("Book Speak," used around the capital and in various forms in most of Norway) and Ny Norsk ("New Norwegian," spoken on the west coast). To confuse things more, "New Norwegian" is actually OLD Norwegian. It's the branch of the language that was least influenced by Danish during Denmark's 400-year occupation of Norway. In addition, Norwegian has something like 30 or more very distinct and unique dialects. You can tell down to the community -- often the neighborhood -- where someone is from by the way s/he speaks. The dialects are that precise. I had an experience once where a guy from across the county (fylke), after pegging me to my part of the county, then to the town and area of town, further nailed me to my extended family. He said, "Oh yes, you must be related to so-and-so. I hear that now."

Bottom line, visit Norway. The natural beauty of the mountains, forests, lakes, fjords, seacoast, country side, towns, villages and warmth of the people (after the initial north-European reservedness wears off) will make a life-long impression on you, I predict. Go during summer, see the midnight sun; during winter, the aurora lights.

Last edited by Winston Smith; 12-21-2007 at 02:46 AM.. Reason: Long post late at night, of course it needed word-smithing. Got (only) 90 mins, thankfully.
 
Old 12-23-2007, 08:58 AM
 
Location: Askim, Norway
228 posts, read 465,775 times
Reputation: 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by cre8 View Post
the standard work-week is 35 hours with a minimum of 3-weeks paid vacation per year, generous parental leave rules, paid sick days and holidays.
Oh i wud sure like to work there


Standard work week is 40H. union work week are 37 H
Standard day is 9 H. union day is 7.5 H (Some got payed lunsj)

Standard vacation is 4 weeks payed + 1 day. union paid vacation is 5 weeks.
Its limited to 3 weeks continius vacation. (but u can always make better agrement with ur boss. aka if u shud need 4 weeks in Italy.)

there some chang in sick leavs now.
its without doctor 3 days 3 times a year. this is slowly changing to 20 days a year.(can be taken all 20. shorten to sevral 1 days two days and so on)

U can also go to the doctor. and if he sugest it. u can F.eks geet 1 month sick leav. then ur job pays the first 14 days or so. then goverment health care take over. belewe its 80% or sumthing of salery. and less tax. so u end up with about normal pay.

Permanent holdidays are mostly paid.
But there is some jobs who are per houer paid. those will ofc have difrent monthly pay according to houers. (so Februar is low payd F.inst.)

TJ..
 
Old 12-23-2007, 11:22 AM
 
Location: Minnysoda
4,953 posts, read 4,162,780 times
Reputation: 2198
Standard vacation is 4 weeks payed + 1 day. union paid vacation is 5 weeks.
Its limited to 3 weeks continius vacation. (but u can always make better agrement with ur boss. aka if u shud need 4 weeks in Italy.)

I think you'll find this vacation schedule in most EU countrys. could you imagine taking that much time off at once :O The only people I kow that get that much time off in the US are teachers!!!!!
 
Old 12-23-2007, 11:50 PM
 
21 posts, read 107,560 times
Reputation: 14
I would swear on anything that it has the world’s most beautiful coastline with a slight tinge of the Arctic. Also, the North Norwegians are very open, gentle and generous. I don't take interest in politics but society. They are so nice, I was able to connect with them so easily which is actually a big thing.
 
Old 12-26-2007, 11:18 AM
 
Location: Askim, Norway
228 posts, read 465,775 times
Reputation: 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by Landwatch View Post
I would swear on anything that it has the world’s most beautiful coastline with a slight tinge of the Arctic. Also, the North Norwegians are very open, gentle and generous. I don't take interest in politics but society. They are so nice, I was able to connect with them so easily which is actually a big thing.
Yeah we from Oslo can be a bit "closed" some times.
And can there for need some to loosen up.. Beer helps


TJ..
 
Old 12-27-2007, 07:25 PM
 
4,386 posts, read 9,566,905 times
Reputation: 3578
What do they think of Americans in general. I just watched the movie "SICKO" and became very interested in places that look out for their people without constant dollar $igns in their eyes.
 
Old 12-27-2007, 11:08 PM
 
Location: Shallow alcove hidden from the telescreen
2,655 posts, read 6,926,484 times
Reputation: 1208
Quote:
Originally Posted by nanannie View Post
What do they think of Americans in general. I just watched the movie "SICKO" and became very interested in places that look out for their people without constant dollar $igns in their eyes.
Norway, a NATO member, in general is very pro U.S. It's said that there are twice as many Norwegians in the U.S. than there are in Norway. Most of the population speaks at least a little English. The TV programming is overwhelmingly American, and Norwegians are often quick to adopt American culture -- even the bad parts. For example, there have been increasing "copy-cat" incidents of kids bringing weapons to school claiming to need "self protection." A trend like this has direct ties to what the kids learn about the U.S.

One common thread in most Norwegians these days is that they cannot in their wildest imaginations figure out how George W. Bush is president of the U.S of A. You'll hear people exclaim and ask, "The U.S. is not a third-world country; it's a sophisticated, educated place! How on earth can they elect a moron like Bush?" Norwegians will point to World War 2 and shake their heads in disbelief that the same country that did so much for Europe back then would ever want someone like "Dubya" for prez. On the other hand, Norwegians are comforted when they turn on their TVs and watch David Letterman and John Stewart shake their heads as well.

But it usually only takes one vacation trip to the States for Norwegians to realize that the U.S. is a big and complex country. And, after the first trip, they usually always start planning their next trip.
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