Norway is one of the countries that have a high level of welfare. Due to its strong economy, the country is strong and the prosperity of the people is high. Apart from the level of welfare, Norway’s Scandinavian nature makes this country also magnificent. The nature of this country is so unique that it attracts many tourists around the world. In this blog post, we will talk about quality of life in Norway and Norwegian lifestyle in general. The level of welfare in Norway is high, and the life expectancy in Norway is 83 years, which is one of the highest life expectancies in the world, even when compared with other developed countries. This shows that the quality of life in Norway is pretty high than in most countries in the world. With these high welfare and life expectancy Norway attracts many immigrants every year. So, it can be said that business life in Norway for immigrants is great as well. Who wouldn't want to live in a country that is so peaceful, has a great nature, and high level of welfare? And yes, a high level of welfare means a high level of income. Taking all these factors into account, Norway is definitely a great place to live. Now, let’s zoom in and look for more information about living in Norway.
Norway is in the Europe continent and the Scandinavian region. It shares borders with Sweden, Finland, and even Russia; and Norway is located in the west of these countries. Also, all the northern parts of the Scandinavian area belong to Norway. In these areas, it is daytime for six whole months and night-time for the remaining six months of the year, which is fascinating. Also, the weather of Norway may differ from location to location. Many people say “oh well, Norway is in the north, so the weather must be cold!”. But, that is not true. Even in the northern parts of Norway, like Tromsø and Bodø, the Norwegian temperature level gets close to 20 degrees. On the other hand, the weather in Norway can be very cold in winter times and heavy snowfalls may be seen. Living with snowfall can be difficult, especially for the foreigners who are coming from warmer places. The capital of Norway, Oslo has probably the most diverse weather in the country. During summer the weather goes up to 30 degrees and during winter, the city gets very cold with heavy snowfall. Fortunately, authorities in Norway does great job clearing roads from snow and keep the transportation in the city as usual. The weather in Norwegian cities may bring along hard times especially in winter times in Norway, but once you get used to the weather, living with this diverse weather may even be joyful to you.
Outdoor activities in Norway are so diverse that the best ones to pick may change from person to person. However, in Norway, every type of person may find what he or she likes to do most. From flashy nightlife to relaxing nature trips, great bars to northern lights, Norway offers many options that enable every type of person to find their favorite activity. So, we can easily say that whether you are the kind of person that doesn’t prefer walks in nature, sightseeing but nightclubs, bars; Norway is still a good place for you (and vice-versa). When it comes to nightlife in Norway, you should keep in mind that the parties end at 3.00 a.m. Most of the pubs, bars close at this time and people start to leave at 2. Also, depending on the Norwegian city you’re in, bus services stop after this time. To sum up, Norway offers many options, and life in Norway is definitely not boring and fun for every type of person.
Foreigners who are planning to visit or move to Norway often wonder about the cost of living in Norway. It is clear that the welfare and life quality is very high in this country, but how is life in Norway for immigrants? Especially new arrivals may complain from the cost of living in Norway; prices of groceries, eating out, traveling around the country is high. If you don’t have a job here, you should better have a savings account before settling in Norway, and these savings will diminish quickly since even the basic needs like groceries come with a much higher price than many countries.
House and rental prices in Norway are also high, so you have to plan everything beforehand. Other than this, the transportation system in Norway is not perfect either. There are buses and trains for traveling between cities which are very comfortable that come with wide windows and a great view that makes these trips amazing. But these may cost much to you depending on where you come from and the currency of your country. Also, for long distances, you can use flights, which save a lot of time but are most expensive. For example, if you are planning to observe northern lights from Tromsø, you may take a flight there from Oslo which takes around 2 hours. If you prefer to go there in a car from Oslo, the journey takes 22 hours. Well, views from the roads may be perfect and astonishing but no one would want to make a 22 hours car drive. Certain flight tickets to Tromsø are cheaper than the gas price of a car that goes from Oslo to Tromsø, so in long journeys like this, you should definitely prefer flights.
Another thing that comes with a high cost in Norway is deliveries. This may be very important for foreigners and immigrants since they would use mail and delivery systems a lot more than Norwegian locals. The post is very slow in Norway, even letters may take a week to be delivered. Shopping online is a frustration too since the deliveries arrive later than usual and come with additional charges. In many countries, deliveries arrive much faster, but since Norway has mountains and highways, delivery companies and local posts deliver packages and letters late. Finally, if you make a budget before visiting or settling in Norway, you will face much fewer troubles while spending your savings. If you go to Norway with no budget or plan; you’d be very surprised how fast your savings diminishes. Initially, in the cost perspective, life in Norway for expats may be hard, but after a while and getting a local job in Norway, it will be much easier!
One of the best things about the Norwegian people is that they are tolerant. They accept others' lifestyles and show respect for others. Although racist people are present in the country just like in any country, Norway is one of the rarest countries that has the lowest discrimination in the world. This is mainly because Norwegians accept everyone as who they are. There are also strong anti-discrimination laws in Norway which prevent discriminating incidents. The country welcomes everyone, what country or where you are coming from doesn’t really matter.
Indeed, Norway is LGBT friendly, it actually legalized same-sex marriage in 2009. In fact, Norway is the first Scandinavian country that legalized same sex marriage. Another important thing about Norwegians is that most of them speak English fluently. This is a hugely positive thing especially for immigrants and foreigners who are planning to visit the country on a vacation or settle in Norway. And this is not the case only in central locations like Oslo or Bergen. Wherever you go in Norway you will see that English will be spoken. This also improves the life in Norway for foreigners. Immigrants from other countries initially don’t have much knowledge of the Norwegian language so communicating in English is a must for them.
Since most of the people speak Norwegian, immigrants can communicate in their early Norway days. Thanks to the education system of Norway, many Norwegians speak fluent English. Other than these, if we examine the religion of Norway, we see that Lutheran Christianity dominates. With 69.9%, the majority of the population belongs to the Lutheran Church of Norway. People that are unaffiliated are 17.4% of the population and Islam followers are 3.3% of the population. Even though Christian religions dominate and a high percentage of the population is Christian, same sex marriage is legal and this proves that Norwegian people are very respectful and open-minded.
Most Norwegian locals’ and foreigners' favorite thing about Norway is the outdoors. It has a unique landscape that you cannot see or witness anywhere in the world. The country is full of green and full of mountains. This makes hiking in Norway very joyful and enjoyable. Even if you are living in an urban area like Oslo, the unique green nature is not very far from you since the country is full of forests. Just take a train or a short drive and you’re back to paradise. And don’t worry about the weather: In summer, you can hike in the southern part of the country and in winter, you can fly to Tromsø and witness northern lights! All these natural opportunities make locals' and immigrant’s life more enjoyable!