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A reader commented on the Expat Report Culture Shock in Oslo, Norway
Culture-Shock-in-Oslo
What are some things you appreciate most about the new culture?
I love the people and their attitude. Most Norwegians are friendly, and I appreciate how they integrate the society. (Continue)
A reader replied most recently with:
The stress of culture shock is not understood by others who are not suffering it. When the English had the British Empire, the men would undertake a full culture and language course for 3 months full time before going to live abroad in a country from native speakers. It is a shame this is not standard for all people as this would prevent so much emotional angst for the whole family, as well as explaining our emotional turmoil as a foreigner in a new land to our local partner, as understanding our culture for them. Language takes up to 2 years to learn fluently (watch any baby) and cannot be learnt just by a couple of hours a week evening class other than for holiday use, but needs at least an hour each day by an audio course as well. The Michel Thomas Method lets you pick up a new language naturally as when we were babies we first learnt the language by listening and watching facial and hand gestures that went with the words. This could be used to support your language speaking and writing course, during a lunch break perhaps. This is from English into Norwegian. What is also not understood is that speaking a language needs an understanding of how we use our mouths to make the sounds of letters and words can be very different between languages. For example, there are many letter sounds in Greek that either do not exist at all in northern European languages or are pronounced in an opposite way, such as for R where the tongue does not go down in the mouth but goes up to give the Spanish trill. These basics are often missed in language classes, which language teachers need to appreciate. Each language also has its own rhythms, like a melody, to get into. Ignore the faux pas from not knowing a language fluently, because we learn from our mistakes not when everything is going smoothly. Each individual will integrate and learn local language at a their own pace and the irritation stage needs careful destress / nurturing as actually culture shock is the name of a mental illness progressing through psychiatric stress and more often than not could end up in clinical depression, so prevention by preparation before going abroad as a whole family and taking it easy in bite sized chunks when abroad is vital for personal wellbeing.
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A reader commented on the Expat Report Moving to Oslo, Norway
Moving-to-Oslo
What advice would you give someone preparing to move to your area about the actual move, choosing a neighborhood and finding a home?
Make sure you choose a reputable company to move your stuff overseas who know how to handle all of the documents- the customs people here hold shipments for crazy amounts of time.

Choose a neighborhood close to public transport. It is pricier but well worth not having to walk 20 minutes very 2 in the winter. Be open minded about flats. I have yet to see a place with more than 1 bath and double vanities don't exist. The fridges are small- overall things are smaller and it's important not to let it bother you! (Continue)

A reader replied most recently with:
If you looking for work in norway use NAV.no I am not sure aboute schools, its some expat school in Oslo
A reader replied recently with:
I am a single male now, as my children are grown up and my wife passed away. At the moment I am teaching English at a public school in Southern Thailand, but after 25 years of teaching English and German around the world and in North America, I want to spend a few years in Europe, preferably in Norway. I have three questions: How can one get a teaching job in Norway at a language school? Does it pay enough to live a decent life without being a big spender? Do they have bachelor apartments (not studios) at a recenable rent? I am not picky and would not only consider Oslo. Can anyone be nice and help me out with answers? Kim jhlingua4u@yahoo.com
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A reader commented on the Expat Report Culture Shock in Oslo, Norway
Culture-Shock-in-Oslo
Do you have any advice or thoughts about culture shock you would like to share?
Embrace difference. Acknowledge that there will always be things you don't like. Look for what you can like. Learn the language, so you can connect with ordinary people of all ages and can find an independent life aside from your partner. Embrace the experience as an adventure. When culture shock hits, remember that things weren't entirely perfect at "home" either. Build a life based on looking for what is good. (Continue)
A reader replied most recently with:
Great to read such a positive report and attitude to living abroad. All too often people seem to wallow in self pity instead of grasping the opportunities in front of them and making the most of their lives. :-)
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Expat Report Having a Baby in Oslo, Norway was published
Having-a-Baby-in-Oslo
Describe your experience giving birth there. What type of facility did you go to? What (if any) type of pain management did you use? How long did you stay in the hospital? Was it a positive experience? Etc...
While I experienced some anxiety during my pregnancy, my overall experience was very positive. Norway has an excellent health care system, though the fact that I would not be able to choose the doctor or midwife, who would deliver my baby, did cause me some anxiety.

I gave birth on May 9, 2008 in Baerum Sykhus, outside of the capital city of Oslo. The two midwives who worked with me were wonderful, both spoke perfect English, which was a blessing since my Norwegian was nearly nonexistent. They actually read the birthplan that I wrote and made a conscientious attempt to follow it. The birth went smoothly, I had an epidural as I had had with my previous two births (in the US). Six hours after arriving at the hospital I gave birth to a healthy baby boy. Because there were no complications I had the option of leaving after 6 hours of giving birth or staying in the hospital for up to 3 nights. I chose to stay with my husband and our new son in a family suite for just one night. The stipulation of staying in a family suite was that you had to fend for yourself. A nurse would be available to check on you and the baby but for the most part you were required to get your food for yourself, shower... I enjoyed the independence. The hospital was wonderful... I enjoyed the freedom of choice. The one weird aspect was that since I gave birth on a weekend a pediatrician was not there and we had to bring our baby back for a checkup two days after he was born. Overall giving birth in Norway was a terrific experience. (Continue)

A reader commented on the Expat Report Living in Oslo, Norway
Living-in-Oslo
What activities, clubs and organizations would you recommend to newcomers to help them meet others?
AWC of Oslo, Petroleum Women's Club, International Forum...there are classes offered in language, culture, arts, yoga, pilates...the list continues. (Continue)
A reader replied most recently with:
Hey ! I am comin to Oslo in June for an intrensive Norwegian Lanuage class. Where can I find the cheapest accomodation in OSLO? My courses will take place in the centrum but dont mind commuting for an hour one way. What are my chances of finding a Physician job after passing the Bergen test. I'm not so bad a languages, kinda fluent in french and swedish so Im hinking that 6 months of intensive classes plus my super extrovert genes makes it asier for me to meet new people. Charles,
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Serviced Apartments, residences or aparthotels --typically 25% cheaper than hotels of similar standard.
Expat Report Dating and Marriage in Oslo, Norway was published
Dating-and-Marriage-in-Oslo
What is it like in your country of residence for someone with your relationship status (married/divorced/dating)? If you're single, how do you meet other people? Do English-speaking people tend to gravitate to certain parts of your city?
I have been trying to meet Norwegian men since I came here 8 years ago. It seems that I when I do meet them I don't understand them at all. Yet on the outside they seem very much like Americans. (Continue)

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