replied to the thread Americans
on the Norway forum on March 11, 2014:
I feel like I am almost all alone in Norway; I miss people with my own accent who talk like me and think like me. Sometimes it's hard to explain things in English to a Norwegian because the words we use aren't always the same or in the same order. I'm lonely here.
I want to talk to an American.
Tell me where you are from (state) and what you miss about America.
We are from West Virginia. We don´t miss America right now because we are here, but we do miss family, friends and cheaper prices when we are in Norway. We live in Kristiansand. We love Norway though, and have lived there 5 1/2 years. We will return in July.
replied to the thread Salary and Cost of Living in Stavanger
on the Norway forum on March 05, 2014:
I got a contract offer from an aviation company in Stavanger as QA Engineer. I have 4+ years of experience and worked in multinational companies and in different countries previously. I got an offer of 47500NOK salary before tax. Considering my expenses in Stavanger, accomodation and everything, could I live a decent life and still save money?
replied on March 05, 2014 with:
I live just outside Stavanger (in Sandnes). Norway in general is a very expensive country to live, and the same can be expected for Stavanger. After taxes (approx. 36-40%), you can probably expect to see around 30000 nok/month.
You might consider asking your employer about over-time possibilities/rates, company phone, car, laptop, gym membership, etc.. All of which are quite common in this area, and can add up to a lot saved. Just remember you WILL pay tax on these “free items”.
If you plan to rent, you will pay around 9000+ for a one bedroom apartment. Cable and internet will cost around 500+ per month. Electricity depends on usage of course, but I would expect 300-600 a month.
Food is fairly expensive. But, like most costs, it depends on your needs. My husband and I average about 3000 per month on food. Extra for special meals, eating out and/or having guests.
Public Bus passes costs about 500-600 nok per month.
Clothing is really expensive in Norway. So I advise bringing what you need.
If you are a single person, it’s common to eat a decent lunch at work (usually between 25-50 nok) per day.. and eat light at home. Just a tip. :)
Alcohol is a bit pricey, especially out on the town. A beer is approx. 75+ nok, with everything else climbing in price considerably.
To search for rental places, furniture, etcc. See finn.no
Torget=everything.. Bolig=housing.. Leie=rental.
A reader replied most recently with:
I have children at ISB, and figured I should write something to counter the negativity of the posts here. Many parents at the school would tell you of a very small minority of parents affiliated with one particular staff member (now former, thank God!), who liked nothing more than to spread lies about the school and cause dissent.
limited extra-curricular activities -- agreed, but this is the norm for schools in Norway. Children enrol in activities outside of school, or the school helps parents set up activities if they want. A friend of mine had their child in Indian Dance class last year, which was held at the school.
Facilities -- yes, facilities need to be updated. I have heard that the school is hoping to move, but that it depends on the city council organizing this. I agree that facilities are important, but of course not as important as my children receiving a good education.
Curriculum -- I know two families whose children have gone back to the UK. Both times the children had to write tests to get into schools, and both times they succeeded. One family with 3 children all got into the school they wanted. ISB is an IB school, so they get visits from the IB team every few years. Part of those visits is making sure the curriculum is up to standard. Besides the families in the UK, I have friends who have returned to India and Canada, and the transitions have been fine. It's true that the PYP classes at ISB don't use textbooks, but that is true of most if not all PYP IB schools. If you want textbook learning, which means one way of learning for everyone, then don't go to an IB school!
I asked another parent about the number of textbooks in the MYP classes, and she said every student has a textbook...so the comment that there aren't enough textbooks in the MYP is deceptive, to put it kindly.
English school for Norwegian students -- ISB does have a lot of Norwegian students. From talking to parents, they come to the school because they are not happy with Norwegian schools. Norwegian schools do not emphasize academics as much as ISB does, and are notorious for being too laissez-faire when it comes to children's behaviour. Parents come to ISB for an international education and more structure for their children.
They do not use a structured literacy program, such as Jolly Phonics, Letterland, etc -- That is true from what I know. But my children learned to read and write at ISB and I had no problems with the strategies used by the teachers. I'm not sure slavishly following only one programme would work for every student.
They also do not have a structured numeracy curriculum in the PYP -- This is a lie. I have been sent the math curriculum and it is very structured, sane you would find at any school. I'm not sure how the writer of this comment would think otherwise. Perhaps they can offer proof?
Most of the teachers have very little international experience -- This is not true. My children have teachers who have worked in overseas schools, including Middle East, Europe, United States, Asia. Teachers are qualified and many have been at the school for many years.
The school leadership is very poor -- See above when I wrote of a particular disgruntled former staff member and a minority group of parents. Many parents including myself find the management team to be approachable and eager to work with parents.
Many families who would like their children to have a good education are extremely frustrated with the school's attitude and look for other options -- again , proof of this? are they marching in the back alleys, because I don't see them or hear of them.:)
A reader replied recently with:
I have yet to hear a good thing said about this school. It is pretty costly to send your children here so why is it not possible to complain about things or to make sure the children are pushed? I am very worried about sending my children here but have no other choice. They are very young but they have come from a brilliant school in the uk. I would hate to see them get behind.... Can someone eradicate my fears??
replied to the thread international schools
on the Norway forum:
can anyone give me some info on the schools, as i have been getting lots of bad review on the boths schools, as on one side they are not, academic enough, and the other are over the top with academics, school a are more focused on getting the english speaking kids in ,but have no set programs for them, the other try not to accommodate nom english or slow learners, i also see that if you have kids in one and want to change them the company give you sticks,also the staff on both sides are playing parents off if your not pleased here go there, fully well knowing the both schools have loose ends,these people know that we have limited choices,
replied most recently with:
Expat Exchange has a number of reports about international schools in Norway submitted by parents:
Here's another discussion about schools:
replied to the thread Standard of living in Oslo
on the Norway forum:
I will be moving to Oslo next month and my salary details are as follows - 70800 NOK per month before tax. Assuming the tax is 40%, the monthly income would be around 42000 NOK.
Is this enough for me and my wife to live in Oslo? I have heard that the standard of living is very high in Oslo and we plan to have a rented apartment in Oslo City within a budget of 10000-12000 NOK.
Kindly share your views on the same.
Look at FINN.NO for prices and availability.
for rentals (1 bedroom = 1 soverom)
for buying a house
replied most recently with:
Can you suggest what are the typical rates for a 1 BHK apartment in Oslo? My office is at Asker which is about an hour from Oslo city.
where is this international pre school of stavanger located