posted Piano Lessons in Kristiansand
on the Norway forum on July 23, 2014:
A reader replied most recently with:
I have been a parent at ISB and can say I have had enough of the poor facility weak management and limited options for my kids. And considering the comment above, parents are voting with their feet, in 2012 they had 205 plus kids now they have 155-60. They closed the IB Diploma and seem about to close the entire High School. To make matters worse the local Norwegian school that offers the IB Diploma now will not except ISB students as they say they are not prepared! So if you leave ISB MYP you must now do a prep year to get ready for IB Diploma! So you miss a year! As for teachers some are great , some OK and , some downright awful, but that is any school. As for the troublesome teacher listed above she was at least one of the better staff. Last year I met the former Chairmen of the board in Scotland and she told me the reason she left Bergen was that the school was not good. I have placed my children in local schools and have found them much better, much cheaper and the students friendlier. But we speak Norwegian so it an easy transition . If you are in Bergen only for a few years it is the only English option and ok in the short term. But Stevanger has much better International schools.
A reader replied 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.:)
I have a non EU passport and working in Norway over temporary residence with a company in IT and that company wants me to take up the assignment in Denmark since its a short term move for 6 months:
1. Do i need to give up my TR?
2. What happens to my status when I'm required to register with Danish authority?
3. My bank account, salary my family and all compensations will be in Norway?
Need to understand the implicaitons and my rights. Thanks
replied most recently with:
Thanks, got the same answer from a tax helping company.
Hi, I am not 100% sure how you would go about this, but I do know another user here that worked out the country on a regular basis and she had major tax issues as well as no place to call home (she lived in Norway for 20+ years and owned a home here as well).
I can tell you that the requirements to keep any residency visa in Norway, you MUST and I mean MUST physically LIVE in Norway 6 full months of the year...so 365 day in a year, you must reside here for 183 days of the year. And there is no way around this law I can tell you that. If I were you I would tell them only if it lasts for 180 days to be on the safe side of things.... I wish you luck though.
replied to the thread Salary enough for two? (Oslo)
on the Norway forum:
I am thinking about applying for a 3-year job in Oslo which -- in case my application is successful -- would pay me 420,000-460,000 NOK per year before taxes. I have read quite a lot about taxes in Norway and have figured out that this should mean approximately 27,000 NOK in my pocket every month after all applicable deductions.
If this works out, I would be taking my girlfriend along. She would be entitled to work legally as well, but of course we do not know whether she would be able to find employment right away. So my question is: would 27,000 NOK a month be enough to provide for a decent, but not extravagant lifestyle for both of us? That would have to include rent, food, internet/water/electricity/heating/transportation and of course some entertainment as well.
I would appreciate if anyone could let me know whether it's feasible and, in case it is, whether this would be a comfortable scenario or whether we would have to be counting every dime. I have been to Norway four times and I know how expensive things can get, but I have no experience providing for a home in the country, so any help is much appreciated.
Since this would be a temporary arrangement, we would be willing to live in a cheap, small apartment in order to save money, but not to share a place with other people. Our best bet would be a not-so-pretty, not-so-big apartment within walking distance to a subway, tram or bus line which could ensure us easy access to public transport.
And, since we're at it, am I right in assuming that any legal job my girlfriend could find would be a very significant contribution to our monthly income?
I have a possiblitiy to move to Stavanger this summer with my fammily. We should get approx 40.000 NOK after taxes each month. Can we survive with this monthly income?
We are fammily of three (2 adults and 2 year old son). We don't expect to live luxuriosly, but would like to have gym access, public transport access, we have one car, we don't dine in restaurants. So an average life.
Thx for your feedback.
replied most recently with:
As previously mentioned, check out finn.no for apartment rentals in and around the Oslo area. I would expect you can save a few thousand by moving outside the city. But, from what I see on Finn.no, the cheapest you will pay is about 7000-8000 (if you are lucky).
On "average" (nothing over the top and considering consumption), your bills per month will look something like this:
1. Mobile phone bill: 300,-
2. Internet/cable: 500,-
3. Electricity: 400,-
4. Bus pass: 500-600,-
5. Food for two: 3000,- (averaging 50 nok per day, which is quiet cheap)
6. Gym membership: 250-500,- Plus
7. Daycare for children: 2500,-
Driving your own car WILL be considerably more expensive; with maintenance, insurance, petrol, tolls, EU checks, etcc..
You can obviously use much less on food if you are willing to eat VERY simple. Its quiet common to have a decent lunch at work, and eat simple at home, especially if you don't have children. Most larger companies cater lunch from 25-50 nok per day.
Entertainment, alcohol and eating out are very expensive. Cinema films will cost around 100-150 per ticket, snacks will run you another 100-200,-. Restaurants range of course. Burger King is about 75-100,- per meal. An exclusive 5 course wine package will cost you around 2000,- per person.
Taxi cabs are insanely expensive.. about 50,- per km (in my experience).
I would advice to talk with your employer. Most firms offer great perks. Ie: Mobile phones, Gym membership discounts, cars, laptops/tablets, language training, eye glasses for computer work, etcc.. JUST ASK! :)
Clothing is also very expensive, but deals can be found. All depending on your expectations. Bring what you can when moving here.
You can find some pretty nice "used" Furniture on Finn.no, along with ANYTHING else you might be looking for. Good place to job search for your girlfriend as well!
replied to the thread Salary resource
on the Norway forum:
I'm from California and recently moved to Norway. I am in the process of seeking employment and would like to know where I could find a good resource for salary information based on job/industry type in or around Oslo. I'd like to make sure that my salary expectation is realistic. I've been told that people here make more money but so far, I haven't been able to verify how true that is. Cost of living seems to be very high, but salaries don't seem to commensurate with the standard of living. Any thoughts? If you know of a good and accurate website, please let me know. Thanks!
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