Expat Advice: Moving to Skei i Jolster, Norway
What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?
Skei i Jolster
Name three things that you wish you had brought and three you wish you had left at home.
I brought everything with me and should never have come but here goes: I should have brought a never ending supply of salt 'n' vinegar crisps, branston pickle and sarsons vinegar and should have left at home me, my passport and my career.
What advice would you give someone preparing to move to your area about the actual move, choosing a neighborhood and finding a home?
Extremely pretty, very little work, basic infrastructure, no crime, in my case, the best neighbour in the world, probably. Move here if independently wealthy but it's impossible to predict how you will be "digested" by the Norwegian state until you get here and it's too late. There is a woman who works at the local tax office who is a demon! She has achieved things on her own for me that have defeated the rest of the Norwegian system.
What type of housing do you live in? Is this typical for most expats in your area?
I live in a huge former old peoples' home except I don't live in it. There's no work for me near the house and I don't live in Norway though I work there and pay tax there. 22 years in Norway and I've had a residence permit for about 9 months.
Most expats in the area? Most live in "normal" houses. I didn't have much choice.
How did you choose your neighborhood and find your home or apartment?
My ex Norwegian girlfriend suggested it was a good idea
Are your housing costs higher or lower than they were in your home country? What is the average cost of housing there?
I've never owned a house in the UK, just a holiday home. My house in Jolster is classed as a holiday home as well but it would be unfair to compare them. I'm quite certain my housing costs are massive compared to the UK. I'd estimate you need four times your UK salary to have the same standard of living in Norway. 38% will go in tax. Staple foods are twice the price. Winters are long and cold and much water is frozen driving up the price of hydro electricity. If you put a value on the time you will have to spend working out if you live in Norway or the UK, dealing with residency and citizen issues, translating documents, dealing with legacy issues from the UK that are hard to resolve until residency and citizenship issues in Norway have been settled (in my case, not settled after 22 years) you need to earn 6 times the UK salary and forget having the time to take a holiday (which would invalidate any claims you might have to living in Norway anyway)
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