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Kristiansand >

An Expat Talks about Living in Kristiansand, Norway

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?

Kristiansand

How long have you lived there?

2 years

What activities, clubs and organizations would you recommend to newcomers to help them meet others?

American Women's Club is available, but not really functioning. After trying several churches we have found a Church with an American core to be the friendliest place in town! In southern Norway, (we lived in Oslo for 10 years my husband is Norwegian), the culture is tough to break into. It is almost stereotypical small town closed.

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Need health insurance in Norway? William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

In terms of religious, racial, economic and cultural diversity, are the people of this city or town diverse? Are they accepting of differences? Describe.

Southern Norway is the bible belt of the country. But don't look for this to be evident in daily life. Breaking into this culture if you are Norwegian, as my husband is, is TOUGH. If you have a different color skin forget it - they openly exercise racial and age discrimination in the job and housing markets. The UN may have voted Norway the nicest place to live and it may be one of the richest countries in the world, but in our opinion, that is a farce. The health care is so far below standard that it is dangerous to be ill. You have to ask the doc to take your blood pressure! The schools are destitute of funds, the hospitals are closing for lack of funds, it is a prime example of mismanagement, greed and arrogance. It went from 3rd world poor to first world rich in less than 3 decades. The economy grew but the culture did not. This is the land of Jante Loven, (Jante's Law)which is don't think you are anybody and certainly not any better than me, because if you stand out or excel they will take you down! That is the national curse and it is lived out on every level and area of society. Only the greedy and the arrogant rise to the top where they judge and criticize the rest of the world - especially democratic countries, socialism is the reigning philosophy. Their hatred for Israel and America is fightening. It is openly shown in politics and journalism. Norway is no friend of the USA or Israel!

What are the main industries in this city? What types of career opportunities commonly exist? How do most people find new jobs?

Fishing, forestry, factory blue collar work and some technology. There are no real opportunities here. People find jobs because they have personal connections.

In general, what are peoples' priorities in this city? For example, do lives revolve around work, family, socializing, sports, etc.?

The people's priorities are money, status and beautiful houses. Daily lives revolve around sports, socializing and family activities. They spend their money on big boats, big houses and keeping up with each other and taking the boat or drive to neighboring countries to buy cheap meat and alcohol. Public drunkness and disordliness is socially acceptable. Where ever you travel in the nordic countries, if there is a drunk staggering the odds are he/she is Norwegian.

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If a friend of yours was thinking of moving to this city or town from far away, what other advice would you give them.

Don't do it!

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