What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?
Name three things that you wish you had brought and three you wish you had left at home.
I wish I had brought more clothes, more kitchen stuff like pots and pans(too expensive here) and my skis- they were not cheap to buy!
I wish I had left my small kitchen appliances- I brought voltage converters and they are a pain, it would have been easier to just buy Norwegian ones. I would not have brought so many shoes- coming from Houston I have a lot of sandals and heels, both are impractical to wear most of the year.
Moving to Norway
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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!
What type of housing do you live in? Is this typical for most expats in your area?
Most of our expat friends have slightly larger places, but none have as nice a patio or w/d. I think overall they are comparable.
How did you choose your neighborhood and find your home or apartment?
We live in the center of Oslo because it is close to the train and bus stations for us to get to work- it also has a great balcony. We also wanted two large bedrooms, and a w/d in the flat which can be tricky to find in older flats.
Are your housing costs higher or lower than they were in your home country? What is the average cost of housing there?
To be honest I don't know what we pay, but I would estimate it to be around 3,500 dollars/month, which is certainly higher than I would expect to pay in the center of Houston.
5 Tips for Living in Stavanger, Norway
Life in Stavanger can be complicated for expats. By most accounts, it is a difficult culture to get accustomed to, but with the right frame of mind and a willingness to adapt, it can be a rewarding expat experience.
Moving to Norway
Expats in Norway report a life abroad in a country to which it can be difficult to adapt. However, if you have the right situation and persevere, the natural beauty and hard won quality friendships can be quite rewarding.