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Aker Brygge in Oslo, Norway

Pros and Cons of Living in Norway

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Feb 03, 2023

Summary: The pros of living in Norway include its high quality of life, excellent healthcare system, and stunning natural beauty. Norway is also known for its strong economy, low unemployment rate, and high wages. Additionally, Norway is a safe and peaceful country with a low crime rate. On the other hand, the cost of living in Norway is quite high, and the weather can be quite cold and dark during the winter months. Additionally, the language barrier can be a challenge for those who do not speak Norwegian.

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What do expats in Norway appreciate most about the local culture?

"Expats in Norway appreciate the abundant nature and the clean, unspoiled environment. They also appreciate the relaxed lifestyle and high quality of life, as well as the sophisticated but neighborly culture in the country. Expats appreciate Norway’s high-standard public services and the efficient and reliable infrastructure. The high levels of safety, education and healthcare are also highly valued by those living in Norway. Furthermore, the excellent cultural opportunities such as music, theatre, art and festivals are greatly enjoyed. Expats in Norway appreciate the strong sense of equality and the commitment to sustainable living," added another person living in Norway.

"It is of course, a very beautiful country, despite the constant rain. Once you get to know them, Norwegians are very nice, and way less superficial than Americans. I love that public transportation and sidewalks are everywhere, it is a joy to not be dependent on a car. I also feel much safer, especially with health care being (mostly) free. Knowing that you won't be turned away from the hospital if you don't have insurance when you are a poor college student is a relief," explained one expat living in Stavanger.

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What do expats find most challenging?

"Expats often find adapting to a new culture, language, currency, and customs to be the most challenging aspects of living abroad. They may also experience feelings of loneliness and isolation due to being away from family, friends, and familiar places. Furthermore, finding housing, employment, or navigating a new healthcare system can be difficult due to lack of knowledge or unfamiliarity. Other potential challenges include culture shock, feeling overwhelmed, or facing legal and financial complications," replied an expat in Norway.

"Norwegian people in general can seem to be very rude, and you can often feel as if everyone is looking down their nose at you. They also tend to dress very well, so wearing jeans and a t-shirt when going out is usually frowned upon. Some restaurants or bars/nightclubs even have a dress code and won't let you in if you aren't "acceptable", which can be embarrassing. Almost everything is closed on Sundays, and opening hours on Saturdays are limited. And of course, everything here is ridiculously expensive! It has also been rather difficult for me to get a job outside of school because I do not speak the language well enough yet," remarked another in Stavanger.

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

Aker Brygge in Oslo, Norway

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