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Bergen, Norway

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By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Sep 17, 2022

Summary: Expats, digital nomads and retirees discuss what it is like to live in Bergen, Norway: Cost of living, Finding a home, Meeting People and more.

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

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"The beautiful nature and the lush green surroundings. Although, I have to admit that it can get tedious sometimes, as I am used to the extravagant city life with skyscrapers at every corner and streets bustling with people. I love the seafood here. I like how people are very independent," added another expat in Bergen.

"Responsible persons. Everyone here is very respectful about each other and to the nature, too. And they also are extremely organized," remarked another expat who made the move to Bergen.

What do expats find most challenging?

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"Norwegians are very good at avoiding responsibility and passing the buck. Bureaucracy here is really bad. It can take months for a simple form to be processed, especially if you do not fall into a specific category. At NAV when looking for a job because NOKUT had recognised my qualification (after a year!) I could only be put in education jobs, despite the fact that I am also an office administrator too (worked in management for a while). Couldn't have both. Very frustrating place to be after the open-mindedness of Denmark and UK," commented one expat who made the move to Bergen.

"Not knowing how to speak the language. It's not easy learning a new language from scratch. I tried speaking Norwegian when I first started taking the course but my spouse was very critical of my pronunciation to the point that I became fixated on making sure the words sounded correctly instead of actually speaking the language itself. Living with a husband and adjusting with life in his country isn't easy either. And the prices here are extortionately expensive. It's difficult for me because back home, I have gotten accustomed to the fact that having fun always involves spending money," remarked another expat living in Bergen, Norway.

"Find a job without knowing how to maintain a conversation on Norwegian... because you can talk in english, but... c'mon, this is not the United States, nor England. This is Norway, and you should talk Norwegian," added another expat in Bergen.

What are the schools in Bergen like?

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"It is a wonderful school with small classes and a true feeling of community. If you have any questions or concerns, reach out to the teacher, principals or director. They are very responsive and happy to meet with you," commented one expat when asked about International School of Bergen in Bergen (Sandsli area).

"If you decide to move to Bergen, any other school there would be a better choice for your child," explained one expat in Bergen, Norway with kids at International School of Bergen.

"Do Not enroll your child ! From what I understand they are closing down the high school due to financial mismanagement. This school has no books broken furniture, it is dirty and thee playground is littered with broken bottles. It has ill trained teachers and rude administrators. who seem to care little for the students," wrote an expat living in Bergen with children attending International School of Bergen.

"I would think twice before enrolling my child the buildings are old and unkempt and the curriculm is not up to international standards," said one commented one expat when asked about International School Bergen in Bergen.

"Go ahead! A very good school. Some of the MYP teachers could be stronger in representing their subjects, but in general your child meets friendly, motivated and well prepared teachers in a great international community. It is a pity that the school doesn't offer the IB diploma...," mentioned one expat living in Bergen, Norway.

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.

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Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
GET A QUOTE

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