Living in Norway

Monday, January 14, 2008

Living in Norway
Norway is one of the three Scandinavian countries in the Northern part of Europe. With a population of 4,6 million Norway is not among the most crowded places on the planet. But we very much enjoy the space and our diverse nature, and visitors are often astonished by Norwegians' active way of life. So don't get surprised if your Norwegian friends insist on going hiking, even if the weather maybe is more suitable for staying in the sofa.

Explore the unknown and challenge your own limits - the people of Norway has never been afraid of going their own ways. A thousand years ago the Vikings sailed their ships south to the Mediterranian, east to the Black Sea and all the way west to Greenland, and many historians claim they even made it to New Foundland in North America.

Today, Norway is a modern country where our explorative mindset is geared towards technology, innovation and developing a knowledge based society. We also continue to further develop our oil & gas industry, fisheries and traditional industrial areas.

Thriving on the top of Europe
Norway is a European country even though we are not part of the European Union (EU). But through the EEA-agreement we are fully integrated with the large European community in regards to everything from trade and economy to education and research. And as a participant in the Schengen agreement, travel to and from Norway is easy for people with legal residency in another Schengen country.

For the last four years the United Nations (UN) has ranked Norway as having the highest standard of living in the world. This annual ranking is based largely on average levels of education and income, combined with expected length of lifetime, but also factors like human rights and cultural freedom. Norway is weighed high for its high literacy rate in addition to educational levels and material wealth.

Cold country? Warm people!
Ok, the cat is out of the box - there are no palm trees in Norway! But in the summer we enjoy periods with warm weather, and due to the Gulf Stream the coastal areas are rather mild in the winter time. Nevertheless, you should bring warm clothing when visiting Norway in the winter.

Norwegians have a reputation of being somewhat introvert and difficult to get to know. But this should just be perceived as a first impression misunderstanding. Norwegians are generally both welcoming and open minded towards foreigners. If we don't take the first step, don't be afraid to approach us for a conversation. We have a direct way of communicating and often speak out our opinions.