In the footsteps of many other authors and, probably, completing the wave of topics and talk about emigration and immigration, I will write about how I went to Norway almost two years ago, which is good and not very good.


    This is only a collection of my opinions, it does not in any way pretend to objectivity (however, it does not exist). In many ways, Norway is similar to Denmark and Finland, which tafe and rg_software have already written about . Here are links to their topics: Denmark and Finland .
    The post was updated after igneous comment .
    I will try to pay less attention to the common between these countries and talk more about the differences.

    About myself

    Born and raised in Moscow, graduated from the University ( RSUH ) and became a computer linguist . He worked and studied in graduate school, but at the beginning of 2007 he decided to change his job, and, by mutual agreement of his former employer and his Norwegian partner, he went not to the next company in Moscow, but to a vendor, and moved to Oslo.

    Why did I go there?

    The reasons for my move were relatively simple and ordinary: I was interested in looking at the world, I wanted to experience life in a new cultural environment, the Russian government caused me more idiosyncrasy, I did not have a wife and children, and I didn’t take any particular risks.

    The country

    Norway is a relatively large country on the server of Europe, whose main economy now is the North Sea oil and gas found in the 70s. It builds and develops Scandinavian socialism, with a strong social system. guarantees, high taxes and uniform income. All of this is being sponsored now and will be supported in the future by the state investment fund, which receives profits from the sale of oil.
    Until 1905 it was actually part of Sweden , before that part of Denmark , before that all three countries were part of the Kalmar Union . From the fact that Sweden voluntarily agreed to secession of Norway, peace and mutual friendship reign in Scandinavia.
    The only major country (besides Iceland) in Europe is not a member of the European Union, and so far it is not going to (referenda on accession were held in 1972 and 1994 ended unsuccessfully). For working foreigners, this means that the Norwegian permit for permanent residence does not give any rights to work in the European Union, but on the other hand, getting it is easier. Namely, it is given after 3 years on a work visa.
    The crisis has not yet had a noticeable effect on the Norwegian economy; this was particularly influenced by the fact that banking legislation was tightened after the Scandinavian banking crisis of the mid-90s.
    The language is very similar to German. Of the foreigners, it is to Germans, with the exception of the Scandinavians, that it is easiest to learn Norwegian, even average knowledge of German will greatly help in learning the Norwegian language. Although everyone speaks English. Films in films and on TV, TV shows are not duplicated at all. Even some cartoons for children are shown in the original (but with Norwegian subtitles).
    You can read more about Norway here: Wikipedia , .


    Here I can refer to the tafe post about Denmark (from which I borrowed a part of the topic’s structure, thanks to him for this). Everything is extremely leisurely, exclusively from 8:30 to 16:30, drinking coffee and taking breaks in order to go out onto the veranda and bask in the sun (when it is).
    Everything is relatively good in the IT sector, vacancies have become a little less, but they are still there.
    Major Norwegian IT companies are Opera , Fast (now Microsoft ) and Trolltech (now QT Software as part of Nokia) .
    The level of salaries is from 350 thousand crowns (40 thousand euros) per year before taxes for initial positions, up to 400-450 thousand crowns (45-50 thousand euros) in secondary development positions, up to 500-600 (60-70 thousand euros) with more experience. Remember to deduct 35-40 percent of the tax.
    As a job flea market, you might be advised to look at the corresponding section at
    * .
    They are all in Norwegian, but Google.Translate is already here and ready to help.
    You can look at agency sites, for example: Kelly Services , Jobzone , Adecco ,Manpower , NAV .


    Everything is very, very similar to Denmark and Finland, namely, there is no strong difference between the richest and the poorest, taxes can reach up to 40 percent, everything is relatively expensive.
    A fun feature is that the three income parameters of all Norwegian taxpayers (tax base, amount of tax paid and status) are published annually in public access. Here, for example: , you can see how much everyone earned and paid in 2007 (I am there too). Data for 2008 will be published in October.

    Here are some basic cost components (all prices are in NOK, now 1 EUR ~ 8.8 NOK, 1 NOK ~ 5 RUB, 1 NOK ~ 1.2 UAH):
    * 2 bedroom apartment in the center of Oslo: 8,000-12,000 NOK (in Stavanger about the same, cheaper in Bergen and Trondheim)
    * Transport: In the city center you can ride a bicycle all year round (in winter, with studded tires on ice), costs from 650 to 1250 NOK
    * Food: About 2,000 to 3,000 NOK. If there is food at work, this amount suddenly decreases dramatically, somehow I did not spend money on food at all for 2 weeks (not from a good life).
    * Internet: Relatively expensive, ~ 300 NOK / month for 3 Mbit
    * Machine: It’s expensive and pointless, since in itself it is not very cheap, taxes will increase (the tax base will increase), it will take a lot of money to maintain it in working condition and so on. In Oslo, the most reasonable thing is to have the right and, if necessary, to rent a car for the weekend, if you want to go somewhere.
    * Alcohol: Beer in a bar starting at 60 kroons per 0.5 (or 0.4, as lucky)
    * Cigarettes from 55-60 kroons per pack

    Also, the state is always anxious about a person, which is expressed in the fact that vodka is poison. Namely, alcohol stronger than 4.5 degrees can only be bought in the state monopoly ( Vinmonopolet ). And if in Oslo there are relatively many of these stores, then in the outback it is not so, and you can imagine what lines are formed for them somewhere inSjøvegan , especially on the eve of the holiday. Perhaps that is why most of the colleagues from Trondheim (and almost everyone studied there, the country's best technical university, NTNU ) spoke with such aspiration about the local moonshine. Unfortunately, so far I have not tried it, but everything is ahead, I'm sure.
    And yes, Vinmonopolet does not take credit cards to prevent a resident of the country from spending on alcohol that money that he does not actually have. But on the other hand, everything you buy is guaranteed to be of good quality, and in Norway alcoholic beverages are taxed depending on the alcohol content. therefore, for example, very high-quality light wines and champagne can cost even less than in other countries.

    Bank cards are accepted in 99% of places. Even for parking everywhere you can pay with a card. Moreover, the Norwegian banking system is slightly different from other countries. Any bank card is a valid identification card, contains the signature and photo of the holder.


    Here I can again refer to the tafe , there are a lot of very beautiful blondes and no, the majority of local girls. The only thing that spoils them is a relatively small growth. But this is a matter of taste, nothing more.

    A life

    A relatively common aspect of life is that everything is really infinitely measured and calm. On the other hand, despite the fact that Oslo, although a small city, is still the capital, and if you wish, you can find joys and adventures here. You can start searching here: (by the way, one of the best web 2.0 sites for joint posters and communication from those that I saw). So, despite the fact that there are only a few, so far I do not miss. And as I get bored, I can go to Stockholm, the benefit of the train is not far.
    They bathe here for a relatively long time, from June to August, the fact is that the fjords warm up quickly and keep warm for a long time. But if you want to swim early, there are always many lakes in the forests.
    A traditional Norwegian holiday is a trip with a family to a country house,hytte . An important feature of it is that it should be as far away from civilization as possible, there should be no electricity, the phone should not work, and there should be at least 2 kilometers of skiing from the nearest road.
    A traditional Norwegian holiday is organized like this: in the city center there is one or several orchestras from each school in the city, each in its own uniform, with the school’s flag and the pennant of the orchestra. They play drums and winds, people rejoice. On big holidays, everyone dresses in folk costumes, children participate in the parade, and once a year the king greets everyone from the balcony of the palace. This happens on May 17, the day of the constitution, and here are some photos of this year (by the way, it was celebrated the day after the victory of Norway in Eurovision):

    I really liked that only children and musicians participate in the parade because the children are not tired yet, and the chance to perform is important for musicians.
    And sometimes there are such things with red flags, sickles and a hammer (May 1):

    In any case, the important part is the demonstration.


    Getting a car license is very difficult and very expensive. The training here is comprehensive - a preparatory theoretical course, theory with an exam, then practice. the practice includes a safety course, a course on slippery roads, a course in the dark, a course of long driving (4+ hours), then an exam. For each course you need to pay separately, the total cost, depending on the number of hours with an instructor, can go off scale for 30-35 thousand crowns. From the first time, a practical exam is passed on the strength of 15-20% of people.
    If you already have rights, then in principle you can immediately sign up for a practical exam ... two acquaintances who came here to live from Moscow, having failed the practice twice, decided to still take a few lessons with an instructor and could pass only with 3 attempts.

    Cars are very expensive. One can buy the same new one from the five-six-year-old car proceeds from the sale in Norway, and still have some money :) Gasoline is also expensive, 95 is now around 11 kroons per liter.


    Suffice it to say that she is beautiful and very close. For example, if there are not enough parks in the city, then you can always take the subway and after 15 minutes go out into the forest, where wonderful blueberries grow.
    Here is an example of local forests:

    If you move further away from Oslo, then around there will be inhuman beauty fjords, waterfalls, forests and mountains. In the farthest North there are tundra and taiga (but I have not been there yet).

    Which is not so good.

    Of course, everything is not magical and surprising, what oppresses, what you want to change (all these are relative little things and they can be fixed in a year or two):
    • Separation from the Moscow company of friends. I try not to lose contact with them. On the other hand, there are already friends and comrades in Oslo, and it’s not boring here.
    • Tongue. Despite the fact that everyone speaks English, it is important and necessary to know Norwegian for a full life here. However, I will fix it.
    • The girls. They differ greatly in their behavior and are difficult without Norwegian.

    Perhaps that’s all from the little things in life.

    What is the result?

    I got and get what I wanted, namely: adventure, a new working and life experience, the opportunity to travel more, peace of mind and the understanding that you don’t have to worry about your livelihood and do interesting things.
    What I have lost (assuming that I will not return to Russia): Perhaps the main thing is that my children will not be Russian and it is not so easy for me to see relatives and friends live. However, planes fly to Moscow regularly, and carry people in both directions.
    I will be glad to answer any questions, expand the article.

    Bonus, all of a sudden: Munich

    As I wrote at the beginning, one of the reasons for my move to Oslo was the desire to live in a new culture. And after spending less than a year in Norway, I realized that I wanted something new. Having talked about this with the bosses, he was sent for six months to Germany, to work in Munich. What was a wonderful adventure, and you can write a separate topic about it. I inherited from him the understanding that beer can be a tasty drink and a noticeable American accent.
    So if it’s interesting to learn something about Munich and Germany, I may be able to help you too.
    And traditionally, photos from Bavaria:

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