There’s so much more to Norway than fish, oil, gas and the Vikings. For a start, there are the Northern Lights and, of course, the breath-taking fjords. What’s more, Norwegians are open minded, peaceful, welcoming and believe in free education for all. Why not take a closer look?
Voted the best place to live on earth for the thirteenth time by the UN in 2018, Norway really does have lots to offer. The discovery of offshore oil and gas deposits in the late 1960s put Norway on the map, but what gives Norway the edge is the quality of life. It has low crime statistics and one of the highest rated levels of education in the United Nations.
Norway is a big country (it’s actually slightly larger than Japan) with a very small population of just over 5 million people. It’s one of the three Scandinavian countries in the Northern part of Europe and shares a border with Sweden, Finland and Russia. It is one of Europe’s most mountainous countries and has many ‘active’ glaciers. During the last ice age, Norway was covered with a thick sheet of ice, which carved out deep valleys that eventually became Norway’s fjords. The famous Svalbard archipelago lies to the North, which is dominated by glaciers but is also famously the home of the Ice Bears (see the Golden Compass by Philip Pullman for more details). Norway is also one of the best countries to observe the Aurora Borealis, otherwise known as the Northern Lights.
The Norwegians take their environment seriously and are taking measures to cut greenhouse gas emissions and pollution levels. They are also keen to protect the local wildlife. So if you love nature and want to preserve a better world for future generations, then Norway is a great country for you.
The calm Norwegians are pretty good fun too. They are famously laid back, informal and enjoy life (although they don’t like displaying ‘strong emotions’ in public). They value manners and are always polite and punctual – and prefer to shake hands (rather than kiss). They also take off their shoes when entering a house (presumably to ensure that snow or dirt doesn’t get in). They are also an inventive race: telemark skiing, the cheese slicer and the paperclip were all invented by Norwegians.
And the cuisine is pretty good too. Norway has three Michelin starred restaurants (all in Oslo). As well as the traditional gravlax (dry cured salmon marinated in salt, sugar and spices), why not try pinnekjott (salted, dried and smoked lambs ribs) or perhaps some rommegrot (porridge). Acuavit is the local drink – a potato based spirit flavoured with herbs. It sounds weird doesn’t it, but it’s actually very nice – try it!
A point to note – Norway is an expensive place, so you need to bear this in mind if you plan to visit or stay. Make sure you budget for a cost of living considerably higher than UK. We estimate that you will need to budget at least £1,100 per month for accommodation, food etc. whilst living or studying in Norway.
Norway is a Constitutional Monarchy and is known as The Kingdom of Norway (current Monarch is King Harald V)
At a glance facts
- Official languages: Norwegian and Sami
- Population: 5,353,363 (2018)
- International Dialling Code: 47
- Timezone: GMT + 1 hour
So you would like to study in Norway, go here for more information
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