Norway is one of the most expensive countries in Europe, and in the top ten most expensive countries in the world. While tourists often comment about the expense of visiting Norway, when it comes to the cost of living in the country, it’s not quite so simple. Things may cost more than in other European countries, but wages are often higher, meaning that even on a lower salary in the country you can afford to get by. Norway is interesting in that it has no minimum wage, and there is a narrower range of salaries across different industries. Jobs that are typically poorly paid in other countries (such as service industries – working in a café or restaurant), will pay you more than you might expect in Norway. But at the higher end of the scale, in jobs such as middle management where in other countries you’d expect a much higher wage, these positions will see managers earning little more than the people they supervise. Across the board, wages can be seen as more equal in Norway, and a full-time teaching position will certainly pay your way if you don’t live too extravagantly and bear in mind the high VAT.
Make the most of your time off work by indulging in outdoor activities. In the summer, the sun never sets in Norway; locals and tourists alike make use of the ‘midnight sun’ to enjoy experiencing the great outdoors at this unique time. Fishing, cycling, hiking, skiing, ice-skating, exploring fjords and watching the Northern Lights are all great ways to get a taste of the local culture. It’s a good idea to foster enjoyment from free outdoor activities – Norway can be an expensive place to live, so you’ll save more if you don’t splash out on your weekend activities.
is the name for a local ‘law’ which means you can pitch your tent or hike anywhere in the country – great news for keen campers.
While in Norway, you’ll do well to embrace the Scandinavian diet. With limited imports, especially outside the biggest cities, you’ll find it hard to get the grocery items you might be used to buying back home. Eating local will be cheaper and also show you the best that the country has to offer. With world-famous chocolate, mind-blowing berries, Svele pancake stacks and Lefse (a sweet flatbread to eat with coffee) on the list of local luxuries, it’s easy to find a sweet treat. If you like strong flavours, you’ll find plenty of Scandinavian fish dishes to try during your time in Norway!