Pros and cons of living in Norway? You'll wanna read this.

27.03.18
4 minute read
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Looking for a new job? How about a chance to go to school in a completely new place? Ready to retire? Need some adventure in your life? Those are just a few of the many, many reasons to consider moving abroad.

But if you were going to take the leap and move to a new country, where would you go, and why? It’s so important to consider all the pros and cons of a new country before you commit to living there, or you could end up somewhere that doesn’t make you happy. Norway, like anywhere else in the world, has its pros and cons. If you’re considering making it your new home, read on to learn about some of the reasons Norway is a great place to live, and some of the possible downsides of living there.

Pros of living in Norway

Homes are high quality and well cared for

homes

Norwegians take a lot of pride in their homes, and that means they tend to be well built, clean and well cared for. Plus, they have that Scandinavian decor that’s so stylish right now. Many rentals come furnished, and in Norway, homes look like they were pulled straight from the pages of an IKEA catalog.

The outdoors is where you’ll want to be

nature/outdoors

Norway is absolutely beautiful. From its rugged coastlines to its jagged mountain peaks, the scenery will take your breath away over and over again. And when the surroundings look that good, people tend to take advantage of them, so outdoor culture is huge in Norway. You’ll find hiking, biking, fishing, boating and more — everything an outdoorsman needs can be found in Norway.

It’s easy to start a business

start a business

Norway is a global leader in industries ranging from maritime, to energy, to technology and communications. And the country has an administration that encourages and supports new businesses, causing around 35,000 new businesses to be registered in the country each year. If you want to register a business of your own, you’ll find the process to be streamlined and straightforward.

Norway takes care of the environment

clean outdoors

Recycling is a part of daily life in Norway, where people take care of the environment and try to keep the country clean. After all, a country that beautiful needs to be preserved.

It’s a safe country

low crime/safe

Generally, crime in Norway is very low. It’s safe to walk places by yourself, as violent crime is quite rare. Of course there is a difference to living in Oslo, and living in a smaller town in the countryside. You’ll even notice, in some towns, people may leave bicycles out and unlocked.

Education is top-notch

education/schools

Norway has one of the world’s best education systems, with free, world class public education for kids, as well as free college educations for anyone, even non-residents. Norway really considers education to be important, and it shows in the quality of the system.

Healthcare is universal

healthcare/health insurance

Norway’s universal healthcare system means residents don’t have to pay out of pocket for visits to the doctor.

Cons of living in Norway

Of course, not everything about Norway is perfect. The country has its drawbacks, and they need to be taken into consideration, too, if you’re thinking about a move to Norway.

Opening a bank account can be tricky for foreigners

bank account

You’ll find it difficult to open a local bank account without a local address. You can’t open an account from abroad, which means if you move to Norway, you won’t be able to set up your finances until you actually arrive. No getting ahead of the game here.

The cost of living is extremely high

cost of living

The high quality of life that Norwegians enjoy comes with a big price tag. Rents and home prices in Norway are extremely expensive. The cost of food is also high, especially if you’re dining out. If you don’t like to cook at home, you may need to take a good, long look at your budget to see if you can afford to live in Norway.

The weather can be rough

weather

Norway is really far north. That means it’s extremely cold there for most of the year. Even summer temperatures aren’t that high, and months of winter wind and rain, especially in coastal cities, can be hard to handle.

The healthcare system isn’t perfect

healthcare

Like in so many countries, Norway’s healthcare system is a double edged sword. While its universal healthcare plan makes medical care affordable for pretty much everyone, there are a lot of procedures people have to follow. For example, you can’t see a specialist without a referral from your general practitioner, which can mean (you guessed it!) wait times.

Juggling lives between two nations? Want to save money? TransferWise borderless multi-currency accounts could help.

transferwise borderless card

Still thinking about making the move to Norway? You’re going to need a way to get your money there. If you transfer it internationally using your bank or a traditional money transfer service, you could get stuck paying for a 4-5% markup on the exchange rate -- it’s how banks make a profit when you move your money across borders.

TransferWise moves money internationally at the real mid-market rate, or the exact same exchange rate you see when you Google it. There are no markups or hidden fees; just a small, fair transfer fee that’s spelled out for you up front.

TransferWise also offers borderless multi-currency accounts, which are great for frequent travellers because they allow you to send, receive and manage your money in multiple different global currencies all at the same time. And beginning in 2018, borderless account holders will be able to get consumer debit cards, making it even easier to access their money from all over the world. Try TransferWise today to see how easy it can really be to move and spend your money abroad.

Still considering a move to Norway? After seeing the pros and cons, you should have a better idea about whether Norway might be the right place for you to call home in the future. Wherever you end up, good luck with your move, and safe travels!

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