LIVING IN NORWAY

Norwegian way of life

The Norwegian society is transparent and well organised. Public services like education and health services are free, and Norwegians enjoy a highly developed welfare state. By many standards we live in a rich country, but at the same time we appreciate the simpler things in life.

Norway has long been considered as a country where egalitarian values have been highly apprised. Several explanations have been offered trying to explain why Norwegians seem to be so concerned with areas like economic equality, social equality and gender equality, but it has proved difficult to come up with a single answer. Apparantly it is now so deeply rooted in our mentality that equality values are automatically passed on to future generations.

The expression "Gå på tur"
 Nearness to nature is important for Norwegians. We appreciate the outdoors and visitors to Norway sooner or later will be introduced to the term "Gå på tur" (literally translated: Go for a walk). Now, this might not be so special as walking and hiking is common in many other countries as well. But in Norway it is almost established as an integrated part of our life. And foreigners are often surprised about that we seem to have more focus on the walk itself, than the actual destination. For Norwegians, going for a walk is considered a national sport, whether it's in the local park or up in the mountains. So it is for reason why closer to 300 000 Norwegians are registered members of The Norwegian Trekking Association (DNT).

Informality - a virtue or impolite?
Foreign students in Norway might find it unusual that it is not common to address professors by their title, or often not even by their last name. Informality is widespread in the Norwegian society. Formal titles and social position normally do not constitute that an "important" person should be addressed differently than the regular John Doe. So you are perfectly within "normal" standards of behaviour if you call your professor by the first name.

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