Norwegian society – what is it really like?

Among other things, Norwegians are known for their love of the outdoors and sports, gender equality and what they like to call ‘their personal space’. Here are some real experiences on Norwegian society, made by international students.

I feel completely safe.

Paulo Rodrigues from Brazil, studying Petroleum Engineering: ‘One of the first things I believe I should comment on is the security Norway has to offer. When comparing it to other places in the world, I feel completely safe when walking on the streets with my phone out etc. I don’t have the feeling that “I should be careful, otherwise I’ll be robbed”. Another point worth mentioning is sports. I like to exercise and be outdoors, and I have learned a lot from the Norwegians, because they are very sporty people! Last but not least, the privacy here is also something I like. I am a very outgoing person and I really like to talk, so sometimes it bothers me that people will not respond when I say “hi”. However, when I want my privacy, which I really appreciate, I know I can have it. Click here to see what else Paulo has to say on his stay in Norway. 

Norwegians are used to having space. 

Dionne Heijting from the Netherlands, studying Communication Science: ‘I think Norwegians refer a lot to their past when it comes to their “shy and distant” stereotype. They say: “We are used to having

Dionne Hijting Netherlands

Dionne Heijting from the Netherlands, Communication Science

space. Back in the day, we had a lot of space and not too many people, so that’s why foreigners might see us as more distant and shy.” I actually think that Norwegians are absolutely not that shy and distant as they say they are, so they are probably getting more modern. Norwegians are just embracing their stereotypes.’ Click here to see what else Dijonne has to say on her stay in Norway. 

Everything can be done by phone. 

Andrew Connors Canada

Andrew Connors from Canada, Engineering

Andrew Connors from Canada, studying Engineering: ‘My first impressions of Norwegian culture are incredible. I have only been able to see the city of Bergen so far, but everything is so organised. The public transportation system and the mix between old and new buildings in parts of the city is breathtaking and very impressive. Also, the locals have been incredibly helpful and kind. Everything that needs to be done here can be done by phone, which is very cool and progressive. That and the use of electric cars and buses tell me that Norway is a pioneering country when it comes to advancing technology and keeping this planet healthy.'   Click here to see what else Andrew has to say on his stay in Norway. 

Real gender equality. 

Li Wei China

Li Wei from China, studying Business Administration: ‘It’s always said that Norwegians don’t like to talk. But I think that’s not true. It’s just that they don’t like “small talk”. If you share some common hobbies or you have a real topic to discuss, they are very good conversation partners. People are nice and always willing to help you out. Because of this, I have never worried about getting lost. When it comes to gender equality, I see men walking in the streets with baby strollers, and I see girls playing football with the boys. As a girl, you will not be discriminated against, but you will NOT receive any privileges either. And I think that is REAL gender equality.’  Click here to see what else Li has to say on her stay in Norway.