Many mobile researchers bring along a spouse or partner who needs to find a job or gain admission to higher education.
Some also bring their children or plan to have a child while in Norway. Norway is considered to be a family-friendly country. Relatively generous child and parental benefits and childcare provision make it easier to combine career and children.
Work-life balance and welfare in Norway
A person's and a family's main goal when moving to Norway is usually to remain happy and healthy and to continue their life as usual. How can it be ensured and what can you expect when moving to Norway?
In Norway public benefits are universal and offered to all and are essential for the well-functioning of society. But it's important to be aware that the citizens also have duties and that a crucial prerequisite for the welfare society to function is trust. There's no free ride, it's expected that you contribute to society as well.
Examples of benefits you can receive in Norway are child benefit, parental benefit, unemployment benefits, sickness benefits and disability benefits.
For more information see:
Most Norwegian parents are on leave the first year when their baby is born. You can receive parental benefits if you have been occupationally active at least six of the last ten months.
Parents receive 100 percent of their income parental benefits for a period of 49 weeks or 80 percent of their income for a period of 59 weeks.
Municipal health service centres organise parental groups for parents with newborns, so parents get to know other parents in their neighbourhood with children at the same age. Parental group members meet at cafés; go for a walk with their babies and do other activities.
Day care and schooling
If you have children and you're moving to Norway, this is what you need to know.
Public kindergartens are owned and run by the municipality or local government. The admission application deadline is 1 March for the following autumn and spring terms. There is a high demand for kindergartens and you may have to wait for an opening for your child to become available. Children born between January 1st and August 31st have first priority.
Norwegian kindergartens tend to focus on interplay and the development of social competencies among the children. Children spend some time outdoors every day, even during winter. Your child must bring appropriate clothing for outdoor activities. Some kindergartens serve lunch, while others require your child to bring a packed lunch.
There are also many private kindergartens. Normally the same application form as for the public kindergartens is used to apply to these as well. Rates and admission requirements vary.
Research institutions may also have kindergartens for their students and employers, so it is a good idea to start with your host institution (set link to relevant internal page).
For more information see Norge.no, the Gateway to digital public services
Primary and lower secondary education (grunnskole) in Norway is based on the principle of an equal education for all, in inclusive co-educational schools where tuition is based on a single national curriculum that can be tailored to needs of individual pupils. School is compulsory for children aged 6-15. There is no tuition fee at state schools.
The national curriculum includes core subjects, curricula for individual subjects and principles and guidelines for primary and lower secondary education. Ask your local municipality which school has openings available for your child.
Schools expect parents to play an active role in their children’s learning. Teachers maintain a close dialogue with the children’s homes through regular parent-teacher meetings. There are also parent conferences twice a year where you are able to discuss your child’s development and progress at school.
The Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training is responsible for the development of primary and secondary education and is the executive agency for the Ministry of Education and Research. You can find useful information on training and schools on their website.
Contact the individual school your child is going to attend in order to discuss potential special needs and entry into the Norwegian school system.
For more information see Norge.no, the Gateway to digital public services
School Day Care (SFO) is a public and voluntary offer to all children from grades 1-4, who needs day care after school hours. Children with special needs are offered school day care from 1st through 7th grade. SFO offers assistance with homework, play and educational activities after school until you are able to leave work and pick up your child.
The application deadline is usually 1. april. However, it is also possible to enrol at other times. Ask your child’s school for more information. For more information see Norge.no, the Gateway to digital public services (Choose: Schools and education ⇒ Compulsory education and filter by Family and children or search for your municipality.
- Asker International School
- Birralee International School in Trondheim
- British International School of Stavanger
- Children`s International (Fredrikstad)
- Children`s International (Moss)
- Fagerhaug International School (Stjørdal)
- French School in Oslo
- German School in Oslo
- Gjøvikregionens International School
- International School in Arendal
- International School of Bergen
- International School of Kristiansand
- International School of Telemark (Porsgrunn)
- International School of Tromsø
- Kongsberg International School
- Northern Lights International School
- Oslo International School
- Red Cross Nordic United World College
- Skagerak International School in Sandefjord
- Stavanger International School
- Trondheim International School
- Ålesund International School
For a complete list of schools offering IB Diploma programs see: International Baccalaureate
From the age of 16 three years of upper secondary school is voluntary. There is no tuition fee, but you will have to cover equipment costs. You may apply for up to three different programmes and will be given admission to one of them. There are vocational programmes and programmes that qualify pupils to enter higher education. Pupils who have completed vocational training courses can take supplementary courses to gain higher education entrance qualifications.
Upper secondary school sets requirements to learning outcome and curricula. Pupils who have started upper secondary school abroad should document their learning outcomes and curricula. The County Council in each region decides upon entry into Norwegian upper secondary school for each individual pupil.
Postal services and digital mailbox
Even though postal services in Norway are similar to everywhere else, the government is working towards more digital communication between the citizens and the public sector. If you move to Norway you will most probably be using a digital mailbox and therefore, need to know what it is.
Drivers licence and cars
For all the question you might have regarding driver licences or cars, there are a few resources you need to know about:
Bringing your pet to Norway
In most cases, it is possible to bring your pet to Norway. However, the costs and procedure vary depending on which country your pet comes from.
The Norwegian Food Safety Authority (NFSA) issues regulations for importing and exporting pets.