Norwegian culture & language
Is the Norwegian culture really different from what you're used too? You might wonder what's specific to Norwegian culture, but Norwegians are not that different from other Europeans. Usually a couple of aspects are mentioned when Norwegians thinks about themselves as a cultural distinct group:
Language skills opens doors
It is often possible to work in Norway without acquiring knowledge of Norwegian, as English is the working language at many research institutions.
You may also be able to get along in everyday life using only English, as most Norwegians are reasonably fluent. However, you will in general find that learning Norwegian will help you integrate more easily.
For temporary positions, for example for Ph.D. students, post-doctoral fellows and researchers, knowledge of Norwegian is generally not required.
The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) has developed a web-based language course, Norwegian on the Web (NoW) with interactive exercises and additional information on grammar, phonetics and vocabulary.
Some of the universities offer Norwegian as a second language as a full-time course for which you will earn ECTS credits. One semester normally consists of 30 ECTS credits.
Skills Norway (Kompetanse Norge), the Norwegian Agency for Lifelong Learning, provides an overview of language schools (Norwegian) that offer Norwegian-language courses that will qualify you to obtain a permanent residence permit.
You may want to take an official language test to document your knowledge of Norwegian. There are several tests and exams available. Two of them demonstrate a high level of language skills and are typically required for students who are applying to university or for employees who need a certificate to document an advanced level of proficiency in Norwegian.
- The Bergen Test
The Bergen Test assesses proficiency in receptive and productive language skills, as well as knowledge of grammar and vocabulary. It represents a standard by which the level of proficiency in Norwegian as a second language can be assessed.
- Trinn 3
The University of Oslo, University of Bergen and NTNU offer a final exam, Trinn 3, in Norwegian as a second language. You normally attend classes for three semesters before taking the exam. Trinn 3 is equivalent to the Bergen Test.
Norway has two official languages Norwegian and Sami. Norwegian has two written language variants Bokmål and Nynorsk. In addition there are a wide range of spoken dialects. Norwegian is not considered harder to learn than any other European language and according to researchEnglish and Norwegian are more alike than many might think. Remember that by gaining a good command of Norwegian, you will easily gain access to two other Scandinavian languages: Swedish and Danish. Read more about this on The Study in Norway portal.
Language tuition is mandatory for obtaining a permanent residence permit. If you are a citizen of a country outside the EU/EEA and you wish to apply for a permanent residence permit after living in Norway for a period of five years, please note that you will have to complete 300 hours of language training.