If family is accompanying you to Norway, the need for careful and long-term planing becomes all the more imperative. Adequate housing needs to be found, daycare and schools organized and your partner or spouse might want to pursue degree studies or also get on with a career. On this page you will find information relating specifically to the needs of various family members.
In the last few years, substantial efforts have been made to increase day care facilities in Norway. In the Oslo area the day care facilities by and large cover the demand. The closing date for applications at most nurseries and kindergartens is March 1 and must be made for an entire kindergarten year (August - June/July). Therefore, it is advisable to plan for day care services well ahead of time and to check out private facilities that often operate under more flexible conditions. The municipality can provide an overview and counselling with regard to public and private day care options available in your neighbourhood. In Oslo, the web page Kindergartens in the City of Oslo (oslo.kommune.no) (Norwegian) provides detailed information.
Researchers who hold a 3/4-position or more at UiO and plan to spend at least one full academic year here may apply for a place at the UiO kindergarten.
PhD candidates who are members of the Student Welfare Organisation SiO (i.e. NUFU & Quota scholarship holders) may apply for a place at the nurseries and day-care centres run by SiO. For details please consult the website of SiO kindergarten (sio.no).
Day time and evening babysitters may be sought through Oslo Barnevaktformidling AS (barnevaktformidling.no) (Norwegian), phone +47 22 60 20 22, a reputed private agency with 20 years of experience in the field of procuring day care services in the Oslo area.
Children living in Norway for more than 3 months, have the right and obligation to go to school. Children above the age of 6 must be enrolled in school and must attend compulsory education for 10 years. Parents must contact the nearest school or the local municipality to register children at school.
The first 7 years children attend primary school (barneskolen), followed by 3 years of lower secondary school (ungdomskolen). Youth are entitled to, but not obliged to attend an additional 3 years of upper secondary school (videregående skole). Public schools are free of charge, and girls and boys share classes. Tuition is in Norwegian only. Alternatively, one can explore opportunities at private schools. These usually charge school fees.
In state schools, children who speak Norwegian are placed in regular Norwegian school classes. Children who don’t speak the language and belong to the first year or beginning of the second year, are also placed in regular Norwegian school classes. Older children who don’t speak Norwegian are placed in reception classes. Not all schools have reception classes, which means the child in question may have to attend a school relatively far from home the first year. The local school can be contacted for registration.
There are also some international schools in Oslo:
- Northern Lights International School (nlis.no) - primary school
- Oslo International School (oslointernationalschool.no) - from kindergarten to IB Diploma
- Bjørnholt skole (public school) (bjornholt.gs.oslo.no) - lower secondary school and IB Diploma
- Blindern videregående skole (public school) (ibo.org) - IB Diploma
- Deutsche Schule Oslo – Max Tau (deutscheschule.no) fom kindergarten to upper secondary school
Recognition of qualifications
The general recognition of foreign higher education qualifications in Norway means that:
- The qualifications are considered wholly or partially equivalent to Norwegian higher education
- An assessment is also made of the extent to which it is equivalent, in terms of years of study and ECTS credits, to a Norwegian qualification
- General recognition may also result in recognition of foreign higher education as equivalent to a Norwegian Bachelor’s or Master’s degree
The Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (nokut.no) processes applications for general recognition of foreign higher education.
Read more about general recognition (nokut.no)
Subject specific recognition involves recognition of foreign education on the basis of the specific subjects, degrees and professional programmes offered at a relevant institution of higher education in Norway. Each institution decides whether the foreign education meets their specific requirements for the scope and depth of the subject or the degree. This type of recognition is relevant when applying for admission to further studies or credit transfer and takes place at the academic institution in question.
Read more about specific recognition (nokut.no)
Professional recognition is necessary if you wish to practice a profession that is legally regulated in Norway. This is determined on a case by case basis by a licensing authority.
Read more about professional recognition (nokut.no)
Dual career advice
As of now, UiO does not provide formal career counseling for partners and spouses accompanying international researchers. However, we do recognize the need for this type of service and hope to be able to offer it in the not too distant future.
In the meantime, we can offer your partner the following advice:
NAV, the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration, is engaged in a cooperation within the European Economic Area (EEA) - EURES (EURopean Employment Services). For counseling on job opportunities in Norway, you should ask for an appointment with an adviser at the NAV EURES office in Oslo (nav.no), or attend one of their regular meetings on Fridays.
- www.nav.no with postings of vacancies in English
- www.finn.no (Norwegian)
- Vacant positions at UiO
- Most newspapers carry a ‘vacant positions’ column. Try Aftenposten, the main Oslo daily, which also has national distribution, or a local paper in Norway.
- To make direct enquiries with employment agencies or with potential employers, you can search the Norwegian yellow pages (gulesider.no) in Norwegian and English.
Norwegian language skills
Most jobs in Norway require a good knowledge of the Norwegian language. UiO offers tailor-made language courses to its international community, including accompanying partners and spouses. An overview of the large range of language and culture course possibilities available, both in and outside the University, can be found at language and culture courses.
- EURES Europe (eures.europa.eu) provides a well of up to-date country-specific information of interest to job seekers as well as a job database.
- Goinglobal Norway (goinglobal.com) provides e-books for download at a fee, but a useful exerpts are available on the web for free.
- The Norwegian Trade Portal (nortrade.com) offers comprehensiv information to job seekers in Norway.
Networking and personal recommendations lead to many jobs for Norwegians, which can make it difficult for foreigners with few connections to penetrate the job market.This seeming disadvantage can be overcome, however, through the use of online resources and networking organizations. In particular, we can recommend the following:
- Association of International Professional and Business Women (expatsnorway.com), a non-profit networking organization that unites, supports and promotes the interests of international professional and business women in Norway
- Norway International Network (ninside.org), a young, vibrant organization for foreigners studying, working and living in Norway, and for Norwegians interested in meeting people from different cultures.