Norwegian society, cultures and institutions

The course provides an introduction to Norwegian society, cultures, public institutions and social services. This course is particularly designed for newcomers to Norway who are required to complete 50 hours of social studies as part of their rights and obligations under the Introduction Act. Primarily conducted online, this course serves as the prerequisite for taking Vox’s Test in Social Studies for adult immigrants.

The Norwegian society no longer is as uniform as it used to be and yet it is helpful to understand some basic social norms and key values


After completing this course, participants should understand:

  • key elements of Norwegian cultures and society
  • fundamentals of social services and Norwegian politics
  • rights and duties in Norwegian society
  • common orientations to human rights and equality in Norway, and some of the challenges to these in society today


The course focuses on:

  1. The rights and obligations for new residents in Norway
  2. Norwegian history, geography and culture
  3. Children and family in Norway
  4. Access to health services
  5. the Norwegian education system
  6. Rights and duties associated with working life
  7. Politics and the Norwegian welfare state.

The online content of the course is delivered through assigned readings, short videos, podcast lectures, interactive quizzes, discussion boards, and shared short essays (one short essay for each of the seven topics sections listed above).

Target group

  • International researchers at UiO and accompanying spouses/partners who are new to Norway
  • International researchers at other research institutions are also welcome to take this course
  • Those who want to apply for Norwegian citizenship or permanent residency in Norway
  • Newcomers who are interested in learning more about Norwegian society and how institutions in Norway function

Preliminary knowledge

No previous knowledge of Norwegian society required. Participants must be able to speak English.

Number of participants

Maximum 20 participants per group


  • 50 hours in total
  • 18 class hours, i.e. 3 class hours once a week over the course of the semester,with the remainder of the course to be completed online
  • The first class is mandatory
  • Remainder of course to be completed online
  • Start on February 1
  • Final class on March 22
  • Students must attend minimum 4 of 6 in-class sessions to take the Social Studies for Adult Immigrants test
  • All online assignments to be completed by June 15 in order to take the Social Studies for Adult Immigrants test

Next course

  •  February 1 to May 3, 2018

In-class sessions:

To be announced

You are expected to attend the in-class sessions. If you will be absent, please contact the instructor ahead of time. The attendance policy for this course requires that you attend no fewer than 4 of the 6 in-class meetings, the first session is mandatory.


Blindern campus. Participants will receive information about the exact location at a later stage.

Course fee

  • NOK 3500 for international researchers and employees at UiO and their spouses/partners
  • NOK 4500 for external participants


  • Researchers should check with their host department whether full or partial sponsorship for courses is available. Please be aware that it is at the department's discretion how to handle this issue. Therefore, conditions will vary throughout the University.
  • The spouse/partner rebate is only valid for spouses/partners who are not otherwise connected to UiO or employed by UiO.

Course material

Participants are not required to buy any books for this course. All reading materials will be provided.

Course leader

Alexander Bielicki, Program Director of The New Norway program at ISS


For further information, please contact the ISS by e-mail,

Go to the course description.


To register, please fill out this on-line form. Applications are handled on a 'first come, first served' basis. As the number of spaces is limited, we encourage you to apply early.

Please have the following information ready before you fill out the form:

  1. Your contact information
  2. Your job title and department at UiO or the external institution you are affiliated with
  3. Contact information of the person or department that will pay for the course, if different than yourself. Please include the name, title and address of where we can send the bill.


  • Researchers employed at UiO must have their course participation approved by their immediate superior.
  • The local administrator is expected to make the necessary arrangements for the approved course.
  • Enrollment is binding.
Published Nov. 13, 2014 10:30 PM - Last modified Jan. 26, 2018 3:38 PM