Norway, the Scandinavian neighbor to Sweden, is known for its egalitarian values that promote fairness and equality. More than that, it offers up a rich and dynamic culture that is famous for its folklore, folk music, and traditional clothing. Choosing to spend your gap year in Norway will present you with a myriad of options to choose from, including (but not limited to) volunteering and exploring all of Norway’s cities. The possibilities are endless!
Norway has a diverse number of gap year programs that could attract anyone. But Norway’s real treasure lies in its people. A group known to be welcoming and caring- you’ll sure to feel at home during your gap year adventure!
There is no better way to learn the Norwegian language than going into an immersion program in Norway. The programs will allow you to dive right into the language, facilitating full mastery. While the program can get intense, it will definitely be worth it when you are able to acclimate yourself to the Norwegian culture with ease.
Another great option is to volunteer! Norway has a wide range of organizations and industries that are constantly looking for volunteers to help them out. Whether that means volunteering at a non-profit in Oslo, working in the agriculture industry or helping animals at local zoos, you’ll have your pick as to what kind of what you want to do. There really won’t be a more fulfilling way to spend your gap year in Norway than to volunteer, and best of all, you get to what kind of volunteer work you get to do, ensuring you’ll absolutely love it!
Studying abroad in Norway is another great option for your gap year adventure. During your trip, you’ll either have the opportunity to study at a local high school or at a university. This presents the unique opportunity to be fully immersed within the local culture and not only that, be able to interact with the friendly people of Norway. Studying abroad is something everyone should experience, so come do it in Norway!
Planning Your Trip
It is absolutely crucial to plan your gap year in advance. Before you even pack your bags, you should have a good idea about your budget and availability of health-care. Below are just some of the things you'll need to think about:
Cost of Living in Norway
It is no secret that Norway is one of the more expensive European countries. A recent study found that the cost of living in Oslo was higher than living in New York City. But don’t panic, as there are many ways to save money, including not eating out as much and looking into homestays. But on average, budgeting for 1500 to 2500 dollars would be ideal.
Culture and Etiquette in Norway
Norway prides itself on having a culture that values fairness and humility. For this reason, it is important to present yourself as being humble and fair to everyone around you. Women are treated in the same respect as men, evidenced by the fact they receive equal pay. Etiquette in Norway is fairly straightforward, with many of the norms being similar to what you would expect in the US. But note that there is no such thing as fashionably late in Norway, so be sure to show up on time, every time.
Health and Safety in Norway
Norway has one of the highest-ranking health-care systems in the world. For this reason, there is no reason for you to be worried about getting sick. Additionally, Norway has one of the lowest crime rates in the world, so safety will not be an issue during your gap year adventure.
Contributed by Raj Patel
Want to earn $10,000 towards your gap year?
US residents ages 14-25 are eligible to apply for our USA Gap Year Fairs Scholarship, due Apr 15th. Register for a gap year fair to learn about eligible programs!