Moving to Norway from the US

There have been so many badass warriors throughout history, including samurais, knights, and cowboys. However, few can hold a candle to the vikings, the warrior race hailing from Scandinavia – part of which is now known as Norway.

If you’ve ever wanted to uproot your life and go live as the vikings did, you’re out of luck – pillaging has fallen out of favour over the past century or two. However, you can still move to Norway, and revel in the history and landscape of the vikings.

If you’re interested in moving to Norway, read on. In this article, we’ll cover everything from the costs of getting there in the first place to the best way to find a job once you’re settled.

If you’ve already settled on the decision to move to Norway, however, you might want to find out how much it costs to ship your stuff over there. If that’s the case, fill out our quick form to have professional shipping companies offer you rates specific to you.

Norway reindeer

This happy reindeer would be happy to greet any new Norwegian denizens

Cost of shipping to Norway from the US

We’ll dive right in where it matters – how much will it cost you to move to Norway from the US? We’ll assume that your contents fall around the average cost of a household’s belongings, which, according to Admiral Insurance, is around $53,000.

The shipping rates themselves are from Freightos, based off of the sea freight rates for a 20ft container of used furniture.

OriginDestination20ft Container Cost
Duration
New York City, USAOslo, Norway$2,006.8726 days
New York City, USABergen, Norway$2,006.8726 days
Los Angeles, USAOslo, Norway$2,449.4733 days
Los Angeles, USABergen, Norway$2,139.2933 days

Data updated as of June 2020

Cost of flying goods to Norway from the US

But sometimes you just don’t want to wait. A boat can take a while, especially when it’s crossing half the planet. In this case, you might be looking at flying your belongings over to you instead.

It’ll be no surprise that flying your belongings to Norway is faster than using a boat, but also more expensive due to space limitations. In fact, it can be up to 18 times more expensive than a ship.

These estimates are based off of a single meter-cubed 250kg container of household goods. Keep in mind, it’s a lot harder to transport a heavier shipment by air than by sea.

OriginDestinationCostDuration
New YorkOslo$4,090.493-8 days
Los AngelesOslo$4,090.493-8 days

Data updated as of June 2020

Healthcare in Norway

Healthcare in Norway has a unique model. The common belief is that European countries, or at least Scandinavian countries, have free healthcare for all. However, this isn’t entirely true when it comes to Norway.

It’s true that a lot of government funding goes into the country's healthcare system, but unlike a lot of European countries, they don’t cover every cost that their citizens need. Instead, the patient has to cough up the first 2,000 krone. Then, if the treatment costs go beyond that for the remainder of the year, they receive a card that exempts them from further healthcare costs.

Norway Oslo

Norway's bustling capital of Oslo is home to its fair share of business and culture

If you've decided you'd like private medical cover in Norway, or you're curious about how much it'll cost you, start building a plan with Cigna today - their form takes one minute and they'll give you a free quote. Cigna allows you to customize a private international health plan that suits you and your family. 

Cost of living in Norway

So once you’re there, how will you be spending your money in Norway? Let’s compare some basic necessities or activities to see how Norway’s cost of living measures up to the US.

MetricNorwayUSA
Basic groceries (milk, bread, eggs, cheese)$21.09$20.01
Coffee$4.42$4.08
Basic restaurant meal$18.74$15.00
Single beer$9.37$2.84
Movie ticket$14.58$12.00
Monthly gym membership$45.50$36.11

Data from Numbeo. Updated as of June 2020

So Norway can be considerably more expensive than the US in some areas, while being roughly even in others. There were barely any significant areas where Norway is substantially cheaper than the US, however, which undeniably puts Norway’s cost of living at a higher rate.

Transferring money to Norway from the US

If you're planning a move to Norway, at some point you'll need to convert some of your American dollars into Norwegian krone.

However, it’s best to avoid using high street banks for this process, as you’ll usually have to pay high fees, and you won’t get the best exchange rate. 

That’s why we’ve done our research and compared all the major money transfer services on the market, so you can choose the right one. Check out our expert ratings and find the best money transfer provider today.

Working in Norway

It’d be nice to be able to live in an exciting new country without having to worry about how you’ll feed or shelter yourself, but we have yet to reach that kind of utopia. Until we do, you might want to look at how to land a job in Norway.

Getting a work visa for Norway

If you’re not a citizen or Norwegian passport holder, you’ll need to secure a work visa. And we’ll be frank with you – it’s not easy to get your hands on one of these.

You’ll need to land a job before you move there – or at the very least, prove that you’re skilled enough to get one within a short period of moving there. There don’t seem to be many workarounds to these requirements, so all we can tell you is to nail down employment as a first step.

Norway Aurora

You'll be able to see both the Northern Lights and the midnight sun – Norway has enough meteorological phenomena for all!

Average salary in Norway

Norway’s average salary is one of the highest in Europe – clocking in at around 28,000 NOK (Norwiegan Krone) per month. This converts to approximately 3,500 USD a month, which is a considerable amount of monthly income.

This is nice, no doubt, but it's offset by the cost of living we mentioned earlier, as well as everyone’s favourite aspect of society – income tax.

Income tax in Norway

Norway’s income tax is very high. It currently stands at 38.2%, with the highest recorded rate being as high as 55.3%. However, this means that the standard of government services in Norway is top notch.

We’ve already touched on Norway’s medical services, but that’s not the only public service that taxes are funding. Its education system is funded by the government and is entirely free, so if you have children, are anticipating them, or even looking to study yourself, you can feel free to do so without cost.

Climate in Norway

Going back to the vikings for a second: when you picture a viking, you probably picture them covered in pelts and leather. Well there is a reason for this – Scandinavian countries are infamously cold.

Obviously vikings existed a while ago, and the climate has since changed for the warmer. Due to some ocean currents that you can read about if you really want to, Norway isn’t as cold as it could be. Winters are cold, no doubt, but with the right clothes and heating, you won’t be at any kind of risk.

The biggest noteworthy thing about the winters is the famous midnight sun. During the summers, due to the earth’s orbit, the sun doesn’t set for several weeks. Then, in the winters, the opposite is true, where it doesn’t rise for the same amount of time. Quite a phenomenon!

Does it snow in Norway?

Boy, does it! Norway is pretty far up the Northern Hemisphere, which means that some areas receive more than their fair share of snow. It’s a decently-sized country, so the amount of snow will vary, meaning that there are some parts, typically on the Western coast, that receive much less than the country’s average.

Even if these parts don’t get buried under snow, they still get pretty chilly, so be prepared for a brisk winter no matter where you’re looking to settle.

The best places to live in Norway

If you’re interested in moving to Norway but don’t have a specific destination in mind, let us give you a quick rundown of some cities you might want to consider.

Oslo

As the nation’s capital and most populous city, this needs to be included in every list of Norway’s best cities. If you’re new to the language or culture, this will be the most approachable place to learn.

It’s the most open to foreigners and tourism, there’s a lot to do in terms of museums and sightseeing, and it’s the commercial hub of the country. If you’re looking to get your footing, Oslo is probably the place to do it.

Norway Bergen

The town of Bergen is perfect for anyone who wants to get away from crowds and live amidst some beautiful scenery

Bergen

The runner-up to Oslo in terms of size and population, Bergen is still a good option if you’re looking for big city life that isn’t that big. It has all the amenities you’d want in a big city, like good education and public transport, but won’t make you feel insignificant with towering skyscrapers.

The town is coastal, which means it’s one of Norway’s best aquacultural centers. This means that for seafood, trading, and general oceanic affairs, your best bet is Bergen.

Fredrikstad

Fredrikstad is a pretty small town, and to be honest, there’s not a lot to do there – at least when it comes to manmade activities. Instead, we’ve added it to the list due to the unbelievable picturesque environment that the town offers.

The buildings are integrated beautifully with the surrounding verdant fields – so much so that it actually won the national award for “most attractive city” in 2017. So if you’re looking for somewhere peaceful and natural, Fredrikstad is a good option.

Next steps

If you’ve been convinced, you might be curious about how much it would cost to move to Norway. We’ve given you an estimate, but for exact prices tailored to your situation, you can fill out our form and have professional shipping companies contact you about your projected rates.