Living and working in Norway as a British citizen

Hi there,

I've been researching some European countries to live and work in and have whittled the options down to a few, Norway among them. I have seen a few threads here that have gotten me worried, especially about the apparent requirement to be fluent in Norwegian for all jobs. But then again it seems to be people of Indian or Pakistani origin that experience most difficulties.

My queries are based on the possibility of me and my partner living and working in Norway.  Firstly, I am English and fluent in English and Turkish and have an aptitude for languages. I am 23 and in my last two years of an open university course that I started here in the UK. Any jobs in Norway for me would, I understand, be menial and unskilled at present.

My partner however is Turkish and has completed a masters degree in psychology here in the UK. She is a Turkish citizen and here on a student visa. She has expressed interest in looking for work elsewhere in Europe since the UK is not full of opportunities for her. She speaks fluent English and Turkish. My main question is what are the job prospects like for a new psychology masters graduate who is a Turkish citizen? My secondary question is what are the job prospects in Norway like for me as a (currently) unskilled 23 year old white English speaking male?

Thanks in advance!

Hi there!

You have no chance in the labor market. Without the Norwegian language, the possibilities are few.

Sorry, but good luck findig a job.


I think you are right that if you don't speak Norwegian, you might struggle to get a job which would match your qualifications. It is possible sometimes though, particularly if you are a native English speaker. Some firms will see having a native English speaker as a strength. They will still expect you to learn Norwegian though. I work within the academic sector, where English is used as a working language anyway. I think some firms, perhaps Statoil, also have English as a working language. Your options will be limited though.

Best of luck,


Hi emuzeg,

I'm Irish and moved to Norway last year and I had a very difficult time finding a job. Like you, English is my native language and I'm white and from a European country. However, this won't help you. The only way to find a job (and particularly an unskilled job) is to speak Norwegian. When I finally got a job here after months of searching it was only because I got help from a family friend who recommended me to her boss. However, the working language was still in Norwegian and this was the first question that was asked, 'Can she speak Norwegian?'. Luckily I have a natural ability for languages and had learned just enough to get by in my work place.

Norway is extrememly, disgustingly expensive so it will be very difficult to live here while searching for a job. I only survived because my boyfriend is Norwegian (the reason I moved here) and he paid the bills while I was unemployed..

I've been speaking online to a Swedish girl (Swedish is very similar to Norwegian and Swedes and Norwegians understand each other, so speaking Swedish is almost as good as speaking Norwegian!) and she has had no luck finding a job, and has applied to over 15 job advertisements so far..

Most cleaner jobs and other 'menial' jobs say when advertised 'Must speak Norwegian'...

I don't know how things are in the other countries you were thinking about moving to but its very tough for foreigners in Norway..

Hmm thanks for the replies. I think we are scared off from Norway now! Seems like a great country but unless one has contacts there and people to stay with initially it seems to be far too much of a risk, especially with the language requirement. I'd like to learn Norwegian one day though, so maybe I'll retire there :D

Thanks everyone for your help and advice. We will try our best to stay in the UK or seek less stringent, expensive European countries!

thanks 2 all of u. i will be reach in norway witihin 4 months. so i read your question and answer..i learn from u..i will buy norway to english  dictonery...may be before reach in norway..i can speak little bit...and anyone know indian or gujrati paying guest. so i can book my accomodation...please reply me..

What Tillukka said :)
I had to pay the bills for my girlfriend, and help her out. Have costed me a shit load, but have been so worth it.
It is hard to move to Norway if you don't know anyone, being english might help you since UK is a part of EU/EEA countries.

Being Turkish might be harder.

I moved to Norway nearly two years ago and it took me months to find a job.  I guess I could have been more pro-active at searching for more menial jobs but with a degree in Computer Forensics I was very keen on actually getting onto the career ladder asap.  There are jobs out there for non-Norwegian speakers.  You may find some in Entertainment/Bar work/construction (Randomly met an English dude on the tram who found a job in construction two weeks after moving to Norway).

It's possible, but very hard if you have no connections or support whilst you're searching (opposite of Tillukka my Norwegian girlfriend supported me during our move here, yet now I earn more so it's gradually equaling out).

The thing you have to remember regarding the people saying it's enormously expensive to live in Norway, is that you are paid very very well in comparison to other countries, even the low-paid jobs are in comparison awesomely paid.  As a graduate in England I'd have expected to get about £20-25k a year, my first job in norway I'm getting over £35k (post tax of 30ish % it's about £2k / month) and that easily pays for my apartment, food, entertainment and lots of savings.

Hard, but possible, and very worth it.

Best of luck.

from what I know, there are lots of employment opportunities for engineering in Norway.  That is what I heard from my other foreign friends in oslo.  Most of them are engineers.

It is true that most companies require you to learn norwegians but there are a handful of bigger companies who do not mind because English is their working language.

Healthcare is probably a difficult sector to work in.  I heard that there are a lot of "gates" to pass for a foreigners who has foreign certification in healthcare to work in Norway.