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Jan. 7th, 2009 @ 02:20 am Hello everyone!
Current Location: Sydney, Australia
Current Mood: excitedexcited
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Hi all! I'm moving to Oslo in a weeks time and I just found this community and I'm very excited and eager to learn and ask questions and help anyone else in any way possible.

So first of all, a bit about me. My name is Jessi and I'm 21, I'm Australian (currently in Sydney) and I'm coming over on a working holiday visa. My boyfriend is dorukai  and he's been over there since November so I miss him plenty. I worked in finance over here but I'm hoping to work in a bar or cafe and I'd really, really like to go back to university next year and would love to do so in Oslo. I love food, cooking, music, reading and I'm a huge film and games geek.

And now, some of the big questions:

1. If I need to see a doctor for something that is not an emergency, what do I do?
2. What about dentists?
3. If I need to buy medication (over the counter, not prescription) where can I go?
4. What is the tax like for someone who is on a working holiday visa?
5. What is the procedure for extending a working holiday visa?
6. What kind of qualifications will I need to work in a bar?
7. What are unemployment levels like over there? Is it difficult to get jobs right now?
8. Generally, how do Norwegian employers feel about employing foreigners?
9. How important is it that I speak Norwegian?
10. If I want to go to university next year, are there particular requirements that are general for most university courses?
11. Is temporary (six months maximum) work common?
12. Will I need a copy of my resume in Norwegian as well as English?
13. Are teachers aide jobs possible for someone who has not been to University?

So that's pretty much it for the time being, any more advice would be greatly appreciated and I'd definitely love to get to know some people here, maybe meet up for a coffee?
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omg
jeskimo:
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From:krepander
Date:January 6th, 2009 04:19 pm (UTC)
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1 and 2: If you work and pay taxes, you will be enrolled in the system (in theory) and will get 'free' (200kr copay) health care. You might want to pick a 'fastlege' (general doctor), that way you get appointments faster. Bigger cities (like Oslo) might have a doctors office for foreign students that you might use. Dentists in Norway are not under the socialist health care and an appointment might cost you 500kr++. I don't know if the price is higher for non-residents.

3: Medication (ibuprofen, paracetamol ++) is sold in pharmacies (apotek), some grocery stores and gas stations.

4 and 5: I'd suggest looking at www.udi.no and www.skatteetaten.no (tax stuff). I don't know much about your kind of visa.

6. They employ a lot of 18-21 year olds here (Narvik, northern Norway) at the bars that have no education past high school. As long as you are over 18 or 20.

7: Unemployment level is very low, but the economic crisis has hit us to some degree. The fact that you are foreign and doesn't speak a lot of Norwegian (I assume?) might make it a bit harder. But Oslo is a big city, it should be much easier than what my foreigner husband is experiencing in this little town.

8: Depends on the employer. If you have the best qualification for the job and that is what they are looking for they might not care. However, the official reason my husband was laid off was 'you don't speak Norwegian'. Oslo will of course also be different since they have a much higher foreigner-population than my town.

9: Everybody here understands basic English, they might not know what you mean at the grocery store when you ask for lard, but you should be fine.

10: The standard admission requirements for higher education here is called 'generell studiekompetanse'. Some studies, like engineering, medicine and sciences have extra math, physics, chemistry requirements. List of all the countries and how their secondary school compares to Generell Studiekompetanse

11: Yes

12: You shouldn't have to unless the employer is being difficult.

13: Yes. Elementary schools, middle schools and I think secondary schools too (at least in my town) use people with no special education for emergency substitutes, exam guards and such. Ask the schools directly.
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From:jeskimo
Date:January 7th, 2009 02:37 pm (UTC)
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Thank you for the advice! Australia has taken some blows from the whole global credit crunch (my job included - one of the main reasons I don't want to work in finance again), but I'm more than willing to immerse myself in the culture and learn the language. It's a little hard over here just going off a CD.
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From:krepander
Date:January 8th, 2009 06:39 am (UTC)
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I was reading the other replies and wanted to add something to krikkert's answer on question 10:

You either need Bergenstesten, Norwegian secondary school final exam in Norwegian as a second language or one other that I can not remember to study at colleges here. The Norwegian class for foreigners (that I doubt they let you take anyways) is not enough.

Try volunteer work while you look for jobs - the Red Cross or one of the many others Oslo have (we only have the Red Cross here). At least you get to be close to Norwegians and pick up some language:)

And on question 13 - ask them about being an english class substitute. My American aunt did that when she lived here in 95.
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From:good1zrtaken
Date:January 6th, 2009 04:38 pm (UTC)
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i'm so glad you asked these questions. lol. i'm moving sometime next month and didn't really think to find out any of that info.
good luck to you!!
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From:jeskimo
Date:January 7th, 2009 02:37 pm (UTC)
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I'll definitely let you know how it goes!
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From:krikkert
Date:January 6th, 2009 08:41 pm (UTC)
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1) Call one. Expect to have to wait between one and three weeks for an appointment if it's not urgent, if it's urgent you can get one on the same day. If you're a student, your 'fastlege' (general physician) can be the University physicians. Per 2008, the standardised rate for a GP consult is 280 NOK, IIRC.

2) See doctors. As krepander mentioned, dentistry is not covered under social security, and a general consult here will run you about 800 NOK. More if you actually have to do something.

3) Practically all grocery stores sell over-the-counter painkillers (up to 500mg Paracetamol/Ibuprofen), but you're going to need to hit a pharmacy for anything more. Pharmacies are not always open late, so make sure you get there in time.

4) That would depend on how long you're staying. The 'standard tax' level in Norway is 36%, but since you won't be spending a full year here (presumably), you'll be paying less. Skatteetaten (Tax Office) can help you there, but you can calculate a lot yourself if you ally with someone who speaks Norwegian.

5) In principle, visas cannot be extended from within the country. If you wish to apply nonetheless, the application is filed at your local police precinct, and depending on the specifics, will be decided upon there or be sent to the Directorate of Immigration for a decision. (Hooray for working there... knowing what's going on is helpful)

6) You will need to be 20+ to serve spirits, and 18+ to serve alcohol in general. For the more specialised type of jobs (wine server), there are special schools. Don't expect tips, there's little tradition for it in Norway.

7) There is low unemployment, but the business you're aiming for will take a hit during these crisis times...

8) Norway employs a lot of foreigners in the bartender/server business. Generally, foreigners ask for less money, so it's all good.

9) You should be fine. You might feel it as a handicap not to understand what people talk about, though.

10) Yes. Norwegian. As a principle, you must be able to follow classes in Norwegian to be admitted to higher education. As for other requirements, if you're qualified in Oz, you qualify here. There may or may not be a requirement that you have 1 year of university education already, I'd have to check up on that.

11) Yes, especially within the Government.

12) No. And I would advise against supplying one unless you can write it yourself. Don't give an idea that you're familiar with Norwegian unless you are.

13) In theory, but very unlikely if you don't speak Norwegian.


If you're staying in Oslo, a coffee might be appropriate.
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From:jeskimo
Date:January 7th, 2009 02:51 pm (UTC)
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We are/are going to be living in Ullern, and as far as I'm aware that's kind of close to the city.

Thanks for the advise regarding university, I'm hoping that living for a year over there will give me enough time to pick up the language.
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From:krikkert
Date:January 7th, 2009 03:43 pm (UTC)
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A year will not be enough unless you also take classes, I'm afraid. You have to pass a test (Bergenstesten) with a certain result. You can, however, apply directly to the university and ask to take classes offered in English, though.

Applicants from Australia seem to be required to present something called a Tertiary Entrance Statement/Rank, or a Higher Education Entrance Score in addition to their high school certification.
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From:jeskimo
Date:January 7th, 2009 10:51 pm (UTC)
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Oh, that might be my UAI (University Admissions Index) which would of gotten me into university over here but I opted to travel and work instead.

Mind if I friend you? You've been super helpful.
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From:krikkert
Date:January 7th, 2009 11:17 pm (UTC)
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Not at all. I don't post much, though, and the easiest way to reach me is via email (this nick at GMail dot com), not via LJ.
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From:cobos
Date:January 8th, 2009 07:13 pm (UTC)
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Ullern is definately inside the city limits. It is on the west side of town which is the rich part. Ullern is a neighbourhood with mostly villas and pretty high property prices. There's a tram I beleive into town center, which takes about 15-20min. And as most pubs and cafes are in the very center of town that's probably where you'll be working. It's about 3-5 miles from Ullern to the Royal Castle (which is a good centerpoint for the town). Hardly any public transportation after 24:00 except fridays and saturdays means you'd have to walk, drive own car or ride bike to get home. Depending on where you get a job this might be a problem unless you like to ride a bike.

I'll be glad to answer any other questions you might have.

Cobos
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From:jeskimo
Date:January 12th, 2009 10:56 am (UTC)
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Thanks for the advice on public transport, it changes so much from city to city and is a very good thing to know.
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From:lectrix_lecti
Date:January 7th, 2009 07:47 am (UTC)
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I'll add a few things:

For most jobs outside bars and cafés you need to speak Norwegian. Teacher's aides absolutely have to speak Norwegian, but uni isn't a requirement. It's not terribly difficult to get a job now, but if you don't speak Norwegian you're generally last in line to get them. I recommend contacting Manpower Norway. Don't get your resume translated until you've learned the language.

See the University of Oslo's web pages for information on admission, and here for the uni's very good courses in Norwegian. Non-students have to pay for them.
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From:jeskimo
Date:January 7th, 2009 02:56 pm (UTC)
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Ah! Thanks so much for the links! I'm sure Manpower will be plenty useful!

Also, when I read Manpower, I thought of this famous male dancing* troupe called Manpower Australia who used to do big shows.

*stripper
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From:lectrix_lecti
Date:January 8th, 2009 08:00 am (UTC)
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Ohmygod, the mental images... I used to work for Manpower (temp, not "dancer"!).
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From:jeskimo
Date:January 12th, 2009 10:55 am (UTC)
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I think my mum went and saw them on her hens night... back then they had very bad haircuts.
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From:krikkert
Date:January 7th, 2009 03:45 pm (UTC)
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Seems to be a three-semester thing, then... So pulling it off in 1 year could be somewhat difficult.
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From:lectrix_lecti
Date:January 8th, 2009 07:59 am (UTC)
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The Norwegian courses? Yes, three semesters. You can't take all three in one year.
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From:krikkert
Date:January 8th, 2009 07:00 pm (UTC)
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You could pull it off with summer school.
From:heavierboots
Date:July 2nd, 2009 02:39 pm (UTC)
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Just to clarify; are you planning on coming over on a working holiday visa and then staying and becoming a student, or going home and getting a student visa at another time? Because I think you'll need to be a little careful about the terms and conditions of your visa. You need a study permit to attend university, and there are quite a lot of terms you need to meet (eg a firm offer for a full time course, sufficent funds, full time housing etc). I'm not sure whether this would have to be obtained from your home country or not, as there are different rules for people already holding a visa or residence permit. These pages have a lot of good information on the subject;

http://www.udi.no/templates/Page.aspx?id=9933

http://www.udi.no/templates/Tema.aspx?id=7417

Hope that helps!
From:heavierboots
Date:July 2nd, 2009 02:46 pm (UTC)
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Also; I didn't realise at first that you posted this like, 6 months ago, haha! Hope it's still relevant and you're enjoying your life in Oslo!