Moving to a country where I don't speak the language?

Hi, I'm moving to Norway in a few years and I'm quite terrified. I've been learning the language and I'm actually hoping to go on a student exchange there… I have European citizenship, so I'm definitely not worried about that. I want to attend a medical school there possibly, but I'm so terrified of not making any friends and going by myself as I have no family or friends in Europe. Not speaking the language adequately also terrifies the living day lights out of me!

I currently live in the USA and have not yet met a Norwegian besides my instructor. Any advice? :/

7 Answers

  • Dave
    Lv 7
    5 years ago
    Best Answer

    The percentage of people in Norway (as in Sweden and Denmark also) who speak English as a second language is amazingly high. You will be understood if/when you fall back into using English occasionally in normal life. Second plus: if you have already been learning the language at this early date (according to your plans), you are several steps ahead of others who don't even bother to do that when they go to Scandinavia.

    It probably doesn't matter at all, but I'm a little curious about your 'European citizenship' remark, since Norway is currently not a member of the EU -- if that's what you meant by that. (What, otherwise, is 'European citizenship'?...). But, as noted, whatever that means is not going to matter very much in daily life; was just curious...

  • RWgirl
    Lv 6
    5 years ago

    For day to day life, you'll be more than fine. If anything, English speakers have a hard time finding people to speak Norwegian to them. It's of course easier int he bigger cities than in smaller towns. In small towns, you might actually run into some small difficulties.

    Uni is another story. You have to pass the bergenstest or equivalent of upper-intermediate Norwegian to gain admissions (among other things). You have plenty of time though, so this shouldn't be a problem. Just work on the prerequisites and getting really good grades. That's going to be the harder part.

  • 5 years ago

    In most Cases, English is taught as a 2nd Language in the Northern European Countries. And the People There COULDN'T be Friendlier !! So You should have NO Problem Communicating- Or making Friends- once You move to Norway. :)

  • 5 years ago

    Advice? Connect with other Norwegian speakers online, or by Skype, or by mail. The more you are speaking/writing the language in a real world setting, the easier it will be.

    Here's a site that's specific to email exchanges with Norwegian speakers:

    It seems legit, but as always, be careful, set up a separate email address. Or ask your teacher!

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  • 5 years ago

    You will be fine. I've lived in Finland, Denmark and now Sweden without knowing the language at all before arriving and had no problem making friends. You will learn the language if you take classes and almost everyone speaks English

  • 5 years ago

    To meet Norwegian people, you could start with an English (or whatever your native language is)-Norwegian language exchange via Skype :

    That way, you check up on which student union or clubs to join. I bet that the university has a foreign student club.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    amount of young and mid-age ppl who speak english here in europe is pretty high so dont be afraid at all... just in Spain talking countries and France you can meet a lot of ppl who dont know a word

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