In putting together this piece, we checked in with OsloMet employees working as professors, post-docs, PhD candidates and in administrative roles. Between them, our sources represent more than a dozen countries.
Working in Norway is easier to combine with having a family—and spending time with them.– Head of Department, originally from France
The advice we got broke pretty neatly down into five categories. Are you curious what our international experts told us? Read on.
Your stress levels are going to go down
Academia in Norway is not as cutthroat as in most other countries. There are two main reasons for this.
Flat organisational structure
Working life in Norway is characterised by flat organisational structures and a relatively short distance between the people in management roles and other members of the department or team. Not everyone is equal exactly, but hierarchies are less pronounced than in other societies.
Several OsloMet employees noted that this creates a climate where they are free to express their opinions, float new ideas, or give critical feedback. As one PhD candidate puts it: "People are properly valued, and their work is properly recognised."
Norwegians take work-life balance seriously
Work-life balance in Norway is sacred—even in academia. Your supervisor will make sure you take your five weeks of holiday. And you will probably be surprised at how quickly the office empties out on Friday afternoons. Many newcomers are surprised at how seriously Norwegians take their work-life balance. It won’t take many years of living in Norway before you will too.