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Have you emigrated with children? Considering move to Oslo.

(26 Posts)
NipLash Fri 28-Aug-20 19:16:11

My husband has been offered a job in Oslo, which would require us to move there. We have two boys, aged 11 and 8, and we would need to decide whether to send them to a local school or to the international school in Asker.
If you have children, please can you give me some information about schools in Norway, and if possible the pros and cons of local schools vs international schools?
Also, any other tips on emigrating or Oslo in general?! The logistics are rather daunting!
Thank you.

OP’s posts: |
Saralyn Sat 29-Aug-20 00:10:34

I don't have kids, but I live in Oslo, so thought I'd answer to bump your post.

I believe the international school in Asker is considered good. The royals used it recently for their daughter (I don't know if you consider that a plus or not wink)

Most children in Norway go to state schools, private schools are quite rare.

I really like Oslo, it's particularly good if you like the outdoors. You can step off the Tube and walk straight into the forest, go skiing etc.

A practical thing which your husband's employer have probably considered, but just in case:
If you move there before 1 January 2021, you will be covered by Brexit transition rules, and immigration will be very easy and free of charge
(although it can take some time to get the paperwork)

If you move here after that date, your husband must meet strict requirements, and you will both have to pay fees and you will not be able to start work until after you have secured a residence permit.

Saralyn Sat 29-Aug-20 00:15:38

Here is information about schools from the city council: www.oslo.kommune.no/english/schools-and-education/

Ps. We use the term public schools to mean state schools, not schools like Eton grin

Bouncingbelle Sat 29-Aug-20 02:12:34

I had a wonderful childhood as an ex-pat child in Norway (including a few years in Oslo).

I went to international schools which were great in terms of adjusting the curriculum to kids who would have to fit back in to a multitude of different school systems when returning home, and for kids joining midway through a year or only for a few months. I still have friends from all over the world from those days.

The disadvantage to not going to a Norwegian school is that I didn’t learn Norwegian as quickly as I would have being completely immersed.

I would say send them to Asker as it’s a great school and moving countries will be enough of a shock for them at the moment, never mind dropping them into school where they don’t speak the language.

Enjoy! I’m very jealous!

imissthesouth Sat 29-Aug-20 02:28:29

Nothing helpful i'm afraid but a quick bump. I'd move to oslo in a heartbeat, their schools are supposed to better than ours in the u.k. too

CormoranStrike Sat 29-Aug-20 07:44:01

I’d move to Oslo to (before January) for the life chances and experiences it will give your famiky.

NipLash Sat 29-Aug-20 08:48:51

Thank you all, some super advice here. It does look amazing.
We're hoping to go asap, but I'm not sure if getting there before January is going to be feasible. We have our house to get ready to sell as apparently we can't get a buy to let mortgage and rent it out if we're not living in the UK, and we can't afford to leave it empty.
The company will put us up in an apartment for 2 months while we look for somewhere, so that buys us some time. We'd probably rent somewhere for 6 months first while we get to know the area, then look to buy.
We also have a dog, so need to look into what we need to do to take him with us. So much to think about!

OP’s posts: |
Bingowin Sat 29-Aug-20 08:53:22

There's a living overseas board in the Homes and Property section OP. Might be helpful for info.

GreyGardens88 Sat 29-Aug-20 08:56:29

I went to Oslo last December, was lovely. It snowed and was magical with the harbour and Xmas lights. They don't seem to grit the pavements much though, so in the winter you will have to buy shoes with a very good grip

takenbywine Sat 29-Aug-20 09:03:18

I have a few friends who are from Norway and it's lovely as I have been there a couple of times. I definitely would love to live there. I'm assuming you are from the UK? If so, anywhere is better than the UK especially for kids. Don't overthink it, they have a great education system better than the UK. Just get out from here. Btw, I'm answering to bump your thread hoping someone with more knowledge would see. Good luck.

ItsIslandTime Sat 29-Aug-20 09:10:31

Not sure I’d want to live there. I’m not sure it’s the friendliest place although it’s beautiful.
I’d chose the international school as it would Probably be easier for the kids and for you to make friends.

GETTINGLIKEMYMOTHER Sat 29-Aug-20 10:06:37

You don’t need a BTL mortgage as such, since you’re not buying a property to rent out. Will your own mortgage provider not allow you to rent if you’re living abroad? They will usually up the rate a bit, but I’m asking because we certainly rented ours out for several years while living abroad, and I knew many other expats the same.

NipLash Sat 29-Aug-20 18:12:31

ItsIslandTime

Not sure I’d want to live there. I’m not sure it’s the friendliest place although it’s beautiful.
I’d chose the international school as it would Probably be easier for the kids and for you to make friends.

Have you had a bad experience? I've heard the Norwegians are more reserved and it's hard to make friends. Although I'm a very reserved person too and not really bothered about my own social life. Hopefully our boys will integrate better by being at school, I think I'm favouring the international school for that reason as you say.

Yes, Uk @takenbywine. I'm starting to think we're better off out of here!

OP’s posts: |
NipLash Sat 29-Aug-20 18:14:53

GETTINGLIKEMYMOTHER

You don’t need a BTL mortgage as such, since you’re not buying a property to rent out. Will your own mortgage provider not allow you to rent if you’re living abroad? They will usually up the rate a bit, but I’m asking because we certainly rented ours out for several years while living abroad, and I knew many other expats the same.

We're looking into it, think we need something called 'Consent to Let', which would apply to our current mortgage. There's just so much I've never had to do before, it's a steep learning curve!

OP’s posts: |
stophuggingme Sat 29-Aug-20 18:16:25

Oslo is a lovely city.
Norway is beautiful.

This country is being ruined and education is one of the worst hit victims.
I would go. I wouldn’t think twice.

chomalungma Sat 29-Aug-20 18:25:22

Can't help you on emigrating but Norway is lovely - although I should imagine that the winter experience would be different to a lot of the UK as there's not many daylight hours.

We spent 10 days camping there last year. They seem to be very sensible drivers and the speed limit is basically 50 mph in a lot of places.

Beautiful scenery. And I guess you'll be paid enough to afford the cost of living there.

Mendingfences Sat 29-Aug-20 18:27:26

I dont know much about Oslo, never having lived there, but my experience is that foreigners with kids in international school have less chances to integrate than those that send their kids to local schools. I have also witnessed a sort of superior attitude develop with parents keen to justify their school choices, including one birthday party where å mother visibly recoiled when she found out my kids go to the local school (not parents from the school in Asker i must point out).
Our primary school is pretty mixed, in dds class 40 % are foreign ør have a foreign parent and in dss plass it's 60%... and we're å pretty inclusive bunch

RedCatBlueCat Sat 29-Aug-20 18:27:48

There is a board somewhere in MN called Living Overseas, which might be worth reposting on.

If you might come back to the UK before school is finished, I'd go for an international school.

Have you spoken to your mortgage company about getting permission to let?

Sorting out the house and possessions is simpler than you think. Just start NOW. Bin, charity, sell or keep. Go through the whole house roughly. Then do it again!!!

Enjoy!

Mendingfences Sat 29-Aug-20 18:28:17

Sorry didnt mention i an talking about Norway grin

Saralyn Sat 29-Aug-20 20:48:22

I agree that us Norwegian are a bit reserved, but like you, OP, so are many brits.

I've heard immigrants here saying it is hard to make friends, but when you do, the friendship goes deep.

I've lived in the UK for a few years and struggled a bit to make friends. I didn't make any proper friends in my uni classes or in halls. But I joined a mountaineering club, and they were very welcoming, and I am still in touch with some of the people there.

So my recommendation to people moving to the UK or Norway is to find activities where you meet people you have something in common with.

For the kids it shouldn't be difficult, though, but good idea to have them join scouts or football or something like that, especially if they go to private school, so that they get to know local kids.

Kids learn English early here, so even 8 year olds will probably understand some English, and 11 year olds more so, so it should be possible for the kids to communicate on a basic level with other kids before they start learning Norwegian.

Almost all adults speak English and are happy to do so one-to-one, although some might be shy due to small vocabulary or heavy accent.

ItsIslandTime Sat 29-Aug-20 20:56:08

Have you had a bad experience? I've heard the Norwegians are more reserved and it's hard to make friends

No bad experience. More of a general observation based on lots of holidays.

movingtooslo Sat 29-Aug-20 21:11:06

Are you me?! We're moving to Oslo next summer with an 11 and 8 year old (and a 1 year old for good measure). The older DC will go to Oslo International School, and the youngest to a local nursery. We've done a couple of international moves as a family, so are making a deliberate choice to use an international school to give the older kids a more familiar environment where they will (I hope) slot in easier. And also easier to ensure continuity of education when we do eventually move on from Norway.

Good luck with the decision making. We're really excited about our upcoming move (and the kids are too!).

Iseethesilverlining Sat 29-Aug-20 21:21:56

We moved to Oslo in 2013 with then 8 and 10 year olds, who went to the International School in Bekkestua. Happy to chat if you want to message me. We absolutely loved Norway. You have to throw yourself into the outdoors way of life though to make the most of it. They learn to cross country ski in their school sports lessons so I took lessons too. We moved back in 2017 and all really miss the country and lifestyle.

My DD loves the international school but DS didn’t at all. They use the topic based international primary curriculum which didn’t suit him. But very friendly and made good friends with other parents.

Would go back in a heartbeat! But would want to save up a LOT of money first - everything is very very expensive. I mean ridiculously so.

NipLash Sat 29-Aug-20 21:23:18

The mortgage company is top of the list to call on Tuesday. :-)
I'm so glad everyone's being so positive, I feel like I can begin to face the task of clearing out the house (and I'm a massive hoarder so it's a big job! I'm actually relishing the idea of starting over from scratch with no clutter!).
The kids are in Beavers and Scouts here, so that's something they'd definitely love to continue, and they also play ice hockey so I'm hoping that will be helpful!
I'm hoping to find a stables so I can ride, and ideally I'd like to work with horses once we're settled.
Thank you to everyone for your help and advice, and for bumping the post. It's all so helpful. :-)

OP’s posts: |
NipLash Sat 29-Aug-20 21:27:46

movingtooslo

Are you me?! We're moving to Oslo next summer with an 11 and 8 year old (and a 1 year old for good measure). The older DC will go to Oslo International School, and the youngest to a local nursery. We've done a couple of international moves as a family, so are making a deliberate choice to use an international school to give the older kids a more familiar environment where they will (I hope) slot in easier. And also easier to ensure continuity of education when we do eventually move on from Norway.

Good luck with the decision making. We're really excited about our upcoming move (and the kids are too!).

grin We'll have to keep in touch, be nice to have friends in Oslo before we've even moved there!

OP’s posts: |

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