Thousands volunteer as refugee guides

Refugee relief efforts began spontaneously all over Norway, like here at a clothing collection drive in Oslo,  after thousands of asylum seekers started arriving last summer. Now thousands of Norwegians are also donating their time, to help refugees adjust to life in Norway. PHOTO:

The Norwegian Red Cross has been overwhelmed by the numbers of fellow Norwegians who’ve been volunteering to help asylum seekers get used to life in Norway. More than 11,500 people have volunteered just in the past few weeks, offering everything from informal language lessons to help with practical matters, local sightseeing or just being a […]

Asylum centers can breed unrest

Immigration officials have scrambled to set up emergency shelters for arriving refugees, but the asylum centers are already packed and can breed frustration and unrest. PHOTO: Utenriksdepartementet

The tens of thousands of asylum seekers arriving in Norway create not only huge challenges for officials scrambling to house them but also for those trying to maintain order, security and, eventually, help integrate new arrivals into Norwegian society. Most asylum seekers now face long delays in getting their asylum applications processed as well, raising concerns about boredom, frustration […]

Budget battle turns tougher than ever

These four party leaders need to agree on another new state budget for next year, but negotiations are not going well. From left: Trine Skei Grande of the Liberals, Finance Minister Siv Jensen of the Progress Party, Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Knut Arild Hareide of the Christian Democrats. PHOTO: Fremskrittspartiet

It’s been called the most “explosive political drama” to play out in Prime Minister Erna Solberg’s government yet. A series of unsuccessful meetings this week has proven that negotiations over the government’s state budget proposal this year are even tougher than last year, threatening her minority coalition. Suggestions were flying during radio debate Friday morning that Solberg may […]

Men from Poland ‘change’ while living in Norway

A new lifestyle study of men and women from Poland who have moved to Norway to work suggests that Polish men help more often with chores around the house in Norway than they did in Poland. Polish women, meanwhile, claimed they felt less feminine in Norway because of different dress codes and customs. The study was […]

Coping with the impact of a job loss

Dr Nicola McCaffrey, a clinical psychologist in Stavanger, can help put a smile back on the faces of employees who are losing their jobs in the oil and other industries. PHOTO: Special to

There’s no denying it, writes Dr Nicola McCaffrey: “Whichever way you look at the figures, the number of people out of work in Norway is on the rise.” McCaffrey is a clinical psychologist in Stavanger, where job losses have been highest, and writes here about how the toll of job losses can be even higher […]

Liberals support dual citizenship

A computerized citizenship blunder doesn't mean foreigners who left Norway between 1960 and 1975 can get passports, even though they were incorrectly classified as being Norwegian. PHOTO: Views and News

Norway’s Liberal Party (Venstre), one of the government’s two support parties in Parliament, wants to make it easier for foreigners who have settled in Norway to become Norwegian citizens while retaining their original citizenship. Dual citizenship would also be welcomed by native Norwegians who were forced to give up their Norwegian passports when they settled abroad. At […]

Employers prefer Norwegian speakers

Foreigners applying for jobs in Norway are often overlooked, no matter how qualified or highly educated they may be, if they can’t communicate in Norwegian. Recruiters report that many employers simply think it’s easier to hire a Norwegian, even when a foreign candidate is more experienced or has the special skills needed. Newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) […]

More Norwegians convert to Islam

Mosques in Oslo are steadily gaining new converts, given the estimates from researchers specializing in Islam. PHOTO:

Youthful rebellion and, paradoxically, a perceived need for stronger rules in Norway’s liberal society are believed to be behind a recent rise in the number of Norwegians converting to Islam. “I think we need stronger rules,” one young Norwegian convert told newspaper Aftenposten on Monday. No one knows for certain how many “ethnic Norwegians” have converted to Islam, according to […]

Advice for uncertain expats facing change

This is the photo Statoil chose to attach to its dismal earnings report for the fourth quarter and full year of 2014. More cost-cutting and reduced investment in new projects loom. PHOTO: Statoil

As Norway’s economy shifts from the robust days of the oil boom to a new reality with lower oil prices and industry slowdown, both Norwegian workers and those from abroad are facing a lot more uncertainty. Job losses are already climbing into the thousands and even highly skilled (and highly paid) workers are finding themselves out of […]

State issues new apology to Romani

Tater and Romani families were robbed of their human rights in institutions like the Svanviken Work Colony in Nordmøre, according to the new report handed over to state authorities on Monday. PHOTO: Riksarkivet

Calling it a “dark chapter in Norway’s history,” the government issued another apology on Monday to the country’s Tater- and Romani minority over how they’ve been unjustly treated during the last century. The apology came after the head of a commission studying their treatment delivered its report to government minister Jan Tore Sanner. “The authorities’ policies towards the […]