Independence Day Special – Life in Norway as an American

Introduction (0:00 to 0:58)

  • Life in Norway as an American.
  • Nick Kamran’s Norway Story.
  • Recognition of donors, making this podcast possible.

Why Norway? (0:50 to 6:11)

  • The first thing everyone asks me, “Why Norway.”
    • There is a long and short answer to that question.
    • The short answer will be answered in this podcast.
    • The long answer is a book I am working on: “The Middle-Aged Man’s Guide to Divorcing in New York and Starting Over in Oslo.”
    • I’m on page 278 or 86,000 words but still have a long way to go.
    • The book is called, “A Middle-Aged Man’s Guide to Divorcing in New York and Starting Over in Oslo.”
  • Choosing between four countries:
    • Singapore,
    • Qatar,
    • Switzerland,
    • Norway – The Minnesota Connection.
  • Learning Norwegian on YouTube:
  • Karin the Norwegian Teacher:
  • The American accent in Oslo

The Journey (6:12 to 13:26)

  • The Leap of Faith.
  • First day in Norway.
  • Skilled job seeker visa process.
  • Working as a nanny at middle age.
  • Developing a routine to maximize the day.
    • Early Morning – Gym (Evo Fitness),
    • Late Morning – Job hunting,
    • Afternoon – Norwegian School and chores,
    • Evenings – babysitting and networking at the bars.
  • Getting the job!
    • It took exactly 3 months, 12, days and 10 hours,
    • 153 applications, 5 interviews, and 2 offers.
  • Courageous or Crazy: where is the line drawn?

Working in Norway (13:27 to 14:42)

  • Characteristics of Norwegian Corporations,
  • Various workplace scams I heard about or witnessed,
  • This is a topic of a podcast by itself.

Becoming Norwegian (14:43 to 17:42)

  • Permanent residency in Norway takes three years (refer to UDI.no).
  • Norwegian Permanent Residency (PR) requirements for skilled workers.
    • 250 classroom hours of Norwegian.
    • 50 hours of social studies and history.
    • Pass social studies and language examination.
  • Compare and contrast to the American process.
  • Talking to strangers in Norway and other social etiquettes.

Envy, Jealousy & the State (17:43 to 22:16)

  • two words American’s hear but really don’t understand until they get to Europe.
  • Personal information is public in Norway. There are several sites that tell the world where you live and even how much you make.

Image result for benjamin franklin vs obama on personal freedom and personal security

  • The Truman Show, starring Jim Carey, analogy.
  • The state’s agenda to disable human spirit and character, keeping people in their place.
  • The tradeoff between government provided security and personal freedom.

The Language & Culture (22:17 – 31:20)

  • Norway vs. Minnesota comparison.
  • Norway’s official languages:
    • Bokmål Norwegian – most prevalent,
    • Nynorsk (New Norwegian),
    • Sami,
    • Kven.
  • Nynorsk vs. Ebonics analogy.
  • Native languages in Minnesota.
  • Advocating for English as a second official language. Although many Norwegian government sites are in English, it is not the entire site but rather just certain sections. These sites are good examples:
    • Innovation Norway,
    • The Business Registry.
  • The 50 Hours Norwegian Social Course, required for permanent residency.
    • Two-week course,
    • Interactions with other immigrants.
  • Characteristics of successful immigrants.
  • Overcoming cultural issues.

Wrap up (31:21 – 34:35)

  • Use the negatives to your advantage. Do what others won’t do and you will become successful.
  • The American advantage.
  • I am here to stay in Norway, seeing America from the outside looking in.
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