Norway is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe and it shares a border with Sweden, Finland and Russia. To the south is the Skagerrak Strait and below that is Denmark. Norway is one of Europe’s least densely populated countries and has a population of just over 5 million people.
Norway is home to some stunning natural scenery where you can see the Northern Lights, go skiing in the mountains, or even stay in a hotel made out of ice!
In the south of the country where most people live, there are four seasons with warm summers and cold winters. In the north of the country, the sun never sets from May to July and in November to January the sun never rises!
Read more about Norway from Wikipedia.
Why Teach English in Norway
When you’re not in the classroom you can enjoy seeing the sun at midnight, skiing in the mountains and taking trips on Hurtigruten ships. You can experience some traditional culture, dance and music in one of the many regular summer festivals. Moreover, if you just want to get away from it all, you can spend a few days in a log cabin and take in some hiking and fishing to pass the time!
Although there is a high standard of English in the country, there a few opportunities for native English speaking TEFL teachers and there are many types of education institutions that employ foreigners including kindergartens, public schools, private schools and universities.
The salary is also quite high in Norway and you can earn quite a high amount of money from teaching English. Although the cost of living is very high and you’ll also need to pay about a third of your salary in tax, you will have one of the highest standards of living out of any country in the world.
Where to Teach English in Norway
Norway is no different from any other country in that you will find most opportunities for teaching English in the larger towns and cities. The four largest cities are Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim and Stavanger.
Types of Teaching Jobs in Norway
Private Language Schools
There are some private English language schools around Norway including some international companies like AAC Global and Berlitz. These schools do recruit both Norwegians and native English speaking teachers.
The standards of each school differ, but you can expect to get a decent salary if you have a bachelor’s degree and an internationally recognised teaching certificate such as a TEFL, TESOL or CELTA.
There are also a number of bilingual international schools in Norway and they too recruit native English speaking teachers. However, their standards are usually much higher than language schools and they will require that you are a qualified teacher in your home country and that you have a number of years of recent and relevant experience.
Teaching Requirements and Qualifications
As there is already a very high level of English in the country, many Norwegians are more than capable of teaching the English language. To stand any chance of securing a job in the country, you will need to have the appropriate qualifications. As a bare minimum, you will need to have a bachelor’s degree and an internationally recognised teaching certificate such as a TEFL, TESOL or CELTA.
Moreover, as most Norwegians are very highly educated, a large number of the population has a bachelor’s degree. To stand out from the rest, it would help if you had a master’s degree, especially if it was related to education.
Your qualifications will also have to be vetted by the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services in order to obtain the appropriate working permits.
Expected Salary and Living Costs
[sociallocker id=”1695″]You can expect to earn around $20+ per hour as an English teacher in a private language school. Teachers in international schools can earn upwards of $3000 or more each month. However, you will need to remember that about one-third of your salary will be deducted in tax. Moreover, everything is very highly taxed in Norway, so the cost of living can be very expensive too.
Everything is expensive in Norway and even a small bottle of water can cost $3 or more!
As a teacher, you should earn just about enough money to cover your living costs and you definitely won’t be able to save much money each month, if any at all.
For more information about the cost of living in Norway, see Numbeo.
Norway is not a member of the EU, but there are different rules for EU and non-EU citizens. EU citizens don’t need to apply for a residence permit, but they must register with the police and state that they won’t be a burden to the public welfare services.
Non-EU citizens will need to apply for a residence permit and there are many different types of permits available. The process can be very long and difficult as there are a number of different steps to the whole process.
For more information about visa requirements and permits for working in Norway take a look at the official Norwegian Directorate of Immigration website.
How to Find a Job Teaching in Norway
Due to the expense of living and the difficulty in obtaining the appropriate paperwork to work legally in Norway, you should consider trying to find a job before arriving in Norway. It’s not uncommon for TEFL teachers to sign contracts before they arrive in a country and interviews are often carried out over the internet.
You should look at TEFL jobs boards, international, national and even local jobs boards to find teaching opportunities in Norway. Accepting a job online without ever visiting the school or country can be risky for both you and your prospective employer, so make sure that you research any school that offers you a job before you go.
If you do want to look for work after you have arrived in Norway, then you should try all the traditional methods of job hunting. This includes looking in newspapers, seeking out job agencies, and even contacting schools directly and inquiring whether or not they are currently hiring native English speaking TEFL teachers.
Teach English in Norway
There aren’t a huge amount of teaching jobs available in Norway because English is already widely spoken on the country and many Norwegians are more than qualified to teach it. Having said that, there are some opportunities, but you’ll need to be well qualified.
If you do find a job teaching English in Norway, you’ll get a good salary but the cost of living is one of the highest in the world. You’ll also have to pay nearly a third of your income in tax, so don’t think that you’ll be saving a lot each month!
On the plus side, you will have one of the best standards of living anywhere in the world and you will be living in a fascinating and beautiful country.
Although I have never worked in this country, every effort has been made to ensure that this information is correct. This blog post has been written after extensive research online, interviews with teachers who have worked or are working in the country, and local schools have been contacted. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below. If you have worked or are working in Norway, we would love to hear from you, so please leave a comment and share your experiences with us.