Easier way to Norway: Practical guide
Moving to a new country for a long period of time will always be challenging because it’s a sudden lifestyle change. There will be a large amount of new practicalities to consider and take care of.
Norway has topped the quality-of-life list 4 years ago and is still the leader. That’s why we can say that Norwegian institutions will use all possibilities to help you to become a Norway student.
Norwegian identity number
If you are going to move to Norway and stay there for six month or more, you have to register at the local tax assessment office (Likningskontor). You would get there an 11 digit ID, which consists of your date of birth and a 5 digit personal code. This number is necessary in Norway, because it will be required for opening a bank account, getting a student card and applying for a financial help from the Norwegian State Education Loan Fund.
However, if it is not your story and you are going to stay for less than half of a year, you may apply for a D-number, known as dummy number. It is used only for opening a bank account. To apply for it you should contact your local tax assessment office, or the Office of the National Registrar in Oslo.
Key banking issues in Norway
As it was already said, to open a bank account in Norway you should get a Norwegian ID or D-number. You have a choice between local/regional banks or banks with branches all over the country. Some banks don’t have physical branches, so they are available only online. Most of Norwegian banks are modern, they have optimized and user-friendly websites so you can administrate your own accounts, transfer money, pay bills and do further operations online.
Online banks in Norway are considered to be the best value for deposit rates, loans and mortgage rates. In campaign with “physical” banks, online ones have lower fees, which is a good point for a foreigner. Some of the most popular online savings banks are “Skandia Bank”, “Bank Norwegian” and “DinBANK”.
If you have decided to open a bank account with an online service, you should remember a list of important things. Firstly, you should contact the credit services company the banks use. They will add your details (name and ID) in their database. Only after that, you will be able to apply for a credit account. Otherwise, your online application will be rejected by the bank. Secondly, after you lodge your application online for the chosen bank, you’ll get a letter from the Post, to verify your identity. You must bring your passport and your confirmation letter of your ID both to the Post, or they won’t be able to identify your application.
Foreign credit cards are also accepted in Norway, moreover, cash machines are easily available. Despite that, please, don’t forget the following information and be careful: most of grocery stores, supermarkets do not accept foreign credit cards.
The last important point is about services of the student welfare organization, which you may need, so that you should transfer money to Norway. You can do it, using your Norwegian bank account or with a help of special accounts established for students. After transferring money, they will surely send you an official confirmation, which you will use as a document when applying for a student residence permit. Here's information about another expenses.
Travel to Norway
Mainly, there are three well-known ways of reaching Norway: by car/bus, by train or by plane. If you’ve decided to come to Norway by car ferries or touristic buses, you can start your trip from Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Russia. Services from Githenburg (Sweden) and Copengagen (Denmark) are almost hourly. If you are travelling by car, you can easily come from Russia, Finland and Sweden. Full passport control checks are found in every border.
If your choice is train travelling, you can start almost everywhere, because Norwegian railway network is linked to the other Scandinavian countries and the rest Europe. Most rail journeys are overnight and you will find sleeping compartments while travelling, which is extremely convenient. As usual, final destination will be Oslo.
The last way, but not the list is getting to Norway by plane. The major hub for international flights is Oslo Airport Gardermoen, with scheduled flights to around 140 destinations abroad.