Learn more about the importance of learning the Norwegian language, including its role in integration, employment, and daily life. Discover language-learning options.
When it comes to learning Norwegian, there is always a matter of interest, time, and availability to learn it. It depends on how long you will be staying in Norway, and how much time and money you want or have to spend on it.
Yet, our suggestion is to try to learn it, because even if at first sight “everybody speaks English” in Norway, people will still prefer to speak their native language among themselves, and you will feel left out.
At the same time, participating in conversations around the lunch table at work will make your adjustment smoother, and it will be easier for you to integrate into your work environment and society.
If your company offers language classes, do take them, even if it may be tiresome to go after working hours. It will pay off in the long run and show that you want to go that extra mile to integrate into society and appreciate what is offered to you.
If you need to learn independently, several organisations provide free language classes, like Red Cross and Caritas. They also have conversation groups so you can meet people and practice.
At Folkeuniversitet and at Voksneopplæringen, you can join paid classes. There are plenty of online courses if you prefer online learning.
These schools can teach you a lot, but they do not provide a Bergentest or a TRINN 3 at the end - which is the test required in jobs in medical care, for instance, or teaching assistant.
If you reach a good enough level, you can enroll for the classes which provide the "trinn 3" test at the end, which is equivalent to the Bergen test. Being a university class, it is free. You only need to pay the student semester registration fee, which is about 700 NOK per semester. And, of course, you need to make sure you can meet for the mandatory classes.
If you know you will stay in Norway for a short time, a few years, then people around you will understand that you do not want to invest in learning the language. At the same time, you shouldn’t be surprised if they may not want to invest time in a relationship with you, since you are leaving anyway. We have learned to do this through history since North Norway has always been a transition area, where people from the countries around came and went.
Another reason it can be good to start learning the language for is that Norway is a very digitalized country, and only some of the systems are translated in English. You will need to be able to read websites and to register for doctors, for instance. You will also need to check your taxes and to read the information your children will receive from school. If you have children in school, they will require you to be able to help them with homework and communicate with teachers and other parents.
All that being said, the conclusion will be that learning Norwegian may be worth it.
We most commonly offer bilingual vocational training to students who come from abroad and are starting in the Norwegian school system.
Adult education in Tromsø is a separate unit within Tromsø municipality, where all forms of municipal adult education are consolidated. This is free for regugees, but working imigrants have to pay for classes.
What does adult education offer?
Norwegian language with social studies for adult immigrants.
Exam-focused primary school for adults over 16 years.
Preparatory primary school for adults.
Special education - particularly adapted adult education.
Speech therapy services.