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This is the country with ancient traditions linked to the Vikings and the goblins of the woods: from the god Odin, Viking warrior, with the power to transfer the ability to write poetry to the people, to the trolls, the most typical among those who frequent the forests, who can live hundreds of years taking different shapes and sizes.
Norway is not part of the European Union but it would be a mistake to consider it a closed country: foreigners are welcome here, and the capital Oslo is a city with ancient traditions but at the same time lively and cosmopolitan.

Before reaching the host families, the staff and volunteers of AFS Norway welcome the students to Oslo for a first training meeting, where general information about Norway and the rules is given.
About one month after arrival, three days of activity are organized at the regional level: a useful moment to deepen the characteristics of Norwegian culture and verify the adaptation to school and families. An excellent opportunity for discussion and entertainment for students is also represented by the evaluation weekend on the progress of the experience, scheduled for February.
The last meeting is organized during the last days before returning home, to evaluate the past year together and say goodbye before departure. These last two meetings also take place at the regional level.
Frequently you go on foot or by bicycle, sometimes by bus (reimbursed by the school or by AFS Norway for distances greater than 4 kilometers) or, if conditions require, even on skis! The Norwegians have a thousand ways to reach schools and no good excuse to arrive late: the school year runs from late August to June and lessons begin between 8:00 and 9:00 and end at 14:00 or 15:00, from Monday to Friday. Important: we must not forget to bring lunch from home, given the absence of canteens.
High school lasts three years, with children aged 16 to 18. AFS students usually attend the second year and are included in general courses (university preparation) with two main courses: linguistic / social and scientific. More rarely students can be placed in schools with a musical or artistic address, but the compulsory subjects (most of them) are usually Norwegian, physical education, geography, mathematics, social sciences, natural sciences, and two foreign languages ​​(including l ‘English). However, students may be allowed to choose additional or optional courses in some schools, depending on their interests; in any case, teachers take into account the initial linguistic difficulties of foreign students and assist them during their studies. Some schools,
The school leaves a lot of study autonomy: in the first weeks the amount of work at home for foreign children is lower, to allow them to concentrate on learning the language. Over time, however, they are expected to fit completely into the classes, maintaining a good performance and bringing themselves on a par with their classmates, who dedicate their afternoons to individual study and group work. In many schools, lessons are conducted with the help of computers. Participants are required to bring a laptop.
Schools rarely organize afternoon activities: children generally attend courses and play sports privately, in particular cycling, jogging, skiing and skating. Together with the outings with the family in the midst of nature, a fundamental aspect in their lives, these are excellent opportunities to make new friends and deepen the knowledge of the community that hosts them. Many young people engage in volunteering or part-time jobs to partially cover expenses and, given the high cost of living, participants are advised to set a budget of 1,500 Norwegian crowns per month for personal expenses.
Family and friends are of primary importance to the Norwegians: AFS students are welcomed as children in all respects, and as such they share both moments of fun and relaxation and the responsibilities of housework – often, in fact, both parents work full time.
The relationship between family members is characterized by respect and trust; dialogue and comparison are the best tools to fully integrate into daily family life, trusting any doubts or difficulties and sharing moments of joy. Although they are among the largest fish consumers in Europe, it will not be surprising to see them eating pasta and pizza during dinner – the most important meal. Do not miss the typical Friday or Saturday evening of “Norwegian” tacos!
The Norwegians have a reputation for shy and reserved people, but in reality with a little initiative an open and sociable society is discovered. Families mainly reside in small towns, rarely even beyond the Arctic Circle.
It is impossible to find families that can accommodate smokers, very difficult for vegetarians (fish and meat are the basis of the Norwegian diet) and for students with strong food restrictions – in particular celiac and allergic to lactose – and allergies to pets, often present in Norwegian houses.
There is a state church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church, to which over 90% of the population belongs, but each is free to profess a different creed (in fact, there are a large number of churches of minor cults: the Pentecostals, the Catholics of the Church of Rome and various groups of Protestants). All attend the sacred places almost exclusively during special occasions and holidays.
Fortunately, the geographical position does not affect the climate too much, mitigated by the Gulf Stream (which makes the ports practicable all year round and the summers quite warm). Rain is abundant on the whole west coast; in winter the climate is more rigid and the snow falls often and abundantly.
The official Norwegian language has two forms: Bokmål is mainly used in the written language and is spoken by 85% of the population, especially in urban areas; in addition to this form, taught in school and used by the media, the law requires that another be studied: Nynorsk , to be used in a number of schools and in some other particular circumstances (Nynorsk was created in 1800 from the combination of the many existing rural dialects). The Bokmålit is strongly influenced by the Danish because of the domination of this people, which lasted about 400 years. In the spoken language the numerous dialects are still used, which are well rooted in the territory. All Norwegians understand both Danish and Swedish because of the great similarity between the three languages. English is also very well known, being spoken fluently by 70% of the population.

Eligibility Requirements

The AFS Year programs offer you a great opportunity to live and study in another country for a period of up to 11 months. On the AFS Student Exchange program, you’ll be provided with an exceptional intercultural experience. This program will suit you if you really want to learn a new language and feel a part of a local community.

Spend a year (10-11 months) living with a host family, attending a local high school and getting involved in your host community.

Inclusions: Placement with host family, Enrollment at a local high school for the duration of the program, International Airfare, Airfare Management, Visa guidance and advice (Visa application submission and cost is student’s responsibility), Domestic travel in your host country to your host family, Medical Insurance (Exclusions apply), 24/ 7 World wide support network, Arrival and departure orientations.

For more information on what’s included in the program fee click here.

Visa Information: Please note that most semester program destinations do require you to have a visa to participate in a school based program. Visa costs and application timeframes vary by destination. Please make sure you budget up to an extra $1000 for potential visa costs as this is not included in the program fee. AFS sends all visa information to participants upon acceptance into the program.

AFS programs are based on school and family life and note that tourist travel can not be a priority.

Please note that for the visa requirements you need to travel to Canberra to complete the visa process, this cost is not included in the program fee.

What's included in your experience

  • Airfare
  • Airport Pick-up
  • Host Family Placement
  • Meals
  • School Placement
  • Individual Contact Person
  • Medical Insurance
  • 24/7 Emergency Support
  • Domestic Transport
  • School Transport
  • Assistance with Application Process
  • Visa Application Assistance
  • Pre-Departure Orientation
  • Orientations during your time abroad
  • Re-entry Orientation
  • Teaching Materials
  • School Materials
  • Access to Alumni Network
  • Continuous Support

What you are responsible for

  • Vaccinations
  • Cultural Tours
  • Language Instruction
  • Visa and Passport Fees
  • Grade Transcripts
  • School Diploma
  • Project Materials
  • Stipend