1. Adapt to High-priced Housing
Even though the Nordic countryside might appear to be the very image of harmony and natural splendor, an increasing number of local people prefer city lifestyle, causing the already large housing costs to elevate even higher. These expenses have experienced a specific increase throughout the last two years; the high standard of living naturally has its costs, however there is some discussion in the public about the potential for a real estate bubble. Whether or not it holds true, anyone about to relocate to the Nordic nations in the near future should be prepared to fork out a lot more than they might be familiar with for their houses (unless of course you're from New York or London, of course).
Once you manage to find an affordable apartment near the city center, you must stick to it. After moving in, just find the nearest IKEA and buy some affordable furniture -- or should you like more distinctive elegance, there is really no shortage of high-quality (and high price) designer furniture; Nordic nations are better known for their simple and classic home design and style. Check out International Shipping for more.
Assuming you wish to live as a hermit in the backwoods, on the other hand, the housing prices are significantly lower. Numerous municipalities in the north have trouble with the net emigration, which has caused real estate prices to fall in countryside regions.
2. Accept the Reserved Nature of the Locals
Scandinavians and folks from Nordic countries generally are usually stereotyped as shy and reserved, and -- determined by what you are familiar with and what precise place you move to -- you may find that the rumors aren't entirely based on misinformation. If you find yourself in an elevator with a local, it's suggested not to start a conversation, because you will probably end up being branded as a weird weirdo. Preferably, it's better to focus at your feet (or the ceiling) or begin fiddling with your iPhone. Giving a subtle smile is a nice gesture, though in no way essential.
Having said that, in major cities such as Stockholm, the setting is, of course, a lot more multicultural compared to the countryside; you may sometimes end up in a small-talk situation. Still, these instances are rare when compared to most other nations around the world. Many cities do fortunately have a lot of other expats, and communities like InterNations will help you find new friends.
In spite of being perhaps somewhat taciturn, most local citizens are courteous and in most cases have a very good command of foreign languages (some desire not to actually demonstrate these linguistic skills may possibly happen, though). Good manners are expected from everyone, and jumping the queue or pushing people in a rush are greatly disapproved of.
On the whole, they are very open-minded towards foreign people and cultures: racial or other discrimination is uncommon and again, disapproved of by the majority.
3. Be ready for the Winter Blues
Norway, Sweden, and Finland cover one of those parts of our planet where all four seasons can be encountered to their full level. Frosty winters and hot, enjoyable summers allow you to enjoy the true diversity of the Nordic nature -- assuming that you dress appropriately. Unlike in a number of other nations, the infrastructure is made to withstand severe weather conditions; commuter traffic (usually) operates efficiently and homes stay warm even during the heaviest snowfall.
In fact, usually it isn't the seasonal temperature or climate that is the leading issue for foreigners. Due to the distance to the polar circle, the length of the day depends heavily on the season; during the summers the sun seldom sets at all (within the north of the Scandinavian peninsula it actually does not set) and in the winter the daylight is limited to merely a few hours.
This aspect has a tendency to affect sleeping habits: individuals unfamiliar with having the sun up at 2:00 a.m. might encounter some confusion. In addition, considering the sunlight's affect on our spirits, winter depression is regrettably rather common.
4. Bring Your Family members Along
Having already accepted the thought of social democracy a hundred years ago, the Nordic countries feature some of the most comprehensive welfare services in the world. Individuals who gain most obviously are families with children, who enjoy free, high-quality education and healthcare. There are international private schools, obviously, but parents planning a longer stay are recommended to sign up their offspring in a state-owned school.
The Nordic nations have always utilized large income redistribution via steeply progressive taxation; this factor has played an important role for making the place one of the most "equal" places there is. The theory is to offer everybody with the same opportunities in life and this goal has been just about accomplished. However, this also implies that huge salary families must be prepared to have a large chunk of their earnings taken by the government.
The municipal taxes and taxes on capital revenue are nearly flat rates, having said that.
5. Get Into the Lovely Nature
Though beauty is in the eye of the beholder, there is not many who would disagree about the appeal of the spectacular Norwegian fjords, attractive Åland Islands in the Baltic Sea or the arctic mountains in Lapland. The natives are rather outdoorsy individuals, with the majority of them having a summer time cottage by the seaside or a lake. Even the most populated locations -- the capitals Stockholm, Oslo and Helsinki -- have huge green locations and parks scattered across the city, often occupied by families or students. Suggested parks include Hagaparken in Stockholm, Kaivopuisto in Helsinki and Frognerparken in Oslo.
While not everybody loves winter sports, most people do, and you shouldn't miss out on the opportunity to ski during your stay. The ski slopes may not be as extraordinary as those in the Alps but skiing is a preferred winter hobby even so. Throughout the summer, sailing and hiking are largely enjoyed.