Capital: Oslo  |  Population: 5.02 million

Country Overview

Welcome to Norway, the “Land of the Midnight Sun,” glistening fjords, and a strong sense of tradition.

It is cold; there is no doubt about that. The mountainous interior is home to some of Europe’s largest glaciers. But its population mostly lives in urban areas, and Norwegians find their country generally an un-crowded place to call home. The country has one of the highest standards of living in the world.

Norway has a constitutional democracy headed by a prime minister.

There are two forms of the official Norwegian language: one is used most commonly for everyday communication, and the other is a combination of many rural dialects.

Daily Life

Vacations in the mountains or by the sea are popular family retreats. Teenagers are expected to help out around the house, as both parents typically work.

Like family, community is very important for Norwegians. Tolerance, kindness, and independence are all highly valued. Neighbors tend to be good friends, though affection is often understood rather than expressed.

Like most of their cultural traditions, Norwegians prefer to eat traditional foods. Pure foods made from the ingredients of the season are favorites. Meat cakes, potato dumplings, and different types of fish are common.



Norway believes that all children should have equal access to education and training no matter what their gender, economic situation, social/cultural background, and physical ability. All education, including university study, is free.

Three years of upper secondary school, from the ages of 16 to 18, are offered, but they are not required. Upper secondary school includes courses to prepare students for higher education and vocational training.

There are four universities and a large number of specialized colleges. 


Norwegian teenagers are much like American teenagers. They enjoy films, hanging out with friends, playing sports, watching TV, and enjoying the outdoors.

Serious dating is discouraged for teens, but group dating starts between the ages of 14 and 18. They go dancing, to parties, and to movies.

Dress is fairly informal and practical due to the cold climate.