Hello Going Expat people,

Wellcome back on the blog! Today I share a guest post about Giulia´s life as a teenager who moved to Norway in 2012 with her family:

You can find Giulia on IG as @t.i.n.q

and on YouTube as @The italo-norwegian queen

her content is mainly in Italian since the goal is to make Norway known in Italy)



Let´s start with an introduction:

Hello! My name is Giulia and I am originally from Rome but I grew up in a small town in Abruzzo, Lanciano.

Since 2012, however, I live with my family in Arendal, Norway.

Moving during the period of the adolescence is not easy. I had a lot of difficulties in making friends because I didn’t know the language and so I wasn’t much considered, but rather laughed at by my classmates. I was practically alone, I had no friends.

I did not know English well, because unfortunately in Italian schools is not (or perhaps was) tought so well and, obviously, I didn´t know any words of Norwegian language.

It was hard to leave everything I had in my homeland and start all over again at such a delicate age. With the passing years, however, everything improves especially when you start to know the local language because you can understand many things, you adapt to the adopted land that has welcomed you! But I never forget where I come from, my origins, my past and especially the turbulent journey I had the first years of my stay in Norway.

These experiences have certainly helped me to grow and to build a stronger character than ever.

Now I can say that I’m happy: I have my friends, I attend university, I work and I allow myself from time to time some trips a bit ‘everywhere!

How did you manage to go to school? Had ve you had to attend extra courses?

My path with the school was quite complicated, and it is difficult to explain briefly in just one article.

Initially I went to an international school, although classes were only in Norwegiam, it was defined as international because allowed children and adolescents who did not speak at all or well the language, and therefore had to learn it. Attention, it was not the high school, from which I was refused because I did not know Norwegian, but a school that I attended for 2 years to learn the language and then, finally, go to high school. I practically attended what, according to the English school structure, is called 9th and 10th grade.

It goes without saying that I started from the basics, alphabet, phonetics etc… it was a great challenge.

Given the complexity of the topic I uploaded a video on my YouTube channel (English subtitles are available) in which I tell how it was my school career.

Norwegian was not easy to learn, however, if you have a good knowledge of English and/or German it helps. I call Norwgian “sweet german”, in fact the grammar is qute similar to English, while the phonetics, the sound is more German. Although I was learning it a school, it took me one full year to be fluent, so be patient!

More info abot the school system in Norway can be found here

How is the world of work from your point of view? For example in relation to the cost of living or regarding the job market?

The Norwegian working world is undoubtedly much better than the Italian one.

It is healthier and more relaxed and it is almost unlikely that they will ask you to work extra hours. Also there is a lot of respect for the worker, whatever the job, everyone treats everyone equally, in any environment.

The salaries of a simple worker range from 2,500 to 3,500 euros net monthly. Moreover, there is a lot of meritocracy here.

If you want to find a job in Norway, however, it is essential to have knowledge of the local language. You can survive with English the first few months, but then knowledge of the Norwegian language is required.

The cost of living is balanced against the salary you receive. Obviously everything always depends on which city in Norway you go to live, you life style and the habits you have.

In general, if I have to make a comparison with what I know of Italy, here I can afford many things that perhaps I could not.

Do you feel more Italian or Norwegian?

Italian, without even thinking about it. The Norwegians tell me from the small things, even the most banal, that I am super Italian: from gesturing too much when I talk, that I raise my voice a little too much when I talk to people without realizing it, my Super Mario Bross accent when I speak in Norwegian, from the fact that I’m very “mama-girl”… I mean, it’s impossible to hide my origins even if I’ve lived abroad for many years.

On Instagram and YouTube Stories of Norway through your and others’ experience, how did the idea come about?

I started on YouTube in 2014 with the intention of getting people to know Norwegian culture, Norwegian language and Norway in general through my videos. I also started doing video interviews with Italians living in Norway, in which they tell of how their life has changed in this Scandinavian country and how they spend it in such a way as to bring other experiences of different countrymen and not only my personal experiences.

The idea of opening a YouTube channel was born by chance: at the beginning I wanted to upload funny videos but then I got more and more questions about Norway from my friends in Italy and then I said “why not talk about Norway on YouTube?”. So began my “career” on this platform and I received more and more followers… Especially from the Italian Embassy in Oslo!

On my instagram and on my facebook page I simply share news about Norway and I show what I do during the day: an easy way to stay in touch more directly with those who follow me and want to discover even more this land of the north!

Thank you Giulia for your time and to share your experience with us!

At the video below you find the video I recorded about the top tips to move to Norway

Do you have any questions about Norway?

Let me know in the comments