This post is written by first year MSc students, Linh Nguyen, Huyen Tran and Wenmin Li.
Moving away from home might sound scary, especially when it’s your first time going abroad and landing in a totally new and bizzare country like Norway. However, settling down would be much easier if you follow some of our take-away packing tips before departure.
1. European socket adapters
Norway, same as other European countries, makes use of Type F electric sockets, which is grounded with 2 round pins. If you come from Asia, the UK or the USA, it’s highly likely that your laptop/phone plugs aren’t compatible with Norwegian sockets. Therefore, we recommend you to spare some room in your suitcase for socket adapters to ensure that you won’t run out of battery during your very first days in Norway.
2. Thermal clothing
Are you from a tropical country where average temperature is above 10 Celsius degree? Are you used to the sun shining for more than half of a year’s time? Do you have myriad of summer clothes, namely chiffon dresses, shorts and cut-out shirts? Well then do not bring them all as Norway is the total opposite of what you’ve experienced before. With more or less six months of snow throughout the year, Oslo is definitely not an ideal place to show off your summer fashion style. What you need to bring, in fact, is light thermal clothing such as long-sleeve shirts and water-repellent trousers. Trust us, they will save you in the -15 Celsius degree of December.
3. Casual medicine and Vitamin D
You must have been notified that Oslo is one of the most expensive cities all over the world. And although the health care service is considered free, you still need to pay some typical expenses when you have health problems. Every time you book the appointment with your private doctor, you have to pay around 250 kr at first. This expense is supposed to minimize the possibility of careless booking. The amount does not include the examination cost (like X-ray or some special test) and pill bills. Thus, we would recommend you to prepare some casual medicine, such as for flu or coughing. This recommendation should be only for trivial cases – not serious diseases, and that you can trust on the effectiveness of those medicine before in your home country.
Also, if you have some prescribed personal medicine that you are taking, make sure to bring them with you. Since you cannot send them by mail or post if you ran out of it. Just make sure you pack them in your luggage and have the doctor’s prescription with you.
Another tip we have for new-coming students is to take vitamin D in the winter, even if you have never taken any before. The sun goes away in the winter, and we get really little sunlight. This may cause you some health problems due to the lack of Vitamin D, leading to some stress as well. You can easily buy them in the pharmacies here in Norway. It is important to get your vitamin D in winter!
4. Seasonings of your hometown
Are you a chef who’s very good at cooking? If not, we highly recommend you to practice in advance—after all, as a student in Norway, it’s hard to afford eating out every day. We guess you don’t want salad in the cafeteria 3 times a day either! If you would like to cook yourself, it would be so much cheaper and your life quality would absolutely get improved!
Normally you can purchase fresh meat and vegetables in any supermarket. Asian supermarkets are especially popular among students since they provide various options with competitive prices. However, it might not be easy to find all spices you need in Oslo. You can contact with senior schoolmates in advance and ask if there’re seasonings from some certain brands . If not, remember to put it in your suitcase before departure!
5. Electronic devices you may find helpful
Upon arrival in your dormitory, you would need a router and network cables to get connected with internet. Of course you can purchase these stuffs in Power or Elkjøp, but it would be so more expensive than bringing one from home. To cut down expenses, it’s wise to prepare in advance.
Furthermore, many international students find the climate in Oslo quite interesting. Though daily temperatures can be extremely low during winter time, it is so dry inside the room that you might find your nose bleeding in early morning. To have a humidifier and leave it running really help a lot!