Life in Norway

The Norwegian Society Through My Eyes

From the moment I set foot in Norway, I felt a sense of belonging.

Name: Chamath Dilshan Jayasinghe
Home country: Sri Lanka
Bachelor’s degree & university: BSc (Hons) in Management Information Systems, University College Dublin, Ireland
Current study programme: MSc in Business Analytics

As an international student who arrived in Norway a year ago, I was immediately struck by the unique and vibrant culture of this beautiful country. The Norwegians have a way of life that is distinct and alluring. In my journey so far, I have come to perceive Norwegian society as welcoming, outdoorsy, and equality-driven. These three words, though simple, encapsulate my experience and understanding of the Norwegian way of life.

Chamath with his friends


From the moment I set foot in Norway, I felt a sense of belonging. Norwegians are known for their warmth and openness, and they made sure I felt right at home. They were always eager to share their culture, traditions, and language with me. The university staff and fellow students went out of their way to help me settle in, providing guidance and support whenever I needed it.

One instance that particularly stands out is when I was invited to join a hiking trip by my Norwegian classmates. This weekend adventure took us through the picturesque forests and mountains, where we bonded over our shared love for nature and outdoor activities. It allowed me to learn more about Norwegian customs and practices, such as their unwavering respect for the environment and the tradition of enjoying simple outdoor pleasures. This hospitality and warmth extended beyond the university campus, as I have encountered numerous helpful and friendly Norwegians in shops, restaurants, and public transport.


It is impossible to talk about Norwegian society without mentioning their love for the great outdoors. With the stunning fjords, mountains, and lakes that adorn the country, it's no wonder that Norwegians have a strong connection to nature. They take pride in their outdoor pursuits, be it hiking, skiing, or simply enjoying a picnic in the park.

Chamath and friends with sleds

I was pleasantly surprised to see how many Norwegians, regardless of age, would spend their weekends and holidays engaging in outdoor activities. I joined a hiking group, and we would often explore the breath-taking landscapes of Norway. This deep appreciation for nature has led to a strong environmental consciousness in the country, with eco-friendly policies, and a focus on sustainability. The emphasis on outdoor activities and nature has also given me a newfound appreciation for my surroundings and a healthier lifestyle.


Another aspect of Norwegian society that I have come to admire is the commitment to equality. This is evident in their gender-neutral approach to parenting, with both parents sharing responsibilities in raising children. The country's robust welfare system provides everyone with access to healthcare, education, and social services, ensuring that no one is left behind.

Moreover, Norway consistently ranks high in gender equality, and this commitment to fairness extends to the workplace. In my time at the university, I have observed the equal representation of both genders in various roles, including leadership positions. Additionally, the focus on inclusivity is evident in the way international students are treated, with ample opportunities and resources provided to ensure our success.

Vigelandsparken i Oslo

In conclusion, my perception of Norwegian society as welcoming, outdoorsy, and equality-driven is based on the experiences and interactions I have had during my time in this captivating country. From the warm hospitality I received to the awe-inspiring beauty of the outdoors and the commitment to social justice, my journey in Norway has been an eye-opening and enriching experience. I am grateful for the opportunity to study here and look forward to continuing to learn and grow in this remarkable land.