Frequently asked questions

Who can apply?

  • Trainees must be enrolled as agricultural/horticultural students of a relevant field at their university.
  • A trainee must be attending one of the Agricultural Institutions that Atlantis cooperates with.
  • People with a good knowledge of English (this will be assessed on application).
  • Trainees either participate alone or as a part of a group and may stay from 2-12 months.

Do I need an agricultural background or experience?

  • Yes, trainees must also have prior, relevant agricultural/horticultural experience.
  • Where possible, trainees will be placed on a farm with a specilism in their area of expertise.

How much does it cost to participate?

Trainees should contact their individual university for cost.

How will I live?

  • Trainees live with a host family who owns and runs a particular agriculture or horticulture business. The host will provide both theoretical and practical training over the duration of the trainee’s stay.
  • The host/company will offer lodging of reasonable standard. Trainees will share kitchen, living room and bathroom with other trainees, and are usually offered bedrooms with 2-4 beds in each. The trainees are responsible for keeping the living area clean and tidy, and to do a proper cleaning before leaving.
  • The host/company may ask each trainee to pay NOK 33,- per day for the lodging.
  • Trainees purchase their own food and make their own meals.
  • Trainees will have access to a washing machine for clothes.

What are the work conditions like?

  • Trainees are to work regular working hours of approximatly 37,5 hours per week.
  • They are entitled to 1 ½ days off weekly, connected.
  • Trainees receive a monthly payment for the work, generally this is per-hour but can also be piece work.
  • Piece work: The rate is fixed by the local association for soft fruit and fruit farmers (most relevant for trainees in agriculture/horticulture only).
  • Per Hour: Min 78,63 NOK per hour (May 2015).
  • Trainees will also get holiday pay: Shortly before departure, trainees will be paid an additional 10.2 % of total income earned during the period (net – after tax). In Norway, this sum is known as “holiday money”.

Are there specific start dates?

  • No, trainees can apply all year round.
  • There will, however, be high seasons for various specialities within agriculture.
  • This depends on what kind of things you like to do. Norway has 4 seasons. Spring (March, April, May), Summer (June, July, August), Autumn (September, October, November) & Winter: (December, January and February).
  • During the autumn and winter months Norway can be quite cold and dark, whereas the summer season is extraordinarily light. The lambing and calving season starts around April, and the harvesting season is at the end of the summer.
  • Also, trainees from outside of EU/EEA will need to apply for a work permit before departure; this will take at least 4 months so please apply well in advance!

How do I apply for a Work Permit?

Please see your university advisor for assistance in applying for a work permit. You should apply for a trainee (vocational training) / ‘praktikant’ visa.

If in doubt check out www.udi.no for further information and rules.

Can I get in touch with other trainees?

  • Yes of course! Atlantis runs social events where all international people on various placements in Norway can meet in Oslo. Sometimes this will be a cultural event, other times a party and night out in Oslo.
  • For more information on these, and to speak to current and previous trainees please see our Facebook page.

What if problems arise?

  • To solve a problem, whether it is personal or arises from a conflict with someone, it is important that you discuss it with your hosts. Lack of communication often creates more problems. It is important to be open about what you think and how you feel.
  • If you do not manage to solve the problem with your host family directly, we want you to contact Atlantis. Although we have limited possibilities of solving individual problems, which may often come from just a ”personality clash”, we do our best to help out. We can help you to clear up misunderstandings, set up an agreement, find compromises and an acceptable solution. But to be able to help you, we need to be informed of what your problem is. Moving to a new host family may be a solution in some cases.
  • A Trainee may interrupt his/her stay if the host family breaks the written agreement or shows very little ability to integrate the guest in their family life. The host family may ask the trainee to leave their farm and return home if he/she proves to have very little ability to adjust to their way of life, shows a severe lack of responsibility towards the tasks on the farm, if he/she commits a criminal act or has given incorrect information about him/herself in the application process. They may also break the contract in cases like severe illness, etc.
  • If you have not been in Norway before, you should be aware that it is a special country, long, narrow and sparsely populated. Most of the farms are situated on the countryside far away from a town. The public transportation is often very limited and it can be a long way to the nearest shop, bank or pub etc.
  • It is important that you have thought about how to handle problems and home-sickness before you apply. If difficulties should arise you will be stronger, and see that problems can even become a challenge. In cases where problems become so extensive that neither you nor the host family are able to cope with it and a break-up becomes inevitable, both parties are entitled to four weeks notice (beginning the first of the next month). Shorter notice is only acceptable during the trial period. Any break-up is to be discussed with Atlantis on beforehand.

Contact Numbers

  • In an emergency situation Atlantis has an emergency number 24 hours a day: (+47) 91551073. This is only to be used in an emergency. All other problems should be directed to the office number in office hours.
  • Office hours are 9.00-15.00 and the office number is (+47) 22477170

Will I get the opportunity to learn Norwegian?

Atlantis organizes Norwegian courses in Oslo. You can also ask your host if there are any courses in the local area.

Who should cover my travel expenses?

Trainees must be prepared to pay their own travel expenses from your home country to the host/company where you have been placed. If you have applied for a work permit before going to Norway, you should not buy your ticket before the work permit is granted. (Remember to contact your host/company to give information about your exact time of arrival as soon as you buy your ticket).

Where can I find more information about insurance?

Holding your work permit to Norway, or working here as an EU/EEA citizen, you become a member of the Norwegian National Health Service. This means that if you get ill during your stay, you will only have to pay a small fee for the medical treatment at the hospital or the doctor (public health care). NB: The Norwegian Health Service only covers treatment of acute medical problems. It does not cover dental treatment or medical transportation.

 Where can I find more information about Norway?

  • Lonely Planet has a guide to Norway.
  • Visit Norway: tourist information (many languages).
  • Norge.no: home page to public sector in Norway (Norwegian/English). Nsb: the Norwegian Railway (Norwegian/English).
  • Gulesider: Yellow pages (available in English), where you may do map searches in order to find the location of cities, tourist attractions etc.
  • Hanen: information about rural tourism and Norwegian food.