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Education: The education system requires students to attend school for a nine-year period. This is divided into six years of basic lower school and three years of basic upper school. Upper secondary school generally lasts three years. There are thirteen fields of study to choose from. Courses that are common to all areas include Norwegian, physical education, science and social studies.

Family life: The family unit is very important in Norway. Husbands and wives usually consider each other equal in authority. Families tend to be small. The standard of living is very high and most Norwegians are middle class. Norwegian parents emphasize shared family responsibility in the upbringing of their children. The variety in nature and season, combined with family life are important qualities in Norway.

Meals: Norwegians consider it very important to be on time for meals. The potato is an important part of Norwegian food and also different types of fish. Laks (grilled or smoked salmon), reker (boiled shrimp), torsk (cod) and lutefisk (dried cod made near-gelatinous by soaking in lye) are among the most popular Norwegian meals. Pickled herring and sweet brown goat cheese (geitost) are also very popular.

Recreation: The beauty of the mountains, fjord and shores is outstanding. The majority of Norwegian families have leisure cottages and cabins in the country. The wild nature makes Norway a beautiful place for mountain climbing and hiking, but also bird watching is very popular. Norway is a major ski country and most Norwegians ski. They have thousands of maintained cross-country ski trails, but also many down hill ski runs like Holmenkollen and Lillehammer.

About YFU Norway

The first exchange in YFU Norway took place in 1967. Jakob Omholt-Jensen, a retired school principal and Rotarian, had not lost his interest in youth. With help from good friends, he ran the program the first year from his home. As the program grew, it demanded a more permanent organizational structure and administration. The volunteer system with local representatives was developed and an office was established. YFU Norway is registered as a non-profit youth organization and gets financial support from the Norwegian government. Today, YFU Norway has some 200 active volunteers in 11 regions and a staff of 3-6 in the National Office in Oslo. YFU Norway offers an inbound academic year and semester programs.