Norway Study Abroad Programs
- Capital: Oslo
- Official Language: Norwegian
- Currency: Norwegian krone (NOK)
Geirangerfjord. By Andreas Trepte - Own work, CC BY-SA ...
Norway is first and foremost a maritime nation, and most of its population lives along the coast or on the hundreds of coastal islands where the weather is moderated by the Gulf Stream. The country's national identity is hard to separate from that of the Vikings or Norsemen who set out by sea to conquer the world, with a surprising degree of success. In fact, the Norse explorer Leif Ericsson may well have been the first European to visit North America, around 1000 AD, pre-dating Columbus by about 500 years.
Contemporary Norwegians are a gentler breed and take pride in the accomplishments of playwright Henrik Ibsen, artist Edvard Munch, and composer Edvard Grieg. The Norwegian standard of living is one of the highest in the world, in part because the country is almost completely self-sufficient in its energy needs. Among other achievements of modern Norwegian society is a strong belief in gender equality, both in theory and practice.