Frazer Norwell: Journalist & editor

Frazer is a freelance journalist, having worked in both the UK and Norway. He has both editorial and reporting experience in web and broadcast journalism. Currently, he is the editor of The Local Norway, which is a part of the multi-regional, European, English-language digital news publisher The Local. He lives in Oslo and enjoys skiing, cooking, football and hiking.


Phone: 07340 179907  Email: frazernorwell@hotmail.co.uk Twitter:@FrazerNorwell 


Tens of thousands of people in Norway might end up without a valid driving license from the New Year

“We are concerned that so many people still have not renewed their driving licence. Now, those who want to continue driving after the New Year need to take urgent action,” department director Lill Tove Amundsen in the Norwegian Road Administration noted in a recent press release. From January 1, 2023, driving licenses that are larger than bank cards will no longer be valid. If you want to continue driving, you need to renew your driving license by the end of 2022. People who still need to rene

Norwegian word of the day: Vors

What does it mean? Vors is a slang term and shortening of vorspiel, which means pre-party. So the English equivalent would be pre-drinks/pre's or pre-game, depending on which side of the Atlantic Ocean you hail from. Vorspiel, or vors now that we’re cool and colloquial, typically refers to drinking or gathering before a social occasion or night out on the town. Vors is very common before a lot of nights out. If after a night out you want to keep the party going, then you can have a nachspiel

Why energy prices in Norway will rise in December

It’s unlikely to be a season of good cheer when it comes to energy prices in Norway this Christmas, as prices will rise sharply in December. While the average price in November was 140 øre per kilowatt hour in November and around 132 øre in Oslo in October, consumers will have to pay considerably more in December. Energy expert Tor Reier Lilleholt told the newspaper Bergens Tidende that households could expect to pay around 2 kroner per kilowatt hour, including fees after energy support has be

Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Friday

The drug Paxlovid, used to treat Covid-19, will be stocked in Norwegian pharmacies from December 8th, Norway’s Minister of Health, Ingvild Kjerkol, has announced. The medicine reduces instances of severe illness in those more at risk of developing a serious bout of Covid-19. “I am happy that we can now offer corona patients with a high risk of serious illness this treatment. It reduces the risk of a serious course for the individual, in addition to helping to reduce the burden on the health se

IN PICTURES: Norway’s most beautiful buildings

Stunning fjords, jaw-dropping mountains and natural phenomena like the Northern Lights draw tourists in their millions to Norway. Despite the excellent natural scenery, there are quite a few man-made sights to marvel at. From 17th-century buildings to 12th-century churches and modern architectural marvels, these are some of Norway’s most beautiful buildings. The Architectural Uprising (Arkitekturupprororet) recently awarded Ramme Fjordhotel its top accolade for 2022. Despite its old-worldy ext

Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Thursday

Norway and Germany want a NATO hub for undersea infrastructure Germany and Norway want to start a NATO-led alliance to protect critical underwater infrastructure following two explosions on gas pipelines in the fallout from the Ukraine war. "We are in the process of asking the NATO Secretary General to set up a coordination office for the protection of underwater infrastructure," German Chancellor Olaf Scholz told a press conference in Berlin. Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store said th

EXPLAINED: Norway’s plans for a tourist tax

Around 10 million tourists flock to Norway annually, drawn in by its majestic fjords, world-famous hikes, rugged wilderness and bucket-list activities such as Northern Lights tours. Many travellers already remark that the country is incredibly expensive. However, the cost of being a visitor in Norway could soon increase as the government plans to introduce a new tax on tourism-related activities. Earlier this week, the minority government consisting of the Labour Party and Centre Party, agreed

What are the most common reasons Americans in Norway contact the U.S. embassy?

In addition to fulfilling their diplomatic roles, embassies offer several vital services to their nation's citizens living abroad. Whether it's clarifying questions, offering assistance with urgent matters or renewing passports, many living abroad will use their embassy's services at some point. There are around 10,000 American citizens living in Norway, and the most common questions that the U.S. Embassy in Norway receives are regarding travelling as a dual citizen and the citizenship rules f

Norwegian word of the day: Julekalender

What does it mean? Julekalender is a relatively straightforward word to decipher. It's a compound of the Norwegian words for Christmas (jul) and calendar (kalender). Put together, they mean Christmas calendar, but more accurately translate to advent calendar. As with most advent calendars, they begin on December 1st and end on the day when the country celebrates Christmas, in Norway, this is Christmas Eve, December 24th. What really sets Norwegian Christmas calendars apart from the rest is th

Norway moves closer to introducing tuition fees for international students

Norway's minority government, consisting of the Labour Party and the Centre Party, agreed on a state budget for 2023 with its preferred negotiation partner, the Socialist Left Party, on Tuesday evening. Among the proposals from the original budget were plans to introduce tuition fees for students from outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) from next year. The original proposal was met with backlash from students and the Socialist Left Party (SV). However, despite the opposition from SV, t

Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Wednesday

The government and Socialist Left Party agree on 2023 budget On Tuesday evening, the coalition government and the Socialist Left Party agreed on a budget for 2023 after weeks of talks and negotiations. At a press conference, the three parties said that the budget would put money in the hands of the most disadvantaged. "This budget will help us get through the challenging times we are in together," PM Jonas Gahr Støre said to the media. Among the key changes, the government will not allow gas

Crisis-stricken airline SAS records heavy losses

Net losses amounted to more than 1.2 billion Swedish kronor ($117 million) in the August-October period, compared to a loss of 744 million kronor a year earlier, the company said in a statement. "As with previous quarters in 2022, the currencies (foreign exchange) and jet-fuel price have brought strong headwinds for our business," said SAS chief executive Anko van der Werff. The airline, however, saw the "highest number" of passengers since the beginning of the Covid pandemic, with healthy dem

READERS REVEAL: Can you get by in Norway with just English?

Norway has recently been ranked among the best countries in the world for English language skills. In addition, many international firms have Oslo offices where the official working language is English. Wherever you find yourself in Norway, you are unlikely to be far from a proficient English speaker, even in more rural areas. This may lead to some assuming that they'll be able to get by in Norway without learning Norwegian. We asked our readers whether this was the case. Most of those who r

Norway's state-owned wine monopoly turns 100

One thing that can catch visitors off guard in Norway is that the state controls all retail sales of alcohol stronger than 4.75 percent via a government-owned monopoly. The wine monopoly can catch residents off-guard, too, if they happen to forget the strict opening hours on weekends and public holidays. While the concept of state-regulated alcohol sales may be off-putting for some, Vinmonopolet has become a national institution in Norway. READ MORE: Why the Norwegian government controls the

Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday

NAV wants to help alleviate poverty crisis in Norway Recent reports about people queuing at food banks instead of going to the NAV have come to the attention of the NAV boss Hans Christian Holte. The situation is now being mapped out at the NAV offices. "We want to fulfil our role and help those who need it most. We want to find solutions for those who are in a demanding situation," Holte told the news bureau NTB. The NAV is now analysing if they can take steps to better deal with increasing

EXPLAINED: How does Norway's bracket tax work?

While many are familair with the concept of income tax, bracket tax may be a confusing concept for many. The bracket tax in Norway is calculated based on the individual's gross salary income and other corresponding incomes, such as sick pay, work assessment allowance, disability benefit, and pension. Essentially it is a tax on one's income after income tax. The country's bracket tax consists of five steps, ranging from 1.7 percent bracket tax for the 1st step to 17.4 percent for the 5th step.

Why does Norway gift the UK a Christmas tree every year?

One of the first things you'll notice if you are near or around Trafalgar Square in London at Christmas is a 20-meter-high Christmas tree on display for everyone to enjoy. The tree is displayed every year and is a gift from Norway to the UK. The lights are normally switched on at the beginning of December to mark the countdown to Christmas. This year the tree will be lit up on Thursday, December 1st at 7pm CET / 6pm GMT. For social media users, it is becoming an annual tradition in itself to p

Tips for short-haul foreign travel from Norway this Christmas

Whether you're a foreigner in Norway planning a trip to see friends or relatives over the festive season or you're planning a Christmas or New Year trip to Norway, there are several things worth keeping in mind when planning travel. If you're taking a trip to the UK, be aware that rail workers are currently engaged in a protracted battle to secure pay increases that will help them cope with the soaring cost of living and have not ruled out further strikes over the festive season. Several strik

British-Russian begins trial for violating Norwegian drone ban

The son of a former close associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin, 47-year-old Andrei Yakunin, wearing a dark suit, pleaded not guilty as he appeared before the Tromso court in northern Norway. He is accused of flying drones over the Svalbard archipelago in the Arctic, during a trip on his yacht Firebird last summer. Non-EU member Norway banned Russian aircraft and drones from flying over its territory following Moscow's invasion of Ukraine. Norway, now Europe's main supplier of natur
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