Leisure and volunteering
Information about volunteer teams and organisations, local leisure activities for children and young people, and support schemes for participation or equipment.
There are many different types of organisations in Norway, ranging from the Scouts, marching bands, sports clubs, humanitarian organisations to religious communities. Many immigrants belong to immigrant organisations, where members have the same national or ethnic background. Most organisations require a membership fee.
You can contact your municipality’s culture department if you would like information about voluntary groups or organisations, or if you wish to join a group or an organisation in your local area.
Voluntary work is very important for most organisations in Norway. Almost two thirds of all the work that is done by voluntary organisations is unpaid. More than half the adult population in Norway performs voluntary work during the course of a year. This is record-high in the international context.
Many teams and organisations are financed in part through raffles, and the sale of coffee and cakes at events etc. As a member, you must be prepared to participate in such volunteer work.
Local leisure activities
Many Norwegian municipalities focus on activities for children and young people to create a good environment for them to grow up in. They often support activities such as before and after-school programmes, youth clubs, sports clubs, culture schools and clubs for small children.
For further information, contact the culture department in your local municipality, or visit the municipality's website.
Culture schools offer children dance, music, theatre and art classes. The culture schools are usually municipal, but they can also be organised as collaborations between two or more municipalities. The municipalities often cover part of the expenses related to the activities at the culture school, but parents must also pay a share of the costs. The price varies from one municipality to another.
For further information, contact the culture department in your local municipality, or visit the municipality’s website.
There is a long tradition of organised sports in Norway. Many children, young people and adults belong to sports clubs. Norwegian sports clubs are open to everyone. The activities are on the children’s terms and all children are welcome, regardless of their ambitions and needs. The goal is for the children to enjoy themselves and have fun with their friends. Parents must pay a membership fee for their children to join a sports club.
For further information about local sports clubs in your municipality, contact the culture department.
Walking and hiking are a key part of Norwegian culture. Hikes in nature boost health and provide a sense of community with others, cultural insight and new relationships. Many immigrants find it easier to get to know Norwegians in nature, which also makes it easier to learn the Norwegian culture and the Norwegian language.
Many local member associations of the Norwegian Trekking Association (DNT) organise outdoor hikes and courses (Ferskingkurs and Til topps-grupper) and other activities for newcomers to Norway.
For example, the Ferskingkurs course covers important social knowledge such as the right of public access, the culture of hiking in Norway, and how to enjoy nature and take care of it. Several local branches organise courses that are adapted to newly arrived refugees and immigrants, with an emphasis on outdoor activities as an integration arena. DNT also offers digital courses for outdoor activities.
Most municipalities also offer various cultural activities for adults, such as theatre, lectures, debates and cinema. The cultural activities on offer vary from one municipality to another.
For further information about the cultural activities on offer in your municipality, contact the culture department.
All the municipalities have public libraries. The libraries are for everyone regardless of age, language and any functional impairment. You can borrow books, audiobooks, films and magazines from the library. The libraries also lend books and literature in several languages, and you can use a computer with internet access. Library services are free. Opening hours and services vary from one municipality to another.
If you have limited finances, there are various financial support schemes for participation or equipment. These vary from one municipality to another, so please contact your local municipality to find out what schemes are available.
As a guardian, you can also apply for support from NAV. If you are a participant in the introduction programme, it may be possible to get help from the refugee service or the municipality.
You can ask for invoices from sports clubs to be split into instalments. Some sports clubs also have their own funds or schemes under which you can apply for support as a guardian. In some municipalities, organisations such as the Red Cross and the Salvation Army can be of help.