Aloys, neurologist from Belgium working in Mosjøen, Norway

ALOYS is a neurologist from Belgium. He moved to Mosjøen in Norway with his partner in May 2016, after he was offered a job at the local hospital. Before moving to Norway he and his partner completed their language training at MediCarrera’s language centre in Budapest.

How did everything start?

“Well… honestly, I was looking online for a new job when I came across MediCarrera on the internet. I have always wanted to work in one of the Nordic countries and by getting in touch with MediCarrera, I felt I was one step closer to achieving what I had always wanted!

A few days later Aloys was contacted by the MediCarrera team and was asked to participate in a interview via Skype. A short time after this interview he was invited to visit and to have a face-to-face interview with the Mosjøen Hospital.

“The trip to Mosjøen was a three-day trip where I had an interview and guided tour of the hospital and the city. When we arrived in Norway, one person from the hospital was waiting for us at the airport and drove us to the hotel where we had dinner with some of the representatives of the hospital. The day after I had an interview, a tour of the hospital and of the city. My partner came along with me for the trip and, I have to say, we both got a good impression of the workplace and the town. I found the whole trip well organised and everything went as planned.”

Aloys had never been to Norway, but he had visited Sweden several times. The first time he went to Sweden was to play ice hockey and he fell in love with the country and the Nordic environment.

When he decided to apply for the job he didn’t have much knowledge about Norway or Mosjøen. He knew that the working conditions in the Nordic countries are very good and that they are well known for their balance between work and private life. But it was during the process with MediCarrera and the language course, that he became more familiar with Norway and its culture.

The language course

“Regarding the language course I have only positive things to say. First we had an online language course and… I’ve got to admit, this course was well structured and serious. Honestly it was way better than I had expected and more professional than the one I was familiar with from my home country. When we started the intensive course in Budapest we had classes and homework everyday. My partner and I were very happy with the teacher and the course, the quality was very high and the teacher’s engagement was incredible.”

For the language course they were divided in small groups so that everyone got the help they needed and could speak freely and ask all the questions they wanted. “The course was intensive, but luckily, the workload was well organised and it was possible to easily keep up with it. I am still in contact with the teacher, who is always available for any doubts and explanations.

In the class we all got on well together and we sort of had this ‘rule’ of talking to each other only in Norwegian. To improve, you know… Well, it helped a lot!” His partner attended the course with him and they started in the same class. But further into the course they were separated because his course was more focused on Norwegian medical language.

Moving to Norway

“I left the language course in Budapest on a Saturday and only three days later I was on my way to Norway. I moved there on May the 17th, on the Norwegian National Day! I arrived two weeks before I started my new job in order to have some time to fix all the practical issues, get to know the place and relax a little. My partner moved to Norway two weeks later, while my kids are staying with their mother in Belgium.”

““Regarding the language course I have only positive things to say. I’ve got to admit, this course was well structured and serious.”

The first day at work

“The introduction at the workplace in Mosjøen went well and I felt welcome. The first days at the hospital I received training in the computer system and routines. At the beginning I had a person that I followed and observed… But after a while, I was given more and more responsibility and now I am working full-time and have a complete list of patients. I feel the hospital did a good job with the training and giving me all the information I needed at the beginning and, most of all, the time to nicely settle in.”

He told us that in Norway he has more possibilities and opportunities to develop professionally. For Aloys the biggest difference between working in Belgium and Norway is that in Norway you work less hours and you don’t have that many patients so you have more time to take care of each of them. In Mosjøen you have better conditions, they have more focus on the balance between work and private life.

“Since we moved to Norway we spend our spare time enjoying the beautiful nature, right outside the door of our lovely house. I’ve even started jogging and we have had many nice trips in the mountains. His partner is searching for a job and this have been more difficult then assumed earlier, so this, of course, has created some stress for them. However they are positive that she will find something soon.

From the language course they were aware of the different tradition and culture, though the people in Norway still surprised them for being very friendly and easy to get to know.

“Regarding the cooperation with MediCarrera, it has been close and good from the very start to the end. The colleagues at the hospital are quite welcoming and they are very happy in Norway. I think one of the reasons that not more specialists from Belgium apply is because they know very little about Norway and the working conditions here.”