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Attractive work-life balance in Norway

Engineer Alejandro Figueres chose Norway for the attractive work-life balance.

A man in the centre with a woman to the left and a man to the right look at documents on a table.

Learned Norwegian to work as a lead engineer at HiOA

Alejandro Figueres set his sights on working in Norwegian academia because of his admiration for the Nordic welfare model and the country’s well-functioning economy. It added positively to the equation that his partner Teresa, a fellow civil engineer, had just landed a full-time position in the Norwegian Public Roads Administration. The 27-year-old Spanish civil engineer moved from Valencia to HiOA as lead engineer in the Department of Civil Engineering and Energy Technology last year. He learned Norwegian in just one month at the Nordic Centre in Alicante, a Spanish resort town popular amongst Norwegians.

Attractive work-life balance in Norway

Many of their friends had emigrated from the high unemployment situation in Spain to Chile or Brazil. But Figueres wanted a place that was closer to home and could offer an attractive work-life balance.

“If I had stayed in Spain and worked at an internship at a private building contractor, I would have worked from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.,” says Figueres. “This is something we really appreciate in Spain – to be able to steer your day and find time to do things.”

At the college, Figueres spends an average 10-12 hours per week teaching lab courses. The rest of his workweek is spent helping students with their projects. In their free time, the couple likes to explore the nature around their home in Drammen, a popular town located a half-hour train ride from Oslo. Drammen has attracted many international residents. “We met many Spanish friends through a Facebook page in Drammen,” Figueres says.“The page had 40 members. Now it’s up to 100.”

Valeria Criscione Published: Updated: