The American-Scandinavian Foundation

Employment in Scandinavia

You are urged to be resourceful and make inquiries about job possibilities through any business or personal acquaintances you have in Scandinavia or in the U.S. A working knowledge of the language of the country is a strong first step.

Long-Term Employment

With the exception of those having unique, highly sought-after skills, it is difficult for foreigners to secure long-term employment in Scandinavia. As is true in all countries, Scandinavian governments seek to protect the employment opportunities of their citizens, and therefore limit the work possibilities open to foreign citizens.

If you are a member of a professional organization, you might contact the organization's headquarters for the address of the counterpart organization in the country in which you are interested. Professional organizations may be aware of the prerequisites and opportunities for employment in foreign countries, or can provide you with useful suggestions on where to obtain this information.

Although a number of U.S. firms have offices in Scandinavia, recruitment is usually made from among the firm's experienced staff overseas. For a listing of U.S. firms with offices abroad, you can consult:

  • Directory of American Firms Operating in Foreign Countries, $89.00 for a survey of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. Available from UNIWorld Business Publications
    Tel: (508) 376-6006
  • The Directory of Jobs and Careers Abroad, 12th Edition. A guide to permanent career opportunities abroad, with a focus on top trades and professions, including information about which skills are in demand and key contacts for hundreds of professions and trades. $29.95.
    Available from Ulysses
    Tel: (514) 843-9447

U.S. Government/United Nations Jobs Overseas

For information on positions in the Civil and Foreign Service or employment opportunities with the United Nations and other international organizations:

Work Permits

It is necessary for you to apply for a work permit before you leave the U.S., and before you can apply for a work permit, you must have written confirmation of a job. Work permits are issued by the Embassy or a Consulate General of the country in question; the length of time required to obtain a work permit varies, and permits are not automatically granted. You are thus advised to check into procedures well in advance of your date of departure. For information, contact the appropriate Embassy:

General References

There are many good resources published for those who are beginning to explore job opportunities. Search Amazon for the many book available on the subject.


The American-Scandinavian Foundation (the ASF) offers training opportunities in Scandinavia for Americans aged 21 and over. Short-term placements of 2-3 months during the summer are possible for students majoring in certain fields, principally engineering, chemistry, business, and computer science. TEFOL positions are also available in Finland for the academic year. The ASF also assists those who have arranged their own jobs in obtaining the necessary work permits. E-mail:

Directory of traineeships/internships

Summer Youth/Student Work Programs

AFS Intercultural Programs
Tel: (800) AFS-INFO
Short and long-term study/volunteer work programs for high school students. Live with a host family.

Communicating with America
Tel: (218) 739-3241
Fax (218) 739-3832
Long and Short-term agriculture and horticulture programs in Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

InterExchange, Inc.
Tel: (212) 924-0446
Fax: (212) 924-0575
Opportunities available for au-pair work in Norway.

Au-Pair Programs

Atlantis Youth Exchange
RÃ¥dhusgt. 4, N-0151 Oslo, Norway
Tel & Fax: (47) 22 47 71 79
Recruits au pairs for a minimum 6 month assignment. Some previous experience required. Ages 18-30.

Au Pair Box, a free online service which forwards au pair/nanny applications to agencies according to your preferences.

Au pair programs in Denmark.

Voluntary Work

Council of International Programs USA
Tel: (800) 407-8839
Places volunteers, ages 18 and up, in work camps of 2-4 weeks in Denmark and Finland; volunteer work, no salary, but room & board is provided. Program cost is $395.

Volunteers for Peace International Workcamps
Tel: (802) 259-2759
Fax: (802) 259-2922
2-3 week workcamps in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. Open to anyone 18 and up. Program cost is $300 which includes room and board.

Council of International Fellowships (CIF), offers short-term, unpaid opportunities for field work and observation in human services. Available in Finland, Norway and Sweden. Application deadline is December 1 for April/May assignments.

Scandinavian Newspapers

Below are some of the major Scandinavian newspapers that can be found on the internet. They are all published in the local Scandinavian language. If you are familiar with the language, these newspapers can give you ideas where to look for employment, and some also have job listings. This is not meant to be a complete listing; other Scandinavian newspapers are also available on the internet.




Helsingin Sanomat (international edition)


Turun Sanomat










Dagens Nyheter

Svenska Dagbladet

Other websites to consider

U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Denmark

U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Norway

U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Sweden


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