4 May 2017

Hans Kristian - Expat in Los Angeles, USA

Hans Kristian - Expat in Los Angeles, USA

We’ve had the chance to talk to Hans Kristian, 29, a Norwegian-American expat who has moved to the USA with his parents. Mr. Kristian who has been living there for 25 years, now works as an Internet Marketer and Outreach director at OC Moving Company. 

Read more about his experiences in the full interview below.


Q: Where are you from originally?

A: Born in Norway.


Q: What made you move out of Norway?

A: My parents moved to America. My Dad is a Corn farmer and Scientist and they don’t have a lot of corn in Norway.


Q: Where are you living now? How did you come to choose this new country of residence?

A: Los Angeles. I came to Los Angeles from Sweden where I lived previously for 2 years because of the vibrant music scene. I am also a musician.


Q: How long have you been living in the USA?

A: 25 years.


Q: Are you living alone or with your family? If yes, how are they adjusting to the Expat Lifestyle?

A: Good.


Q: Do you miss home and family sometimes? How do you cope with homesickness?

A: I miss the nature. I buy brown cheese.


Q: What do you think about the locals?

A: I lived in Wisconsin and in Baltimore and now Los Angeles. The local mindset is very different. In the countryside, there is a naiveté and in the city, there is as well. There are just different types. I met a teenager in Wisconsin who’d never visited a big city before. That was pretty shocking.


Q: Was it easy making friends and meeting people? Do you mainly socialise with other expats in the USA? How did you manage to find a social circle there?  

A: Not really, I find most of my social activities are online, naturally since I work as an internet marketer.


Q: How does the cost of living in the USA compare to your home?

A: About the same. Rent is cheaper in Norway, but everything else is more expensive so it makes up for that.

  • Q: How much is a cup of coffee?

A: Depends, often it’s free, but at the coffee shop like 5 bucks.

  • Q: How much is a meal in an inexpensive restaurant?

A:  34 dollars.

  • Q: How much is a meal in an expensive restaurant?

A:  90 dollars.

  • Q: How much is a bottle of wine? How about a pack of cigarettes?

A:  Wine is highly taxed, 30 dollars for the cheap one. Tobacco is like 40 dollars for a small box.


Q: Do you have any tips for future expats when it comes to opening a bank account in the USA?

A: Get a personal number as soon as possible because you need it first. It’s like a social security number kind of.


Q: How will you describe your experience with government paperwork such as applications for Visa and work permits? Why is that so?

A:  Fine, they are strict about permits in general. You can’t buy a snowmobile or a gun easily at all.


Q: Would you say that healthcare in the USA is reliable? Any preferred clinics or advice for expats?

A: Yes, Medical tourism is a thing. Don’t tell everyone you are American though because the doctors are afraid of getting sued.



Q: Did you secure a health insurance in Norway or the USA? What should be the essentials in the coverage for expats, in your opinion?

A: Travel insurance.


Q: What was the most memorable about the packing and moving process to the USA? Which was the mover you chose and how was your experience with them?

A: Not much.


Q: What is the biggest challenge that you have faced as a new expat?

A: Going back and forth there is a lot of cultural difference.


Q: What do you think are the positive and negative sides of living in the USA?

A: American health system is poor. The mindset is better here. You can run a business more easily here.


Q: What are the best things to do in the area? Any particular recommendations for future expats?

A: LA has a vibrant music scene. There’s pretty much everything you can think of here.


Q: Do you have plans to move to a different country or back home in the future?

A: No.


Q: What tips will you give to expats living in the country?

A: Have a little bit of money. There are costs that you cannot foresee, like medical expenses possibly.


Q: Do you have favourite websites or blogs about the USA?

A: aftenposten.no