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Get funding for your international project

Ready to boost your business through international work exchanges?

Norec is a government agency under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We provide grants for businesses, organisations, and institutions to send and receive employees for work exchanges between Norway and countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

With a grant from Norec for work exchanges, your business can:

  • Learn more: Exchange knowledge, expertise, and best practices with companies in other countries.
  • Increase diversity: Gain new insights from the brightest minds from other countries.
  • Boost efficiency: More employees mean greater capacity for your business.
  • Expand your reach: Access entirely new markets and networks.

How others have used grants from Norec to achieve their goals

FAQ about work exchanges

  • Who can apply for a grant?

    Norec supports international partnerships in and between countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Norway.

    We accept applications from voluntary organisations, the public sector, and the private sector. Applicants must be based in Norway or one or more of Norec’s partner countries.

  • What does the grant cover?

    The grant covers all expenses related to the exchange itself, including travel, accommodation, salary, and insurance. Additionally, a sum is provided to cover administrative costs.

    Companies also receive funding for both employers and employees to attend preparatory courses before the exchange project begins. We also offer courses for employees after the exchange is completed.

  • What exactley is a work exchange?

    For over 20 years, Norec has provided grants for companies and organisations to send employees on work exchanges. These exchanges take place between Norway and countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

    Here’s an example to illustrate:

    A hospital in Norway has a collaboration with a hospital in India. This is called a partnership. They want to learn from each other.

    A young Indian nurse and a young Norwegian nurse swap places for a year. This is known as an exchange.

    During their exchange, the nurses face challenges, achieve successes, and experience both highs and lows. They acquire new skills, learn a new language, and immerse themselves in a different culture. In short, they gain valuable insights about both their profession and themselves.

    When they return home, they use everything they have learned to help their hospitals provide better healthcare services to their local communities.

    Before, during, and after the exchange, Norec offers courses and guidance for both the nurses participating in the exchange and their supervisors. This ensures that all parties gain maximum benefit from the exchange.

  • Who can participate in a work exchange?

    The Norec grant for exchanges is primarily intended for young employees under 35 years old.

    Participants in the exchange program must either be current employees of the company or recruited specifically for the exchange.

    Exceptions to the age limit can be made under certain conditions.

    Norec generally has no restrictions on the number of participants you can send at the same time. Each project will be evaluated on an individual basis.

  • What countries are eligible for support?

    The Norec grant is available for specific countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. See the full list by following the link below.

    If there are three or more companies, organisations, or institutions collaborating, we can make exceptions to the country list if two of the countries qualify.

  • How do I find a company/organisation to exchange with?

    Unfortunately, Norec does not have the capacity to find relevant partners for companies and organizations seeking exchanges.

    We are working on a digital portal where you can leave your contact information, but it will not be ready until late 2024 at the earliest.

    If you do not have a company or organization in your network, we recommend researching companies abroad that excel in the areas you wish to learn about and contacting them directly.

  • What is Norec?

    The Norwegian Agency for Exchange Cooperation (Norec) is Norway’s only competence centre for international exchange collaboration. As an agency under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, we are part of Norway’s overall effort to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

    Primarily, we provide grants so that your workplace can send employees on exchanges to another country, while also receiving an employee in return.

    Our method is mutual exchange. This means we work with international partnerships that wish to use exchanges to learn from each other and develop.

    In addition, we:

    • Manage the Norec Network – a network of former exchange participants.
    • Provide grant to Norwegian political parties and their youth wings to support their work on democracy development in developing countries.
    • Increasing the number of Norwegians in the UN and other international organisations that are strategically important for Norway.

Check your eligibility for this grant scheme

Norec has four absolute requirements that must be met to qualify for a grant. Click through the test to find out if a Norec exchange is for you.

Take the test

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10 benefits of a work exchange

  • 1. Adaptable and motivated employees

    Employees who have worked abroad are trained to think outside the box. Their experience abroad makes them innovative. Living and working in another country changes attitudes, enhances cultural understanding, and instills new values.

  • 2. View the business with fresh eyes

    Having employees from a partner company on exchange brings in new ideas and encourages the rest of the organization to think outside the box. This benefits both the employee and the company, fostering innovation and creativity.

  • 3. Learn about new markets

    Establishing yourself in new markets can provide competitive advantages. If your competitors are not yet operating in your targeted country, you benefit from being the first to establish your brand. Through the partnership, you gain a broader network and valuable insights into the market you are entering.

  • 4. Increase international exposure

    Become part of Norec’s global network. We collaborate with over 200 partner organizations, offering a wealth of knowledge and contacts. Norec organizes partner meetings, courses, and alumni networks, all of which are accessible to our partners.
  • 5. Make your company attractive to new employees

    The best minds think green and forward-looking. By demonstrating that you take social responsibility seriously and care about international issues, you become a more attractive employer.

    Additionally, a work exchange can serve as a reward for exceptional performance.

  • 6. Improve communication and international understanding

    International expertise encompasses various levels, from knowledge of other countries, cultures, governance systems, and business methods to the ability to view the world and one’s field in a global context.

  • 7. Reduce the risk og your international ventures

    Through the partnership, you become familiar with the country you are targeting and gain in-depth knowledge of its landscape and risks. Understanding the local environment helps reduce these risks.

  • 8. Bli ein del av løysinga, ikkje problemet.

    By engaging in international work exchange programs, your company contributes positively to global challenges. This proactive approach ensures you are contributing to solutions rather than adding to the issues.

  • 9. See your field with new eyes

    Working abroad provides a fresh perspective on your profession. Exposure to different practices and ideas helps you innovate and stay ahead in your field.

    Perhaps the solution to your problem exists on another continent?

  • 10. Ver med på eit eventyr

    Participating in a work exchange program is not just about professional growth; it’s also an exciting adventure. It offers the chance to explore new places, meet diverse people, and experience different cultures while advancing your career.

    Growth and the greatest opportunities lie outside your comfort zone.

Read about other Norec-supported project