Sunday, August 31, 2014

My classes this fall

Now I have finally been to transfer orientation so that I can sign up for classes. The orientation itself wasn't that special. First we went to an information session where we got some encouraging words from the staff and current students, and then I met the political science advisor and also my "personal" advisor who will help me with all the classes.

Since I'm really out in the last minute to register for classes I didn't have that many to choose from. This is what I ended up picking:

History: Social Change in Modern China
History: Nazi Germany and Hitler's Europe
Political Science: U.S. Campaigns and Elections
Political Science: Politics and Society in the New Europe
Political Science: State Governments: Laboratories of Democracy

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Skyline of the Day: The view from the rooftop at Seven

Document Check: Checked!

So earlier this week I went for document check at campus. It turned out that it was held at the part of the campus where I probably will have most of my classes, at the West bank.

I thought the document check was a one-on-one session, but it was apparently a group thing. It was pretty much me and 20 Chinese students and some from other countries. While waiting for the doors to open I listened to them talking, resisting to shout out "Nimen hao ma? Wo hui shuo yidiar Zhongwen" (How are you guys, I speak a little Chinese) as I've been studying Mandarin for a year. I didn't, but hopefully I will make some new Chinese friends before this year is over.

When it was our time we had to stand in line and then show our documents (passport and I-20) to the workers, and then sit down and fill out some papers, and listen to a presentation with some information about what to do next, and then it was over.

In this country often get those moments when I shake my head and think "Only in the USA". Like when I was walking on campus and heard sirens behind me. I expected to see a police car, but instead it was Goldy the gopher who came rushing by.

As I was a little early I decided to find the nearest Starbucks, and I got some inspiring words from Oprah.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

I'm back!

I'm back in the States and yesterday I did my first unoffical day at my new school, which I will tell more about in a while.

The weather is killing me but this is what downtown looked like during a skate in the sunset.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Q&A: Am I allowed to work if I'm studying?

Sandra: Even tho I'm a Swede it just seems right to ask the question in English haha! Well, I'm going to study English in San Francisco for 18 weeks at a school over there on a student visa and I was just wondering if you know anything about working while you're on a student visa in the states?

It's saving me some time to translate it too, so thanks! If you're only there for a semester then working on campus is probably your best shot. It's easy to get permission for that, you pretty much only have to go to the international advisor at your school who will sign some papers and you're good to go. The pay will probably not be so good though. At my old school the salary was about 8 dollars an hour.

If you stay in the United States for a longer time you can do OPT, optional practical training, instead. You can either work part-time for two years or full-time for one year, off campus. The latter is only for those who are done with their degree. I'm thinking about doing this, working for a year in the U.S. when I'm done with my bachelor. But in order to do so the job has to be associated with my major, and I also have to apply three months in advance and pay a fee of 380 dollars.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Current Status: Out of the Country

I've been in Sweden working all summer but I'm heading back to Minnesota soon. The semester starts the first week of September. Before that I have some things to do since I'm transferring to a new school:

Document check: I have to go to a meeting at the university and show them that all of my papers are in order.

ISOP: Orientation for international students where I suppose they will talk about how to dress warm in the winter and how to not break the visa rules, something like that.

Transfer orientation: Here you will learn how to register for classes, which I have not been able to do yet since I have to complete all of the above to remove my holds.

Welcome days (optional): I have signed up to a transfer event where I first go to a tailgating meeting and after that a football game.

Skyline of the Day: Glowing in the Sunset

Monday, August 18, 2014

Q&A: How can I move to the USA?

Sanna: Nice to have you back :) Because all the old writings are gone I have to ask was it hard to got licences/greencard to USA ? I have been thinking off moving to USA after finishing my studies here in Finland. Do you have any tips to spear to someone who wants to move in USA? 

Thank you! It's really tough to just move there. Before you even can think about getting a green card you have to get a job that can sponsor a work visa for you. The problem is that even if you find an employer that is willing to pay for the visa, it has to be a job where they can't find an American that can do the same job. So in other words; you have to be really skilled in what you do, or it has to be a job where your Finnish background is a lot of use. Of course there are exceptions, but in general it's really hard to work in the United States. There are some other ways, however. It's easy to get a student visa, if you want to continue with your studies or just try out the American college life. To work as an pair is also an option if you're under 26 years old.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

University of Minnesota

This fall I'm transferring to University of Minnesota, which is the biggest school in Minnesota. Visiting campus is a little like stepping into the world of Hogwarts, with cool buildings everywhere. 51,000 students are enrolled at "the U", like most people in MN call it. The tuition for one semester for me as a non-resident is 9,655 dollars.

The school mascot is a gopher, and you can see him at most games at the campus. I think the sports venues are pretty amazing there. The football stadium is called TCF Bank and the capacity is about 50,000 people. Minnesota Vikings is playing there this season as well since they don't have a stadium right now.

Skyline of the day

The Minneapolis skyline is amazing and it never looks the same. I can't stop looking at it, and now you don't have to either! Since I have so many pictures of it, every now and then I will post one under the title "Skyline of the Day".

Friday, August 15, 2014

Welcome back!

Here I am, once again, and as you can see, things have changed. First of all: I'm blogging in English again. There are different reasons for that (one of them is that I've missed some of my non-Swedish readers). This time it's all about the quality instead of quantity. My plan is to not write so much about my personal life anymore, but more informative. I know, that sounds a little boring but that's my own condition for blogging again, but mostly I'm hoping that this will be a blog for people that want to know more about what it's like to live in the USA as a foreigner, either if you're an American yourself or if you are curious about moving there. My focus is Minnesota and college life. I'm going to a new school now and hopefully you will follow me along the way where I explain how things work and a Swede's point of view.