Monday, September 15, 2014

Home away from home

What's funny about living abroad is that you kinda forget that that's what you're doing, after a while. When I hear about people studying abroad I find myself thinking "I want to do that too", just to realize...duh! Sometimes I have those moments when I have to remind myself that this is not "normal", this has not always been my life. So sometimes people around me get to experience me shouting out "This is so American!", and it can be for the simplest things, like driving on the freeway. Today I had that moment when I walked by the Emerson school and saw the yellow buses.

Baking from scratch - for real

Everything just becomes so much harder to bake and cook when you live on the other side of the Atlantic. I often make things from scratch. And from scratch, I really mean from scratch. For the election today I did a meringue cake. At home I would just have bought a ready made meringue, but now I made one myself. Except for that, this cake is so easy to do. You just mix meringue, whipped cream with raspberries, homemade milk chocolate truffle, strawberries, raspberries, and chopped chocolate.


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Election Day in Sweden!

Today, Sunday, is an exciting day in Sweden. We're having our general election and voting for who we want to rule in the parliament and in the counties.

What is really cool about Sweden is that so many people vote. Last general election almost 85 percent did it. Since I'm in the USA I had to do it by mail this year.

Right now it's leaning against us getting a new prime minister, belonging to the Social Democrats. Sadly, also the Sweden Democrats, known as an anti-immigrant party, seems to get more votes than in the last election.

The newspaper that I work for when I'm home is clearly taking its stand against this party, even though the media in general in Sweden tries to be as objective as possible.


This is what the newspaper did to the parliament house: "Vote no to racism".



Thursday, September 11, 2014

It's the sound of the police

I grew up in a small town in northern Sweden. Luckily, it's a pretty safe place. But if something were to happen, it would take at least 35 minutes for the police to show up, if you're lucky, or it could take hours depending on where in the county they are. Here in the US the cops are everywhere. Even the university has it's own police department, which is the case for most bigger schools.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Skyline of the Day

This one I took during a walk yesterday. It's from my Instagram (breakawaympls).

The history that never should be forgotten

I've been in school for about a week now and so far it's going good. My most interesting class is the one about Hitler and Nazi Germany. One of the required books is actually really good for being something you have to read for school. Since it was out of stock at the bookstore at the university I bought it as an e-book. Apparently it's over a 1000 pages long, but so far I can recommend it to anyone who is interested in the holocaust.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Friday, September 5, 2014

And one day I want to be the one to stand there, look up, and think "I made it!"

In May I got a chance to go to the College of Liberal Arts graduation at University of Minnesota. It was impressive and really what you expect a graduation to be like. This is the school that I hopefully will graduate from in two years, so this will be what it looks like for me that day.


 
 
 
 
 Their graduation speaker was R.T. Rybak, the former mayor of Minneapolis.
 
 
 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

First Day of School

Today I spent my first real day in school. So far the classes don't seem all too different from the ones I took at my community college. There is one big difference though: The classes are much bigger and I guess that is also one of the reasons why there are often TAs (teaching assistants) at universities.

A teaching assistant is often just a student like me, but they usually have already completed their bachelor's degree (or more). They are pretty much running the class. In my classes they don't do the lectures, but everything else. So they are the ones who will grade my papers and exams, not my professors. So in other words; they have most of the power.

I shouldn't be all too judgemental just yet, but I'm not all too found of the idea. At my community college I paid four times less in tuition and there the professors were the ones who did everything, and most of them had PhDs. At universities the teachers are so busy with other things that they don't have all that time for the students.

You could tell that it was the first day of school, there were people everywhere.

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.