Life

IMG_4340 Moccasins dosent really belong in LA. But here you go. Bringing Europe to USC.

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Our beautiful Doheny Library surrounded by californian palm trees.

 

meeeI am not the one to upload selfies… but it was thinking you guys might want to see other parts of my body than my feet. And I was nice enough to remove the terrible dark circles i had under my eyes too.

Love

Christine

 

Struggles of a International Student

I just have to point out this hilarious article on buzzfeed!

I recognize myself in so many of them! Seriously I have been drinking for years and now you are telling me I cant drink legally anymore?? And the constant search of a green card husband and always asking friends “Can I get deported for this?”… its a struggle being international student and you would think I would end after a few years, but believe me the struggle continues…

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My British friend Eve and me

Heres my list of struggles:

Paperworkssss..: Seriously.. is all these documents necessary? Do I really need a 120, a visa, fill out hundreds of documents disclaiming my right to my own life.. also you want me to get an apartment and a car.. but you wont give me a social security number?..

Identification: In Norway we have our ids on the back of over debit card (in the us, our debit card suddenly turns into a credit card of mysterious reasons..), so wherever we go we dont have an id. Therefore my solution have been taking my passport our every time I wanna go to our local college bar.. or even get a money order at CVS (a piece of value paper international students pay their rent and sorority with).

Checks: Like.. what the hell is this? A third world country? who uses checks anymore? It was so confusing the first time I had to pay my apartment rent with a check. I think Europe stopped using those in the 80s..

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Getting my green card guys! .. no I am not; just have presents at my sorority

Distances: “omg. its soo far”.. no its just your LAZY LA legs that dont like to put one foot infront of the other and MOVE. A walk thats longer than 5 minutes is considered a hike, and the car is considered the only method of transportation. Stairs are also unheard off, and in my apartment complex I see people take the elevator down 1 floor to go to the gym (this is not normal guys.. heard about leg day?)

Food: No it is not normal to have desserts or something sweet after dinner every day.. (okay I know they do this other places than Europe, but in the rural country of Norway, sugar was considered luxury during WW2 and a lot of our grandparents/parents grew up believing chocolate war only meant for Saturdays)

Also the food size is just ridiculous. I actually tossed out my dinner plates here cause they were seriously bigger than my head.

 

Being a international student has its perks and its downsides, and I always run into funny and awkward situations where the most ordinary things for americans just sound so weird to me. The other day I noticed accustomed I had gotten to americans pregame: 6 shots in 30 min before you go out, compared to a bottle of wine during a 4 hours long pregame in Europe.

Its an adjustment, but its a fun one, even tho it can be quit frustrating at times.

Good luck guys.. you will need it!

Christine

 

 

 

 

My favorite places in LA

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La Conversation in West Hollywood: After a long night out there is nothing better than spending the morning eating an salmon Philadelphia omelet with an Americano at La Conversation. It looks like a little Parisian café with rude and unorganized waiters that forgets your order and barley speaks English: Its my little Paris in LA. While you are waiting for the food that takes forever (seriously, 40 min for an omelet?) you can enjoy the mini croissants, mini muffins and buns in cute little baskets. Terrible service, amazing food, great location and calm environment: Success!

Café Audrey in Hollywood: Amazing salads, ice coffees and bakeries. Eaten here a few times at its so nice and cozy and the coffee tastes more European than the regular too sweet American starbucks latte. It has great food, environment and service, however the location in the middle of Hollywood is not exactly ideal.

XIV: Its the perfect place to spend your Sunday if you are not ready for Monday. Its a summer party club that spurs hysteria every time it opens. Lots of champagne, costume events, and good music.

Villa Blanca in Beverly Hills: To work here you have to be a model.. and to get a table you should always reserve. Its a great restaurant with beautiful waiters, good food and amazing white overindulged interior.

Four Seasons Rodeo Dr: I love this hotel! It has a very posh atmosphere but the service is good. Enjoy a drink at the many bars or eat dinner in their nice restaurant. If you are lucky you might get invited into one of the weddings being held at the huge ballroom there.

Praktiske tips ved ankomst til Los Angeles

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Du er endelig i Los Angeles, the city of Angels! Men hva nå? Hvor skal du bo? Hvordan kommer du deg rundt? Hva med mobil? Bankkort?… jeg har stått der selv og her er mine tips til deg:

Bosted: Jeg visste ikke hvor jeg skulle bo når jeg landet i Los Angeles for to år siden. Jeg hadde bare snakket med to jenter på facebook (les mer om å finne roommates her). Vi tre sammen gikk å så på leilighet og hvordan vi fant vår leilighet kan du lese her.

Hvordan komme seg rundt i Los Angeles:

Bil:Los Angeles er byen laget for biler og derfor er det lettest å komme seg rundt med bil. Trafikken er forferdelig, alle blir redde når det regner og kjører kjempe sakte, and forvent at alle er høy, fulle eller begge deler etter kl 11 om kvelden.

Los Angeles is a city made of cars and therefore you will get around the most easy by car. The traffic is horrible, everyone gets scared when it rains, and expect every one to be either high, drunk or both after 11 pm.

Bus og tog: Ja det finnes bus og tog i LA, bare ingen vet om det.. LA er som sagt bilens hovedstad og svært få bortsett fra de aller fattigste og europere bruker det. Les mer her om bus og tog i LA.

Taxi: Ikke så dyrt for oss Nordmenn, men etter å ha bodd en stund i LA som student vil du skjønne at kontinuerlig taxi kjøring kan bli veldig dyrt. Her er noen generelle priser: Santa Monica til Hollywood: 40 Dollar

Downtown til Hollywood: 20 Dollar

USC til Hollywood: 25 Dollar

Har ikke taxi sjaføren på takstameteret be han skru det på, se etter bevis på at han FAKTISK er en taxi sjafør. Noter deg nr til sjaføren. Virker prisen urimlig så er den ofte det. Husk å tipse godt for gode sjafører, vanlig er alltid 10% og 20% for god service.

Her er noen taxi hjemmesider:

LA Yellow Cab

Bell Cab

United Independent Taxi

Mobil: Ta med deg I-20, pass og penger for å fikse mobil. Du må finne en mobil levrandør og møte opp i egen person for å fikse dette. Finn et selskap som tar internationale studenter. En av dem er T-mobile.

Jeg er ikke fornøyd med T-mobil, de er dyre og servicen dårlig, men det er en av de få jeg har kunnet få mobil abonnoment av uten Social Security Number.

Et tips er å kjøpe en ulåst mobil og heller kjøpe separat abonnoment. Anbefaler da verizon. T-mobil har også tilbud.

Vær forberett på at bindings tiden i USA er 2 år, du kan betale deg ut, men det er dyrt. Du kan også komme deg ut av avtalen ved å si at du er international student, det er egene regler for dette som ikke jeg har så veldig god kjennskap til.

Bankkort: Som international student uten Socical Security Number (SSN) can du ikke få debit kort. Debit kort er hva vi nordmenn bruker som regel, det vil si at vi bruker penger vi har ikke mastercardet. Du vil istede få et credit card av banken. Jeg brukte Bank of American og har vært fornøyd med det, men har heller begynt å bare bruke mitt norske. Vær forberett på at du ikke trenger pin kode i USA og dermed kan alle bruke kortet ditt mange steder som ikke krever id, selv ditt norske.

Slik går du frem:

– ta med deg Pass, 1-20 og penger

– gå til en bank

– og si at du er international student og trenger bankkort. De vet hva de skal gjøre. Som regel…

God tur og lykke til!

Roof of Oslo

We often think that everywhere else in the world is more beautiful than where you are right now. When I was in Paris with my french friends, they felt like they were rediscovering Paris again. They had taken its beauty for granted (how can ANYONE take Paris for granted??), and together with me who was discovering the city for the first time they saw their own city with new eyes. Thats the way I kind of feel for Oslo too. Before I thought it was ugly, but if you really wanna see an ugly city just go to LA.. LA has its places of course, but the whole place needs a makeover.

Here are some pictures taken from my friends apartment in Bogstadveien, Oslo:

 

the air is so clean and the buildings so beautiful, and the Oslo is such a green city!

How to Gather Information About Universities

Studying outside your own country is a wonderful experience that I believe everyone should have. Not only does it improve your language skills, but it also gives you a whole new way of thinking about the world. You learn about people, culture, food, language and philosophies in a environment that improves your learning skills because you have to be more open since you are all of a sudden at a new place.

If you are interested in studying, working and living abroad there is a few tips I would like to give you on how to gather information because that can be difficult.

1: search the web for organisations that work with helping student abroad. They often have a lot of information, so send them an email. For norwegians a good way to start is ANSA and Gateway (even though I am not a fan of Gateway).

2: Search the web for student blogs. Finding other students that live in the country you would like to study in is a very good source. Do not hesitate on sending them an email with your questions, like so many of you have done to me.

3: How much does it cost and how much can you get in scholarships? For norwegians that would be lanekassen.no

4: Which school is the best? top universities  and Times Higher Education. These are good sites which provide information and rankings over the worlds best universities

Have fun!