thoughts of a senior

Its here: Your final year. You are now a senior. You have been praying for this day to come Graduatewhile you struggled yourself through endless midterms, all-nighters, group projects from hell, and finals, and now its finally here. But you no longer want this day to come.

The day you realize that your life cant evolve around costume parties, beer-pong, game days, and taking 6 shots and staying up all night to see if you can get your crush to actually notice you. This is the day when you have to begin figuring out your life.

Just a year ago, it all seamed so far away. But now your college goodbye is waiting at your doorsteps. Soon post-college life will come knocking, and hopefully it wont completely knock you down.

These last four years of your life has broken your heart, served you C´s on your tests, made you gain 10 pounds, had you fight with you best friends, (as a member of sorority: given you lots of social probations..), thrown up your last shot of fireball and the domino you just ate. These years have had you tumble and fall, but it has also made you rise each and every time.

You have learned that when you heart is broken nothing can cure it like a hug from a friend (or a few drinks and texts from your other crush). That professors are people and that they want you to succeed, and that the C´s you get can with a lot of hard work turn into A´s. The pounds you gained may have made you more self conscious, but lets be real no one wants to look like a stick skinny freshman either, so I am sure you look way better with those pounds on (otherwise there is always the gym and low carb). And your best-friend will forgive you: Cause you are best-friends and its gonna come a day when she is gonna want you to forgive her to. For the throw up and Dominos: you just have to learn that the last shot you get is always a waste of money .. and so is Dominos 2 am..

We stumble and we fall and look forward to the day we suddenly are gonna turn into sophisticated individuals who loves drinking wine and go to art shows, but when senior year suddenly approaches: We realize its happening too soon. We wanna continue having Dominos at 2 am.

People dont one day wake up and realize they are adult human beings that now has to pay bills other than college tuition, its a process. We slowly grow into these people, and we do it through those epic nights out and the falls we have in life. Each time we fall and college life knocks us down, we had the courage to get up and grow up from it so that we hopefully dont repeat the same mistakes (if not we make the same stupid mistake until we DO learn).

Learning is growing, and throughout your life you are gonna learn and therefore you are gonna grow. If you managed to stand up after a night of endless stupidity and broken hearts, then you can manage to stand up and face adult life each day for the rest of your life.

So when post graduation and adult life do come knocking just know that you are gonna be ready, not because you have done it before, but because college taught you endless times to get up and fight for yourself, your friends, your grades, and your dreams. Believe me: you are more prepared than you think.

If not, then Dominos is always there.

Starting College: What You Should Invest Your Money In

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1: Computer: Surprisingly you will need a computer when you go to college. You can of course manage without, but in todays techno based world its gonna be a struggle. You do not need a big expensive computer, go for something light weight as you will be caring it to class each day.. Or you can actually do like me and buy an ipad to type your notes on. Other than that I would just like to add that Mac book air is amazing.

2: Bike: I go to a university that does not allow cars to drive on campus. That means a lot of walking, despite the fact that a lot of the classes are in different buildings across campus. If you are going to a similar university I would recommend buying a bike so you dont turn up 5 minutes late to every single class you have.

3: Microsoft word: There are hundreds of way to get this for free, but if you are really nontechnical and just have a lot of money then you should definitely invest in Microsoft word. Lets face its: there is nothing that can quite compare to it.. sadly.

4: A School bag: If you are a little more health oriented then a backpack is probably a better option.

5: Underwear: Laundry sucks.. so buy underwear so you dont have to do your laundry every week. Seriously, best advice my mom gave me!

 

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

 

 

 

 

How to prepare for a new semester

Okay, you have stuffed yourself with so much Christmas food that you are seriously starting to doubt your body will ever return to its normal state before cabo springbreak, your mom is starting to secretly hope you and your mess will depart soon, you have heard all of the different versions of uncle Phil’s stories from when he was in college, and grandmas kisses have gone from being annoying to something you openly fear! Thank God the holidays are over! Here’s the guide on how to prepare yourself for yet another semester:

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1: delete old mail if you are like me and never delete any of your mail in your student email, now is the time to do so. Start your semester with a clean slate and an empty mailbox! Your New Years resolution should also be to keep it nice and clean throughout!

2: order your books and also sign up for classes if you have not done so.. Never buy your books at the book store, learn that Amazon is your new best friend! Another idea is to also email the professor and ask he if has any extra books he is willing to lend out!

3: wash all your cloths nothing is more annoying than washing cloths in college. It takes time, effort and sometimes money.. So wash your cloths at home and arrive on campus with an entirely clean wardrobe almost as good as new!

Not this kinda calender..

Not this kinda calender..

4: get a calendar and use it! My mom buys me a calendar every year and because of my goldfish memory I always use it! I swear I have been getting better grades after I started using it!

5: check where your classes are I always do the mistake of being too late for my first class cause I have no idea where it’s at! So please get a map and find out where your classes are before semester starts!

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Do you have any great ideas for how to start your semester?? Post them here!

How to rush in college

Rushing for me was extreme! Coming from little Norway I was so lost during the whole process; I even managed to sign up too late and almost had to miss the whole thing hadent it been for a white lie about the application not working (blabla) and a very sweet sorority girl who got me in.

DG

I think that for international students rushing is something we only see on film and TV shows where everything is exaggerated and overdone. But I will tell you one thing: those hair-flipping overexcited blond, tan, white teeth sorority girls you see on TV they do all exist.

day 1: We went through registration which I almost missed since I hadent signed up. But there was a quick meeting about sorority, alcohol policy, security, etc. Then we were given groups and let to go.

day 2 to 4: We met in the groups we were assigned (i was group 13.. and what they  call an Ad On because I registered late so I knew that non of the sorority had done any background check on me like they often do for girls they view as potential members). The first day we had three houses we had to talk to.

You stand with your group outside the sorority house and the girls in the sorority come out and sing and flip their hair for you. The hair flip looks kinda crazy and I was seriously concerned for their necks! But anayways, after some hairflipping you go into the house and one girl takes your hand and find a spot for you to sit down and have a talk. I had a normal conversations (Miley cyrus and the summer was hot topics) with all the girls i spoke to during the three days of conversations but some girls are also asked about their community service hours and very formal stuff.

We had three days of conversation days. I remember it being ridiculously hot outside so a few girls fainted during the 5 hours a day you run around from house to house all dressed up in heels and cute outfits. You barely had time to eat between the houses as they where all scheduled to be only 10 minutes apart and some houses where running late so you had to run for the next one in your heels and all.

I very quickly had my favorites which was Kappa, DG, Alpha Phi and Pi Phi. I think I liked them because the conversation went smoother and I got the feeling they wanted me.

After the last conversation day you have to run back to you group leader and pick 7 of your top houses. Then the next day you have to wake up early and meet up with your group leader which hands you a little piece of colored paper with those houses who invited you back for house tour. If one of the seven houses you chose the day before drops you because they did not believe you would fit in you will be invited back into one of the other houses that listed you. I got all the houses I listed, but I was most excited to see all my top 4 there.

Day 5: Day five is house tours which means that you are invited back into the house and are allowed to see other parts of the house than you saw the first day. These days felt even hotter and I actually ran home during my one hour break to shower (!) and redo my make up. House tours are more fun than conversation days as you get to see the house.

First there are some more hairflipping by the sorority girls before you go in in alphabetical order (this is because they had matched you up with someone). I remember most of the girls that gave me house tours was international students aswell because they want to match you up with someone they believe you would like. A lot of the girls I met during house tours are still girls I hang out with today so they do a good job on matching you!

After day 5 you rush back to your group leader who asks you to choose your top 4. At this point my favorites where Kappa, DG, ADPi (mostly because my roommate is in this house), and Pi Phi.

Day 6: This is slideshow day, but first you have to meet up with your group leader to see which houses invited you back. At this point I was so nervous that I barely managed to look a my little pink peace of paper, but also this time I got all the houses I wanted!

I had my first house at 11 so I went back for a few more hours of sleep. Then I met up with my groups. Again it was dripping hot outside! A few girls fainted and I felt dizzy myself at a point because sometimes some of the sororities are a bit behind schedule so you therefore have to stand outside all dressed up, super stressed in the burning sun and wait for them to come out and get you.

During Slideshow day you get to see a slideshow or video of fun events the sorority have done. Its a way for them to show you that they are all nice, fun and cute girls. Slideshow days are less stressful as you get to sit down the entire time while watching a short little video, hear the girls sing and you even get food and drinks.

Then end of the day you meet up with your group adviser for the last time to choose your top two. I had to call my roommate and let her know I would be dropping her house. I really wanted to be in a house with her, but I quickly got the feeling that her house was not for me, and I also felt that the other houses wanted me more. So this time I choose Kappa and DG.

day 7: same process as before, you wake up early and meet up with your advisers to get to know which houses you got. It took me a few minutes to gather up the courage to even look at my slip. It is incridible how invested you get into this. You try so hard to make the houses you want like you and not getting invited back can feel like such a stab in the heart, almost like a breakup. Coming in as a international student it was totally unexpected for me that I would care this much about getting the houses I wanted. I luckily again was invited back to my top houses.

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day seven is preference day (because this is your preference houses). This is the more formal part of the recruitment process and you have to dress up very nice in heels and cocktail dresses. They have one girl from each house come out and walk you in. You get to sit down for a little meal while they have speeches, performances and entertainment for you. To me this part was a bit extreme as one of my top houses literally looked like they were having a wedding! The houses was decorated beautifully and everything was planned down to the very last details with food and everything.

Right after this you have to stand in line to electronically select your number 1 choice. There was maybe 100 girls in line when I got there as almost 700 girls are rushing! I choose DG as my first because it was a house that I really liked from the beginning and I felt I got really well along with the girls!

Evening day 7: this is when you get to find out which house you got into. All the sororities pick around 70 girls out of 1000 potential members so the competition is hard! At USC you meet up in the evening with your group members in jeans and a white shirt. At the same time you are handed a bid card which says which house you got into. Every girl around me would turn their card and start screaming, while some girls seemed less happy as they might not have gotten their top choice. This was perhaps the peak of my nervousness during rush. I started at the back of my card to gather up the courage to have a look. One of my group leaders looked at me and smiled: “You will be happy” she said, and I knew at that moment I had gotten into DG so I turned the card quickly and with proud letters it said: Welcome to Delta Gamma! I screamed! I felt so ridicules! But also so incredible happy!

1236606_10151689721984051_546419889_n After finding out which house you get into we at USC do the House Run where you run from campus to the row where your new sorority is. A long the way fraternity boys (which you have not been allowed to speak to during rush) have gathered to welcome the new girls. Its looks insane as 700 overly excited girls run all sweaty toward their house.

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At DG I had all my new sisters waiting for me with gifts and hugs, and it felt great to meet all of them and finally know that the week of rush hell was over!

 

 

 

5 student budget friendly ways to improve your skin

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1: use Cocosa oil as facial cream: this thing is magic! Not only is it super cheap:10 (?) dollars. But also works wonders on the skin. Since I started using it every day my skin has gotten so smooth and a lot of oldsunspots have even disappeared! scaring has disappeared. One of my

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2: use olive oil as night cream: cold pressed virgin olive oil is so good for you, both in your salad and as a night cream. Olive oil contains chemicals that smooths your skin and get rids of those pitches in the skin some of us have after acne. Amazing! But the oil is too thick to wear during the day so put it on before going to bed.
3: eat eggs: and get your b vitamins and protein! It’s really good for the skin! And also hair and nails! And they are really cheap!
4: green tea: I steal it from my apartment building, but a box of 50 costs 5 dollars at trader joes or so! Green tea I beneficial for a lot of things such as weight loss and fighting cancer! And the antioxidants in those 5 cups recommended every day will make your skin glow!

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5: a facial scrubbing brush: costs 10 dollars of sephora (or eBay for 3) and is cheaper than buying new facial scrubs every month or a clearosonic. It also is good to use everyday as it removes dirt and makeup. Use once a day together with you facial cleanser and you will quickly see results.
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Exercise: get sweaty and open up your pores to get rid if the dirt.
No tanning: seriously.. You know this!
Drink water: hydrate hydrate hydrate!

What 2013 taught me

Jardin I love those end of the year lists everyone makes. Its a fun way to remember the year that has gone by and also see if there was any valuable lessons that I can take with me into the new year.

1: Try to live in a different city: Of course I am talking about this summer when I lived in Paris! Despite seriously having some of the worst moments in my life while I was there, I still met some amazing people that I still keep in touch with, and I seriously learned that idea of not caring too much about school.  A grade freak like me would before Paris have cried myself to sleep over a bad grade, but in Paris I learned that skipping the last 4 hours of class to sit at cafees with my friends were far more valuable than any grade! (I will make that lesson nr 2)

3: There is always a way: Gash I am back discussing Paris(france) again, BUT when I nearly missed my flight in Nice I did everything in my power to get on that plane, even though that meant hitchhiking with a complete stranger on the back of a motorcycle… When thing dosent go your way, you are obliged to do anything in your power to make it go your way. It is not over before the plane leaves the ground (literary).Antoniette

4: Beauty arises from chaos: I wrote an essay about hip hop and Blues and learned the connection that musical styles often grow out of social struggles. Blues from minstrel and slavery, and hip hop from the Bronx in the 70s. I think its an important message as life often fall down upon us and we sometimes struggle to see where our next step will be, and its therefore important to remember that better things can aspire out of the muddle we sometimes get our self into.

5: Sororities are OKAY! I taught I would be stuck with a bunch of airheads, but I ended up being stuck with 250 amazing, smart and successful women! Sororities have their stereotypes, and although a lot of them are confirmed I have kinda changed my view on the stereotypes. That smiling blond overly excited girl is now me and for all the right reasons as being part of a sorority has taught me about smiling, and appreciating things a bit more. And I seriously understand why they are all so excited because being part of a group makes the fun even more fun. its kinda like giggling over silly things with your best friend, but now you have 250 of them.

DG6: A smile can get you far, and not smiling saves you a lot energy..: A smile can brighten any day and I love walking into my sorority and always see somone smiling and asking how my day was. I also saw the importance of smiling when we visited an elderly center up in hollywood and one lady started crying because she just loved the christmas joy we spread (and the cookies). Smiles send so much love so remember to smile. On the other side not smiling keeps the freaks off you. gash some people cant take no for an answer, and therefore looking like a mad cow solves the issue as no one dares to approach you!

7: Learn to forgive…

8: College is possibly the best time of your life: this one speaks for itself, if not just google it.

1441287_652741371445359_411421617_n9: Take the opportunities you are given: I have really practiced the YES word this year. Said yes to a free trip to miami, free stay in cannes, yes to paris, yes to joining a sorority, yes to being a model at oslo fashion week, yes to new friends, yes to vegas, yes to free stay in SF, sooo much yes

10: have fun. Fridays are not meant for the library. Go out

11: be the person you want to be remembered as: being in college with so many young people it often happens that someone passes away at a too early age. I remember reading about one usc student who died tragically in Cabo last springbreak, and it struck me how such an amazing person he sounded like. He will definitely be remembered as a great guy. And off of that I think its important to remember that we dont live forever so therefore appreciate the moments we are given with people that you love and who loves you, and try to emphasize the good qualities within you so that people remember you as genuine good, (and not as a bitch to likes to control everyones life)

12: have a schedule that works for you. I like to sleep 12 hours every day.. and i therefore have a schedule that helps me with that.

 

 

Tips for utenlandsstudenter

1: Prisforskjeller: Som nordmann lever du ganske bra i andre land fordi alt er så dyrt i Norge i forhold. Derfor blir de 200 kr på en taxi-tur inn til byen regnet som billig, inntil du faktisk tar en titt på kontoen din og oppdager at den ENE taxituren er blitt til 20 og den sammenslåtte prisen en helt annen.

Det er så veldig lett å tro man kan leve som kongelig fordi man plutselig er i utlandet, men husk at du fortsatt har et lån og stipend å forholde deg til og at du som utlandsstudent bare får utbetalt EN gang i halvåret. Tell meteren på dopapiret, handle på salg og undersøk hvor du får billigst mat. Det tar tid å venne seg til en annen pris på en livsstil så ikke la deg lure.

2: Facebook: Meld deg inn i grupper relatert til skolen din. På denne måten kan du bli kjent med eller bare se hvem du faktisk skal gå på skole med. Det er også lettere å finne noen å bo med på denne måten.

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3: Sånn som på film: jeg tror det er lett å tenke at college eller universitet skal bli slik vi har sett på film og tv. Og det første som kommer til å slå deg er at alle ser betraktelig ynger ut enn på tv. I usa er de bare 18 når de begynner på college, du som nordmann er 19 eller 20 og kulturelt mye mer voksen enn de du begynner på skole med. Dette kommer av en annen kultur rett og slett. Grøftefylla som du holdt på med på ungdomsskolen og videregående er standard første året på college, og mange unge prøver alkohol for første gang.

Men selv om de kanskje ikke er HELT slik du så for deg så vil du oppdage at når du er ferdig med skolen og ting faktisk var ganske likt sånn som på TV.. Etter å ha snublet deg gjennom en fireårig amerikansk bachelor vil du oppdage at du plutselig har blitt del av en college kultur, en liten boble som beskytter deg mot omverdenen og når du står der med graduation hatten på hodet og diplomet i hånden vil du plutselig se ting litt annerledes. Du skjønner det når du står der 😉

4: Ta deg tid: Som nevnt over så vil du plutselig en dag stå på gradution podiet og høre navnet ditt bli lest opp for avgangsklassen din. Du har gledet deg til denne dagen gjennom alle de fire årene, men så er du plutselig der. Det heter seg at det ikke er destinasjonen som er målet med reisen, det er det du opplever frem til du når det. Ta deg tid og nyt den studietiden du har nå. Det haster ikke å vokse opp, karakterer betyr ikke all verden og du kommer til å angre hvis de eneste minnene du kan mimre om er de mangfoldige timene du tilbragte innerst inne i kroken på biblioteket. Du kommer i mål en gang, men frem til da så haster det ikke.

5: tid til skole også: Selv om du skal nyte studietiden så må også studier passe inn. Det er ingen nytelse å stryke på eksamen, eller få en dårlig karakter så finn et balansepunkt der du får til begge deler.

Lykke til

Christine

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!