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(Norsk lengre nede i innlegget/ Scroll down for Norwegian)
It has just started to go more and more up for me that I will be moving to a foreign country, a foreign family for a whole year. This is insane! It is an indescribable feeling. Only 12 days left. Sometimes I regret a little that I am going, I don´t want to leave friends and family for a whole year. I am afraid to miss too much! Which is kind of funny considering that it is I who will experience most in the United States.
So now I am counting down days, packages, spending as much time as possible with friends and family and trying not to put too high expectations. Thinking it's better not to have too high expectations so I will not be disappointed, but happy about the year if it goes well! So we'll just see how it goes.
The journey to the United States is going to be long and tiring! Because the plane go as early as 6:30 am from Oslo, I have to take flight from Bergen to Oslo the night before. I am thankfully joined by another exchange student at the airport. I have 2 hours landing in Amsterdam and 4 hours in Portland before I finally arrive final destination at Spokane International ariport. From there it is only 1 hour drive before I arrive in my new home. I'll just make the best of the entire trip!
Det begynner å gå mer og mer opp for meg at jeg skal flytte til et fremmed land, til en fremmed familie for et helt år. Det er helt SYKT! Det er en ubeskrivelig følelse. Bare 12 dager igjen. Noen ganger angrer jeg faktisk litt på at jeg skal dra, på en måte har jeg ikke lyst å forlate venner og familie for et helt år. Er redd for å gå glipp av for mye! Noe som er litt morsomt med tanke på at det er jeg som vil oppleve mest i USA.
Så nå teller jeg ned, pakker, tilbringer så mye tid som mulig med venner og familie og prøver å ikke sette alt for høye forventlinger. Tenker det er bedre å ikke ha for høye forventninger så jeg ikke blir skuffet, men heller glad om året blir fint! Så får vi bare se hvordan det går.
Reisen til USA kommer til å bli lang og slitsom! Fordi flyet går så tidlig som 06:30 fra Oslo, er jeg nøtt til å ta fly fra Bergen til Oslo kvelden før. Jeg får heldigvis selskap av en annen utvekslingselev på flyplassen og kannsje noen til. Jeg har 2 timer mellom landing i Amsterdam og 4 timer i Portland før jeg endelig annkommer final destinasjon Spokane international ariport. Derfra er det bare 1 times kjøring før jeg er fremme i mitt nye hjem. MYE venting med andre ord, får bare gjøre det beste ut av det!
I'm scared but excited. I know a little about the family, the school and the state, but really I know almost nothing. I do not know how it`s actually going to be. It is a bit scary, a little scary to think that I will stay with a foreign family in a foreign country. 4550.59 miles from Norway, the country I was born and raised in. The country I feel confident in who I know so well. I have read and heard so many horror stories about exchange students who have a bad year. Coming to families who never should have been approved. This applies to ALL organizations; AFS, EF, Explourius, StS, ETC. So this can happen to anyone ... including me. The only thing that makes me not terrified of how the family is going to be, is that they already had a student who was satisfied with her year. That means they are a friendly and nice family. Many people tell me how they think it's going to be, but they have not been there. Everyone is different, everyone look, behave and handle things in different ways.
It took a long time before it dawned on me that I will be away from my friends and family for a whole year. In fact it has not gone up for me yet. I have always dealt with being away from mom and dad, but I've never been farther away from them more than 2-3 weeks. How will it be for a whole year? So that is one more thing I do not know; How will I cope with homesickness. I do not think fear should control you, so I decide to jump into it. Sometimes it is good to do something you feel is scary. That is the way to overcome the fear.
(scroll further down for Norwegian)
Jeg er redd, men spent. Jeg vet litt om familien, skolen og staten, men egentlig vet jeg nesten ingenting. Jeg vet ikke hvordan det faktisk kommer til å bli. Det er litt skummelt, litt skummelt å tenke på at jeg skal bo hos en fremmed familie i et fremmed land. 4550,59 mil fra Norge, det landet jeg er født og oppvokst i. Landet jeg føler meg trygg på og kjenner så godt. Jeg har lest og hørt så mange skrekkhistorier om utvekslingsstudenter som har et dårlig år. Kommer til familier som aldri skulle vært godkjent. Dette gjelder for alle organisasjoner; AFS, EF, Explourius, StS, ETC. Så dette kan skje med hvem som helst ... inkludert meg. Det eneste som gjør at jeg ikke er livredd for hvordan familien kommer til å være, er at de allerede har hatt en student som var fornøyd med årt sitt. Det betyr at de er en vennlig og hyggelig familie. Mange mennesker forteller meg hvordan de tror det kommer til å være, men de har ikke vært der. Alle er forskjellige, alle ser, oppfører seg og håndtere ting på forskjellige måter.
Det tok lang tid før det gikk opp for meg at jeg skal være borte fra venner og familie for et helt år. Faktisk har det ikke gått opp for meg ennå. Jeg har alltid håndtert det å være borte fra mamma og pappa, men jeg har aldri vært lenger borte fra dem mer enn 2-3 uker. Hvordan vil det være for et helt år? Så det er ennda en ting jeg ikke vet; Hvordan vil jeg takle hjemlengsel? Jeg syns ikke frykten skal kontrollere deg, så jeg bestemmer meg for å hoppe i det. Noen ganger er det lurt å gjøre noe du føler er skremmende. Det er slik du overvinner.
Hi! I will probably write some of the posts in both english and norwegian, and some in just english. And of course If you have any questions at all don`t be afraid to mail me. (firstname.lastname@example.org) I remember how many questions I had before I applied and when I did apply!( No questions are stupid!)
The day started VERY early! Dad and I got up 4 am to catch the plane from Bergen to Oslo. I function unfortunately not so well without a certain number of hours of sleep. Something that went very badly for my trip to the U.S. Embassy. I managed to forget my passport. Hahaha ... never going to do that again! Luckily, I came in with a credit card, got everything done with my interviews and sent passport by post to the embassy when I got home. (My passport returned with my visa, so now everything is thankfully fixed) Forgetting the pass is NOT fun. I do not think anyone has given me such an ugly look like the guy who processed my application. He looked at me like I was the dumbest person in the world! Something I felt at the moment!
EF preparation is a weekend where all the students going to USA and Great Britain met each other. We did "get to know each other games", listened to some of the EF leaders talk about how it would be and what our expectation was. Some of the exchange students who went to USA/Great Britain some years ago also told us a little bit about what to expect. The weekend was GREAT! It is also good to get to know other people in your situation. It is always easier to talk to someone in the same situation as you!
As I said the weekend was great. Everyone was divided into different colors (groups). Saturday we had a "party night" where all the different groups had a performance. My group was lucky enough to win with the best performance! Woho! We had a super leader who helped us along the way, and answered questions about the exchange. We where team orange btw! :D
Here are some pictures/videos from the weekend. ( all pictures/videos belongs to EF)
Team Orange!! :D
Some of the leaders!
Hello! so I thought I'd tell you a little about the beginning, how it all started.
It all started september 2013
For several years I have been wanting to study in the U.S., but it was not until a friend of mine was going to Germany that my parents and I actually began to talk if I were to go on exchange. I'd most like to travel to Australia, which mom and dad not like the idea of. So I tried with the United States, which they agreed to think about. Their wish was of course England, but as you can see we decided that it would be the United States.
(EF stands for "Education First". Founded in 1965 by entrepreneur Bertil Hult, EF is a privately-held company with 15 divisions that offer a range of educational programs from language training, educational travel, and academic degrees to cultural exchanges. With a mission to open the world through education, EF has helped people of all ages and nationalities become citizens of the world.)
I read a bit about the different organizations you could travel with; EF, Explorius, STS, AFS, etc. I actually began to apply to AFS. But for some reason tI started to apply at EF too. Felt the application there was slightly easier. After many health forms and other forms were sent I started to wait. I had some problems along the way, because the people who worked on the American EF office wanted me to elaborate more in my papers.
After waiting for about 8 months I finally got the message. I got a host family ..... in .... Washington (state)! Whop Whop, the state who is most similar climate as Bergen (western Norway) (Btw: I live in Bergen). I have to say I was hoping for a little bit warmer climate. But its ok. I actually came to a little warmer part of washington; Valley, it is just about 1 hour from Spokane. It is actually just 1 hour to Canada and 45 minuets to the neighbor state Montana. Washington is an incredibly lovely state! I am very grateful that I get to experience it and its gorgeous scenery!
The school I am going to is NOT what I expected at all! It is about 20-30 student, the only sport they have is archery. The students go to a school nearby for sport. In the winter they also go skiing almost every week. Paideia High School is a multi-district innovative public school program that provides a challenging and unique educational opportunity. Paideia?s rigorous program helps students develop their intellectual skills and knowledge base so they can begin the journey to becoming well-educated citizens and lifelong learners.
Some about my Host Family: Mother, father and daughter (1997) + 4 dogs. They live only a short distance from the school. I have been talking to the daughter on facebook and facetime; she seems incredibly nice! The whole family seems like a very nice family who often spend time together. They had their 1st student there now this year 2013 to 2014, so it's very nice that they have some experience! I Can`t wait to meet them!! And I can`t wait to start my journey!
Right now the blog is not quite finished, but come back in a day then it probably ready :) Enjoy yourselves with this cute picture of a pug so long!
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