My first american football game!!

Today I went to my first american football game. I have to admit that I didnt get anything of what was going on out on the field. The game has so many weird rules and ways of playing, so I know its going to take some time for me to become properly into the understanding of it. The en enthusiasm and energy in the audience is just amazing though, and makes it all soo much fun !!  It became even more fun when we won!! everybody just went crazy!!  GO CARDS!!!

I went with Angela!!  she is an exchange student from Spain. It is so nice to have someone to share it with. Someone that is equally new to this crazy game!!

 

Now I am off to sleep. Ready for Chicago tomorrow!!   

HELLE






Loong day!

Today felt like foreever!!  I didnt have a particulary longer day than usual, but it just felt as if it would never end. I suppose it has something to do with the bad weather. It has been raining all day, so it makes it very gloomy outside. -  I got my exchange schedule today - which is basically a sheet with my exchange meeting dates on. In these meetings all of the exchnage students at school get together and do fun things. After a while, we will be going on trips together - outside of school. I look forward to getting to know all of them !!  We are a group of 6 students. We are four girls - one from Chile, one from Spain, one from Italy and ME from Norway!!   And two guys. One from Denmark and one from Colombia!!   It is nice to have someone to share my experiences and feelings with. Especially since they are going through the excact same things as myself!!!

 

Tomorrow night I am going to my first American football match. The schools football team have games every friday, but this is the first one that they have had at  "home" for a while!! I am so excited to finally be able to go to one! -  I am going with my new friend Angela, and we will hopefully meet Beatrice throughout the evening. She will finish working around 9pm.

On Saturday I am going with my family to Chicago for a soccer match -  and we will be staying there until sunday. I will be meeting some of Sheri's (host mum) family; which will be greeat!!   and sunday evening I have my first soccer match with my new team !!  We are playing against DeForest.  I am soo nervous!!   but it is so much fun being back on the field!! 

See you soon CHICAGO!! 

 

HELLE 

Soccer and homecoming

Yesterday I had my first soccer practice! After not having played for about two years, I have to admit that it was greaat; but also very exhausting being back.  I was put on the U-18 team, and need to fill out a registration form to get a player ID. With this ID I can be able to participate in matches and tournaments; which will be so much fun!! This soccer club is not in collaboration with the school's team.The school only has soccer for girls in the spring - between march and june.  Therefore I will be on this team untill the school team starts, and I will change team!

 

I am looking forward to weekend now. Tomorrow night (friday) I have planned to go out for dinner with some girls at school at a restaurant here in SP. Then on saturday we are going shopping together. Since there is only about two till three weeks left until homecoming - we will spend saturday at the mall, looking for dresses and shoes together !  Looking forward to spending time with them and getting to know all of them better. I  havent really thought that much about how homecoming will be. All I know is what I have seen in the typical american movies. Hopefully it will be close to the movie dream!! 

 

HELLE

 

Two weeks in Sun Prairie!

I am not good at remebering my blog. There is so much going on in my head, and I just always seem to forget. I have now been in Sun Prairie for two weeks. It has honestly been two rough weeks, where I have had the chance to meet plently of new people, spoken english daily and seen great new places. 

Last thursday we went to Tennesse for a family wedding. Nashville was a great city, and crazy hot!! The wedding was amazing too, and it was great to experience the american way of celebrating it!   I got to meet alot of my host dads family there, which was nice! Hopefully I will get to meet many of them again!

 


On tuesday this week, school started. The first day, was a short day, where we started of by having an assembly in the gym, and then a quick introduction of each of my classes. The subjects I have chosen this year is.

- Anatomy

- Sociology

- English Writing

- Spanish

- US History

- Pshycology

- Environmental Science

- American Experience

... and I have also chosen to have a Study Hall.

At first didnt know what a study hall was - but it is basically an hour of the day where I get time to do homeworks, practice for tests and catch up on school work.

The first day of school was great. I got to meet my new classmates, and teachers - and I got a brief tour of the school building.  An unusual thing about this school compared to what I am used to from back home - is that I have every single subject with a totally different class. This has definitely made it harder to connect with people, due to actually only seeing them once a day.  Also between every class, we only have about 4 minutes to get to next class and since my first period is at the first floor, while second period is on the third floor - then the third class is again at the first floor - and so on.  I basically have to run up and down all day to be on time for my classes.. Stressful!!   

On Sunday I got signed up at the fitness club here in Sun Prairie. That place is just huuge! They have 4 outdoor swimming pools and three indoor. They have a soccer and a basketball field inside, and several rooms with weights, spinning bikes and threadmills. I am sure I will spend alot of time there throughout the year. I have also got a spot in the girls soccer team, and my first practice starts tomorrow. so excited!!



 

HELLE

  

Im here!!

 After spending five days in the big apple NYC - I am so exhausted and tired !!  I haven't slept properly for days, so its lovely to finally relax in a proper bed! 

 My days in NY has been great!  but due to a very organized and strict program - it turned into some really stressful couple of days.  I left Norway on Wednesday the 21st of August, and I flew directly to Newark Aiport with the 5 other norwegian exchangestudents. The first evening at the hostel we basically just ate our dinner and got settled into our rooms. The next day we went in groups to the rockefeller center where we went all the way up to the observation deck. That was crazy !!   I could see all of NYC from up there and I was lucky to get some beautiful pictures taken! 





On friday we went to see the Statue of Liberty and Wall Street.  We started the day by taking the famous yellow school bus down to Battery Park - where we took a boat out to Liberty Island! On our way out there - we passed Ellis Island ( but for some reason we didnt go there). Anyways.. - So we got to see the statue. I had a blast! But it was extremely hot .. !  





Right after we got back on the "mainland"  - we all went up to the Financial District where we had lunch and got to see Wall Street. Later that day when it turned dark - we took the subway to Brooklyn where we could see the Manhattan Skyline at night! AMAZING !! 




Saturday started in Central Park - and ended up with only shopping, shopping and shopping in Soho and on 5th Avenue!!!

 









 

Now I am in Wisconsin. I was so tired when I arrived yesterday - so I went early to sleep and woke up around 12 o'clock!  Long sleep !   I was picked up by my lovely host parents at the airport in Madison around 3 o'clock  -  and we spendt the afternoon at their friends place. I am so happy to finally be here. I have been planning and looking forward to this year for a really long time - so it feels  strange that it has started!  Looking forward to the next days, weeks and months!  

 

HELLE

 

 

 

#exchange #utveksling

 

Packed, but still not ready!

 

Finally its only two days left until my departure! It feels so good to know that there is not much time left! My plane will be leaving the morning of the 21st, and I will arrive at Newark Aiport 8 hours later. Then I will be spending 5 days in NYC with the other exchangestudents travelling on the same date. On the 25th, after my 5 days in NYC - I will be sent off by myself to Chicago and then further on to Madison where I will be meeting my host family for the first time - Soo excited!  

The only problem is now  that I still havent recieved my visa. And without my visa,  I will have to pospone my departure day a week!! 

I had my visa interview at the embassy last tuesday, and they then told me that they were going to send me an e-mail when the passport(with the visa) is ready to be picked up. Due to short amount of time left, I had decided to get the JetPak to pick the visa up for me and deliver it. Usually the embassy just send it by usual mail, but that would have taken way to long. I was hoping that the visa would have been finished by now ; but appearently not! 

The rest of the night and tomorrow I will have to sit in front of my computer guarding my e-mail! And as fast as the confirmation has been recieved, I will have to call JetPak in a hurry!  

- Today I spendt the morning at my old school. I had a long meeting with the principal about my chose of subjects abroad. It is important for me to find subjects that has the same curriculum and hours throughout the year as the ones I should have taken in Norway - If not, then my exchange year will not be accepted! Hopefully this will work out just fine. I have got alot of help from my old school and hopefully my school in Wisconsin will be just as helpful. It was weird seing classmates going back to school here - and it was hard saying goodbye - but I am sure the time will fly by in a hurry!!  

 

My suitcase is packed - so lets just hope for good news about my visa! 

I will miss my house and my big garden!!   See you in 10 months 

 

Write more soon!

HELLE  

69 DAYS LEFT

I cant believe that it is only this much time left until I am heading over to New York for my "Soft Landing Camp".  This year has gone by so quickly, and just knowing that there is this much time left is very exciting! I have started to imagine my departure day and how it will be to finally meet my new host family - and starting a new school.  I hope it will go smoothly!  I have been a bit worried about things like homesickness and well-being; but hopefully after arrival and after a couple of days when I have had some time to settle - these worries and nerves will be gone!


I am now almost in the middle of the last week of school.  I was not selected for exams this year, so it almost feels as if I have started my summerbreak early!   My last day will be the 19th of June; and on the 20th of June I am leaving to the US with my family. This family vacation was planned long before I decided to sign up as an exchange student. Strangely, I am not that excited about it though!  I havent really had the time to look forward to it, due to all the time I have spent on planning things for my exchange year. - but I know that these 4 weeks in US will be a great way to spend time with my family, as well as experiencing some american culture before my big move!  

- We will first be going to Washington DC, then travel up to the Niagara Falls for a few days. The next week, we will live with some family friends of ours in Ottawa(Canada). While the last days will be sat in Boston and New York!  After these 4 weeks I will go back to Norway; then 3 weeks later return to New York for my "Soft Landing Camp"; and 5 days later on to Madison to meet my host family!  The summer will pass by so quickly!!

 

Just to a little update of what is left on my exchange plan:

 

Interview with INTO Organization

Application to Into

SLEP test (English test)

Accepted by INTO

Acceptance from the principal at school

Received organization in the US (ISE)

Host Family and Location (Sun Prairie, Washington)

VISA - photo of myself (American Standard)

Sending VISA application to the embassy in Oslo

Scholarship application to 'Lånekassen'

Mail the 'admission center', and inform them about my exchange year.   

Pack my bag

LEAVE!  

 


This is where I will be living. Sun Prarie! 





This is a picture of the school area!  Huuge! 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_VW__WEid4 - Sun Prairie High School Lip Dub

 

Will write more soon! 

 

Host Family, Location and School

I have finally received information about host family, location and school. The family that I will be staying with lives in a town called Sun Prairie. Sun Prairie is located in the states Wisconsin and is about a 15 minutes drive outside of the city Madison. It seems to be a very idyllic town, and I can not wait to get there!  The family consists of a host mum, host dad and three host dogs, and they all seem so nice!! Up till now I have been chatting with both the parents as well as the daughters on FB; and yesterday I had a Skype conversation with the host parents!  I will not be living with the daughters, because they have both moved out!  

The school which I will be attending is called; Sun Prairie High School. It is located only about 5 minutes away from the house, so I can easily walk there!  The school was recently built, and it looks huge!   The good thing about the school is that it offers all the subjects that I need in order to successfully complete my year in the US. I can automatically go back to the third year at "videregående" in Norway afterwards! GREAT!!   -  There are many sports as well as clubs that I can choose to participate in. The school has soccer, softball, baseball, American football, swimming and cheerleading teams - it would not surprise me if there are more than these too!   Examples of clubs that I can chose to attend are; the Asian multicultural club, drama club, chess club, B-Boy club (dance), yearbook committee, student council, games club and more..  

After finally receiving all this information about next year, it all has become a lot more real!  I am more excited now than ever!!

 

 




I will write more soon!

HELLE

 

 

WISH LIST !

Oslo Weekend

 

Hello,

From Saturday to Sunday this weekend, I participated at an exchange preparing-course in Oslo, at 'Haraldsheimen Vandrehjem'. All other exchange students travelling with Into, had to join this course. The goal of the course was mainly for us students to meet other students; and get to talk to eachother and share our excitement. The days were filled with tons of informational classes; in which we recieved tips on everything from behavior in families and schools, culture differences, dress codes,  selection of subjects abroad and basically all other things you need in order to fit in and get the best year as possible. 

The most interesting thing about the course was basically when we could hear earlier exchange students talk about theire experience being abroad. They told about trouble in which they had come across, as well as the things they had done right. I definitely learned alot from that, because by looking at theire mistakes I will hopefully try to avoid ending up in the same situations. The most fun I had was probably the games which were arranged between all the long boring talk lessons. These games gave me my consentration back, as well as they  made it alot easier for me to get closer to the other students 

After the two days course ended, I have definitely come home with a new perspective of everything. I have gotten alot more excited about it all. The nerves are still here, no doubt, but I am feel more ready to leave now; due to feeling more prepared and full of useful tips. 

I will try to update more as fast as possible. 

- HELLE

 












 

 

I'm Back!!

I have been really bad at writing something at this blog for the last months. The reason is basically that I havent had particulary much to write about. Due to the application now being submitted; all I am doing is waiting for Into to find a host family and a location for me. What I thought I should do now was to write a list of everything I have done untill now; just to show the entire process I have been through. It might also give a future exchange student a little insight into how long the process really is.

1. I sent an interest form to Into Education. I wrote down a couple of questions, and I let them know that I was interested in applying.

2.I got an e-mail back saying that I soon would be contacted about interviews.

3. I got a call from one of the Into-employees saying that I was invited to an interview in Sandvika.

4. About one week after the call, the interview was held.

5. After a discussion with my parents, I chose to accept being an exchange student for Into.

5. Few days after; I recieved log-in information to the application site online.

6. Started filling out. Writing host family letter, doctor and dentist had to do fill out papers, I needed to add all of my old school grades and my old teacher did also have to answer som questions about how I was as a student.

7. In january I was after many deferrals ; DONE WITH THE APPLICATION!

8. Had to do a SLEP TEST (secondary english test). This was to check my english skills!

9. Accepted by INTO !!

 "This is basically the long and very painful journey !"

Next up: 27-28 april!  Weekend in Oslo, with other Into exchange students from all over Norway. That will be so much fun

I will try not to be a stranger from now on. It is hard to come up with new things to write about when there is not much going on. After the SLEP test I am basically only stuck waiting for visa and family!

See you soon!



 

Working on application

Now I've been sitting in my room for the last few hours doing my very best on the into-application. I was accepted to their program on Tuesday, after the interview; which I?ve been so nervous about for long. The interview went better than expected. The girl interviewing me had also been an exchange student a few years ago, and therefore knew exactly what I was going through. This made it a lot easier for me. Some of the questions she asked were kind of hard to find a good answer to; but I think I managed quiet well. In the first part of the interview we were mostly receiving information. ALOT of information!! About host families, school, choice of region, costs, rules and more. Then in the second part of the interview my parents had to leave the room, and I had to answer some more personal questions in English. This was for her to check my English speaking skills. Then we received the ?eleven paged? long application, and I?ve now got four weeks to hand it in again.

It is really not that much that is needed to be filled out, but you just need to find the time to sit down with it. What I?ve spent the most time on till now, is the letter which I am going to send to the host family. In the letter I will have to write about my life here in Norway; about my hobbies, my habits, my daily life, my family, my friends and about my personal qualities. The only problem I?ve got is finding good photos to add. Hopefully by tomorrow, the letter will be done. Then I will move on with the rest.

I will write more soon

-HELLE



 

Interview Next

After a while with waiting, I finally received a call from ?Into Education ?. They gave me dates and location for the interview. The interview will be held next tuesday at 17:30, due to this being a suitable time for both me and my parents, as well as for the interviewers. They did not say anything about what had to be brought along for the interview; so I guess nothing needs to be filled out or prepared beforehand then.

I am definitely feeling nervous about this interview. I do not know what questions will be asked, so I have therefore tried to prepare for the worst. After talking to others which has been on interviews at other organizations; I know that half the interview will might be done in english. This is for them to have a look at my english skills, as well as for me to prepare slightly for what is to happen when I enter my big year abroad! Also allergic and health papers has to be filled out, but I try not to worry about that yet.

So, wish me luck! Hopefully the interview will be good

A good thing to know if traveling to USA:

?Yesterday I sent a mail to into in which I asked about wether it was a possibility of entering a school abroad together with a friend. They told me that if I wanted to travel with a friend, I had to chose some specific countries like Canada and New Z, due to them having another program sort of. In USA, the chance of going to school abroad with a friend was very low and would not happen.

I will write more soon.

 

-HELLE 

Starting my preparing-process

Hello!!

Then it is finally decided. Helle will be living an entire year alone in biiig USA. wohoo! On Monday the application will be submitted, and I?m excited to get started for real.

I have for a long time been thinking about organizations and which one to choose. But ive finally decided to go with an organization called ?Into?. They are not very well-known in Norway, but I have fallen in love with them anyways! Firstly, they are not too bad in price; and secondly, there are a couple of arrangements included in the price, which are not possible to obtain through other organizations.

Before my year abroad will fully begin, I will, for example start the journey with 5 included days in New York! I know it will be a fantastic start to the year, full of memorable experiences!

But before the fun begins, there are alot of things that needs to be done. After the application is submitted, I will be invited for an interview. Here I will be recieving information concerning all that is about to happen before departure. Also ?into? will after this interview decide whether I will actually be accepted or not accepted to their program! The approval I am quiet sure that I am going to get, considering that I do not have any type of allergy, disease, eating habits, physical problems etc.. ? So there will probably not be any problems.

Until then, there is not much more to do than waiting. Waiting for the invitation to the interview, and just hope for the best. I will have to remember to write more about what?s going to happen next, as soon as possible. But there will probably sometimes be some long and sometimes short intervals in between blog-posts. It completely depends on what happens in the process with my planning and with all other needed things on the way.

Great to know that something is finally happening!

- HELLE



 

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hellereiser

hellereiser

21, Drammen

Hey! I travel as an exchange student to Wisconsin year 2013/2014. I am traveling with the organization "Into Education". I blog to keep friends and family updated and to have something to look back at after the year is finished! I write in English to make it easy for future friends in the U.S. to read my blog too!

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