Sunday, January 24, 2010

"Healthy Food, Healthy Heart" a commonly used saying in the US. A little thing I find a littlebit sad about the school and culture here, is the food. Here at school we get fed three times a day.

7.00AM-9.00AM: Is breakfast, which usually consist of cereals, french toast, bagels, egg, omelettes, bacon, sausages and pancakes to mention some. There is an own cook, at the cafeteria who you can order hot dishes from for free. I cannot think of anyhthing that is missing, exept for dark bread. For me who is used to dark bread with cheese, this is a problem, as I always go for the fattiest dished I can find, with pop/soda or chocolate milk to drink.

11.30AM - 13.00PM: Is lunchtime. The lunch over here, is like a dinner in Norway, and is usually a selection of hot meat, with rice, tater tots, hashbrowns or french fries as suppplement.If you miss out on the lunch, the studentcard is charged with 5$ that you can use at the Student Union, which is a place where they sell food here at school. Sometimes I just skip lunch, because I am pretty used to eating twice a day. Instead, I just go to the Student Union to buy some pop and snacks that I can eat at night or whenever I feel like it.

17.00PM - 19.00PM: Dinner is another hot meal, which is about the same as lunch. For dinner they usually serve more "exotic" food, like fish or lasagne. They usually also have burgers wrapped in paper, for the ones that want their dinner to go, og just an evening snack later in the evening. After every meal, you can help yourself out with fruits, cakes, coffee and icecream, which they have standing there the whole day.

I guess i cannot blame the food if I my health is going bad, as there are so much to choose from. It is my mind that I have to work with. But right now I feel like eating the most cheesy, fatty and sweet stuff I find, but I guess it will not last for long.

School system

Now all of the syllabuses have been handed out and school has already started being serious. It seems to me that most of the classes here have few or no tests, but instead there are a lot of assignments to be handed in and presentations that have to be made. The classes here are really small, and a lot of the teachers share personal information with the class and seem to be interested in what is going on in their student's lives as well. This might seem a little bit strange when coming from Europe, where they want a more professional distance between students and teachers. Personally I think the Stritch-way is a lot more convenient when it comes to getting help from the teachers and making sure that you understand what is being said in classes.Unfortunately, that does not stop the teachers from giving the students a lot of homework, so I am sure that I will have enough to do while I am here.

College sports in the US

The culture of college sports, is something that we do not have at all in Norway. A lot of people here have their whole tuition paid for playing on the school's team, which can be up to 10 000,- per semester. This makes that a lot of people are practicing very hard to get in on the sports team, and make the level pretty high. Yesterday, I got the chance for the second time to play with the schools soccer team.We played against an Serbian team and won 14-3, whereas two that I scored. The school team is very international, and has players from ten different countries such as UK, Australia, Brazil and France to mention a few.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


As all the students are living so close to each other here on campus, the administration and some of the students are EXTREMELY worried about the Swineflu. To prevent the disease, the school are offering free vaccine and counceling at the school doctor. They have evn put up sanitizers on every corner, and warning posters of which rooms that can be infected, and which sinks and toilets that are being used for people experiencing flu symptoms. To top it all, every stundent has to do a daily healthcheck at the front desk, to state that they are healthy. If a stundent drops this healthcheck many days in a row, a nurse or someone from the adninistration will come up to your room to see if you are ok. Hysteria, if you ask me..

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

First day of school

Marthin Luther King day is a day that Americans have off, but few here on campus seemed to celebrate it much. As people were just hanging around, and since the shops and services were closed here on campus, it felt like a regular Sunday. This made me show up today, at the wrong classroom at the wrong time, making a fool of myself as I entered. Luckily people were just laughing, and the teacher did not make a big deal about me being late for class. In persuasive communication I got a task to persuade the teacher to give me 5 dollars, and I did. I wounld not mind if every schooldays was like this.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Basketball and church

If I had to pick one word to describe people at Stritch it would definately be friendly. Yesterday, I was watching the student basketballteam (The Stritch Wolves), and got to know one of the players who asked me if I wanted to come over to her aunt and uncle's place to go to church and have lunch afterwards. I saw this as an excelent oppurtunity to get out of campus and to see how church and family lunch is like in the US. To be honest, it was way more fun than I would have imagined. People were standing up while singing, some lifting their hands up, others saying "amen" when they agreed on something, or just singing or clapping along with the most of the audience. Speaches were interresting, and the music was more "catchy" than I am used to, with lyrics such as "God is awesome", which I cannot imagine being sung in a Norwegian church.
After church we had tacos for lunch at her uncle and aunt's place. Tacos here are pretty much the same as in Norway, but they had "beanstew" as a supplement, which was really good. When I came back to the campus, there were a lot of people moving in, who had flown for hours and wanted to eat Chineese, which sounds very tempting, so that is where I will be going now.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Accomodation at Cardinal Stritch

The singlerooms at the campus are not really big, and the furniture is well used. It has got what you need, but not more than that. There is a desk, some drawers, a bed and a sink. If you want a refridgerator or a TV, you would have to get this yourself. Showers, restrooms and living rooms are shared with a whole floor or doorway, so you would have to expect to come to a toilet that is not flushed or naked people standing there.

Final student schedule

Today I was registered in the courses "Interviewing techniques", "Leadership and communication", "Persuasive communication", "Advanced public speaking" and "Elementary Spanish". This is one more course than is required to get 30 studypoints at my school in Norway. This extra subject will probably not be counted as study points when I get back, but these are all subject which I thought looked interresting, and having one extra course means that I can just drop a course if I feel it is too much.

Arrival in Milwaukee

When I landed in Milwaukee, I was met by the international coordinator at the university here, who showed me around and fixed a student ID, school email and showed me to my room. If I was not as tired as I am, I would have packed out my stuff, talked to people and looked around at school, but instead I just went straight to bed to see some TV-shows and listen to music to try to relax and save energy for later. To get rid of my jet-lag and get used to the time difference, I will try to stay up until 10 o'clock. If I make that, I have stayed up 35 hours straight. Just 5 hours left. I have never wanted to sleep as much anytime in my life.

Crossing the Atlantic the fun way

A total of 10 hour flights from Oslo-Copenhagen-New York- Milwaukee can be enough to make you tired for a couple of days. As if this was not enough, I had to wait another 4 hours in Copenhagen, without knowing anything about why the departure time had changed without notice.  When I contacted the flight company SAS I was told that the flight was delayed due to technical problems. There was nothing they could to make the flight earlier, so they just gave me some coupons for food and drinks which I enjoyed while waiting for the aircraft to get ready. When I got to Newark, New Jersey I had no chance to make it to my transfer in La Guary cadia, New York, so I went straight to SAS again, to ask them for guidance. Lucky as I was, a friend of mine came to pick me up at the airport by car. When we went to the counter to ask for coupons and free accomodation, the flight company thought that we both voctims of the flightdelay on the flight Copenhagen. When we recieved the coupons, we noticed that they had given us double up (50$ for food instead of 25$ and a double room with breakfast instead of a single room). This was really more than we could hope for, as we had more time to spend together and a lot of free coupons to use, so we decided to go out and celebrate. She drove us into the city, which was even more beutiful at night than I could imagine. The nightlife in NY was great, even on a wednesday, and we managed not to drink too much so that I reached my plane at 7 o'clock the next morning.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

How to pack for a semester in the US

When travelling from Norway to the US, most flight companies allow you to bring two bags, each carrying 23kilos(50lbs) plus 8kg(17,5lbs) handluggage each. This might seem much, but one semester is a long time, and might require different gear and clothing. Instead of overpacking, which gives you a lot to drag on and costs a lot extra, try to think what you really need and what can be bought there.
Rolling suitcases might be best, as fully packed suitcases might be heavy to carry. A baggage-strap might be useful if your bags and suitcases are so full that they can burst open when handled by workers at the airport (personally, I can reccomend and ordered this one from the internet).
Folded jeans, shirts and sweaters can be placed together with heavy objects in the bottom of the suitcase. Light and small clothing can be placed on top, like socks and underwear. Consider which clothes and objects are the heaviest. Light clothing like a bading suit will not take too much space and weight, but objects like hairdryers and straighteners, are not that smart to bring as they can be bought cheaply in the US and be left there. Converters might be useful for the electrical things that you bring with you, but are not needed if you buy your electrical products in the US.
The things most valuable to you and the things that you will use during your travel should be kept in the hand luggage. Books, MP3-players and computers can be good to bring on the long flights. A little pillow can also be useful and make your trip feel shorter, as you will be fast asleep. Anyway, here is what my suitcases looked like: