BEFORE DEPARTURE

Today there is 100 days left! 100 days until I get on the plane! 100 days until I'll leave my family and travel to an unfamiliar place! 100 days until my feet leave Norwegian soil! 100 days until I'll take a huge step out of my comfort zone! 100 days until my dream comes true! 100 days!

Words can't describe how I feel right now! I'm so excited but also so scared! July 19th is the day I'll leave Norway and start this wonderful journey! And I'm so excited!

I haven't officially gotten the date I'll leave by EF yet, but it's either July 19th or August 2nd. But since I'm gonna play volleyball in the U.S. and the practices start in the beginning of August, I would have to leave July 19th to join the first weeks of practice. So hopefully, and most likely, I'll leave July 19th!

I'm so excited to meet new people and discover new places, and I can't wait to meet and get to know my host family and my new home! It is getting closer and it's finally starting to feel real! This is a dream come true!

V

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Hi guys,

Recently I uploaded a new YouTube video. This time it's a secret Santa!

19 exchange students and I decided to do secret Santa. I got a package from Italy, and I got a lot of different Italian goodies. I also bought a few Norwegian things and sent it to a girl in the Netherlands.

Check out the video here!

If you liked the video give it a thumbs up, and if you'd like to see more from me, don't forget to subscribe!

V

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BEFORE DEPARTURE, YOUTUBE

Hi guys,

It's been a while now since I last updated. But there isn't really much to say. Christmas is coming up and I'm so excited for that, and also it's the last christmas before I leave for Iowa. Lately I've talked a lot with my host family and they're super nice! Right now I'm having my last exams before the christmas vacation, and I'm so ready for a break from school!

There is one thing I want to say. And that is that I've decided that I want to focus more on making youtube videos than I want to focus on writing on here. But I'm still gonna keep the blog and upload some blogposts once in a while and share some photos, and I will probably share the videos on here as well. But if you wanna follow me through my exchange make sure to subscribe to my youtube channel here so you don't miss any videos. You can also follow my other social medias;

Snapchat

Twitter

Main Instagram

Exchange Instagram

The next couple of months there won't be much to update on, so I probably won't upload so much before I leave in July, but there will be some posts, that I promise.

I also uploaded another youtube video! Check it out if you'd like!

V

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YOUTUBE

Hi guys,

I just uploaded a new youtube video. I probably won't upload to often right now because I don't leave before around 19th of July, but I try to upload every three weeks or at least once a month. Todays video is about my organization, EF, so check it out if you'd like.

See you soon,

V

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BEFORE DEPARTURE

I can't believe this is happening. Everything all of a sudden seems so real!

I have a host family. A match. I know where I'm gonna live in America. This is all so crazy!

Now I can finally answer the most asked question I get. Where are you gonna live? Ever since I decided to do the exchange I've had to answer with "I don't know. But I know that I'm gonna live in America." But now I can finally answer with exactly where I'm gonna live. I can finally put faces and names to whom I'll spend my "American dream" with and a place to where I'm gonna spend it.

I woke up by my alarm clock at 6.10 am the 16th of November. But I decided that I would sleep 10 more minutes., so I picked up my phone to turn of the alarm, tired as always. But then I decided to check my snaps first and just clean out the 5 new emails I had gotten, so that it would be easier for me to see the email from EF when it would come someday with the information about my host family. But what I didn't expect at all was an email from my host dad!!

When I saw this email my eyes opened up wide, I quickly turned on the lights and I was all of a sudden really awake. I was freaking out, and I couldn't stop smiling. I could not at all go back to sleep for another 10 minutes so I just went to the bathroom. The bad thing was that I couldn't just go to my computer and start researching because I had to go to school, and before I went to school I had to do my makeup and stuff, so I had no time to talk with my family or find out even more information. I did wake up my mom and dad tho, because I couldn't not tell them, and I certainly couldn't wait until I came home from school!

I couldn't stay focused during my first lesson, which was Norwegian, and I literally can't remember what we talked about, haha. I was just so excited to go home and find out more, and also so excited to hear from EF. My second and third lesson I had a maths test, which could have gone better, but my mind was just elsewhere. Luckily my last lesson was cancelled so I could go home early and find out more information about my new state, town and host family.

After waiting for EF to call me, I finally decided to just call them, or I got my mom to call them. And then they finally sent over the information about my host family and high school, and now I knew for sure that this was the place I was gonna stay.

I then decided to contact my host family, since I later discovered that I had also gotten an email from my host mom, only it had been put in my trash-mail. I just told them how excited I am and how I can't wait to get to know them. Right now, when I'm sitting here writing this the same night I got the information, I'm waiting to hear from them again.

I don't really know what to do now, or where to go. Everything has all of a sudden changed and I have now a place to place all my dreams. It's amazing! "Now what?" I think. What should I do now? The waiting is over and I finally have the information I've been waiting for for so long. Well, I guess now I get to know them. I talk with them, and I prepare. Prepare to go live with this family that I didn't know yesterday. This family that will be my host family. This is all very scary but also so exciting!

I'm so looking forward to spending my exchange year in Iowa, in the United States of America, together with my host family. This will be an exciting experience. It certainly will be different. But it's not wrong, it's not right, it's just different.


V

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BEFORE DEPARTURE

Your application is really important, because they use it to find you the perfect host family that fits you. So since I'm already finished with my application, I thought I would give you some tips on it.

1. First of all be honest! The organization use your application to find you the perfect host family that fits you. And if you're lying about yourself, your family, your hobbies or your background the host family you get may be nothing like you.

2. Take time! Don't rush through your application. Take your time, use this time to really think about what you put into your application and really show who you are. Don't rush through it just so you're finished with it, you may end up regretting it later on.

3. Taking photos! When your deciding which photos you want to use in your application, think about how you present yourself in them. Don't upload photos of you where you look really negativ and boring, upload photos where you really show your personality and interests in a positive light.

4. Another photo tip! Make sure your photos aren't blurry, and that there isn't any bright lights behind you, because that can make your pictures hard to see. Also make sure that your pictures aren't too dark.

5. And last but not least, a tip on the student video. Be creative, show who you are. Make sure you can be heard. Tell them about you, show them your friends and family and just try to be original. Keep the video under 3 minutes, because it isn't always fun to watch a 10 minutes long video. And most importantly have fun creating it.

​V

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BEFORE DEPARTURE

Hi guys,

Recently I wrote an essay for my English class on why you should go on exchange, and I thought why not share it here with you guys.

A student exchange is a great thing. You learn a lot about yourself and others, you get to see the world and discover another culture. An educational or cultural exchange program can help you better understand yourself and the people around you. Learn about what a student exchange is, why exactly you should go on exchange and what benefits participating in an exchange program has to offer.

A student exchange program is a program which allows students in high school or post-secondary systems of education to leave their home country to spend a few weeks and up to an entire year living in another country while going to a local school. The student exchange program is a perfect opportunity for students to live in a foreign country, learn more about other cultures, and also learn a foreign language. It’s a rewarding but challenging experience during which youwill learn a lot about yourself, but also have a lot of fun. You’ll be immersed in the mother language and culture of your chosen country and live like a local member of your family, town and community.

Source

But why should you go on exchange? Exchange is, as I said, the perfect opportunity to live in a foreign country, learn about another culture and learn another language. But an exchange is so much more than that as well. When you experience a different culture through an exchange you will most certainly gain deeper understanding of yourself and those around you. You’ll learn to be more appreciative and you’ll learn about the world in a way that books, school and a professional career never can reveal. Exchange is living as an independent human being learning to stand on your own feet, it’s experiencing things you only can dream of experiencing, it’s about making new lifelong friendships with people from all over the world, and most certainly it’s about experiencing the country and culture while living with your host family. You’ll get to discover things that tourists miss, because you get to experience everything as a part of an American family, you’re not just a visitor, but you intergrade into their family and temporarily becomes a part of it.

Source

A student exchange program has a lot of benefits, and I promise you you’ll achieve so much after a year abroad. You’ll achieve educational, personal and long-term benefits. Living in another country gives you a rich understanding of another culture, and it’ll help you understand your own culture better as well. One of the most noticeable changes in returned exchange students is their self-development and awareness leading to enhanced self-confidence and self-esteem. You only gain experience and maturity through the challenges you face during an exchange year. The tremendous sense of accomplishment upon completion encourages students to make informed decisions, develop independent opinions and strive to attain fresh goals. Also people that do an exchange year have a huge benefit when it comes to further studies. Prospective employers look favorably upon the experience that is gained while living in another country and learning another culture and language. You will be different from the other candidates because you can demonstrate the skills you acquired in meeting the challenges of the exchange experience.

I would say that if you like learning about other cultures, learning another language and meeting new people, exchange is most certainly something for you. You achieve so much during an exchange year, and it is most definitely something you won’t regret. A saying says: Exchange isn’t a year in your life, it’s a life in a year. And that is most definitely true, exchange is a life in a year, you experience just so much in a year as some experience in a lifetime.

V

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BEFORE DEPARTURE, YOUTUBE

Hi guys,

As a part of the application we have to make a student video to our future host family, we have to make this video so that they can get to know us better. I filmed my video in August and thought I'd share it with you guys. Making this video I got a lot of inspiration in other student videos and that's why I thought I'd share it, so that it can inspire future exchange students when they have to make their video. Hope you enjoy it!

​V

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BEFORE DEPARTURE

Hi guys,

So it's been a long time since I last uploaded a blogpost, but there isn't really any update on my exchange year. I'm still waiting to get my host family. It's still really early so it might take some time before I get to know them. Most of the other students haven't gotten theirs either. There is only a couple that have, and I'm really excited for them. One of my greatest friends that I have gotten from this exchange recently got her family, and she is going to spend her year in Florida! I'm so excited for her and I can't wait to meet her and maybe even visit her in Florida next year!

Anyway there isn't much going on right now with the exchange and everything, I just have to be patient and wait to get my family. Right now I have fall break and it's really good to relax a little and not think about school.

Well I just thought I should update you guys a little. Have a great week.

V

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