Studying in USA

Class of 2013: Graduation

I am not graduating until next year, but because I was part of Student Government, I was a volunteer helper at this years graduation. The ceremony was held at Craneway Pavilion in Richmond this year, because the regular place in Nob Hill is under construction. I have to admit, I was skeptical at first because it´s so far, but it turned out to be a really nice place with an amazing view of the city.

With around 3000 family and friends and 500-600 students, there was more than enough to do!:)  I was in charge of keeping parents off stage when they really, really wanted to climb up for a picture of their student. We had yellow tape on the floor and I held out my arms with a glow stick in each hand, and for some reason someone still though they could cross the line? I almost felt like I was a bodyguard at a Justin Bieber concert and not at a commencement:)

The ceremony went pretty smoothly and it turned out to be a great day! Julia held a really good student speech, as she was the president of Student Government. Usually these speeches are very general and not really inspiring, but she really nailed it with a personal touch!

It was great too be able to see my friends graduate, but I also realized that almost all of my friends graduated and will no longer be in school:( so I guess I need to make some new ones when I go back for fall:) I am really excited for next year, when I’ll be up there with my cap&gown and hopefully my honors bands:)

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Julia’s student speech

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Class of 2013 has graduated!

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Julia and Johanna, Honors and all!:)

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Class of 2013!

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Julia and Professor Michal

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Julia and Rana, Honors and all!:)

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Julia and Navret, Honors and all:)

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A preview of next year? Class of 2014:)

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Oh my god it´s raining!

For about a week now I have been listening to the weather report warning me about the rain. “The rain is coming by the end of the week”, “There is a 20% chance of rain this week”, ” Latest report in, it will for sure rain” and so on. Today it rained for 1 hour and I could walk outside in the “rain” without an umbrella and still not get noticeably wet. It is clear to me that rain to a San Francisco, California resident is a whole other matter than rain to a girl from Bergen, Norway.

I am born and raised in Bergen, Norway and for people who dont know where that is, look here: Bergen map

Bryggen Bergen

Beautiful, I know! The only downside? It rains, A LOT! According to Wikipedia it rains on average 2,250 mm per year, or 88.58 inches! In San Francisco the average is 600.2 mm or 23.63 inches, and usually its always at night. So when its about to rain here in San Francisco, everybody goes crazy! OMG its gonna rain! “Did you hear it´s gonna rain?”

FIY, this is not rain guys: (Notice the people being able to stand outside in the “rain” and not really care)

Rain outside of school, GGU in San Francisco

THIS is rain:

Rain in Bergen driving

 

And THIS is rain! (Torgallmenningen aka Union Square in Bergen on a saturday! Not a single person can walk in this rain!)

Rain in Bergen walking, in my California shoes! #Ruined…

After I came back from my trip to Norway on the 26th of August, it has not rained a single day, not once! That is 46 days with no rain.  To be honest it was kind of nice to have a little drizzle today, but maybe thats just the Bergen in me talking:)

 

How many of those 46 days has it rained in Bergen? According to my mom, around 42… or what do you guys say my fellow “Bergensere” ?

How to get into a Master in USA?

Golden Gate University

Since I started my Masters in Integrated Marketing Communications here at GGU, a lot of people have asked me how I found a school, got accepted, completed all the requirements and dealt with immigration here in USA. It took a lot of work figuring out everything and getting it ready. Especially being from Norway there are things that are trivial for Americans, but for me sounds crazy or just weird.

I dont know how the process works at all the different schools, but it is usually very similar.

I have decided to make a checklist to make it easier for you: 

1. Figure out where you want to live. Big city? small city? west coast? east coast? midwest? I can very highly recommend San Francisco! It has it all! Great weather, but not to hot, diverse neighborhoods, Silicon Valley just down the “block” , a great “Hippie” mentality, and a city that is consumed with Innovation and keeping it green:)

2. Figure out which kind of school you would like. Big school? small school? Big campus college life like for example UC Berkeley or smaller business school like Golden Gate University or Hult Business school. (I am giving examples from San Francisco, because thats the ones i know). Do you care about rankings? working professionals? small classes? big classes?

3. Do you have a 3-year bachelors degree from Europe? Then you need to find which schools excepts your degree, not every school will. I advise you to call or email the school directly. You will get the information you need and they appreciate students who reach out.

4. Search the Internet for blogs or student reports from that city or school. The people who live there and go to the school will of course give you the best information, the most honest opinions and advice.

5. Apply for the school! But be aware, usually there is a application fee of around $100-200 so only pick and choose a few.

The Application process step-by-step for a graduate master at Golden Gate University:

GMAT:

GMAT is required for most MBA´s at GGU ( And other schools). The test can be taken all over the world, but check early for dates, as they are not offered here very often in each country. Will require some studying in advance of the test.

Can be waived if your GPA is higher than 3,5 or if you already have taken another masters from an accredited American university.

GPA: (Grade Point Average) Your grades needs to be calculated into the American grade system. Can be done by your international advisor after you apply to GGU or online before you apply. The GPA required, varies at the different schools, but at GGU it is 3.0 (B average) for most master programs.

GGU have rolling admissions, but I recommend you submit your application as soon as you can. You will also need to complete visa/immigration status after your application is complete.

 So this is what you have to do:

1.    Order your test dates to TOEFL/IELTS and GMAT if required. The tests are only offered a few times a year so please plan ahead. Have your test results sent directly to GGU, marked with IAA office. GMAT test centers: https://www.mba.com/service/testing/testing.aspx?Action=APPOINTMENTSEARCH

2.    Apply online to GGU and pay application fee ($110) Send all the required forms online and have your transcripts temporarily evaluated.

3.    Send your original transcripts in English in a sealed envelope directly from your school where you earned your bachelors degree.

4.    If you would like to additionally support your application you can submit a personal motivation statement (This might be a requirement at other universities).

5.    Submit your certificate of finances. If you are Norwegian and getting support from Lånekassen you can collect your preliminary statement here: http://app.lanekassen.no/forelopiguttalelse/

6.    When accepted to GGU, start your visa/immigration application. Bring all documents awarded from GGU and other documents requested by the embassy.

7. After your visa is approved, back your bags!:)

I think this sums it up in a easy way. Please comment or email me if you have any additional questions! I am happy to help!:)