Sunday, July 13, 2014

Last post to the Blog

Hi everyone,

Sorry for no updates over that past few weeks. Have been traveling in Europe and having fun visiting a multitude of countries. This last post is here to wrap up that last of my trip and give a little more travel help to those who might be doing an academic study abroad in the future.

So in a quick summary I visited Belgium, Luxembourg, German again, Northeastern France, Italy and Slovenia again as well. I had a great time and saw many cool historical sites, building, museums, etc. Since getting back a week ago all I have been doing is cleaning and packing my room here in Aalborg for checking out and flying home.

So here are the last of the travel hints.

1. When getting ready to leave test pack all your stuff, so you know it will all fit and your luggage is not over weight. In most cases this is 50 pounds or 23 kilograms with most airlines. Most of you will probably have two pieces of luggage since you will be here from 3 moths to a year depending on your study abroad program.

2. Turn in your "Leaving the Country" paper work to the correct authorities and do any other things that are required of you for the leaving processes. In most cases it will probably be really quick but it might depend on your local authorities and the country you are in.

3. Don't forget anything that is important. (i.e. passport, computer, money, etc. etc.) It's kind of hard to go back once you've gotten on the plane and are half way across the ocean.

4. Once on the plane home sit back a relax, because at that point your just along for the 8 plus hour plane ride and you can't really control to much at that point.

5. And the last one have an iPod/iPhone with music, a book to read, or something to do on the plane if you can't sleep. You will get board really fast, and the movie they are playing on the plane is probably not that good to begin with.

So I hope that this Blog has been helpful to a few of you and it has given you confidence to study abroad or did.

So long every one and that is all.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Berlin, and other trips.

Sorry, for the late update everyone, just been really busy traveling and preparing to go back. So a few weeks ago I said I was going on a trip and that trip was to Berlin, Germany. It was an awesome city and time. Good food, weather, friends, and cheap! Compared to Denmark, Germany is super cheap. For example a .5 liter(similar to a US 16 L.oz bottle) bottle of Coca-Cola in Denmark is going to cost you $4 plus a dollar for the plastic bottle deposit, so its $5 for a Coke. In Germany its $2 for the whole thing and the prices reflect on everything, food drinks, transportation.You name it, it's cheaper in other European countries except Sweden, Norway, and Iceland.

But back to Berlin, the city has lots to do from the Tiergarten park in central Berlin, the Brandenburg Gate, Potsdamer Platz, etc. The list is endless. I personally liked all the museums, and historical buildings that where there. I also went back to the Disappearing light house in Denmark, and have been preparing to go back home as well. I don't go back tell mid July, but there is lots to do, leaving the country paper work, making sure everything is good with the school, packing, etc. I'll cover that more once I get closer to leaving.

Here are some photos from Berlin and the Light house:

Church on the Museum Island

The TV tower in former East Berlin

One of the Berlin art museums

Open hallway on the Museum island

Brandenburg gate statue at night

Berlin Wall

Victory column for when Imperial German defeated Denmark in a war.

Brandenburg gate

The Reichstag

The sand cliffs at the light house

The light house

Coastline by the light house

Sunday, May 25, 2014

What do US students do after school ends in Denmark

So here is a quick summary of what most of the US students do after they are done with class, turned in their projects, papers etc. In short most will travel Europe to see the major sites, cities, attractions, or whatever sparks their interest.

So what have I done or plan to do. So far I've just been seeing the local area of North Jutland and Denmark in general as I've talked about in earlier posts. This past Thursday I took a day trip to Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, one of the world’s oldest theme parks. I had a great time with friends and got to experience something that was truly unique to me, riding the world’s oldest rollercoaster build in 1914 called the Rutschebanen (literally The Rollercoaster), or as some people call it, Bjergbanen (the Mountain Coaster). It’s such an old design, there is a ride operate on the train with you using a hand break to slow  it down so it does not go to fast in the turns and hills of the ride. But I do have other trips planned coming up in other parts of Europe, more on those after I go.

Here is the link to Tivoli if you want to read more on it:

Tell next time.

P.S. its seven weeks tell I go home now. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Time is coming to an end and some more photos.

So its now only a little over nine weeks tell I leave Aalborg, Denmark and return home to the US. I have mixed feelings about leaving though. I have and do enjoy it over here and would like to stay, but I do miss home and doing a lot of the things that I cannot do here. For example, driving somewhere I want to go. It does sound weird but go almost six months without driving when you have for the past 8 years and you will miss it. Another thing I miss is the mountains and hiking in them. Unfortunately Denmark is very flat and nothing against them, but what they would call a large hill or event a mountain, we would call a sand pile in the open desert back home. There are a few other things I miss from food, family, culture, etc. but I know once I'm home I'll have all that again.

But on too cool things like photos from Skagen, Denmark and the summer over here.

Lighthouse in the sand dunes

Sand Dune lighthouse in the distance.

East coast of Denmark.

From the top of the sand dune lighthouse

German bunkers left over from World War II

This is the very tip of Denmark where the North and Baltic sea meet.

Lighthouse in Skagen, Denmark

Flowers and Spring time

That's it for now, until next time.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Grades are coming in!

Hey everyone, grades are coming in for the classes I've taken. Most of them are graded but I'm still waiting on my Scandinavian history class grade. But good news, the portfolio I've spent a couple of weeks working on got graded on Friday and I go a 10 on the 12 Danish grading scale. This equals about a B in the US system. You may be asking yourself "why is he happy about a B?" Here are a few of the big reasons. One, they write in Academic English over here which is similar to written British English grammar. Yes there is a difference in how we write in the United States which is accepted as official University work then what is over here and it was a steep learning curve. Two, they teach very differently here as mentioned in earlier posts, so it was a lot to take in and get used too. Three, they also grade differently here then in the US. For example in the US you can used examples to make your point in an argument in an essay, but here you have to do that then relate it back to the theory and methods behind it to the tiniest detail. But overall I've passed every class so far, and I will past the rest.

I'll upload some photos from my trip to Skagen, Denmark soon, but until later everyone.

Friday, April 25, 2014

No classes, but there is a lot to do.

So Since my classes have been done since the first week of April and I completed my papers, and other finals early, there is still a lot to do for school. Those things don't necessarily pertain to school over here in Denmark but back at home. I'm in a unique position that this is my last semester of college for my Bachelors, but since most study abroad students from the US are in the middle of their degree back home I talked to the other American students here to see what they are doing to prepare for going back to school at home.

Here is the list:
1: If you study abroad your spring Semester don't forget to fill out your FASFA for the next academic school year. I even did this just in case I decided to go to Graduate school. Its better safe then sorry.
2: Have a place ready to live, whether that's in a dorm, and apartment, with friends or family. Have something because a summer to look is not a really long time and if you study abroad in the Fall semester winter break gives you no time to look, because it can take a few weeks to a few months to work out a lease.
3: Don't forget to register for classes for the next year or semester. This would be a bad thing to forget, but one of the Americans almost did until a group of use asked her what she was going to take back home. Thankfully she did not miss the dead line and got her classes. When you get used to having things done differently then back home you get used to it, but don't forget they still do it the same regardless of where you are.
4: Make sure that the classes you took will transfer back over for what you need or want. Always stay in contact with your study abroad advisor back home via email or even calling them. You can use Google voice to call for free to the US and Canada through your computer. It also makes staying in touch with friends and family easy as well, but remember your in a different time zone then them so don't accidentally call them in the middle of the night or 4 in the morning, they will not be happy.
5: Prepare for a culture shock. You will get back to the US and feel different or out of place for a few days or weeks or longer, depending on your personality, how quickly you can change back to how you did things at home, and how deeply integrated you got in your host culture, etc. etc. Don't worry this is normal, but don't let it freak you out. If you really start to have a problem with this, your Study abroad office should be able to help you since they deal with US students coming back from other countries all the time.

These were the things that came up most in discussions, so hopefully it will help some of you other study abroad students in the future, to not make a mistake or forget something.

But as for me specifically as mentioned above, this is my last semester so if one of you study abroad student finds yourself in a position like mine here is what I did.

1: Applied or apply for your graduation, this is typically done a semester in advance of your last semester. Participate in the Graduation ceremony before you leave as you might not be able to attend your specific one as you could possible be overseas in another country or traveling back. Don't worry about this either you are probably not the first student do or ask to do this since schools deal with students going to other countries or leaving early for various reasons.

2: Build your resume. Now that 4 or more years of University is soon to be behind you start building your resume if you have not already. It should include your degree, experiences, awards, etc. etc. There are plenty of online resources and your school's career center will probably be more then willing to look at it via email since your in another country.

3: Start looking for Jobs. Since most job applications for large companies seem to be online now, start applying for them. But don't forget to tell them in the application you  are overseas in another country and when you will be back. They may still want to interview you via Skype or have you call into a conference interview via Google voice or another Internet calling service. Just remember you are ahead of them in time so you might be doing an Interview at Midnight when it is 3 or 4 pm for them. Also treat it as a regular interview, meaning dress up nicely, do your homework on the company and job you applied for, etc. etc. Hopefully you can have a job lined up when you get back.

But that is all for now, hope the guides help and will post photos of my trip to Skagen, Denmark. That's were the Baltic and North Sea meets at the tip of the country.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Easter Break, Italy, and Pictures from Copenhagen

It is now Easter break here in Denmark and goes for the entire week before Easter Sunday. Most people take the following Monday and Tuesday off for travel or time with family. As a result the entire country for the most part closes down. The major Grocery stores like Føtex, other major stores, and anything non essential government offices are closed. In addition most of the Danish students I live with have gone home so its really only the International student and a couple of the Danes here at the Dorm making it very quiet.

So you may ask yourself what is there to do then? Well that depends on the person, some people will travel, some have parties, or just work on project and papers. As for me I decided to travel, because I turned in my portfolio project early and I decided to go to Venice and Northern Italy with some friends. One of the cool things about Europe is you have some very good budget airlines like Ryan Air, Easy Jet, Wizz Air, etc. etc. and I would highly recommend using them as a student to travel around Europe because it can be worked into a reasonable budget.

Overall I really enjoyed Italy and Venice. The Alps were really cool and the City was absolutely stunning. Also went to one of the smaller islands outside of Venice called Burano which was outstanding.

The Apls

A Canal in Venice

Lunch inVenice

Lots of people in tiny spaces

the Doge of Venice


St Mark's Basilica

A Gondola


Inside the Doge.


Canal in Burano

Park in Burano

Another Canal

Some photos from the Copenhagen trip two Weekends ago that I said I would post.
 Royal Treasury
Royal gardens
Royal Guards
Danish Parliament building
Old Danish stock exchange building

So that's it for now everyone, enjoy the pictures. More travels to come while Easter break is going and after.