Thursday, 28 May 2015

The end, yet again

Another semester is coming to an end. All my assignments are completed, the deadlines have passed, and I've swapped my healthy diet in favour of a not at all one. But it's exam season and totally justifiable.

Last semester there were times where I honestly didn't know how to get through it all. The workload was out of this world, with assignments all over the place.

This semester has definitely been a calmer one but the requirements have once more leveled up. I've handed in my dissertation proposal and in less than a year I will have handed in my longest, biggest, most extensive work yet. At this point I'm calm about it and I have promised myself to read during the summer. Maybe it will actually happen too.

I only have two exams left ever at Brookes, so I'm now doing my second to last exam revision. But before I return to the revision, I just wanted to tell you about a service Brookes offers. A pretty good service too, objectively speaking.

                                                                                Photo: ISAT

The International Student Advise Team (ISAT) is hosting a Meet and Greet Service during arrivals weekend in September.

If you are arriving at Heathrow on either terminal, on 13th or 14th September between 9am and 8pm on the 13th or between 9am and 5pm on the 14th, look for Brookes students wearing green t-shirts. They are called international student helpers and will be present at Heathrow, at Thornhill Park & Ride and at halls of residence.

At Heathrow you will be guided towards public transport taking you to Thornhill Park & Ride, where you will be directed towards a free shuttle bus taking you to your halls of residence. During arrivals weekend you will probably see green-dressed people around campus, whom you can ask if you need any help. You can read more about it here

Don't worry if you're arriving outside of arrivals weekend. There is lots of information on the Brookes website about how to get from the airport to Brookes.

Enjoy your summer, and I hope I'll see you in September :)

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

What half a bachelor degree has taught me

When writing this it's 561 days since I moved to Oxford for the first time. During these 561 days I've learned much more than I ever would have, so no, I still don't regret my decision of studying abroad. Sure, there's been times where I've wondered if it's really worth paying thousands of pounds in tuition fee for a degree that I could've gotten for free in Norway. But then again, I couldn't have done so because Norway doesn't offer my subjects. And that's a big part of why I chose Brookes in the first place.

So what have these 561 days taught me? Well for starters I've learned that the British people do not eat nearly as much potatoes as Scandinavians do. Up until a couple of years ago a proper dinner for me had to involve potatoes in one way or another. So that British people don't seem to value the potato is probably equal to my lack of understanding for the British pub culture. Go to a pub in Oxford during any time of the day and I guarantee you there's plenty of people there. And not just one type of people, there's all kinds! Young, old, business men in suits with briefcases, and my favourite; football players straight out of football practice. It's beyond my understanding.

And whilst talking about food. Another thing these 561 days have taught me is that I'm a weirdo for bringing lunch to school, slices of bread in a lunchbox to be precise. I've always done so, and it's seen as a waste of money to buy food at the store or café while you could've saved money and brought it with you. And because everyone in Norway do so I've rarely been tempted to buy something else, but now I'm getting depressed around noon when I'm eating two dry slices of bread with ham and cheese while my friends are eating freshly made baguettes, panini's or delicious soup. At the end of the last semester I caved in and started buying lunch as well, and it was delicious. And expensive. Good thing I don't have any long days at campus this semester requiring consuming of lunch.

The half a bachelor degree has not only taught me that Mexicans don't wear sombreros 24/7, a couple of Italian words and phrases, and the deep-rooted problems in the US, it has also taught me a great deal about currency. You see, 561 days ago 1 pound equalled 10 Norwegian kroner (NOK). In other words, I was living the dream and felt quite rich. 561 days later, one pounds now equals almost 13 NOK. Not so rich anymore. So I've been forced to pay attention to trends and patterns because I lost so much money when I transferred money between Norway and UK. So please, from a soon to be broke Norwegian student, buy some Norwegian oil and help out my limited bank account.

To sum up, 561 days, or half a bachelor degree if you want, have taught me that British people don't value potatoes as much as I do, nor do they eat homemade lunch brought to uni in a lunch box. I've also learned that it's perfectly fine to go to a pub straight from the gym or football practice to have a pint, and last but not least, that the Norwegian oil I once loved so dearly has now become a huge pain in my backside. And because I've also learned that the British are polite and don't use unpleasant words, I had to change out that three letter words in the last sentence. 

I don't know what the rest of my bachelor degree will teach me, but I'll make sure to update you when I find out! 

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Dream big or go home

Have you ever thought about what your future will look like after uni? If you'll be successful or not? Whether or not you'll reach that high goal of yours? I have from time to time, and I guess we all do at some point.

The first week of the second semester is already over, and by looking of the pile of books and my calendar I'm pretty sure this semester will be harder than the last. In five weeks I'm handing in the title of my dissertation, and although I have a pretty good idea about what I want to do, I don't know if my supervisor shares that opinion. I guess I'll have to wait and see!

At least one thing is for sure; I've chosen the modules of my dreams. There's no secret that International Relations is my passion, and particularly security, so when I realized that all the modules I've chosen for this semester more or less are concerned with security, I was really pleased. Although I know it's a lot of hard work throughout this  semester, I'll at least have fun whilst reading and writing those essays! 

Another thing that's probably going to affect the next couple of months, at least in terms of excitement, is an internship that I've applied for. If I get it, it will be like a dream come true. It's exactly what I want to do after my masters degree, so I'm keeping my fingers (and toes) crossed. I know I've got what it takes, but as they're only offering two internships I know the competition will be tough. But dream big or go home, right?

Anyway, whilst I was back in Norway for Christmas, I got an email from Brookes saying that the flat we currently live in won't be available for students next academic year. Thank God I popped into the accommodation office as soon as we got back to book viewings of other flats. I have probably mentioned this before, but as a Brookes student you can choose between halls, shared, and private accommodation. Shared housing basically means that you live off campus with either Brookes as a landlord or a private one. When this list is published the flats get taken super fast, so if you want one you need to be quick. When I walked into the accommodation office there were students everywhere applying for halls and shared housing, and luckily for my boyfriend and I the flat we originally wanted when we first moved to Oxford was available. Can I just say that it's the most amazing flat ever?! It's right next to Headington Campus, and the bus stop is literally right outside the door. I can't wait to move in and write my dissertation in a really spacious room.

So if you're reading this and you're thinking about applying, hurry up! Now I'm going to celebrate with reading the UN Global Governance Report. Yay!

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

A year in pictures

 I'm having trouble realizing that we're already approaching February, and that I've been blogging for over a year. Right now I'm still in Norway where the roads are covered in snow and it's impossible to walk or drive. So to acknowledge the fact that it's actually 2015 and that I have 1.5 years left at Brookes, I thought I could share some pictures of the past year.

So without further ado, here are some of my highlights from 2014


The John Henry Brookes Building finally opened    


A visit from Norway included a tour followed by an happy hour experience at our local pub 


You know you live in the UK when it's a highlight that the spring arrived and you got to enjoy a whole day of not only no rain but sun too! 

March was also the month when Brookes hosted an historic event at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. The event marked the start of Brookes' 150th anniversary. My favorite was definitely the talking robot on the left. 


In April, during Easter, I went totally crazy with cultural stuff and visited both the Blenheim Palace and Stratford Upon Avon. 

 Another highlight of April was this afternoon tea. Looks delicious, right?


Need I say more? Don't think so. 

June, July, August 

This pretty much sums up my summer.


The transition from being a fresher to a second year student made me crazy. The list on the right just kept on expanding until the very end.  


Another visit from Norway and of course a mandatory trip to London, which in this case also included a trip to the Emirates Stadium. 


This picture is actually pretty international. Taken in Oxford, by a Norwegian, with a Mexican, and a German dog. 


No caption needed I guess. 

I just want to end this by thanking you for reading my blog. I hope you at least find it somewhat useful. 2014 was definitely a challenging year but I've also experienced so much fun stuff. All in all, a pretty good year!

Let's hope 2015 is even better!