Study Abroad

There are tons of reasons why you should study abroad, even if it’s just for one semester, a full studie or volunteering. Schools all over the world have studies that are perfect for students from other parts of the world. If studying for several years far from home seems scary, most universities in Norway actually offer exchange programs for one semester. On the other hand, if you’re one of those who want a timeout between high school and further studies, there are a lot of volunteer programs. You can work and earn money, or help out for free with animals or humans in need.

Volunteering in Refugee camps

The volunteer program that I would like to work with is working with refugees. There are many ways to volunteer, but each organisation have different claims you need for working for them. Some want you to have other volunteer experience from before, or that you need to be an certain age. I would like to work for The UNHCR, because their main focus is to help refugees. They have refugee camps you can help at, or you can help refugees that’s new to a country. I want to help others in need, and of course you can help animals but I want to do something more. To get volunteer experience I’ll have to work with refugees in Norway and then probably lions in Africa, before I get to work for the UNHCR.

I think volunteering at a refugee camp can be very challenging mentally, but I feel like donating some money isn’t enough when their life is so unfair. The UNHCR help out in Europe, Iraq, South Sudan, Syria, Sudan, Yemen and the Central African Republic. So there are several places you can go. I feel that if I’m going to take a year of my life to volunteering, I want to help the ones who need it the most. I want to make a different in someones life for the positive.

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Bond University 

If I were to go and studie in another country there is no doubt on where I would go. On the gold coast of Australia you find Bond University. I’ve never been to Australia but there is something about the country that has me intrigued. The climate, history and culture is so different from Bærum in Norway. A two year studie where I get a bachelor in International Relations is something I see my self doing.

Australia in general get students from all over the world, and the schools and universities are good at adjusting the classes. The first language of Australia is English, so I wouldn’t have to learn a new language. Having a whole studie in another language will probably be challenging at first, but after a few months I think it will come naturally. Bond university is good at having school events that you can participate in to get to know you fellow students. Another huge pluss is that the school is located on the gold coast near surfers paradise, which dosen’t sound half bad.

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The negatives of studying abroad depends on the person you ask. An outgoing person who loves meeting new people would probably love a year abroad, but a more close person won’t enjoy it as much. You often here only the good reasons of studying abroad, but there is a down side to everything. The first obstacle will be money, in Norway we are blessed with a welfare system that basically pays for our education, but not all countries have it that way. Universities abroad are more expensive, so at the same time as you probably have to work hard with school (because of the language), you have to work to afford school. The second negative is as I just mentioned, the classes are in a foreign language. This will make the school som much harder, and you have to worker harder then you would with classes in your mother tongue. Other negative sides can be that you are far away from your loved ones, it’s hard to adjust a new culture, you’ll probably feel alone at first, but all this is going to get solved. You are not alone, and many other have done and felt the same way you have, it will be okey.

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Sources:

https://www.studyabroad.com/in-australia

http://lionandcheetahsanctuary.co.za/animals-gallery/

https://www.gooverseas.com/blog/how-to-volunteer-abroad-with-refugees

http://www.unrefugees.org

https://bond.edu.au/program/bachelor-international-relations

Different Variations of English

Today there are almost 400 million that speak English as their first language, and even more speak it as a foreign language. English is a language that’s important for people from small countries to communicate with the rest of the world. Often there are the people of these countries that speaks the best English. In bigger countries with a more prevalent language, the need of English fades away. Spanglish, Indian English and Swenglish are mixes of English and other languages.

Spanglish

Spanglish has become a common expression because of its prevalence. In the United States they’re called hispanic and have population of 1.5 million. Hispanos are immigrants from Latino America, and over the years they’ve developed almost their own language. Spanglish is a bit different from the other variations of English. In both Indian english and swenglish they speak english but with an accent and grammar from their language. In spanglish they use som Spanish words in sentences in addition to the grammar and accent. It’s most common in Miami, because most immigrants from Latino America move there since the climate is so similar.

Indian english

In the early 1600 the first brits came to India, and the country was ruled by British until 1947. Through Christian missionaries english was taught to the population. Today the English is the second official language in India. It’s spoken by 4% of the population, which may sound like a small amount, but in a population that big that’s around 35 million English speakers. This makes India the largest English speaking community outside of the US and the UK. There’s still a lot of people that don’t speak english in India. A reason can be that the population is so big that they don’t feel the need to learn english.

Swenglish

Swenglish is a mix of English and Swedish. We divide swenglish between mixing English with Swedish grammar and speaking English with an Swedish accent. Sweden is a small country and its hard to talk Swedish outside of Scandinavia, therefor a big percentage of the population speak English. In all Scandinavian  countries they start learning english in a early age, that’s also why they score the highest in the new study on english skills around the world.

Sources: 

http://www.bbc.com/news/10209213

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanglish

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_English

https://www.bl.uk/learning/langlit/sounds/case-studies/minority-ethnic/asian/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swenglish

Gran Torino: Questions & Answers

We watched the movie Gran Torino today in International English class. In the movie we meet Walt Kowalski and his Hmong neighbours. Walt had issues with his neighbours because of his beliefs. The movie starts of with Walt’s wife dying, and in her funeral we meet the priest. Walt’s wife had asked him to look after Walt, something Walt doesn’t show any interest in. Through out the movie there are several important moments with both the priest and his neighbours. Without spoiling the movie I have to say that the end surprised me.

How would you describe Walt’s relationship with his family? Do you know of anyone that has a similar family relationship?

Walt had a very tense relationship with his family witch made it hard for his sons to reach out to him. His family nearly gave up on having a relationship with him after his wife died. Walt was a very closed person and it was hard to reach out to him, he just wanted to be for him self. Therefor when his sons tried to talk to him he just shut them out. After Walt did this for a long time his sons started to care less, and when Walt needed his sons they weren’t there for him.

I don’t know anyone that has this kind of relationship with their family, at least not at this level. There are of course families that aren’t as close with their parents or siblings. Is those cases they dosen’t kick each other out on their birthdays, but they may not chat as easily around the dinner table.

What does respect mean to Walt? What does respect mean to you?

Walt shows many signs that he thinks that everyone should have respect for each other. He don’t want gifts from his neighbours, and wants everybody to call him Mr. Kowalski. This makes us belive that Walt thinks of respect as something you owe one another. In addition to this because of his racists views, he thinks that his Hmong neighbours should have more respect for him, because he lived in the neighbourhood first.

Respect to me means that you should respect others opinions and respecting that people are different without judging someone.

How would you describe the relationship between Walt and the priest? How does this relationship change during the movie?

In the beginning of the movie he dosent find the priest any helpful and just wants to be left alone. During the movie they get to know each other and they slowly build a relationship. Spoiler: He even goes to a confession towards the end.

After the attack, Walt gets a haircut and shave, gets a new suit and goes to confession. What is the significance of these actions?

When Walt gets a haircut, shaves, gets a new suit and goes to confession, we understand that something is about to happened. Because of the recent event with the attack we understand that it has something to do with some sort of revenge.

Can you think of real life examples of people who have sacrificed themselves for others? What drives these people to make this sort of sacrifice?

There are people constantly sacrificing themselves for other in wars. They fight for their beliefs and thats their motivation.

 

Donald Trump visits Sandvika

Fake news is a topic that Trump, Facebook, Google and others are fighting. Trump has accused CNN of being fake news after it came out that Russia helped him win the election. It is easy to be fooled by pop up news on Facebook, unreliable news, and believe whats being said in the articles. Making fake news is too simple, but there’s not that hard to check if your source is reliable.

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If you see a video on Facebook of mind blowing news, but none of your regular sites are writing about it, the chances are big that the news are fake. You can also open the article and look at the design of the webpage or url-dress. Often you can tell by a bad design or the use of block letters if the source is fake. Another thing you can do is to look at the url, if the site ends with .com.co it’s probably fake. The best thing you can do to check your source is to read about the happening other places.

This week there’s been a lot of news around the soon new president of the United States, Donald Trump. A few weeks ago CIA and FBI claimed Russia helped Trump win the election, and this week Russia said they had sensitive materiel on Trump. CNN wrote an article about this, and Trump got furious. At his first press conference since the election a CNN reporter asked him: “Mr. President-elect, since you have been attacking our news organization, can you give us a chance?”. Trump refused to answer the question and moved on.

Norway is a country far away from most worldwide news, therefor it’s really important for us to get the right information. Without news we don’t have clue whats going on in the world, if we then gets wrong information we get a messed up picture of whats going on. Google are now launching a fact checker for news, it means a label will show up next to news in search results. This way people in Norway and all over the world will be able to check  their news.

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Sources:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/10eA5-mCZLSS4MQY5QGb5ewC3VAL6pLkT53V_81ZyitM/preview

http://www.cjr.org/covering_trump/trump_reporter_question_press_conference_cnn.php

http://europe.newsweek.com/facebook-journalism-project-end-fake-news-541738?rm=eu

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2016/12/161227102010693.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/01/11/donald-trump-kremlin-blast-fabricated-report-russian-ties-asfbi/

http://www.digitalpedagogylab.com/hybridped/truthy-lies-surreal-truths/

http://www.zephoria.org/thoughts/archives/2017/01/09/did-media-literacy-backfire.html

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-37657524

“Reading in class” – Preparations

Aravind Adiga is an author and journalist born and raised in India. He studied at Columbia University in New York and Magdalen college in Oxford. He worked as a finance journalist in the beginning and has been published by Financial Times, Money and The Wall Street Journal. In February 2003 he did an interview for Money magazine with the newly elected president of the United States Donald Trump. He later began working as a freelance journalist and wrote the book White Tiger. He won the Man Booker Prize in 2008 for that book. Despite his success in America, he now lives in Mumbai in his home country India.

After reading about Aravind Adiga I found him really interesting because he knows so much about economy and finance. I was first sure that I wanted to read the joy luck club, but after doing research on Aravind I’m convinced that I want to read the White Tiger. The book takes place in a poor village in India, where we meet Balram Halwai, a young Indian man. He gets a job as a private driver for a rich family with connections directly to the Indian government.

  • Sara Emilie

Amy Tan is an american successful author who often writes books about mother-daughter-relations based on her own personal experiences.

Amy’s parents were both from China, but immigrated to the United States before she was born. Her father had fled from revolution in China, and her mother ran away from wife abuse from her earlier husband and had to leave her three children behind.

When Amy was 15, her father and older brother died of cancer the same year. Amy’s mother believed the whole family was cursed and took the children and left the country. The Tan family ended up in Switzerland. Amy got a boyfriend who was psychiatrically suicidal, and she got arrested for drugs when she was 16. Luckily she got away with only a warning. She started to studying in Switzerland and began writing novels when she was 33 years old. She met her husband on a blind date in 1970, and they have been together ever since. Her first book was a collection of short stories called The Joy Luck Club, and includes a lot of personal experiences.

I decided to read The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan, because I was really amazed by the author’s background story. Considering that, I would really like to read a book that is based on her experiences and the people around her. The book is about four chinese women, who call themselves The Joy Luck Club. They have immigrated to San Francisco and are introduced to a new life full of both possibilities and difficulties.  The book focuses on cultural differences, and the process of adjusting to a brand new culture.

  • Sara Ulla

Sources:

Kiva: Our contribution

In 2005, the international nonprofit Kiva was founded. It is based in San Francisco and their mission is to connect people all over the world through lending money to borrowers to alleviate poverty. Borrowers can apply for money to help start or grow a business, go to school, access clean energy or realize their potential. Everything donated to Kiva is given directly to funding loans, Kiva and the administration are paid for through optional donations and support from grants and sponsors. So far, 1.6 million lenders have lent $949.7 million to 2.2 million borrowers. Kiva has a vision that if a loan from them helps a person or group in one place, it will create opportunities for others as well. A ripple effect could shape the future for families or even entire communities.

One of the main mottos for Kiva, is that the money involved is a loan, and not a donation. Therefore the process of choosing the borrower you wish to partner with is important. The repayment rate is over 97%, but there is always the chance that unpredicted events occur to the country or close relations of the borrower, preventing them from paying back the loans. We were given the task of finding someone we were going to lend money to, and we started with using the Microsoft Office program “Planner”. Here we could insert our tasks, how long it would take, and who would do what. It worked great, and we were quickly set to work and searching for candidates.

In addition to what the borrowers wished to use the money for, we also had to check the loan length, repayment schedule, risk rating, and general country information for where they’re from. Many candidates looked promising, but had long loan lengths or bad risk ratings. Both these we tried to avoid, considering that it would be nice to see if our money helped before we finish school, and we did not want to send our money somewhere where it could easily go to waste.

Our candidate is called Arlene and is from Samar, one of the poorest provinces in Philippines. She moved to Manila, more specifically Malabon City, in hopes of a better future and getting a job. Arlene is married, together Arlene and her husband have two children. Arlene now owns a variety store, and needs the loan from Kiva to fill up the store’s stock. She hopes that her business will grow bigger so that she can provide for her family.

Arlene has already gotten 88% of her request, and only needs 50 more dollars. The loan length is 8 months, and she plans to pay back the debt monthly. Kiva’s webpage informes that currency exchange loss is possible, but we are willing to take the risk. Arlene has 3 stars out of 5 on her risk rating, and with 5 being the best, 3 stars are not too bad.  

Philippines is a developing country with a free market economy located in Asia. They have a high unemployment rate and a low gross domestic product, which makes their economy vulnerable. Arlene live in these conditions and that’s why we want to help her. The market economy makes it a good investment. She comes from poverty and we want to help her business so she doesn’t have to go back to living in poverty. Our hope is that our contribution will help Arlene get a more revenues, but also we’re hoping on getting our money back. Philippines have a lot of people working in primary industry and are far behind on the industrial revolution. We hope that Arlene will be able to update her store in the future.

Written by Julie, Sara and Sara

Sources:

https://www.kiva.org/lend/1194356

https://www.kiva.org/

https://snl.no/Økonomi_og_næringsliv_på_Filippinene

Dear president-elect Donald Trump

Dear president-elect Donald Trump

Congratulations on becoming the new president of the United States. I believe that this won’t be the end of the world like many people says. It might be though, but thats dew to your views on climate change. Not because you want to build a wall between Mexico and the US, or because you think countries need more nuclear weapons, or because you said you’d date your own daughter if she wasn’t related to you. But you claiming that climate change and global warming is a hoax created by the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive. That’s what may lead to the end of the world with you having responsibility for the most powerful  country in the world.

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According to the documentary “Before the flood” made by national geographic, 97% of climate change scientists think that global warming is real. Why shouldn’t we believe them? You have a bachelor in economy, but these scientists  have years of education, experience and knowledge dedicated just to changes in the climate. They have dedicated their life to find solutions to the challenges we face with the sea levels and temperatures rising, and the poles melting. Then I wonder what basis do you have to make such a statement? Your four year business degrade?

The purpose of this letter is not to make a foul of you. You have made it perfectly clear to me that you are in good conditions of doing that yourself. In stead my goal here is to prove you wrong. I am afraid you will realise too late that with the sea levels rising, will your precious Florida be a state where no one can live in the end. Species from rainforests and the arctics will no longer exist. If we let this go too far, humans may not be able to live on the earth anymore. Like it or not the temperatures have been rising frightening the past years.

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Picture source: https://cs.lbl.gov/news-media/news/2013/special-feature-supercomputers-map-our-changing-climate/

When you look at these pictures, what do you think? Do you think their all faked be the Chines?

Business Insider writes “Trump says clean water may be the “most important issue we face as a nation for the next generation,” and it will be a “top priority” for his administration.” (http://www.businessinsider.com/donald-trump-climate-change-global-warming-environment-policies-plans-platforms-2016-10?r=US&IR=T&IR=T). With the climate changes there will be no people to create clean water for. Poverty, terrorism, unemployment and clean water are all very important issues. None of these on the other hand put the planet earth in danger.Therefor it is important that you also understand the danger of not doing anything to the constant rising temperature. There are serious consequences for pretending like nothing is happening. I hope that when you become president you will take som time to listen to different views on the climate change issues.

Sources:

https://no.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Trump

http://www.businessinsider.com/donald-trump-climate-change-global-warming-environment-policies-plans-platforms-2016-10?r=US&IR=T&IR=T

https://www.beforetheflood.com/explore/the-experts/

https://cs.lbl.gov/news-media/news/2013/special-feature-supercomputers-map-our-changing-climate/