Life as an exchange student abroad

Hi fellow readers and newcomers to my little virtual diary called Haraldmeetsworld. Here I explain my life in the US, normally in my native language Norwegian but I decided to change things up a bit to prevent bored readers and similar posts all the time. In this post I am describing my life generally in the US, my previous weeks, how long I`ve been here and how long I am staying for my exchange student year. I am excited to write about this and I hope to reach some new crowds, so if you know someone interested in reading, just show them my work; I don`t mind!

My first 15 years I grew up in the southernmost part of Norway in a little fishing-village called Feda. This little place was small and cozy with picturesque landscape and wonderful people but I wanted to explore the world. I attended a boarding school 3 hours from home for one year. This school was called Drottningborg and was situated in the city of Grimstad in Norway. Here I found an opportunity that was going to change parts of my life highly. At this school we have an exchange program with a school far, far away overseas in the state of Nebraska; Lincoln-Lutheran Middle/High-school. I had heard about it, but rarely had I thought about the opportunity to come abroad and visit this place for a year. I had already as a saw the posters saying «send an application to come to Lincoln 2012/2013 when I remembered the good memories of family-vacations in New York and Florida. I loved this country so this application thing seemed like a great idea! I wrote an application on around 10-15 pages with every sort of information from my background, educational level, Christian faith etc. I handed this information in to my counselor at Drottningborg and he sent it overseas. I found myself in the process of wondering how it would have been to be in US for a year, even though it wasn`t confirmed yet. The 23 of january 2012 I got the answer; Congratulations Harald Overaa, you are accepted as a student at Lincoln-Lutheran 2012/2013. I was so happy to get this opportunity I valued as unique!

From this period of time I am going to transition into my newer period of time; my year in the US. August the 8th I left Gardermoen airport in Oslo, Norway for my adventure abroad. I arrived in Lincoln 20 hours later to meet my new host-family I was going to live with for a year. It was excitement in the air as I was meeting my American family. From this point on to this day, the 15th of february I have lived in this new culture. It is not really different but we have some differences from what I am used to. During the year I have lived here in Lincoln, Nebraska together with two other students from Drottningborg, two girls to get exact. Together we have enjoyed the life as norwegian-exchange-students at Lincoln-Lutheran doing sports, getting new friends and getting more and more Americanized. I did football in the fall as a Warrior playing Defensive Line-man and Kicker for the school-team. I have also played the sport of my life soccer in fall leagues and indoor winter league. Our real season starts within short period of time and boy I`m excited for that!

During my year I have met a ton of new Americans. I have met people mostly through sport activities at school, classes and lunch at school and church-activities. It is great to be able to develop my language here in the US while I am meeting other people and having a good time. I like to hang out with friends, getting some pizza, playing video-games, watch movies or something. We have a good time together and I enjoy life here!

At school I am a senior this year, this is a new and fun experience. I have the opportunity to be a leader at school, both academically, spiritually and emotionally. It is all about showing them hove to do certain things and how to react. Not all people are doing great at this, but I am trying to do my best to be Christ-like in my actions even though I am not perfect either.

I earlier explained the process of Americanization I am going through. The world as a whole is getting more Americanized besides maybe Iran and North Korea. More McDonalds, Burger King, Pizza hut and such are popping up around the world. I therefore experience a tiny but of the culture by eating at those places back home. However, I was not aware of how common this courtesy of fast-food eating was for Americans. The lifestyle over here are very hectic, with sports, work, home-work and such so people have very little time if any to go home and cook. Therefore it is very common for Americans to eat out. They want fast, tasting and cheap food and that is McDonalds in a nutshell according to most Americans. During my year here I have found myself eating fast-food more frequently than usual. I have tasted the food of fast-food places like Arby´s, Subway, Wendy´s, Dairy Queen, Burger King, McDonalds and so on. 1/4 of Americans eat fast-food every day at least once and I am not an exception most times. This would is not to be glorified due to high fat content and lack of nutrition, but I am in sports 5 times a week so it`s not too harmful for me to eat. How Americanized have I been? I have donuts every sunday in church, eat out almost every day and I watch Americans sports either live or on TV most days. The most common ones are Football, followed by baseball and basketball. I love the sports even though I prefer soccer. Now I am sitting and watching a Lincoln-Lutheran basket-ball game against David-City at 12534 North 56th street in Lincoln where the school is situated. I am realizing my americanized I am now, the theme for today`s game was camp and I am currently wearing a US Army suit from the 80`s since my host-dad served in the army. I am still norwegian with my colorful and funny accent, bad grammar and arian looks but the culture I am living in is influencing me as I realize. I love it here and I enjoy this life, even though my heart will always remind in my home-town Feda with the big old church, the soccer-field I used to play on and our beautiful Feda-fjord! I am Harald A. Overå and I am a norwegian abroad!

I hope you enjoyed reading a bit about my life as an exchange student no matter where you are situated in the world. I am enjoying American life and I hope you enjoying my writings 🙂


7 thoughts on “Life as an exchange student abroad

  1. I hope to visit Norway someday! Are you in San Francisco? I grew up not far away. Welcome to the States! I’d love to hear about more of the differences between the States and your home. There are many things I *don’t* like about American culture. 😦

    • I am in Lincoln, NE but I have visited the bay area for some days back in October. It`s a lovely area. I like the general life of American culture, but everything is seemingly not perfect here, and nowhere else either. You have good and bad sides of everything..

      • You are right. There is no perfect place. Sometimes I feel many of the problems in this society are self-created and perpetuated, though… I sometimes think I want to settle outside of my own country. I lived in Asia for a while… Do you like Nebraska? I lived in Tennessee for about six years.

      • I like Nebraska a lot! It`s so different from the «normal» scenery I find in Norway with tons of fjords, mountains and such. People are friendly here and I have get to know the culture good! Tennessee is cool, I have a friend from Norway as an exchange student in Clarksville, TN. Where did you live in Asia?

      • I lived in the north of Taiwan for two years and Hong Kong for a year and traveled all over in between. I’ve been to Europe, too, but never as far north as Norway. I’m glad you like it! Nebraska is pretty flat for me… There are people here who would kill for a chance to go to a beautiful country like Norway, so count yourself blessed! 🙂 Thanks for writing back!

  2. Yeah, Norway is beautiful! it`s once you live away for some time that you really see how beautiful it really is 🙂 I would encourage you to look at my hometown Feda, it`s a stunning little picturesque village south in Norway!

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