I’m alive.

My little blog, how I’ve neglected you. Life is hard, you know? Life in New York is nothing like what you see in the TV. There’s blood, tears and hustling involved. Unless you have wealthy parents or have been extremely good at saving – moving to the Big City doesn’t guarantee more happiness in your life. It doesn’t even guarantee that you’ll find yourself, or your long lost dreams or purpose in your life. The only revelation that might hit you is that you shouldn’t have moved to New York to begin with.

Thankfully, the latter is not true for me. I’ve never for a split second regretted making the move. Throwing away a life in Denmark and all the security that came with it. I should have done it differently had I had different tools but “it is what it is” (a new saying that I picked up here in NYC)

I’m hustling. Paying my bills. My rent. My tuition. Keeping up with all the responsibility that comes when you live in a country where you don’t have any security or safety net protecting you – just in case something were to happen.

I love it.

Now, I’m at my 5th and second to last semester as an international student. I have absolutely no clue how time passed by so extremely fast. I feel like it was yesterday that I wen through JFK’s doors with my visa freshly stamped .

When the semester is over in less than two months, I have another 3 months summer holiday and then my last semester. During the summer I hope to travel a little bit and I hope to start my search for a job during my OPT. I really hope that my education, my knowledge and my passion for the city will help me land the job that eventually can sponsor me for a work permit so that I can stay here.

I promise to talk a lot more about that later, because I’m not planning on neglecting the blog much longer. Until then, let me get back to this midterm about financing new ventures … (my entrepreneurship plan class, yay!)

Student in New York

January 30th, 2012 was the first day in my life as a student in New York. I was super excited and not really nervous. I entered the school with the attitude “Do You know who I am?”

At first glance of my class room I was shocked. With all due respect to the public school system in New York I thought to myself: “This is so baaaad…!” It was a culture shock!

I’ll wait and tell you what I thought of my professors and their teaching until the end of this semester 😉 Haha, but no, I enjoy my professors. They are very helpful and its obvious that they care about their students! Some of them are even graduates from NYU and Columbia which means that the quality of my education gets better – for cheaper money! That’s what I call a bargain!

So far I haven’t had any problems keeping up with the work,  and I think this education was the right decision for me! 🙂

Next week I have my first test and I’m a little bit nervous but my professor told me I’ll do better than I think.

I’m still looking for employment on-campus (only thing allowed for F-1 students, and I’m not planning on breaking any laws and risk being deported!) but so far nothing seems to come up. I even applied to Cleaning gigs but nope …

I’m doing good though, and I have a very nice and sweet roommate which makes everything a little easier! (Yes, apparently I’ve become ‘that’ person … the person having roommates!)

Until next time … For the danes; take a look at my newly updated website (Tourist in New York) www.turistinewyork.dk

Still no visa.

This is getting on my nerves. If there’s anybody that deserves getting a visa I would be one of the first on the list. Have I not done everything the last 5 years in accordance to getting this dream fulfilled? Or am I fooling myself. Where did I go wrong?

I still need to prove I have about $14.000/year – right now, the only solution is someone willing to sponsor me, and understand that I wouldn’t really take their money because I have the money coming from scholarships in Denmark.

Anyone? *sigh*

This is stressing me out.

Also read: http://www.iloveny.dk/2011/10/08/application-for-the-immigration-certificate-of-eligibility-form-i-20/

Getting on top of my situation

So this whole ‘getting my student visa’ situation is really getting frustrating. I keep reading other people’s experiences and hearing how other people did it. People give me good advice but when I look at my papers it looks a lot more complicated.

It makes me really sad, because I really want to continue my education in New York. I think it will be an awesome opportunity to study hospitality and tourism in the greatest travel destination on earth! Also, I don’t feel that I put my best foot forward while studying in Denmark and I do want to enhance my understanding of the industry. Plus, I think it will benefit not just me on a personal level but also the business I want to build once back in Denmark.

Anyways, I’ve not given up the last 5 years and it’s absolutely not the time to do so now. Not only is it a perfect choice for me to study in New York it will also be of my own personal interest. I have a lot of friends in New York that I can’t wait to get to know better and I wanna ‘be a part’ of the group! I’m not ready to say goodbye to any of them now.

So in my fight to keep this dream going I went to get my picture taken yesterday, and I filled out my application for the green card lottery. I did it a few years ago, not knowing that you’re not suppose to pay for it. This time I did it the right way and it was so easy! Now, obviously there’s no guarantees that I’ll win it but it doesn’t hurt to try.

Today I was also looking into other hospitality management programs in New York. There’s definitely others but the cost is still the same or more. I wish I didn’t have to show documentation that I have $32.000 … When in fact, I do have them .. coming!

Ay, this very second I’m just going to enjoy that the sun is shining and I have a view that gives me butterflies …
The Truth!

At least I’m alive.

I’m going through more than I want to admit right now. It’s really really hard! Not only am I dealing with personal issues that I should have dealt with years ago, I also have to face the fact that I’m actually in a bad state – financially!

As I mentioned in my last blog I accidentally misunderstood how I need to provide the financial documentation that I will be able to pay the expenses involved with studying in the US.

That meant that I’ll have to come up with a whole bunch of money. My bank, with a little help from my grandfather seems willing to help out with a loan. My financial situation in general isn’t that bad, so they’ve normally been really helpful and this time it sounded like we’d be able to work something out, even though it’s a whole lot more than what a normal 26-year old would borrow when it’s not for a house or a car.

Next Thursday I have my final exam where I have to defend my dissertation. I should have started preparing but I’ve been so focused on my financial situation. Actually, I’ve been worrying a lot…. I wanna do what’s RIGHT!

Ayayayay

Sweet return, or?

It was hard leaving New York. Leaving the town of Forest Hills, that is my home. Leaving my friends, that I love so much!

I got the chance to say goodbye and hug two of my best friends, and it did break my heart looking over my shoulder when saying the last farewell, on my way through security. I know, that when I return .. it’ll all be here .. but it will be different!

I gotta do, what I gotta do. If any of it was real, it will have more the reason to be real when I come back! I have to tell myself that.

The flight was not as pleasant as hoped for. I love flying Icelandair. But we were stuck on the runway for 40 minutes. I took a Benadryl and was able to sleep most of the way to Iceland, but I woke up with an aching body many times. I guess sleeping on an air mattress / couch for 3 months is not healthy at all.

When I finally got to Denmark, my mom picked me up. Haven’t seen her in 4 months and it was a tearful moment.

A few hours later,  I saw my baby sister (the 15 year old) and oh, I love her so much! I kept hugging her, never wanted to let go.

It was a weird evening, being back in the house that I grew up knowing that it’s no longer home. Not knowing what will happen to me in the next couple of months. But I will be strong, “I will come back STRONG!”

Denmark is my country and I will get the best out of it, before I go back to New York for school. After all, that was the whole purpose of going to New York in the first place, right? Not creating a life, not falling in love …

Please, remember me! Please!

(This one is dedicated to you!)

Status on NY dream vol. 4

Only a few days after my last blogpost I went to my mailbox and the only thing awaiting me was this beautiful envelope:

cuny acceptance letter

The letter was thick and heavy and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to open it. When I finally did, my heart sank when reading the first word: ‘Congratulations…’

Really didn’t read the rest of the letter until a few hours later. First, I had to phone my mom and let her in on the good news. She was of course so happy for me, but I think I also sensed her being a little bit sad. After all, this is going to mean that I will be out of Denmark for quite some time. But as I told her, I will be back!

Then I texted a few good friends in New York. And finally I posted the news on facebook! Normally my status updates doesn’t get a lot of ‘Likes’ but this one cleared the table!

Finally I read the whole letter but especially the first paragraph felt so unreal:
“Congratulations on your acceptance as an advanced standing student into the Hospitality mgmt program at New York City College of Technology for fall 2011 semester. I am pleased to welcome you to the City Tech family”

Me, chubby little Dane, a part of the the City Tech family. ME!!!!

Even writing this now, makes me so emotional. It’s not like I have doubts in myself ’cause I know my own value.

It’s just, when I realized I wanted live in New York back in ’06, I didn’t even have my high school diploma. I was a drop-out, a quitter, a wreck in many ways.

I pulled myself together and did what I had to do. And NOW – It paid off!

Well, there’s not enough time to apply and get the F-1 visa (student visa) so I will have to talk with the school to postpone my start until spring semester ’12. But no worries, this will only allow more time to finish all necessary paperwork, applying for scholarships, finding proper housing, work/save money etc. Plus, I do have unfinished business (like a dissertation) in Denmark.

You know what, cross that part  – Not that important right now …

I DID IT!

Things to do instead of …

Yo!

Pro-Poor Tourism in USA, specialization report, hand-in Monday, 20 pages ..

So as I’m getting more and more frustrated about the fact that I have to write something that has already been written before I find myself coming up with excuses to do  much more important things and my mind wanders off and suddenly this is what’s going on:

Listening to old cd’s with Vonda Shepard.

Packing a box for shipment of SATC dvd’s I sold online.

Trying on pants from my closet realizing that they actually fit so much better now after all the powerwalking I’ve been doing.

Curious about how the pants look with the plateau heels I bought this summer in NYC.

Getting even more determined to be able to walk those heels on a regular basis when I’m gonna be a fancy international student in NYC – here’s to our welfare system!

Running back and forth from the kitchen, in heels, prepping for dishes and making a pot of coffee.

Thinking, a hardworking student such as myself needs coffee to write interesting reports on pro-poor tourism aka sustainable tourism aka eco-tourism aka whatever.

Realizing that I still have some starbucks instant iced coffee left that I bought the last day in Forest Hills.

Contemplating having both hot and cold coffee when one of my favorite Vonda Shepard songs are playing..

Decides to look it up on youtube but accidentally starts listening to other versions of it .. Share it on facebook. Makes a silly comment trying to link the fact of being heartbroken and having to hand in a 20p report on Monday.

Finally sits down.

Check my email – nice! Newsletter from Forever21. Gets caught up by some very nice dresses

Again thinking about the shoes. Together with the dresses.

Writes an email to a friend.

Checks my phone. No text messages.

The coffee is ready in the kitchen. Dang, I love my coffee. I actually love my kitchen too. It’s cozy. A real, old Copenhagen Apartment kitchen.

Am not going to afford an apartment like this in New York. Will be renting a room. In somebody else’s house.

Why is tuition that crazy anyway? Oh well, anything to live my dream, right?

I can’t wait to start applying for scholarships.

Oh wow .. PEST analysis .. Economic factors in the external environment.

I don’t like working within the box of regulations and rules and expectations.

.. I’m a smart kid.

This report is going to kiss some butt. I even have this sentence in my report:

…’cause it is shameful to forget about the people living in devastating situations around the corner from where we shop our Manolo’s and have our venti triple mocha lattes.

I only have this report, 2 months of classes and a dissertation left. I’m motivated. I will do it. I just can’t wait to do it for real, in real life situations, on the work place.

The coffee is still steaming hot. I can’t drink hot beverages. It has to cool off for at least 20 minutes. Preferable half an hour.

I love my blog. This domain. Have had it for 3,5 years. It’s about time I do more with it.

I don’t care how great my blogs are (thank you very much!) but nobody wants to read my stuff forever .. Nah. I wanna do more. I wanna give back to society! Or at least the ‘New York starving’ tourists.

If only I had more hours in a day – then I would be writing a perfect report, cleaning up my apartment, having lunches with friends AND! I would work harder to get this website and the other 5 I have more popular.

So many ideas …

I need to write a blog.

Here you go …