Northumbria or Chalmers?

When I applied for this master program late last summer I didn’t expect to get in, the name of the program sounded interesting, it could be a good back-up plan if I didn’t get a job, which I didn’t. So it turned out great. I had no idea what it meant to pursue an MSc degree, and even less what International Project Management meant. It basically means that I prolonged getting a job with two years and being part of a class of around 40 people where a big majority of them are foreigners. It also means that, to get international experience, one semester abroad at another university is an option. That semester is coming up and I have no idea what to do. I know from experience that writing it down can help, and also some help from my few readers perhaps? The university abroad is called Northumbria and is located in Newcastle, England and I would spend 3 months there (mid-September to mid-December).

Here are the pros and cons I can think of at this moment.

NORTHUMBRIA
+ If I go and then do my master thesis on my own I will get 2 MSc degrees.
+ I will get more experience
+ It will hopefully be fun (I have heard that there are lots of drinking going on there and since I don’t drink I am afraid that I will feel left out).
+ It is only 3 months away from home.
+ Jesper and I can scratch more countries on our Scratch Map if he comes and visit me (England is close to Sweden and it is rather cheap to fly there).
I have signed a contract for Liseberg until mid-October.
It will be expensive and I would have to take extra student loans.
I will be away from Jesper for 3 months.
I will be away from Cleo for 3 months (I am pretty much the only one he really likes).
I won’t be able to play any beach volleyball (and just as I was getting started with it again…).
The courses don’t seem too interesting and I can’t change them:
Research skills and methods of inquiry
Project, Programme and Portfolio Management
Risk and Value Management
Project Sustainability

CHALMERS
+ I can transfer the German credits I got at Cal Poly so I can study 50%, work more and make more money.
+ I can choose whatever classes I want to. And I can choose to take either 2 or 4 depending on if I want to transfer the German credits:
Urban Metabolism
Managing Stakeholders for Sustainable Development
Project, Simulation and Modeling in Urban Planning
Quality Management
Environmental Impact Assessment
+ I can start early on my master thesis if I want to.
+ I can save money.
+ I don’t have to quit my job at Liseberg.
+ I don’t have to be away from Jesper nor Cleo.
+ I can play lots of beach volleyball.
I will only get 1 MSc degree.
No abroad experience.

I have already figured out where I want to live if I go, so that’s not a stress element. I made a brief budget and with the extra student loan, after both rent back home and in Newcastle, I will have about 6500 SEK per month to spend on food, cell phone and stuff. And that is without the money I will be able to save after working at Liseberg all summer.

It would be so nice to continue my good life here at home and only study 50% this fall and take it a little chill. But at the same time, 2 master degrees and a semester abroad sounds like fun. I don’t know what to do. Last day I have to decide is June 1st, so I have a little more time. But before May 10th, I have to pick classes for Chalmers for the fall and I have to apply for university housing in Newcastle as soon as possible… Decisions.

 

And here are some random pictures:

IMG_4991 Jesper’s new baby sister Joeli. Such a cutie! She didn’t make a sound during the whole time we visited. And Benji, the proud big brother couldn’t let go of Youtube.IMG_20160419_160238 IMG_20160416_164317 Family birthday party, Ramses is of course in the middle of it all.IMG_20160417_003122 Having two cats means always being observed.20160411_140139 Snapchat-6750850421073615381 Snapchat-7488611384848060388 Cleo and Ramses had a party when Jesper accidently spilled food.Snapchat-8163901968016079105 Ramses sleeping in the sink.1460969454128 My new background on my phone.

Dubai Mall, Burj Khalifa

This post used to contain pictures, but due to new storage limitations from WordPress, I had to fix the problem and decided to create a new blog that works as an archive for all the posts from my travels. This full post can be found here.

Ten hours at a mall, not sure if I want to do that again, but it was a fun day! We didn’t do too much shopping, but we bought a few things, a cork globe where we can pin where in the world we’ve been, a box of cool Arabic postcards, a shot glass from the top of Burj Khalifa, a thermos I can bring to school, a deck of cards all in gold, a fridge magnet, flip flops to Jesper, and a new shirt for me and I will get to why later.

We also got a couple of birthday presents for Jesper’s younger sister. We walked around for hours and hours, it is ridonculously big!! But I think we manage to at least go everywhere, even if we didn’t go into many stores. We had lunch in one of the food courts, Johnny Rockets, haha! When it comes to food, this trip is more American than Arabic.

At 6pm we had booked to go up to the top of Burj Khalifa. We got a briefing beforehand with tea and some snacks, went through security and then took the elevator up to the 125th floor in only 60 seconds. That is pretty fast!! Then we took another elevator up to the highest floor people go to, 148, the floors up until 160 is only for telecommunication and maintenance and something. The whole tower is 828 meters high, but less at where we stood. I can honestly say that I didn’t feel any difference between the Eiffel Tower and Burj Khalifa, both are so high up that it feels unreal and that everything below is photoshoped. It was pretty cool up there though and we saw a little from the first fountain show of the day at 6pm (we got up to the top a little earlier than our reservation). We then saw the whole 6:30 show on the 125th floor where we stopped for a bit.

After that we decided to watch the fountain from the ground so we watched the 7:30pm one after some restroom brakes and some of the shopping. We got a great spot, I filmed and took pictures and it was kinda exactly like the Bellagio Fountain in Las Vegas. I didn’t see it coming, but in the end of it, the water came right at us, there were no warning signs that we would get wet, so I wasn’t expecting it at all and was watching somewhere else when the shower hit me. Jesper saw it coming, backed away but didn’t tell me. I got soaked through! It was worse than SeaWorld… When we walked back to the mall I heard some Swedish people behind me say something about me being soaked, haha! We got the new shirt at Holister and then went to Cheesecake Factory to have dinner. It tasted kinda the same, but not really, or maybe my memory is piedestaling the food, or it’s different because this is Dubai, not California. I think I was too tired to eat as well, but we got the leftovers boxed up so we have dinner for another evening as well, yay. It was good!

Then we saw some really fancy pancy cars outside the mall, took a taxi and came back to the hotel at around 10pm. Tomorrow we have to get up a little bit earlier since we are going to Atlantis The Palm tomorrow and it opens at 10am and since we don’t want to waste spending time outside on the warmest day of the week (it will be around 27C tomorrow) and because we were inside all day today, we want to be there as early as possible.

PANO_20160117_114115 PANO_20160117_120521 IMG_20160117_122201 IMG_20160117_122715 IMG_20160117_123248 IMG_20160117_125226 IMG_20160117_135544 IMG_20160117_143900 IMG_20160117_145250 IMG_20160117_155629 PANO_20160117_171137 IMG_20160117_171955 hdr_00002_0 hdr_00001_0 IMG_20160117_180933 IMG_20160117_180140 IMG_20160117_180255 IMG_20160117_180630 IMG_20160117_180810 This is Dubai Mall, crazy big!!IMG_20160117_182122 IMG_20160117_182245 In the lounge at the top we got served snacks and drinks.IMG_20160117_182327 IMG_20160117_183108 Level 125.IMG_20160117_183325 IMG_20160117_184322 IMG_20160117_184526IMG_20160117_184541 PANO_20160117_181602 PANO_20160117_181638 IMG_20160117_192133 IMG_20160117_192156 A gold car.IMG_20160117_192304 PANO_20160117_192719IMG_20160117_193010 IMG_20160117_193110 IMG_20160117_193520 IMG_20160117_195946 IMG_20160117_203147IMG_20160117_200140  12545797_1060388483983160_1629833500_o A Tesla!!12556959_1060388520649823_1927103004_o A matte black Lamborghini.12544663_1060388460649829_191403_o

Wedding, new apartment, Cleo and so on

 

 

I think it is easier for me to just post pictures from the last month and let them talk for me. I don’t know why I don’t feel the urge to write anymore, it is kind of a bummer, but here is a small update since last I wrote. Many things have happend, for example we moved to a bigger apartment, we went to a wedding, we got a cat, I have worked at Christmas at Liseberg, there was snow one evening, we went to see the final Hunger Games movie, we watched all Star Wars movies to prepare for Episode 7 which we will see in four days, I was at Sofia’s kid’s namegiving ceremony, and I have drowned in school work. That is some of the things that happened. And also, we spontaneously booked a one week long trip to Dubai in January after my finals! We both really need it, me after a hectic semester in grad school and he needs to take some time off from his security guard job.Snapchat-3531780390756977846Snapchat-259527005693573995Spotify_yim_sv-SE_4w99ue This is surprising. How can One DIrection be the band I listened to most this year?? I don’t understand! Fall Out Boy is more suprising now that I think about it…Spotify_yim_sv-SE_eBXdbQ 42 thousand minutes of listening to music this year.20151126_114720 Chip.20151126_114732 Stuff.20151128_132827 Jesper and I before his dad’s wedding.20151128_143541 Jesper’s dad and his new wife Roxanna.20151128_170403Jesper’s super adorable baby brother with a vest and a tie.20151128_172224 Roxanna is half Iranian so there was a traditional Iranian wedding ceremony after the church. 20151130_180959 New shoes that can handle the Swedish winter (=rain and sometimes slippery ice).20151205_172254 On the 8th of December we left this apartment that has been mine since the summer of 2011.20151206_195548 Christmas at Liseberg is pretty with the fake snow and all the lights. But it is cold to work outside in the just-above-freezing weather. I got rid of a lot of work shifts to focus on school which was needed. So far I have two courses done, and I got a 4 out of 5 in both of them. Not too bad. But I have to admit that grad school is much harder than undergrad. I am so stressed and with tough classes this quarter, work, and the move, it has not been an easy month. Now I have only one more report to submit in 4 days. I should be able to finish it tomorrow so I can go up to my cousins on Saturday to celebrate Christmas and work on Sunday and Monday.20151209_001117

The move and this little cute furball. Her name is Cleopatra, but we call her Cleo. She is the sweetest, cuddliest, kitten ever (I think it has been too long since Chip and Stuff were kittens so I don’t remember correctly, but this one is more energetic and cuddly at the same time). She was born on September 7th this year and we drove out to Trollhättan the day we moved in to our new apartment to pick her up. The first few days she was extremely talkative, we are guessing since she was insecure and felt scared, because now she doesn’t talk at all almost. We noticed right away that something wasn’t right with our new little family member so three days after we got her we brought her to the vet for vaccination and to chip-mark her. It turned out that she has scabies in her ears (really bad), and since none of our cats had it before. We noticed that her ears were black, but didn’t think too much about it. So twice a day until her next vaccination on January 8th, we have to clean her ears. I feel like it was really bad of the previous owner to sell us a cat with scabies, but we have loved her from the moment we picked her up and gladly help her get better. She acts normal though, runs around like a normal kitten should, and according to the vet she is perfectly healthy, except for the scabies. It already is a lot better and I hope it will all go away soon so Cleo won’t hate us every morning and evening when we thoroughly clean her ears while firmly holding her, she is not a big fan of that. In the evenings (when we let her if she is not too annoying and playful) she sleeps between us, it is super cozy! Eventually we will probably get her a friend and a big climbing tree (our living room is huge, I will post pictures next time I update my blog so you will see our nice apartment. However, we are gonna replace a lot of furniture eventually).

20151208_231729 20151208_231827 This is what the living room looked like before we put everything to where it should be.20151209_010539 Coziest cat and boyfriend ever!20151209_182044 She loves to climb and my back is all scratched up because of it, haha!20151209_225301 20151210_150016 20151210_145805 20151210_160652 20151210_175104 20151213_174910 20151213_161006 Four days ago I went up to Trollhättan again to go to my second cousin’s baby’s namegiving ceremony. Lots of cookies and cakes were offered and the cute baby finally officially got his name, Ville.20151212_112029 Waking up like this is not too bad!20151213_233110 Cleo playing with our tiny Christmas tree.20151213_233645 20151214_182355 Cat selfie!20151215_185138 The Christmas gift I got from Liseberg, 1.6kg of expensive Chocolate.20151215_170132 She loves to walk around on the keyboard, annoying when I am trying to study.20151216_120751 We have a washing machine and dryer in our apartment which is the best ever! Cleo enjoyed it too, cutie!20151216_215746 Last night we were baking Christmas sweets. Lussekatter, Mozartkulor and Knäck. The knäck didn’t turn out firm enough, but it was still very good!20151216_234950 Lussekatter!!20151217_193412Studying when she is sleeping in the lap is not too bad.

Tour Eiffel, Arc de Triomphe, Sacre-Coeur, Pigalle

This post used to contain pictures, but due to new storage limitations from WordPress, I had to fix the problem and decided to create a new blog that works as an archive for all the posts from my travels. This full post can be found here.

Today was all about being a tourist, again. Our day started with the Eiffel Tower where we went all the way to the top. I have to say though that the second floor or even the first was the worst. At the top it was so high up that all perspectives were lost and it just looked unreal. The view was amazing and it wasn’t too windy, but it was cold and it took a long while before we regained the warmth in our fingers. On our way down we decided to walk from the second floor. It actually only took 3 minutes between each floor and we stopped at the first to walk on the glass floor. That was scary AF. Time for lunch after that and then we walked to the Arc de Triomphe. That roundabout was the sickest I’ve ever seen. No lines and seven cars wide. Crazy.

Our next stop for the day was the big La Basilique du Sacré Coeur de Montmartre. It was a cool church and on our way up there a bunch of guys trying to sell us crap grabbed us and got angry with us. Stupid and scary people!

We bought a ticket so we could go up to the dome and get a fantastic view. It was 300 steps up a staircase though and that was not easy. We then bought some macaroons and sat down at a café. Their Nutella crepes were not very good unfortunately. The last thing we did was to walk around in Pillage, the street where Moulin Rouge is and all the sex shops and strip clubs. Interesting area.

I forgot to write something that happened last night at Hard Rock Café. When I was buying my 16th glass the lady behind me asked me if I was from the US because it sounded like it. That made me ridiculously happy, haha! She thought that I was from USA!

Sorry for the short post today, but there are lots of pictures instead :).

IMG_20150915_114147 IMG_20150915_130458IMG_20150915_125607Etage 2IMG_20150915_135058Etage 2

Etage 3IMG_20150915_135007Etage 3IMG_20150915_135359IMG_20150915_135529Etage 3IMG_20150915_140119IMG_20150915_140829IMG_20150915_142534Etage 1IMG_20150915_142829Etage 1IMG_20150915_142841Etage 1IMG_20150915_142915Etage 1PANO_20150915_125628PANO_20150915_125827PANO_20150915_130352PANO_20150915_135155PANO_20150915_135534Snapshot - 2

IMG_20150915_130421Etage 2

IMG_20150915_141806IMG_20150915_141816IMG_20150915_144624IMG_20150915_160210IMG_20150915_161756Arc de TriompheIMG_20150915_163123Avenue des Champs-ÉlyséesIMG_20150915_170338Sacre CoeurIMG_20150915_172441PANO_20150915_172758IMG_20150915_17283212016561_1000920863263256_22732239_nPANO_20150915_172735IMG_20150915_174712Sacre CoeurIMG_20150915_175339IMG_20150915_180207IMG_20150915_185739IMG_20150915_190452IMG_20150915_191949IMG_20150915_193453IMG_20150915_193752IMG_20150915_194106IMG_20150915_19411512026477_1000920896596586_536543612_n

Hard Rock Cafe #16

This post used to contain pictures, but due to new storage limitations from WordPress, I had to fix the problem and decided to create a new blog that works as an archive for all the posts from my travels. This full post can be found here.

This day was only half because of this stupid UTI. It started kinda okay, but like yesterday we always had to keep our eyes open for restrooms. It is not fun to be on vacation and the only thing you are looking for are toilettes. We did go to Louvre, but the line to get in was probably 2-3 hours so we decided that we would do that big ass museum on Wednesday instead (it is closed on Tuesdays). We walked to the Latin district, went inside Pantheon where Madam Curie is buried. After that I had enough, broke down and went to a health center. They said there were no appointments today but I could get one tomorrow. I started crying and said that it was an emergency, and they said a doctor would see me in one minute. We talked for a short while and he said to sit down and wait for ten minutes and then he would help me. I am surprised, French people aren’t usually very nice. But that was really good service. After only an hour I had taken the first antibiotic pill out of three, one a day for three days. There was an option to get one shot, but for some reason the doctor thought that I wanted to drag the treatment out. I so wish I had that instead. Because those pills made me feel so bad! I have never experienced any side effects from medicine before, but I got almost all of it. I got dizzy, stabbing pains in the back, pretty bad muscle pain, and hard to breathe. Tomorrow I will take the pill when we get home so I don’t have to waste the day because we have a lot of stuff planned tomorrow. The pain went away as soon as we sat down for lunch right after, but that was the end of that day’s adventure. Jesper and I went home and watched a movie while the side effects wore off.

I was feeling much better after three hours and we were ready to go out. First we went to the Eiffel Tower, it is ridiculously close to here, only 10 minutes of walking. We didn’t go up, the line was long and we needed to eat. We walked through Le Jardin du Trocadéro and took the subway to Hard Rock Café. Number 16. Neither of us were very hungry so a pulled chicken sandwich was definitely enough.

Tomorrow we are going up in the Eiffel Tower, down in the catacombs and then up to Sacre-Coeur, the big church. Maybe some shopping to if there is time. It will be a fun day!

IMG_20150914_113051 Louvre.IMG_20150914_113210 IMG_20150914_113439 PANO_20150914_113450 IMG_20150914_130839 IMG_20150914_130150 Le Jardin du Luxemburg.IMG_20150914_125737 IMG_20150914_124517 12030783_1000485769973432_1704449548_n 11850936_1000485729973436_1135731086_n PANO_20150914_125757 IMG_20150914_122823 Saint Sulpice.PANO_20150914_12325012030787_1000485726640103_637875274_n 12028978_1000485776640098_1923032123_n IMG_20150914_131612 Pantheon.IMG_20150914_131758 IMG_20150914_132323 IMG_20150914_132507 IMG_20150914_132512 IMG_20150914_132618 IMG_20150914_132759 The crypt beneath Panteon.IMG_20150914_133111 IMG_20150914_134024 12032289_1000485763306766_1804774040_n  IMG_20150914_204350 IMG_20150914_205037 It was surprisingly big. I think I will have spaghetti legs at the top tomorrow!IMG_20150914_210411 Le Jardin du Tracadéro.IMG_20150914_210909 IMG_20150914_231417

Earthquake in Gothenburg

I have lived in California but never felt an earthquake before. Apparently I sat through a 5 one time, but didn’t feel a thing. Last night, I was aware of my first earthquake ever, and it was not in California, but in Sweden. How is that even possible when we are right on one of the continental plates? The epicenter of it was right here in Gothenburg and I definitely felt and heard it. I thought it was thunder at first, but then I read the newspaper (and on Facebook of course) and it seems like this northern city got a 2.5. Kinda scary. What is happening with this Swedish summer? It is the worst ever…

I had my day off yesterday and spent most of it with Jesper once he woke up after working the whole night. We didn’t do much, we cooked dinner, and enjoyed the company. I’m sure we watched a movie, but I can’t remember which one, haha. At 9pm he went to work and I spent the night there doing some things I needed to do, and then he joined me at 7 this morning. I don’t like when he is working night. Fortunately it is only two more nights!

I was off today again and we spent most of the day in bed watching Family Guy. We then went to Max for dinner. It was good, but not as good as I imagined after a year.

Now he is working again, and I am sitting here alone, eating candy and drinking Ginger ale. I will soon go to bed so I can start reading my new book Wool by Hugh Howey. One of my coworkers told me about it and I am so excited to start reading it!

Power outage

Oh my. Haven’t updated this since July 15th? I feel bad. It always feel like a lot of interesting stuff is happening, but when it has been this long none of it seem to matter anymore somehow.

For example, I’ve had several weird dreams, like me dating Harry Styles and he confessing to me that his real name is Don Sverige and later in the same dream we were running around in raptor suits. I have also dreamt that I’ve been surfing with diving equipment. On the surface there were tons of dolphins, but when I looked under the water was all blood red and full of sharks.

I have been working A LOT. None of my weeks have gone over 40 hours, but it feels like I am working all the time with the weird evening and weekend hours I am working. No time for nothing. Work work work, and as often as possible; Jesper.  We have been seeing each other for a month now  and I seriously feel like a teenager, butterfly-y and giggly all the time. I can’t remember ever feeling like this before. He’s met my mom several times and even my dad once when we had dinner at a Chinese restaurant a week ago. I am going to meet his mom on Monday when we are going out for his birthday dinner. I look forward to it.

What else? Lots of work, and today at work there was a huge power outage. First we thought it was only on the mountain at Liseberg, but then we found out it was the whole park and soon thereafter we heard that most of the city was out of electricity, trams stood still and it was chaotic. Liseberg was also chaotic. I was at AtmosFear (the free fall) at the time and we managed to get all the guests out safely and easily. The power outage was because of a thunderstorm, and as soon as we hear thunder we have to close all the attractions up on the mountain. But this storm came upon as before we realized it an people were stuck on almost all of the attractions in the park, some for a short time, and some for longer. I felt so bad for the people working at Lisebergshjulet (the big ferris wheel). When there’s no power there, it is not easy getting the guests down and the operators have to climb up in the wheel to manually release the breaks and then let gravitation do its own thing. I am glad everyone came down safely in the end. For the rest of my two hours I just sat at different attractions telling people we were closed because of the power outage. Pretty chill, but sad for the guests coming from far away.

Now I have my weekend, and couldn’t be happier. I’ve worked 6 days in a row, 9h every day, and very bad stomach pain at the same time. I really needed this break. I have some things I need to do, try to get a second job is one of them and try to figure out my study situation this fall and contact my international students I will be a “phadder” (=wow-leader at Cal Poly) for this fall. And try to hang out with Jesper. He is working night shifts this whole week which sucks pretty bad.

There should be tons of more fun short stories of things that have happened the past couple of weeks, but I can honestly not remember them anymore. I’ve had these dry streaks before, I’m sure I will write more often soon again. Now I am going to bed to finally finish the third Fifty Shades book. I don’t like the series, but I can’t just stop in the middle, I can’t not finish a book. After this I will go back to fantasy/sci fi/dystopia again. I was told by a friend at work to read the series Silo by Hugh Howey. I really look forward to that, he spoke highly of it.

I will try to get next post up much sooner than this time.