Germany, California, and Beach. Now that's a study abroad story à la GWC!
My name is Hanne Katrin Martinsen, and I’m an international student from Germany. This spring semester is my last semester at Golden West College (GWC). I’m majoring in Criminal Justice and want to continue my studies in this direction after I graduate.
I did my junior year of high school abroad in Minnesota and since then always wanted to study in the United States. However, I knew that I wanted to study somewhere with a warmer temperature. Golden West College in Huntington Beach, CA, was — and still — is the best fit for me.
Typical start to the day
It is Monday morning, my roommates (we’re all Germans and Swedes) and I are already stressed because we woke up just in time to leave the house at 9am for our classes. We don’t have a car so we ride our bikes every day, everywhere. But we don’t mind because we get some exercise done in the morning.
After our class we would usually grab an iced coffee and go hang out and study at the student union or outside next to the cafeteria. I try to get as much studying done as possible because I’m not just a student at GWC, but I’m also a student assistant at the International Student Program office.
Going to my job
It’s almost 1pm, and I have to go to work. My responsibilities at work are answering emails, creating social media posts for Instagram and Facebook, helping students with their questions, and answering calls. You can find me at the front desk if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to stop by.
Heading back home
I work until 5pm, and I always hope for a nice sunset on my way back home. I enjoy this bike ride the most because it's the “golden hour,” and the sun is shining on my face and the temperature is perfect. However, I bring a sweatshirt just in case because sometimes it can be a little windy.
As soon as I’m home I cook dinner with my roommates. We’re all watching a show together called I’m a Killer at the moment, so we all gather together on the couch and watch one or two episodes after dinner. After an episode we always have to discuss what happened and whether we agree with the defendant or the prosecution. After that, we either go to bed or talk (when we always lose track of time and then all of a sudden, it's past midnight).
Fridays are the best
Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday look almost the same. I don’t have any classes on Friday, that’s why my roommate and I decided to take yoga classes every Friday morning at the beach.
I truly enjoy this hour of relaxing and listening to the ocean and birds. After each yoga session we feel happy and full of energy so we go to our favorite coffee/açai shop called “602” (best açai bowls ever!!!). Of course, we order our power açai bowl and enjoy eating it at the beach.
Then we either tan for a little bit or go for a stroll to the Pacific City, a beachfront shopping plaza. In the afternoon we take the bus home, shower, and hop on the couch to watch I’m a Killer with the rest of the roommates.
Exploring Huntington Beach
Every other Saturday we go around Huntington Beach to find a new restaurant to eat at. It is super fun because we dress up nicely and pretend that we’re restaurant testers and always document our ratings.
After that we go home, do some other activities (bowling, roller-skating, movies...) or go out with other friends.
On Sunday I usually like to hang out at home. Everyone is doing their own thing. I like to go on a walk and get a smoothie. Sometimes I talk to my friends or family back home and keep them up to date. If I haven’t finished my homework before the weekend, Sunday is usually the day I would finish up with them, mostly answering discussion posts. I like to take it slow on a Sunday and recharge for the next week.
I hope you enjoyed reading my blog post about a week in my life as an international student at Golden West College.
See you next time,
xxx – Hanne Katrin Martinsen
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