Helsingborg – CPH – YYC – Canmore – Nelson – Victoria

Hey friends,

This time around leaving my family was extra hard.  It’s testing my conviction that a life here in Canada is the road I want to go.

First I want to write some about money. First of all, the normal expression “money is the root of all evil” is miss quoted as some perhaps know..  it’s “the LOVE of money is the root of all evil”. The small difference in words makes a hugh difference in the end.

My lovely girlfriend stated a while back that “living as a poor person didn’t suit her”. It doesn’t suit me either! I’m so tired of not having enough money to do what I like, live where and how I want, eat what I want, buy want I want, without even looking at the price tag!
Especially now, when I know I have at least four to eight months of  “poor student life” ahead of me! I’m considering all possibilities of saving money, buying bulk, making large portions and freezing portions to save on food, share accomodation to save there, buy a bike to get exercise and save on gas and parking fees.

I read this blog and I’m going to quote from it:

“Manage your money wisely so your money does not manage you.  Always live well below your means.”

My girlfriend and I have the same goals and aspirations when it comes to many things in life, perhaps the reason we get along so well. She and I both want a fancy house, would like to enjoy nice food and wine, nice cloths and travel. But if you are strapped for cash I guess there are only one thing to do right? Go up earlier, work harder, stay later – right? What if you are in a another country where you’re not allowed to work…

Anywho..  Dream big my friends!!

Wow, it’s been one and a half crazy weeks I tell ya!

Tuesday the 18th I left Sweden for Canada to deal with all my belongings in Rocky Mountains of Canmore, Canada.
It was a very sad day with tears from most of us in the family. My loving girlfriend was I guess the one who had most tears running down her cheeks, not to say that she was the one who was the saddest to see me go. Our family has never been big on showing emotions so I guess there are lots more to it that was shown. Needless to say I was sad to leave as well; I really enjoy visiting my family, even though living with my parents for such a long period is always a trial, a short visit as a healthy portion is always the best way to go.

Catharina and I went to her apartment in Helsingborg to spend the night and then go from there to Copenhagen really early the day after. We spent most of the night talking, looking at each other, hugging and crying. It was a very sweet night.

When I got to Canada I was of course very nervous due to the fact that I hadn’t received my student visa yet, so the plan was to go in as a tourist and later when the student visa application had been accepted “flagpole” the US boarder and go back in as a student. I got to the boarder and had no issues going through customs, my bags where all delivered as scheduled and it was just a matter of picking them up from the conveyor belt and head out to the arrival hall.

My friend Jamie had received my email and was happy to come and get me at the airport. I called him when I was in the arrival hall and he told me he was only 30min away. Perfect timing!

We went to get a movie and a bottle of rosé wine and then onto his place. I got to see my biatch again, my Nissan Xterra. She was dusty and little dirty, just like I left her, but she started up with no problem. I managed to see 15min of the movie (nodding 4times by then) so I decided to go to bed and get my beauty sleep. 9h later I woke up around 6am and felt I needed to do something. So I grabbed Jamie’s keys to the storage and started empting my truck into his storage.

About 2hours later she was all empty and I started to sort out what I would need to bring for my offroading with the CN4XC (Calgary Nissan 4×4 Club).

From 090822 – 4×4 @ Top of the World

There was LOADS of stuff to organize during my days in the Bow Valley.  Getting the mail, cash cheques, plan for the offroading/camping, organize with U-haul to get the trailer in a time where and when I want it, do a road test for an Alberta license, change my windscreen (the old one was cracked), go to Herbalife to purchase some health stuff, buy a camping chair (the old one broke on my last adventure with CN4XC remember?) then organize so I can pick up the U-haul trailer on my way home from the 4x4ing, go back to Canmore, get it all packed up and ready to go for the morning after when Jamie and Richard was heading to Nelson for their camping.
The plan was to go with them to Nelson, BC camp out with them, then head on west to Victoria from there.

It was a long drive, we left Banff at around 14.30 on the Sunday. We reached Kootenay Creek Campgrounds just outside Nelson at around 22.30 (8h of driving). What a star-filled night sky we witnessed!! Look at these pics!

From 090823 – Canmore, AB to Nelson, BC

I was up at around 07.00 and when walking around the campground I got a text message from my mum saying that the student visa was approved. I asked if she could kindly scan the letter and email it to me. I spread the word to Jamie and Richard who were standing just next to me.

After shopping I left Jamie and Richard in Nelson at around 10.00. I drove pretty much non-stop (some short pee-brakes and food breaks) all the way to the town of Hold where I visited the information centre and could use their WiFi and look at the email from my mum. It stated that I was accepted but my Hunny-bun was not, due to the college not being recognized as a college. I was kind of irritated but at the same time glad for this. Irritated coz I knew it was a recognized college and that the High Commission in London had made a mistake. Glad that it was such a simple mistake that is fairly easy to fix.

I settled in at a campground and I was out at 20.00 after some BBQ:ing and 9h of driving. I had set my alarm at 05.00 so I could leave at the latest 06.00 and planned to be on the 09.00 Ferry to Victoria. I arrived in Tsawassen at 08.15 and paid just over $60 for my Xterra and U-haul trailer to get on.

Around 11.00 I was at my new house and met my to become roommate Anselm a German guy who are doing his PhD in business. He kindly helped me to carry some of my stuff into Catharina’s and my new room. It took me a good two days to get organized and first yesterday (Thursday) I had the chance of getting my suitcases and boxes up on the attic to free up some space.

Wednesday was also an interesting day. I went to Camosun College to meet with my international student advisor. We were talking about courses I wanted to change and concluded that yet again CSN (Swedish student loans board) put me in the shits due to the JCU courses I took and never received funding for. However, another meeting with the program coordinator Anna Colangeli on Monday might solve those issues. I’m prepared to discuss it with her and I think I have a good chance of getting some of what I want.

Camosun College didn’t seem to be as approachable and student friendly as the reception I received in Medicine Hat. The advisor even started a sentence “you might want to contact Medicine Hat College again to see what your options are there”. Ehhh WHAT?
I thought a few times while I was listening to the advisor, “I hope you don’t make me regret my decision to study at Camosun instead of Medicine Hat”.

However, with that said, after sending a copy of the page from the High Commission stating that the college was not an accredited institution I got help from the Associate Director himself. I got a chance to see him in person a couple of times to speak with his regarding this and he sent emails to the highest person in charge at the high commission in London while I was sending a fax to them asking them to change their decision. So that part was very nicely handled.
Perhaps the advisor I have come across just have views that is not compatible with mine? I do remember the very first call I made to Camosun and if you remember I wrote about it as well here on the blog. I believe it was something like “very rude, they are not going to get my money!!”

I still get the impression from this advisor that I should be thankful for her help and that they don’t go out of their way to help their students and what she has done is not what they normally do. I on the other hand, is of course very thankful that they do help me out, but I am paying them well over $40.000 over three years so I think I DESERVE some help…  I mean they are hired to help me and to recruit students. Somewhere along the line I think she has forgotten that the college needs students and they do NOT need unhappy students that either leave or talk bad about the college.

I must say the way the Associate Director International handled the visa issue was above and beyond. Perhaps I should deal with him instead in the future?

Last night I even installed my projector and enjoyed a 100inch widescreen viewing of a movie. I felt like a King lying in bed watching that thing!

Orientation yesterday at the campus was alright I suppose, but the last two hours where more or less a waste of time I feel for me anyway. They spread information about the campus, the different student help lines and much more. This was really great, but then hearing that in Mandarin, Chinese, Japanese, Korean and some other Asian language was not that rewarding. But I’m lots older than most people there and perhaps it can be useful for the 20year-olds that left their homes and countries for the first time, like I did in 1999.

Due to that, I decided not to go to the orientation at the other campus (Interurban) today, though I felt it would be the same layout and not as rewarding as doing something else.

Yesterday I also had time to get organized with all my papers. I hole-punched and indexed papers, dating back to 2007 in to a binder. Felt so great to have that all done!

I’m almost up to three pages here, so I’ll round things off here and start do the final touches on our room and perhaps start doing some laundry as well today.

See you all on the flip-side!!

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