Talking with Expats: Christina

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Before I became completely overwhelmed with the end of my teaching semester and my graduate school semester, I was talking to some different expats about their experiences. This week, I’m sharing Christina’s story. Christina is actually an immigrant to Norway, where she is currently living with her husband. She has her own blog, which you can check out here.

1. You reached out to me because you are an immigrant and was hoping to offer some insight on your experiences as such. Where did you immigrate to? Where were you living before?

I immigrated to Norway in the region of Møre og Romsdal, in the Ålesund area. Before I immigrated I lived in the suburbs of Chicago, IL USA.  Lots of corn fields vs forest. 

2. What is the process like surrounding immigration? Was it difficult?

The process for immigration was a real pain due to America. My husband and I were separated for the process for about four months. I, thankfully, stayed with my parents. I took the train into Chicago to turn in all my documents. They had to be in order, in color and have a proper picture for the card. It took a long time in that building because I was glomped together with people moving all over Scandinavia who did not have it together. In the end, I thought they had lost my papers and I could not get a proper response from anyone. My husband finally contacted UDI or the Norwegian immigration office to find out what was going on. They said everything was in order and I could move  to Norway. Our separation was over!  
There was a lot of worrying and stress but I did it!

3. Why did you choose to immigrate to Norway?

My husband is actually a Norwegian! We lived in the US a couple years and realized the healthcare system was awful.  My husband and I thought life would be better in his home country where I would receive better care. 

4. Had you visited Norway before?

Oh yes. I visited Norway a couple times and really enjoyed it. It’s beautiful here and I love his family. 

5. How long have you been in Norway? How has your adjustment been?

I have been here 1.5 years now. My adjustment has been a bit hard due to medical issues. I haven’t been able to go to the free language courses here and getting a job is difficult.  I have been alone quite a bit. I’ve just been doing hobbies to fill up my time. I like making things for other people. 

6. What do you miss the most about home, if anything?

Beside the obvious like missing my family, I miss the food. I was living in a food-mecca with so many options to choose from to eat. I oddly miss super American foods like spaghetti-os and kraft macaroni and cheese.  

7. What have been your biggest achievement involving your immigration?

So far, we just moved into our first house ever. I’m pretty proud of that. 🙂 

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