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“I got in, moved to Santa Barbara, and never looked back!”

Fri Dec 01 2017

Anna decided to leave slightly colder Norway for sunny California to study her dream education in Santa Barbara. We have talked to her about the American school system, her life in the U.S. and her plans for the future.

Name: Anna Anthun
Age: 22
Hometown: Bergen, Norway
Studies: Business and entrepreneurship

Hi Anna! How come you decided to study in Santa Barbara?

For me, moving to Santa Barbara was pretty random. I had never been to California, and knew nothing about the state in general. I found the STS catalogue at a friend’s house and looked at the destinations they offered. I was already going to Sydney for a semester at this point, but I didn't know what to do after that. As time flew by and I was living in Australia, I realized that I loved the warm climate and the new experiences that came with moving to a different country with a different culture. I always remembered what I had read about Santa Barbara and the programs STS offered, so without any hesitation at all – I just applied. I had a feeling that told me it would be amazing, no matter how long I decided to stay. I got in, moved to Santa Barbara, and never looked back!

What do you study?

I study business and entrepreneurship at Antioch University, SB. Now let me explain what usually happens when you study in Santa Barbara. You will most likely complete one year at Santa Barbara City College, where you study whatever you feel like. Even though you are a business major like me, your first year is all about general education. At SBCC, I studied terrorism. marketing, wine (!), hotel leadership, etc. It was a lot of fun! If you then decide that you want to continue your education in California, you apply to Antioch University. This allows you to transfer the classes from SBCC, so that you achieve your Bachelor’s degree in 3 years. (In the US, it´s usually 4). I have now been living in SB two years, and will complete my Bachelor next summer.

How come you chose to study business and entrepreneurship?

I study Business, but it is actually just a concentration. When you graduate from Antioch you receive a degree in Liberal Arts. What this means is that you choose a concentration like Business or Psychology, but you need to complete required subjects like culture, social justice and ecology. I am personally seeking a career within hotels, events or marketing. With my broad knowledge, it really helps me figure out what I am passionate about.

Are you aiming to take a degree in the USA?

I am currently on my third year and will either do an internship for a year, or start my Masters right away. (I can't see myself leaving this place in the nearest future!) When you complete any degree in the US, it allows you to work in that required field for a year. This is called an OPT/1-year visa.

What is the best thing about life in Santa Barbara?

I remember always watching “The Bachelor” on TV and wondering what all these people meant by saying “I love my community and do my best to contribute”. Being from Norway, I've never really been a part of a community quite like in the States. Santa Barbara is a fairly small town, and I absolutely love how I get to know new people every day and be a part of events and charities that make up a network and a community. It makes me want to get involved and get out of the house, however weird that sounds! May I also add: the sun, palm trees and the sunsets.

Santa Barbara is known for its great student life; do you like it?

I sincerely love it here.

How do you like the teachers and the school system?

At SBCC, not too much. Some love it, but I got a bit of a high school-vibe. A lot of homework and multiple-choice quizzes. At Antioch, you write assignments, give presentations and contribute to class discussions. This system – I adore!

Have you been able to travel a bit in California and the US?

I have. During my first semester in Santa Barbara, I was very fascinated by the L.A. lifestyle. I went down there almost every weekend and had such a great time. However, this lifestyle was amazing the time that it lasted, but I grew to love Santa Barbara more. The relationships I´ve made in this town are worth spending time on, and I would rather do something fun with them rather than meeting new, fancy Hollywood people every week. Maybe this is just me growing up? I’ve seen all of California, and travelled to Florida and Colorado during my two years here.

Would you recommend other people to move to Santa Barbara for studies?

Yes.

What will you remember the most from your student life there?

It might have been my experience with the STS house I was placed in. When to travel with STS, you can choose to be accommodated by them. I lived in a house with 8 other girls from Scandinavia! After a couple of days, we were all friends and nobody felt like they had been traveling alone. Even though we are just 3 girls left in California, I made lifelong friendships living with those girls.

Thank you, Anna!

Read more about Santa Barbara City College.

“I got in, moved to Santa Barbara, and never looked back!”