1. - No ties
2. - Popular employees
3. - A learning experience
4. - More than just work
5. - A permanent move?
Task 1 B
Your year in Hong Kong
If you are about 17 years old, the time has come to explore the world. The first period of the life as an adult, is just around the corner. This is the phase in your life, when you are ready to collect life lasting experiences. Why not take a school year abroad? Yes, it might get tough, especially in the beginning, the process of fitting in, in a completely new environment, dealing with new and unknown people, a new language and so on. But, the chances for you to fit in to the new environment over time, are good.
Hong Kong is an excellent choice, for students that wants to experience new corners of the world. Its position in the far east, make it an exciting, kind of exotic destination for people all over the world. The local people are kind, and they show special kindness to foreigners who have taken the long trip to their own nation. Another great argument for choosing Hong Kong, is the fact that English is an official language, and it is practiced by a great number of the population. This will definitely ease your transfer from your original environment, to this famous Asian area. If you are a social and kind person, who have the ability to create a social network, and over time suit your self to a new culture and different traditions than you are used to, we can more or less guarantee, that your stay will be successful and memorable. As you finish the year, you'll look back at it and you will not regret. You have most likely learned to speak English fluently, and the odds are good , that you'll get one or more life lasting friendships. Choose Hong Kong!
Task 2 A
Chase the dream – become a pilot!
When my father was young, he looked at the airstrips up in the skies, with a dream of one day becoming a civil pilot. The aircrafts fascinated him, he wanted to fly one of them when he became an adult. So he started digging for information about the occupation, and found out that it is a long and tough road you have to complete in order to became a pilot. But, he learned that if the desire and the motivation exists, you can make it. Now he is an experienced pilot, and he has told me, his son who want to go in his fathers footsteps, about the process.
The complete education required to fly commercial aircrafts, will cost you quite a lot of money - unfortunately. Once you get there however, when you have got the licenses you need, and the amount of flying hours needed, you have entered a fine occupation with lots of benefits. First of all, the salaries are high. An average pilot flying for SAS, makes 1.2 million,- NOK a year. You'll have the worlds best office view. The co- workers are great, and share the still existing passion for flying an aircraft. You often get a close friendship to some of your co – pilots, who might sit along with you for many hours.
The working days are flexible. For example, you might get a charter-flight mission, which means that you can fly down to, say Naples, and stay there for a week, then return home with the gang that you first flew down with. This means that you can discover lots of corners in this world. If you for some reason need to fly somewhere as a passenger, you can enjoy great discounts. It is also a job that carries much respect among people in general.
- The sky is NOT the limit.
A unique nation – The United States of America
It's the country everyone's got an opinion about, the nation with some 300 hundred million citizens and the nation that is listed as one of the largest countries in the world. It's said that the American people in general is a nice and peaceful group of people, proud of their traditions and accomplishments in world history. As many other students worldwide, I chose to take a closer look on this nation – which is the root for many discussions both negative and positive. As a 17 year old kid, I moved over the Atlantic, from Norway. The destination was San Fransisco. I didn't have particular expectations of how it would be, staying in the states for 10 mouths, I knew that the US is not like it's showed as in the movies, but my only knowledge of this country was through school and the media.
When I arrived at the airport, I obviously noticed, the strict security procedures when it comes to foreigners coming to the US. Once I got through the security, and they'd confirmed that my ID and other papers were correct, my host family welcomed me to their nation. The first days at their home were somewhat unexpected. Since the distances are so big, most teenagers in the US stays at home, and aren't socializing with their friends in the spare time on a typical weekday – highly unlike what I'm used to in Norway. However there are more activities on the school than in Norway, take school sports. Mosts high schools have various sport teams in different sport genres and most of the students participate in on or more sports. The schooldays lasts longer. There were stricter disciplinary rules, but I quickly managed to suit my self into the system.
I swiftly got to know that the behavior of a typical American citizen, distinguish from the behavior of the man in the street in Norway on certain points. The food for example; a typical American breakfast includes food containing much sugar, and fat. According to statistics published by the Norwegian newspaper VG, 200 million Americans suffers from overweight. That is 2 of 3 Americans! My sisters personal experience, was that when she lived in Washington D.C as a teenager, she got an impression that few people actually exercised regularly. If you take the children this counts for, and combine that with parents who give their children KFC or McDonald's meals often (unhealthy food), you have a disquieting result. In fact, the overweight among US' citizens costs the American government some hundred billion dollars – annually. This is far away from the situation in European countries, even though the overweight problem is present there as well, though in a smaller scale.
I think that there is an obvious connection between the overweight problem in the states, and the fact that the car industry is so big in the country. People choose the car, even in situations where they might not actually need it. This assertion of mine touches another big problem in todays world; the global environmental crises. I have learned through many sources that the man in the street in America, give little care to the environment. The politic, former president George W Bush lead, represented the believe that the US was the villain when it comes to climate. For example, as one of few nations, the US did not accept the Kyoto agreement. But, in this aspect, changes might take form. On a Norwegian TV channel called tv2, I saw a news broadcast not to many days ago. I heard Øyvind Brigg, the television channel's US correspondent, say that that the American man in the street, have already become more focused on a greener environmentally profile, as president Obamas hundred days as president, had just passed. Trough Nrk's evening news broadcast, some days ago, I learned that Obama wants to initiate a project which purpose is to vitally reduce the discharge US' cars pollute per mile, affective by a few years into the future. Even though Obama has created hopes for the future, in various subjects, I'll not cheer in advance. We'll wait and see for the results of the actions that Obama has promised through his campaign before he became president, and the new moves he has promised so far in his presidency. But, they seem positive.
An important thing about the United States, is the fact that it's a multi-cultural society. It has always been, as the country was established and populated by people from various nations. During my stay, I saw people with various nationalities, or at least people with origins from other areas of this world. Asian, European, African , South and Latin American people, they all seemed present, in a smaller or greater scale in many American cities. But, the racism remains as a problem. Ever since the slavery period in the US ended, the country has faced severe troubles with racism, and problems with the fact that there are different religious views. It has made its remarks in the history. The murder of Martin Luther King is a tragic example, that some people couldn't accept the fact that there existed people among them, who looked different. Fortunately, the racism has been reduced. The earlier mentioned president Barrack Obama, is the definitive example that the US has progressed in the mentioned area. But still, we shouldn't be satisfied before the problem has been completely removed – all over the world.
When it comes to national values, there are some basic things that counts for US families, I learned. It's important that the young ones gets education, and finishes college. The earlier mentioned car is and has always been a true symbol of their need for freedom. The weapon is another tool that many Americans hold dear, and which they have done throughout history. Through countless reports and TV documentaries, and personal experience, I can't even imagine how many Americans who have a shotgun hidden underneath their beds, or above their fireplaces. When I was there, a rifle shop was always accessible around the next corner. The United States are unique in terms of firearm policy. I think it's because the industry is so big in the nation. Even though statistics about gun-murders in the US are high, the core of the people wants to keep the liberal gun laws, I learned through a British documentary. On this point, guns and cars are somewhat similar. That's because they have at least two common denominators; deaths, and the fact that they're both huge industries. I once read that the annual number of deaths, where the cause of death is car crashes, is around 30.000 per year. 30.000 victims a year, it's an unbelievable number, even though the nation have a great population. But actually, it doesn't surprise me that much.
Just before I left for the exchange-year in the US, I learned through the Norwegian DMV, that in some US' states, you can actually drive to school when your 13 years old! When you become 16 years old, you can drive a car, you just have to fulfill a relatively easy driving-license program, and you're ready to go. Here in Norway, the process of getting the drivers license is way tougher, because the Norwegian state, is very concerned about the safety on the Norwegian roads. So another thing that guns and cars in America have in common, is the fact that rules in the respective fields, are liberal and they both lead to a great number of victims, either wounded or dead. But, then again they are traditional American items. Hopefully it will be changes in the policies though, so both visitors and citizens of the United States, will be safer.
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