The Worlds of Fun

So during the weekend my parents were visiting Omaha, they had a day of their own to explore the city, which they did by visiting the supposedly best zoo in the US, which was the same I visited the first week I spend here. During this day I went to the amusement park “Worlds of Fun” in Kansas City with my buddy the university had assigned for me, her boyfriend and her friends.

1393704_10151993428906579_2069791437_nThe whole group. Love how the sun makes my face fade away so nicely.

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The Parents

My parents were curious about going to the US and when they got to know that I was going to study there for one semester, they started planning for a trip here.  Just last week, they visited me here in Omaha and I introduced them to life here before they would move on to Florida. There they would go on to watch a NHL match in Tampa and see the beaches of Miami.

I met them at their hotel the day after they had arrived here and we started by going to Boys town. Sadly, most of the pictures taken are on my parents camera, so I’ll just show the ones I took.

Old picture of Boys Town (much bigger now).

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The Nebraska Sex Offender Registry

So apparently according to the “Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act of 1990, 20 U.S.C. Sec 1092”, the University of Nebraska at Omaha has to provide information relating to crime statistics and policies concerning campus security to current students, faculty and staff. I got a mail stating that the most current Annual Report is now available online on the website. If anyone’s interested they can check it out here. The relevant info is in a table at the bottom at the page.

The thing that caught my eye, however, was a link to the Nebraska Sex Offender Registry. In the US, if you are charged with a sex offence, you have to report where you live, especially when you move to a new county or state. Apparently this data is not only to the local police, but civilians can access this too. The information can be found online and I could easily just type in what city I was living in, and then browse where different sex offenders lived in the region. Not only could you see where they lived, but also their names, personal information and even what vehicles they owned. All this of course along with the crime they were convicted for.

Now what I’m wondering is, is this an effective way to stop the sex offenders from committing sexual assaults in the future? Is this something that should be implemented in countries like Finland (I don’t know, maybe we already have something similar) in an effort to hinder them from doing this in the future? It would be interesting to get some views on this in the comments.

SORI could easily just browse the map for where every convicted sex offender in Omaha lived.

The Greek Life (aka. Fraternities and Sororities)

During my time here in the USA I’ve had the chance to come in contact with the Greek life here. Mostly what I know about about this comes from different movies, so it was nice to actually see this for yourself. I’ll catch you up to speed real quick if you haven’t heard about these:

Basically it’s social organisations or societies which help you achieve some goal, like community service, professional advancement or scholastic achievement. Many of the organizations have some sort of niche or are founded for a special group (like Christians). The names of the societies are usually two or three Greek letters. These letters are usually initials of the society’s Greek motto. Many of the organizations are nationwide and have different chapters at different campuses. Continue reading for more info about the houses.

2013-09-01 21.13.45One of the frathouses, pronounced pi-kappa-alpha, or pike for short.

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The DMV

In this post I’ll tell you about the DMV, my experience there and how to get an Nebraskan state ID. The reason I wanted to get an Nebraskan State ID is so I wouldn’t have to carry around my passport whenever I wanted to buy a beer or go to a bar. I’d rather loose my $7.50 state ID than breaking or loosing my passport.

2013-09-09 15.22.54I wasn’t the only one standing in line.

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The Car Culture

As many of you know, you can get a drivers-license in the US when you are 16 years old. What you might not know, is that basically everyone over 16 has a car, and I’ll tell you why. Basically everything in this country is built for cars. The city is spread quite thin, which means that the distances are quite big. Every fast food chain has drive-through and there are parking lots everywhere.

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The Free Stuff

After a hectic first week, with a lot of new stuff happening, I finally have some time to update the blog.

During every day on the first week of the semester, we’ve attended events that give free food and free stuff. I guess you can’t say it’s completely free, as the tuition fees here are up to 5 figures high. However, since I’m part of an exchange program, I don’t pay any tuition, so it’s all free to me.

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The dry campus

All University of Nebraska campuses are so called dry campuses, which means there is no alcohol allowed on the premises. I practice this means that you go to private parties like house parties, fraternity parties or bars and clubs to get drunk. All the activities organized by the University are alcohol-free, which is interesting since you basically feel like you are 14 again; playing games for children that people on Europe only would play if they’ve had a couple of beers.

Enforcing this rule there is the campus security, which patrols around the campus, pulling over cars that look suspicious and other stuff. If you get caught you’ll have to enroll in a class which costs you $100. The second time you get caught you’ll pay $200 for the advanced course. The third time you’ll get kicked of the campus. I have a feeling you wont be able to get credit-points for attending those classes either, so I think I’ll concentrate my drinking outside of the campus.

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One of the free events organized from the school

Heard today at the alcohol-free welcoming event:
“This sucks, I really need a beer”
“Dude, for this shit we need vodka!”

Tips:

  • Figure out in advance if you want to live on a dry campus or not before you choose your exchange destination
  • If you live on a dry campus, try to see it as a part of the experience and a part of the local culture
  • Get drunk when you get the chance outside of the campus
  • Don’t get caught by campus security