”I love to come back here, and feel like I am home again,” Elisabeth Danielsen looks around and takes a sip of her coffee while we sit outside the French Press.
It is a late October afternoon, the only day in weeks when the sun was not shining through the clouds here in Santa Barbara. “This city is like a home for me, this is my comfort zone.” According to this international student from Norway you don’t want to stay in that zone, nothing fun happens there and you will not grow. That´s probably why Elisabeth —a graduate student from Antioch—is using her OPT and works in Los Angeles producing music videos, freelancing, and living out her dream in the big city.
After high school, Elisabeth decided to take a year off and went to Mexico to study the language, after 4 months her Spanish was definitely improved, but this girl had not traveled enough. In August the year later, she left Norway and was on her way over the Atlantic ocean to attend Santa Barbara City College. After she met Guy Smith, the Chair of the BA program, Elisabeth decided to continue her education at Antioch University instead of going home to Norway, and she has never regretted that decision. She fell in love with the small classes, the great class discussions, and the way the teachers are passionate about what they do.
After she graduated with a degree in Communication and Media in May 2014, she was faced with some hard decisions. Should she go back to Norway? Apply for her OPT here in the States? The opportunity was now or never for Elisabeth, as it is for most of the international students. She would not be able to do this in a year. “It was a now or never kind of feeling. And I can always change my mind if it doesn’t work out. I would rather try than not try, it can go both ways. You can hate it, you can love it. You never know.”
A few amount of people know exactly what they want to do when they start their degree, Elisabeth is one of the many. However, after her internship in LA producing music videos there was no doubt. ”I am a creative person, but I don’t want to rely on my creativity,” said Elisabeth who loves to produce and make connections. ”I‘ve always been organized and that is a great deal in this business.” She is now an assistant for an executive producer and is also a production coordinator or assistant in different productions. ”I don’t want to lock myself into doing one thing. I want to do what I want to do right now, not in 10 years. I always want to take the next step and get on the next level.”
When I ask Elisabeth about her future, the Norwegian girl looks at me with sparkling eyes, almost bursting with excitement. Elisabeth wants to continue with music videos for fun, commercials for money, and documentaries for the importance of it to educate people. ”Creating awareness is something I get from Antioch, how I can make the world a better place.”
With a dream of having her own company, her biggest goal for now is to build a resume, learn as much as she possibly can, and enjoy life.
You can see some of Elisabeth´s amazing work here: