University: California State University Fullerton
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: Business Administration, International Business Administration
Study type: semester abroad
I did a semester abroad at California State University Fullerton (CSUF) from August to December 2017. Since I had known for a long time that I wanted to do my semester abroad in the USA, I set about finding a suitable university for me early on. California was immediately one of my favorites as there is so much to see and do in this state. I chose Fullerton University because I’m studying international management and business administration and this university is well known for its business subjects. Furthermore, Fullerton is quite close to Los Angeles, which is very perfect in terms of location. Check jibin123.com to see Semester Abroad In Universitat Autonoma De Barcelona.
MicroEdu made my application to the university much easier. They helped me to prepare an application and then sent it to the university, so in the end I just had to hope for an acceptance. I arranged a flight fairly early on, since the prices for flights to the USA rise a lot in the summer months. If you have the opportunity, try to get a direct flight, it will make your journey easier. On the MicroEdu website there is a SIM card provider called “Simly” – read the information about it, I used the card and was completely satisfied with it – you have enough data volume, a domestic SMS and telephone flat rate and even partly abroad!
I sat in front of the PC a lot in Germany and looked for courses that I wanted to take in Fullerton. Give it some thought and talk to your home university about the courses from the start so that they can also be credited afterwards. At the CSUF the system “Course Crashing” prevails. You take four courses in one semester, but you choose 10 courses in advance on the university page that you would like to take. The university will then assign you to the courses on site. However, it often happens that you don’t get into the courses right away – for example, I was only accepted for two courses. So on site you spend the first two weeks going to various lectures and then asking the professor if you can still join the course. If you get an approval and a signature, you bring it to the study office and you will be assigned to the course. The first few weeks are very exhausting, but it was worth it for me and I finally got all the courses I wanted.
In contrast to Germany, the courses do not have an exam phase at the end of the semester, but so-called “midterms”, i.e. exams during the semester. In addition, there are oral grades, homework and homework. Even if the level is lower in the US, it takes more time because there is always work.
The campus is very big. Because 40,000 students study there, you have to walk quite a distance to your building, depending on which course you have. But the campus is really nicely designed. First of all, it has big sports stadiums for football and basketball and as a student you can watch the games there for free, which was really a lot of fun. Typical for the USA there are also a lot of places to eat and three Starbucks. There is also a gym with a pool, but this costs $170 per semester for international students. I really liked campus life in Fullerton, it’s very different from German campus life.
I lived in the apartment complex “Streams Apartments”. It’s a 15 minute walk to the university and the grounds are really nice, with a pool and jacuzzi (which was used a lot in the evenings). I chose the accommodation because it was one of the cheapest at around $600 a month. I saved a lot with that. However, if you have more money available for rent, then I would recommend the “University House”. You pay around $1000 a month, but it’s right next to the university and has the full student life – so I spent most of my time there with friends.
Arrival and movement
Arrived at the airport I recommend the shuttle company “SuperShuttle”. You pay $44 and are dropped off right in front of your new home.
I initially decided against a car due to the cost, but my advice right away is get one! I’ve been trying to get along without a car for almost a month, but in the US everything is so spread out that you can hardly avoid a car. I shared mine with two of my roommates, which worked out really well.
There are also bus and train connections, but they are very bad compared to Germany. They run every hour, if at all. We rented the car from a gentleman named “Chicho”, who is very well known among international students. We paid $2000 for the car together for almost five months. It’s expensive but worth it!
Because we had a car, we could really experience a lot. We often went to places as a whole group over the weekend. Because the level at an American university is really lower than at German universities, we had a lot of free time at the weekend. Since Los Angeles is around the corner, we were often there during the week. Furthermore, we often drove to the surrounding beaches: Newport, Huntington, Malibu and my absolute favorite Venice Beach.
Above all, you get to know a lot of Germans who also want to travel a lot, so you were often on the road as a whole group and quickly made friends. Also, all the Americans often invite you to house parties and fraternity parties, which are really like in all the teen movies.
Must-Dos: Las Vegas, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Hiking the Hollywood Sign, Walk of Fame, Yosemite Park, Joshua Tree Park, Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, Disneyland, and Universal Studios.
My semester abroad was the best time of my life and I would do it again and again. Even if there was a stressful time because of the university, I experienced a lot and made new friends.
It’s definitely an expensive affair, I paid around $12,000 for it. If possible, look for financial support, for example I received foreign BAföG, which really helped me. It was the most expensive six months of my life, but you don’t do it all the time.
I recommend each of you to do a semester abroad, it is worth every penny and you will never forget these unique experiences !