California State University Fullerton Review (18)

California State University Fullerton Review (18)

University: California State University Fullerton

City: Fullerton

Country: United States

Continent: North America

Field of study: Business administration, computer science

Study type: semester abroad


California State University Fullerton was founded in 1957 and accommodates over 37,000 students. Unlike the DHBW in Stuttgart, the CSU Fullerton has a large campus on which the entire university life takes place. Check to see Semester Abroad In Saint Marys University.

In the center of the campus is the Pollak Library, which offers a wide range of all literature required for studies on 4 floors.
The student council buildings are arranged around the library. The building in which the IT lectures take place is a bit older, but very well equipped. Every student has a PC at their place in the rooms there, which is state-of-the-art.
The building of the Business Administration student council, in which the corresponding lectures also take place, is the newest on the entire campus. This also offers state-of-the-art technology and lecture halls and classrooms of all sizes.
The so-called “Bookstore” can also be found on campus, where you can buy university clothing, stationery and electronic items in addition to the books you need for your studies.
On the edge of the campus there is a large canteen, which was also only built a few years ago and therefore appears very modern. The buffet offers something for every taste.
The Student Health Center is also located on campus, which every student can visit free of charge. Several doctors are available here throughout the week and medicines can be purchased at reduced campus prices in the attached pharmacy.
As at every American university, Fullerton attaches great importance to sport. In addition to a basketball and football stadium, the university also has its own baseball and softball stadiums. There is also a full track and field facility, a large pool and several tennis courts. Most of these facilities can be used by all students.
The “Student Recreation Center”, the university’s own fitness center, deserves a special mention. For $120 you can use it for the whole semester. In addition to strength and cardio equipment on two floors, it offers a climbing wall, a complete running track, as well as numerous indoor basketball courts and an outdoor pool.

It should be noted, above all for students who, like me, study at the Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University, that the DHBW sends students to Fullerton, but has no explicit cooperation with the CSUF. As a result, you have to look for your courses yourself at the beginning and enroll in them.
However, since the American students are all already enrolled, you have to be content with remaining places and there is no guarantee that the courses required by the DHBW can be taken. In our case, however, the DHBW was extremely cooperative and alternative courses were approved very quickly.
Studying at the CSUF (and probably at any other university abroad) differs greatly from studying at the DHBW. While in Germany you spend the whole week at the DHBW, in Fullerton you only have about 12 hours of lectures per week that you have to be present for. However, the rest of the time is not free time, but is used to prepare for and follow up on the lectures, which is really necessary here. Depending on the subject, tests are written every week and two to four exams over the semester are the norm per subject. In addition, homework and projects have to be worked on.

The level of the lectures is very different, while some were a lot easier than in Germany, others correspond to the level of the DHBW, but overall the course is manageable.
Besides the lectures, there is still enough time to do things, but you have to take into account that the lecture-free time is not exclusively leisure time.
In the USA, exams are almost exclusively written according to the multiple-choice principle, which is also a big difference to the DHBW.
It is strongly recommended to take care of the required textbooks as far as possible before you start your studies. Buying them new on site is very expensive, for example the required accounting textbook costs $270. However, there is the possibility to buy used books a lot cheaper via Amazon or student forums.


Personally, I lived in University Village, a private dorm right off campus. From there you could easily walk to the lecture rooms in about 20 minutes. You have to be aware that housing is relatively expensive in the USA and you get less for the money compared to Germany. Nevertheless, all of the dormitories around the campus have a certain basic level, so that you can live there well.

The University Village offers apartments for 3 people each, with the rooms varying in size. The largest room (approx. 20 square meters) has its own bathroom, the other two residents share a bathroom. The other rooms are about 15sqm and 12sqm. In addition, each apartment has a kitchen and a living room.

The smallest room is $975 per month, but this price includes two meals per day during the week. This service is a key benefit, as groceries are also relatively expensive in the US and you get a more diverse range of food than you would probably cook yourself.

In addition to the University Village, the homesteads offer a good alternative for students. This is an apartment complex where individual apartments can be rented, also sleeping 3 people. However, furniture has to be rented separately here and meals are not included in the price.
It is not advisable to stay in the university’s own halls of residence (the so-called dorms), since only some of the apartments have been renovated and very strict rules apply there in terms of noise levels, cleaning, etc. In addition, these are about the same price as comparable offers right next to the campus, where there is definitely more service.

College life

Fullerton has a variety of events on campus, most of which are also free. In addition to all the sporting events, there are also big concerts, film evenings and lots of other events.
You also have the opportunity to join one of the numerous clubs at the university. For example, the business club regularly organizes meetings with executives from the region or things like a trip to the Disneyland headquarters. The adventure club regularly offers hiking and camping trips in the region and numerous sports clubs are also offered.
These clubs are also very good for getting to know American students, since the majority of the dormitories around the campus are international.


The CSU Fullerton is very well located for leisure activities of all kinds. There are several cinemas, a shopping center and an outlet mall in the immediate vicinity. Los Angeles Angels Stadium and the Honda Center, which host numerous sporting events and concerts, are also nearby.
Fullerton also has a few bars and clubs that are always busy on the weekends.
Fullerton also offers an ideal starting point for larger trips, since Los Angeles is relatively centrally located within California. You can be in San Diego in about 2 hours, or take a long weekend drive along the coast past Stanford and Silicon Valley to San Francisco and Las Vegas is also only about 4 hours away.


Since public transport in the USA is very poorly developed, you cannot avoid taking care of a car. If you don’t have a car, you’re basically stuck at the university and already have problems if you want to do some more shopping. Therefore, you have to factor in the cost of a car in your planning right from the start.
It makes the most sense to rent a car. With full insurance (which is highly recommended in the US), expect to pay around $1200 a month for a compact car. But since you can share the car with several people, the costs per head become more bearable again.
Many students also buy a car at the beginning of the semester, which I strongly advise against. All of the students I know who have bought a car had to have at least one major repair done during the semester, or were unable to sell the car to other students at the end of the semester and had to sell it to used car dealers at a much lower price.


At this point I can expressly recommend the CSU Fullerton! Fullerton offers everything you need to get a very good impression of what studying in the USA means. Due to the location of the university, you have every opportunity to explore the entire west coast by car and there is always something to do in Fullerton itself.
In addition, the quality of the lectures, the facilities at the university, the support provided by the International Office and the wide range of sports on campus were absolutely convincing!

California State University Fullerton Review (18)