University: California State University Fullerton
City: Los Angeles
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: industrial engineering
Study type: semester abroad
I’ve been back in Germany for a few weeks now and first of all I have to get used to the cold and yet very different weather and the time here. I spent my semester abroad at California State University Fullerton and I can say that I had a really cool and exciting time there. After the idea of doing a semester abroad, I very quickly came across MicroEdu and very quickly got really great, non-binding and neutral information about a semester abroad. Every question I had, no matter how small, and every matter was always taken seriously and answered very quickly, competently and in detail, the application at the university with the admissions and so on was very transparent and well designed and at this point I would like to compliment MicroEdu for the smooth and great work you did in planning and running the semester. At first I didn’t know which university to choose because there are really, really many universities in California and in the Los Angeles area. I chose CSUF because the costs are comparatively low, the location is just really good and I can get credit for many courses at my home university. After the visa applied for and picked up (it’s easier and less complicated than you sometimes think) and the flights were booked, things started at the beginning of August. Check iamaccepted.com to see Victoria University of Wellington study abroad opportunities.
Fullerton and environs
Fullerton is a city located a few miles from downtown Los Angeles. Because the entire Los Angeles area is built up and made up of cities, it feels like one giant city. All necessities of life can be found in Fullerton itself and supermarkets, barbers and much more are all a short distance away. There are also a few bars and “clubs” in Fullerton Downtown, but more on that later. It takes about 30 minutes by car to get to the beachand therefore relatively easy to reach for excursions. However, you should always take into account the traffic that always prevails in LA at all times and that you always have to plan for. All in all, Fullerton is a generally relatively normal town that makes a great base for many great trips and is located in the heart of the Los Angeles area.
Living and eating
After arriving at my residential campus in my Super Shuttle (a taxi should cost $100, I’d rather take an Uber or the Super Shuttle), I checked into University Village in the evening without any problems. I already organized and booked the University Village from Germany and it worked very well and easily, because the staff in the University Village are really nice and helpful. Of course there are also many other accommodation options on site, such as the homesteads (also really well located apartments with great facilities), on-campus apartments or other apartments in the area. You always find somewhere to stay, you don’t have to worry about that. What I particularly like about mine What I liked about the accommodation is that on the one hand it is so close to the university (only once across the street) and that the food is already included in the rent. Because there is a cafeteria on the premises of the University Village and here you meet a lot of people from different countries and for my taste the food was really really good and you definitely always found something to eat, even if it was just pizza. The University Village regularly organizes events to meet people and experience something. The complex is very well maintained and also has a pool. The rooms are so far clean and really good, but of course not the newest, but to live there for the time being, it’s more than sufficient and you spend most of the time outside anyway. In general, the University Village is not necessarily the cheapest option at first glance, but if you rent an apartment and then have to worry about eating and cooking, you end up with the same result in my opinion. So you can enjoy almost all the luxury you can afford in the UV and can concentrate on “studying” and making a lot of trips.
University and courses
The University of Fullerton is really big by my standards and accordingly has a very large campus on the sports fields (soccer, tennis, baseball,…), various small restaurants, a recreation center (where I spent some time during my semester because that range of sports and courses there is really incredibly good ) and much more can be found. Everything that you would otherwise not find directly on campus can then be found in the immediate vicinity. During the orientation eventThen, after various speeches and instructions, we were finally told how to look at their courses, which you can definitely get into, because you had to choose a few beforehand. If someone tells you that these courses are fixed and you can no longer change, then nod politely and do it anyway, because of course every enrolled student (including international students) is free to choose their courses as long as they meet the course requirements (what is usually not a problem). However, course selection is by class crashinga bit different and much more stressful than in Germany, but still everything is possible, even if it is sometimes difficult to get into business courses because there are really many students here. But as I said, everything is possible and if you stick with it and talk to the professors, then everything works, at least everything worked very well for me. So I was able to arrange my timetable with my desired courses in such a way that I only had university on Mondays and Wednesdays and therefore had a lot of free time and time for homework. In terms of standards, I have to say that in general I find it a bit easier in the USA than in Germany, although you have more to do, because here there is not only an exam at the end, but also oneMidterms, assignments, quizzes and in-class participation. Everything counts in the grade and overall it is more than in Germany, but multiple choice is done quickly and homework is not a problem as long as you don’t have to write huge papers. My courses at CSUF were Managing Operations (MGMT 339), Project Management (MGMT 444), Global Marketing (MKTG 445) and Leadership Skills and Personal Development(HUSR 350). Global Marketing was the most demanding course, since the exams consisted of essay questions and you had to write a large paper. The professors are all very friendly and very helpful and always have an open ear, especially for international students, and try to help where they can. All in all, the workload is easy to manage and the professors are also good at itand so I think it is ideal for anyone who wants to be challenged, still want to bring reasonably good grades home with them and also want to have time to travel and do other things in their free time. And a little tip: if you have the opportunity to take the HUSR 350 course with Charles Roysten, by all means do it!! The best course I have ever attended so far.
You quickly get in contact with a lot of different people in Fullerton at the university, but also in the University Village. And even if there are a lot of German international students there, it’s not difficult to get in touch with the Americansand make friends. On the one hand, for many people, partying or going out in the evening is part of leisure activities, and of course that is also the case for me. I’ve taken an Uber so many times with friends (Americans, Germans, Mexicans, Swedes and many more) to Fullerton Downtown to bars and clubs and it was always really good. We also went to LA from time to time to party and what unfortunately always bothers us in general is that all the bars and clubs close at 2 a.m. and alcohol is no longer served 30 minutes beforehand. A bit strange compared to Germany, but that’s the rules and laws and the law not to drink alcohol in public should be taken seriously, because the Americans don’t take much fun there. Besides the nightlife, which you can certainly find almost everywhere you go, there are of course also the excursions and trips that you can do. Fullerton really offers an ideal starting point to get everywhere relatively easily (but by car, of course, because local transport is super cheap, but so poorly developed that it is better to take a car). I’ve been to San Diego twice, San Francisco twice (make sure to go here if you get the chance!!), Las Vegas twice, Grand Canyon, Joshua Tree National Park, Seattle and many more places as well been on beaches. There really are so many cool things you can do, when you are there and unfortunately I didn’t manage to do everything I wanted to do either, because in addition to the coast, you can also travel further inland. The possibilities are unlimited. It’s really worth it, especially the beaches, national parks and cities like San Francisco, Seattle or San Diego!
- Uni = $5625
- Rent (University Village) = 5 x $1245 (I have to say that I had a deluxe room because unfortunately I didn’t get another one. The cheapest room is available from $995 with everything that goes with it.)
- Food = is already included in the rent
- Travel, souvenirs, clothing, etc. = approx. $2000 (Clothing in particular is particularly cheap in the USA and is really worth buying. So if you still have space and money left, you will have fun!)
I really had a great time in Fullerton and made a lot of friends and was able to take a lot of impressions from this country with me. The university is really cool and offers many different courses and opportunities, so everyone can find something that interests them. The time during the presidential election was particularly interesting, but there were also many other things and habits that you acquire over time and that you can’t list all of which made this time really valuable. And especially the experiences and memories from free time and trips with friends will always be remembered. Anyone who goes to Fullerton, or just California in general, or wherever, will experience unforgettable moments and take it home with you and I can really only advise everyone to have this experience and take everything you can with them, because who knows if you will ever be able to experience a time like this again?! I hope that you will have the opportunity to have this great experience yourself through MicroEdu.