University: California State University Fullerton
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: Business administration, information technology
Study type: semester abroad
The actual application process for the university was very easy. My university in Germany gave me a pool of cooperating universities to choose from. All applicants were also accepted for Cal State Fullerton. MicroEdu was always a great help with the paperwork, and Cal State Fullerton sent a lot of information. The application process only became uncomfortable at the university in America. Cal State Fullerton cannot accept students who do not enter the university in their first semester into their online course system. Unfortunately, the seats in the lectures are allocated using this system. The international students’ “wish lists” are only evaluated when there really aren’t any Americans interested in the course anymore. I only got 2 of 4 selected courses and had to beg for a seat for the other two with routing slips from professors. In the end, I did get all the necessary courses, but not my first choice and, above all, not the times I wanted. Unfortunately, this approach forces international students into early morning and late evening classes that no one else is interested in. Check iamaccepted.com to see Universitat Autonoma De Barcelona study abroad opportunities.
The lectures were of surprisingly good quality. Especially in my field (IT, management, accounting), the content was very detailed and had clear added value for me. Apart from this positive surprise, the course was typically American: a lot of small homework and group work, many smaller, not too difficult exams.
I made a conscious decision to live in a hall of residence rather than with a host family. Of course you get a lot of American culture from the host family, but I really didn’t want to be restricted during the semester abroad. I then heard the wildest things from friends in host families, for example that they were not allowed to have a relationship as long as they lived with the host family. I then decided on the University Village. In the University Village you share an apartment with two other students. There is usually a small, medium and large room, with the large room having an en-suite bathroom. Even the small room was still larger than my German room in a shared flat. The apartments are simply furnished, partly dirty and worn. The students in the University Village are mostly international. This semester the Koreans had the lion’s share, before that the Germans. A large German group did not form, which I very much welcomed. Instead, I didn’t use a single German word in California, even from German to German. It’s true that it’s hard to get to know Americans in University Village, but I think the internationality is much more valuable. The individual nations are by no means kept to themselves. My close circle of friends consisted, for example, of Germans, French, Chinese, Taiwanese, Japanese and Iranians. Getting to know so many different perspectives on life has really enriched me and shaped my character. If you are looking for a lot of peace and quiet, the University Village should perhaps be avoided. Smaller parties take place regularly from Wednesday to Saturday. In the beginning the parties were always ended by employees, in the last two months you could do whatever you wanted as long as it was non-violent. The University Village itself also hosted a lot of events and parties, such as a big pool party with slides or an indoor mini golf event. Two meals a day were also included in the rental price. Meals could be freely chosen from breakfast, brunch, brunch, lunch and dinner. There were also free midnight snacks during the Finals phase. Overall, I was very satisfied with the food, but you should like Mexican. All in all, I can only recommend the University Village.
Leisure and excursion possibilities
The recreational opportunities in Orange County and the surrounding area should be well known. The beaches (Huntington Beach, Venice Beach, Laguna Beach, Santa Monica) are all within a 40-60 minute drive. Disney Land, Six Flags and Universal Studios are world famous theme parks that are also just around the corner. Los Angeles itself, especially Hollywood, should be seen, but personally I was very disappointed with the city. Fullerton itself has a small party mile downtown, which I unfortunately never explored myself. Day trips to San Diego and the surrounding national parks such as Death Valley are highly recommended! Incidentally, Las Vegas is only 4 hours away by car. Larger excursions in the western USA are also highly recommended. With some friends I went to the Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, Viewed Monument Valley, Salt Lake City and Yellowstone National Park. The entire trip lasted 8 days and left unforgettable impressions. Apart from big trips, there is also an excellent range of sports on campus from a gym with pool to badminton and tennis to archery.