University: California State University Fullerton
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: media management
Study type: semester abroad
It was clear to me early on at the beginning of my studies that I wanted to do a semester abroad in the United States. Dear Anja from MicroEdu gave me great advice on this and recommended California State University Fullerton in California. Because California itself is a great and popular place to study for internationals and the CSUF also offers good, diversified and nationally renowned business and communications departments that include suitable courses for my specialized course in Germany. Furthermore, the Cal State Fullerton scores with relatively low tuition fees. Check iamaccepted.com to see University of Birmingham study abroad opportunities.
After the choice of college was clarified relatively quickly, I filled out my application and sent it to MicroEdu. The fact that the agency goes through all the documents again, checks them for you and then sends them to the partner university relieves you of a lot of work and the fear of forgetting something or doing something wrong.
After a few weeks, I received the confirmation from CSUF for the fall semester 2016/2017 by e-mail and the documents required for the visa by post.
Life on campus and studying in general are not at all comparable to that in Germany. Students at Cal State Fullerton – known as the “Titans” – enjoy their time on campus, participate in the many programs and clubs on offer, and are in no hurry to get home after classes. In addition, students and professors have a close and friendly relationship, which is made possible by the small course sizes. The professors respond to you, are always available for questions and help where they can. Just like you always see it in American films but don’t know it from home. : D
In 2016/2017 I took the following courses:
COMM 351: Writing for the Advertising Industry (P. Evanow)
This course was very easy for me and I had a lot of fun. Prof. Evanow is a very warm person and responds to each individual student in the course individually. Almost every week, after the correct execution had been explained, a practical task was set and we usually had the opportunity to solve it during the lecture period. You didn’t have to do much for the course and if you worked through the assignments properly and with a little effort, you could easily get a good grade.
COMM 361: Principles of Public Relations (D. Swanson)
The course presents a rough overview of the subject of PR. Because only the basics are covered, the lectures are unfortunately very theoretical. However, Prof. Swanson tries very hard to bring in practical exercises and applications and would like to prepare the students as well as possible for their careers. For example, entry opportunities in the American PR industry were discussed, which unfortunately didn’t do much for me as an international.
COMM 480: Persuasive Communications (F. Zandpour)
Unfortunately, it was a difficult course, which I didn’t enjoy either. Only theories were dealt with thematically and the workload was immense: alternately a test or a multi-page Written Analysis Assignment with a presentation to be prepared every week, plus a written Weekly Assignment every week. However, Prof. Zandpour was very nice and accommodated the course at the final. Instead of an exam, he had us write a 10-page essay. If possible, don’t choose courses with extremely high numbers, like I did with my 480.
MKTG 445: Strategic Internet Marketing (S. Atkins)
Prof. Aktins lives for internet marketing. He loves his subject and is passionate about teaching it. However, his teaching is limited to stories that he has experienced in practice with his consulting company. So you have to do a lot of your own research or have previous knowledge in this area. Reading the textbook and your own book is essential for the course.
Everyday life + travel
I stayed with 2 other girls in a 2 bed 1 bath at the Homestead Apartments. Within 10 minutes we were on campus by bike. Total rent per month was $1820.
As a student abroad, life in California is full of fun, lots of new impressions, light-heartedness and high expenses. Because the cost of living in OC is generally infinitely high and you still spend a lot on your own pleasure and activities.
During the week we were always out and about in the area. Orange County is in a great location – there’s plenty to explore and discover in the immediate vicinity, but it’s also close enough for weekend trips further afield. We were out almost every weekend and saw almost everything worth mentioning on the west coast. If you plan to visit several national parks, it is worth investing in the annual pass. It is valid in all national parks in America and at a total of $80 it is cheaper than paying $20-30 for each individual park.
We did n’t have our own car during the semester abroad because we didn’t feel prepared for the LA traffic at first. But the traffic isn’t bad at all and can be easily mastered after a little getting used to it. Otherwise you can get everywhere quickly and relatively cheaply with Uber and Lyft and you can rent a car for weekend trips. By the way, Enterprise has a great weekend special!
My semester at CSUF was the best time of my life and going to California was the best decision I could have made! I’ve met so many great people who can count among my friends today. I can unreservedly recommend a semester abroad to everyone. It’s a costly adventure, but the moments and experiences you get to experience during this time remain unforgettable and no one can take them away.