University: California State University Fullerton
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: business administration
Study type: semester abroad
When I was planning my semester abroad, I knew right away: I should go to California! After a long research, I then decided on the CSUF because it is one of the cheapest universities, the location is great and the course program was also right. Check iamaccepted.com to see California State University Chico study abroad opportunities.
So now it was time for the paperwork, and that really shouldn’t be underestimated. Fill out application forms, apply for an international student loan, take the TOEFL test, travel to Frankfurt for a visa… I can only advise everyone to start with all these things early enough, as this often costs a lot of time and nerves. Thanks also to Aline from MicroEdu, who was really always very helpful and helped even with the dumbest questions;)!
The question of where I would live came up. Looking for accommodation on site was too stressful for me. From the proposed housing options, I then decided on the University Village (UV), an apartment complex vs. the university, where only students live, so that you can find friends relatively quickly. What also makes the UV attractive is that the price includes 10 meals a week and the apartments are already furnished! I then applied via email and received a confirmation on the same day.
Next up was course selection. Since I was already very far advanced with my studies in Germany (the semester abroad was already my 6th semester) and the University of Cologne has rather strict rules for the crediting of courses, my options were very limited. But then I picked out a few courses and sent them to the university. More on the actual choice of course on site later!
When all that was done, the last few weeks in Germany flew by and then it was time to pack! All I can say is don’t take too much with you;) You can go great shopping in California and later you’ll only be annoyed by the excess luggage! So pack light;)
About a week before the start of university I flew to LA with AirBerlin. I can’t recommend AirBerlin for such a long-haul flight because you don’t have your own entertainment system and it’s very cramped. I stayed at the Motel 6 for the first night in Fullerton.
The next day we went to the ISS Office to register and then to move into the UV! I lived there in a fairly large apartment in a single room. Usually 3-4 people live together in the apartments. If you would like to live with Americans, let us know when you apply;) A lot of Germans lived in the UV. However, we quickly made contact with the Americans and the other internationals, so I didn’t care;).
Shortly before the start of the university, we were informed which courses we had already taken and how many courses we still had to crash. Unfortunately, I had only come to one course and had to crash a few, which made the first 2 weeks very stressful. I then managed to get into 3 courses, unfortunately all courses that I could not get credit for. It’s just difficult to get into some of the business courses because they are very popular. You should really be very flexible and check the crediting rules of your university carefully beforehand!
I have taken the following courses:
- MKTG370 – Buyer Behavior at Katrin Harich
- MTKG445 – International Marketing with Irene Lange
- FIN310 – Personal Financial Management at Bruce Xiao
- ECON335 – International Economics at Hui Pan
As already described in all other reports, the level is lower than in Germany, but you have to work a lot more during the semester. In International Marketing, for example, we wrote 15 quizzes, had 3 assignments, 3 briefings, a presentation and 3 exams. It takes some getting used to, but we managed it somehow;).
When all the courses were finally chosen and you got used to everyday university life a bit, it was time to travel and enjoy the Californian lifestyle =)!
We really saw a lot: San Diego, Orange County, LA, Highway no. 1, San Francisco, Las Vegas… I can only recommend you to travel as much as possible! You always think you have so much time, but that’s not the case. Time flies and although we have done and seen a lot, there are still things that we unfortunately didn’t make it! So use the time!
We often rented a car for our trips because everything in California is very extensive and the public transport network is very poorly developed. In Fullerton, you can bike to the supermarket and take the bus to the mall, but even that can often be a hassle. So I can only recommend that you urgently get a car, even if you are only there for one semester. I didn’t think that you would be so dependent on a car, but that’s how it is. I can recommend Enterprise as a car rental company. We have hired from others but this is the one with the best service and is the only car rental company that doesn’t charge you an extra fee if you’re under 25.
I thoroughly enjoyed life in the UV. Very nice people lived there and I quickly made friends. As mentioned, 10 meals were included in the price. Unfortunately, this was sometimes a bit monotonous (there was very often chicken and rice), but there was always a salad bar and fresh fruit and it was just extremely convenient that you didn’t have to cook yourself, because groceries are more expensive and shopping without a car is often not possible either is just easy. When you move in, there is furniture in the apartment, but unfortunately nothing else, such as crockery or the like, so the first month was very expensive because you really had to buy everything. I found it a pity that you had to buy everything new and then basically had to throw it away. Since there are often internationals here, there should actually be a way leaving things like that there for the followers. I would advise you to write to people on Facebook or something who are there before you in the semester, maybe they can leave things to you;)
All in all I was totally happy to have lived there because I met super nice people and we celebrated a lot of parties and had a lot of fun!
Doing the semester abroad at Fullerton was the best decision of my life.
I would do it again in a heartbeat, but this time I would buy a car and stay a year! A semester is over far too quickly, you’ve just really settled in and your friendships are getting closer, so you have to go. So if you have the opportunity to stay for a whole year, I highly recommend it!
If you have any questions or just want to hear more about life in Fullerton, just email me;)