University: California State University Fullerton
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: business administration
Study type: semester abroad
In January 2010 I decided to spend a semester abroad at CSUF. The reason for this was, on the one hand, that Fullerton is not exactly the most well-known city and therefore not a big contact point for German students like San Diego. Second, the letters of recommendation on MicroEdu made me choose CSUF. Check iamaccepted.com to see California State University Northridge study abroad opportunities.
Thanks to MicroEdu, the application process went smoothly and I had my confirmation in my mailbox within a very short time. The next step was the somewhat lengthy but relatively uncomplicated visa application. Two or three days after my appointment at the consulate in Frankfurt, I had my passport and visa in the mailbox.
At that time I had also rented a car from Germany. This can get quite expensive as American car rental companies charge an underage fee of $25/day for drivers under 26, with the exception of Enterprise who are the only ones over 21 to rent without this fee. Find out online how expensive Enterprise is and compare with providers like www.check24.de, who helped me at the time.
When I arrived in LA I asked myself the way from LAX to Fullerton and arrived safely and quickly with a small map.
A lot has already been said about Fullerton himself in the other reports. A nice city with lots of international students, a lousy public transport system, lots of fast food restaurants, a few bars and a modest club. But all in all, the city doesn’t have much to offer. Not the party center par excellence, but house parties have always been a good alternative and taxis help to get from the apartments near the university to Fullerton Downtown.
All I can say about the CSUF is that it is a great university. The campus is huge and has a canteen (food court) with many small fast food restaurants in it, a stationery shop, a Starbucks in the business building and much more. I found the Recreation Center, the university’s own gym, to be the best.
Thanks to the online course system, course selection and “crashing” were relatively stress-free and quick. The system shows which courses are available and free. Accordingly, the International Student Service Office (ISS Office) requests your desired courses and tries to enroll you in them. Whether a course is good still depends on your own interests and the lecturer. It is therefore helpful to find out more beforehand at www.ratemyprofessor.com. I took a total of four courses, two of which I crashed and only took place on Mondays and Wednesdays. These were:
• ECON 315 – Intermediate Business Microeconomics – highly recommended
• MGMT 350 – International Business & Management – highly recommended
• FIN 320 – Business Finance – recommended
• ACCT 301A – Intermediate Accounting – less recommended
To crash a course, you simply sit down in the first lesson and simply wait for the lecturer to speak to you, which will be at the latest when he has gone through his list of participants and you have not was called. If he/she accepts you – great, if not, continue to the next course. It is best to make a plan in advance of which courses you would like to take and go through them one by one. In the end, I had more courses to choose from than I actually needed. So do not worry!
The good thing about Fullerton is that it is very easy to travel around from.
• Los Angeles < 1h.
• San Diego 2 hrs
• Santa Barbara 2 hrs
• Las Vegas 3-4 hrs
• San Francisco 7-8 hrs.
Other attractions besides the beaches and travel destinations are:
• Cantina Island
• Joshua Tree National Park (near Palm Springs)
• Balboa Park (San Diego)
• Yosemite National Park
• Universal Studios
• Disneyland – the ISS Office is planning a trip with all International Students (Downtown Disney is free though)
A semester abroad is always expensive fun! I paid around $700 in rent myself, but depending on how you want to live, rents vary from $400 to $1400 a month. www.craigslist.com will help and take a close look at your roommates, if there are any. I would recommend getting in touch with a few people from Germany, but not making any firm commitments. Some were unpleasantly surprised here. Better take a week in the hotel and look around in peace.
With regard to mobility, it can be said that a car is definitely an advantage, but it also increases the costs immensely. In addition to the car, there are costs for insurance, US driver’s license, registration, etc. To park for free at CSUF, you have to be pretty early and/or lucky. The parking permit for the CSUF parking garages costs around $400. I myself have decided on a bicycle. If necessary, we rented a car in the group and shared the costs. Bicycles are cheap and you can easily sell them later.
In conclusion, I can only say that I enjoyed an unforgettable time and that Fullerton was absolutely worth it. I met a lot of new people and it was definitely an important and formative phase of my life.