University: California State University Fullerton
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: business administration
Study type: semester abroad
At the beginning of 2015, I decided to do a fall semester at California State University Fullerton and got in touch with MicroEdu directly, who immediately sent me the relevant documents. They were very helpful throughout and were always available to answer questions. After receiving an acceptance from Fullerton, I started looking for a place to stay. And I’m here at the University Village(UV) encountered, which is directly above the campus. An application via the university website was never responded to, or an e-mail after a long time that only annual contracts would be available. I then contacted the UV directly. Initially, they wanted to offer me a six-month contract with a higher rent. I then turned it down and mentally prepared myself to share an apartment with others. However, apart from the University Housing, these are not furnished. Check iamaccepted.com to see California State University San Marcos study abroad opportunities.
Since I hadn’t found anything suitable on Facebook groups for Fullerton and Craigslist, I decided to look locally. However, shortly before departure I received an email that a room would be available for me in the UV at normal conditions. The price for a room of $999 per month for the smallest room seems pretty high by German standards at first glance, but you have to look at the overall picture. You get a furnished single room in a three-person flat sharewith a living room, kitchen etc. Most of the others share a room to keep costs down. The UV also has a canteen, which offers breakfast, lunch and dinner from Monday to Friday. I can choose two meals a day from this. Grocery prices in the supermarket are sometimes more than twice as expensive as in Germany! In addition, you have direct connections with Americans and other internationals. So I highly recommend this place!
I arrived at LAX on August 12th. From there I took the Express Shuttle to Fullerton. This costs $44 per person, each additional person who wants to go to the same address pays $9. So ask in the Facebook group if someone else might arrive on the same day and if you share the costs. When I arrived at the University Village, I signed the contract straight away and was allowed to move in immediately. Attention: there is a given date when you can move in at the earliest!!! Otherwise, each night before is $44. I went to Walmart the same day and bought bedding etc. there. Most people were lucky and got at least one American roommate, who usually brought everything they needed with them. So just wait.
A week before the official start of lectures, the internationals were divided into groups and then had to appear on the given day to enroll. After that there was an introductory day where you were told important things about the CSUF. During the application process, you had to send a list of the courses you wanted to take to the university. After the introductory day, you could then see in the system whether you were admitted to the courses or not. If it didn’t work out with the desired courses, you should still show up for them and talk to the professor. They usually let you in!
The courses always take place in groups of 20 to 50 people and you can sometimes choose whether you prefer to have 75 minutes of lectures twice a week or just 150 minutes per subject once. Four subjects are required!
In most subjects, small homework is given over the semester and short, mostly announced quizzes are asked. In addition, there are two midterms during the semester and a final exam at the end. This spreads the learning effort. In addition, open-ended questions are rarely asked. In most cases, around 50 multiple-choice questions are asked per exam.
FIN 444 – Options & Futures
This course dealt with the financial instruments forwards, futures and options. The professor taught you in a motivating way how these work and how to determine the prices and was always ready to talk after the lecture. Apparently, many consider this course too difficult. As a result, only a handful of Americans were in the course. But these were very cool. After two midterms and a final exam, I got an A here.
FIN 370 – International Business Finance
This course covered the risks international corporations face and how to protect against them. Among other things, we talked about exchange rates and hedging instruments, types of processing and payment of transactions, political and economic risks in international trade, etc. The professor was very friendly. After two midterms, a final, two quizzes and five homework assignments, I finished this course with an A.
FIN 357 – Introduction to Real Estate
In this course, legal aspects in settlement construction, historical backgrounds and current developments were initially discussed. Later we got to know different types of credit and then had to calculate the annuity, interest etc. But the Americans have a pocket calculator that does all the work for you. It was very interesting to see the difference to the European housing market. The grade resulted from four homework, four quizzes, two midterms and a final. In addition, you were allowed to take notes to the exams. This helped me to get an A on this course.
MGMT 440 – Recent Governmental and Social Issues
In this course we talked about the responsibility of companies vs. of society and current issues, as well as government intervention to protect society. Unfortunately, the multiple choice and true & false questions here were sometimes very tricky. After group work, a presentation, two midterms and a final, I got a B here.
Leisure and environment
Fullerton ‘s location is ideal. It takes about 35 minutes to the beaches in Newport or Huntington, 50 minutes to Los Angeles and Hollywood, 1.5 hours to San Diego, 4 hours to Las Vegas and 6-8 hours to San Francisco. Unfortunately, California does not have a good public transport network and you have to rely on a car for excursions. Many people have bought a used car to sell after the semester. However, I rented a car with others over a period of 3 months. This cost me a total of $600 and there was always something to do.