University: California State University Fullerton
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: business Informatics
Study type: semester abroad
The decision to go to CSUF was simple: the university has a very good reputation in business, the city itself is 40 minutes from Los Angeles and 10 minutes from Disneyland, and the mountains and the beach are in close proximity. The application went without any problems. For the DHBW, only an interest form had to be filled out and then the organization MicroEdu took over the further steps. The required documents could be forwarded to the organization electronically by email. MicroEdu was able to answer the questions that arose quickly and it was good that one employee visited us at the university to clarify last things. The foreign university accepted us without any further application process. The difficult part was going to the authorities. First of all, all documents had to be collected, such as a valid passport, the training contract and confirmation from the bank that the account balance was sufficient. An appointment at the consulate had to be made online. After that, a time-consuming form had to be filled out online. The whole process costs over 300€, not to mention the trip to the consulate in the middle of the week. The appointment at the consulate passed without any problems. As long as you had the documents and did well in the interview in English, you were done after 10 minutes. The Visa arrived a week later at the address given. Check iamaccepted.com to see Boston University study abroad opportunities.
Finding an apartment was pretty easy. I went to America with 2 fellow students. We decided not to live together but with Americans to get to know the American way of life and culture better. Luckily there was a Fullerton group on Facebook, which was founded by MicroEdu. In it we found former students who have rented out their room in an American flat share. The housing situation in Fullerton is quite expensive. There are different possibilities. I chose University House because it was furnished, 5 minutes from campus, had many free extras, and the building was fairly new, so it was clean and safe. Other options include Dorms Apartments, UCA Apartments, University Village, or looking for something private. I paid $1,000 a month for UH and had my own room and bathroom. You also had free access to pools, gyms, barbecue areas, a computer room and two tanning rooms. Unfortunately, you had to keep paying the rent, even if you no longer lived there, because there are annual contracts that are concluded. However, this could be avoided if a new tenant had been found.
As you often hear, the infrastructure in America is not particularly good. We girls decided not to buy a car. Since we are all under 25 (from 25 the cost is significantly lower) as well as under 21 years old, we have chosen the car rental company “Dirty Cheap Car Rental” in San Diego. They have great rates for international students under 21. We paid a total of $3300 for 16 weeks including insurance that covers all damages. In the first week we used uber (private taxi drivers that you can order via the app of the same name) or the bus. The bus is fairly cheap at $2 each way, no matter how long it is.
We were able to select the courses online in advance. However, that was only the wish list and did not mean that we would definitely get these courses. On site we had to go through the procedure called ” Class Crashing “. This means that on the first day of school we had to go to the professor of the course and ask if there was still room for us in the course.
Studies at California State University
For me, the CSUF campus was large compared to what I knew, but still quite small by American standards. The faculties of each field of study were in close proximity to each other, there was also a library, a baseball field, a football field, soccer fields, a food court, a gym and a huge gym with everything your heart desires. The building where we had classes, the Mihaylo College of Business and Economics, was the most beautiful and newest building. Of course, before each class, don’t forget to stop by Starbucks. This was pretty easy as we had 3 Starbucks and 2 coffees serving Starbucks coffee. The whole campus was kept clean at all times, there wasOrange trees and plenty of seating on campus. Everything was designed in a desert like style with palm trees to save water as the water sprinklers didn’t have to be used much. Furthermore, every few hundred meters there was an emergency telephone for the campus police.
CSUF is a university with a lot of spirit and a sense of community and social issues. As you know from the films, there are many connections at the university that have also carried out many donation sales on campus. But in addition to these social actions, a lot was distributed to the students free of charge. This was also due to the promotional campaigns of the sponsors, who distributed their products free of charge.
Arrived at the school, it was already time for class crashing. In the first week we got a taste of every possible course and kept the courses that we liked the most and in which there was still room for us. In addition, we borrowed the books that were required in some subjects from the American Amazon. American students are given priority in course selection on the grounds that they will graduate there. In the end we didn’t get or keep any of our desired courses, but had to reschedule everything. We had classes from Monday evening to Thursday morning.
Management 444—Project Management
Even though it was said earlier that CSUF has a very good and well-known business school, unfortunately I could not say the same in this subject. This was certainly also due to the fact that the professor was new and the way he gave his grades was not understandable. Nonetheless, I’ve learned something, which is how not to do it right. For each lesson there was a quiz about the content of the previous lesson. There was also homework and assignments. Furthermore, we students had to download the MS Project software, which wasn’t that easy because the professor didn’t know how to make the software accessible to us either. Fortunately, the professors of the IT subjects were able to help us. The school has a software pool from which students can download software free of charge. On the dreamspark website. com an account can be created for free. A few clicks further, the school had to request special access so that MS Project could be downloaded. There was a midterm and a final exam in this course. They consisted of multiple-choice questions and one open-ended question, for which a one-page text was to be written.
Accounting 301A – Intermediate Accounting
Accounting in the United States is different than in Germany. We in Germany use the international system, while America uses the GAAP system (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles). Some accounting rules are the same or can be derived from German, so it was reasonably understandable. In this subject there were 2 midterms and 1 final exam. In addition, a 2-page assignment had to be made, as usual, double space, of course. There was always homework that had to be done online via a portal. In addition, a book had to be procured. I have decided to only buy the online access, since the online version of the book comes with it. It cost $140 for 2 semesters. Otherwise I really liked the course. Despite his Indian accent, the professor was easy to understand. He repeated the basics,it was easy to get into the topic.
ISDS 406 – Systems Analysis and Design
I had the subject in Germany and the contents overlapped exactly. The subject was held in a classroom with the school’s own computers. It was one of the most organized subjects with the most organized professors I had there. He always came prepared to class and used PowerPoint presentations, which were also available as student versions with gaps, so that the students had to fill in the gaps during the presentation. At the beginning of the course, 3 students were randomly selected to share a current IT story with the class. So you were always up to date when it came to the latest IT -News went. Furthermore, the class was divided into small groups, which were to prepare a system proposal during the semester. Homework was given individually as well as in groups. These could in turn be used for the group project. A midterm and a final exam were taken in class on the school computers.
The subject was taught according to a seminar concept. The professor did not lecture, but was present in the class to answer students’ questions. The class was divided into small groups. The task was to develop an application and to document it. What kind of application it should be was left to us students. So I was able to experience what it’s like to work in a team with Americans. Meeting outside of class was not the case. You often took the tasks home with you or could use the time in class. So this course was very relaxed on the one hand, but on the other hand it required good communication with the other team members and a certain discipline and personal responsibility to complete the tasks independently at home in your free time. There were no exams, but there were dates on which certain interim results had to be submitted. At the end of the semester, each group had to give a presentation about their work and show a live demo of the application.
Looking back, I have to say that although I had fewer subjects than in Germany, I did just as much for the university as in Germany. Unfortunately, multiple choice doesn’t always turn out to be easier than open-ended questions. It was also negative that due to the class crashing, 3 of our courses took place in the evening from 7: 00 p.m. to 9: 45 p.m. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the opportunity to join the sports teams of my choice. Still, I learned a lot about the American education system. Through the study groups, I also made new friends.
American culture and people
American culture is very different and people tend to be crazier but in a good way. Americans are nice and especially those in California are very open and easygoing. You have small conversations with everyone, whether you know each other or not. I also found it very polite that you always apologized for getting in your way. Other clichés that have come true were the big cars, the wide highways and the large packaging sizes in the huge supermarkets. I think that has a lot to do with the fact that the Americans have a very strong consumer behavior and that the economy and culture also rely on it.
My roommates bought a lot of groceries even though we still had enough. In the end, a lot of the food was thrown away because it was moldy, expired, or just didn’t feel like eating it again on the 3rd day. To my surprise, almost every American I’ve met didn’t think it was a bad thing to throw away food. In addition, many Americans eat out and tend to cook less.
What I can recommend are the burgers from In’n’Out. They’re good, cheap, and only available in California and one in Las Vegas. They are also well-known for their secret menu, such as the animal-style burger. My roommates were very nice. They were as interested in my culture as I was in theirs. So we exchanged a lot and learned a lot. In addition to school, I also attended a few business clubs because there were so many of them at CSUF. Especially when it came to making contacts for the future, the clubs were the best contact points. I also made lifelong friends there.
There is also plenty to do and see. I’ve been to Disneyland, Universal Studios, and Six Flags Amusement Park, which are all within easy driving distance. Of course one must not forget the beaches, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, Huntington Beach and many more. Unfortunately, the water was always pretty cold to swim in, but warm enough to sunbathe or have a bonfire with the clubs or friends on the beach.
During spring break, we students had a week off. Together with 2 friends, we decided to go on a road trip. In order to be able to check off all our destinations, we had to drive many miles, but there was something new to see every day : From Fullerton we went first to San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite National Park, Sequoia National Park, Death Valley, Las Vegas, Zion National Park, Hoover Dam, Grand Canyon, Antelope National Park and finally Horseshoe Bend. It was quite exhausting, but definitely worth it. But there are also many places with beautiful hiking trails and viewpoints near Fullerton.
If you’re 21 or older, LA and the surrounding area are great for partying. Downtown Fullerton was also quite popular. But there were also 18+ parties, which in my opinion were overpriced and not particularly sophisticated. Also, don’t forget that almost all clubs close at 2am. So I decided to go to house parties with my people.
All the experiences I had there were incredible and it would be way too much for this report. Although it was a very expensive joke, I have to say that I would do it again and I don’t regret a penny (except for the $80 ticket for parking in the school parking lot without a badge). I ‘ve made friends for life and learned to love California. I’m back in Germany, but I wish I was there again. My life there was strangely carefree and I was always happy there. There is never a dull moment as there is so much to do and see. Above all, I can say that I have personally grown a lot within these 5 months, some of my perspectives have changed and others have become even more firmly established. It was an opportunity that I would recommend everyone to take advantage of.