University: California State University Fullerton
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: industrial engineering
Study type: semester abroad
For me, the semester abroad in the USA was an unbelievable experience that helped me grow both professionally and personally. At first there was a lot to do, looking for an apartment, getting a facility and finding your way around the area. This wasn’t a problem at all and I got a lot of help from my classmates. I settled in very quickly and processed the many impressions at the beginning. Check existingcountries.com to see University of California Davis Review.
The studies could be easily combined with the opportunity to travel and thus get to know the country and the people. The people I met were very open and made the semester abroad an incredible experience. We’ve traveled all over California. Our first trip took us to San Francisco, followed by a road trip along Route 1. We often go to Los Angeles and San Diego gone to party. Then friends from Germany, with whom I made a trip to Yosemite National Park, visited me. There we went wild water rafting, toured the national park, including a hike up a mountain range with a waterfall and a tour of Lake Tahoe. We went to Las Vegas twice and then visited the Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam.
The next trip took us to New Orleans, Louisiana, where we did a swamp tour and visited the city with a city tour and various evening events. From there we drove through Louisiana and Texas to Austin. Towards the end we then made various flights to Mexico and Costa Rica. We did various city trips in Mexico. In Costa Rica we climbed an active volcano, traveled across the country from San José and then went into the jungle for 2 days and did a rafting trip with an overnight stay in the wilderness. The country offers a multitude of sights and a breathtaking, unspoilt landscape with numerous animals.
After the semester was over at the end of December, I traveled the east coast with a friend, starting in Nassau, Bahamas. From there we flew to Miami, where we visited the Everglades and the city. We then drove from Miami to Orlando by car, with stops in Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach. From Orlando we flew to Washington DC, which became one of my favorite cities. The city has a long history and offers an unforgettable city break with sights such as the White House, the United States Capitol, the Lincoln Memorial, Arlington and much more. From Washington we took the bus to New York. The buses are highly recommended as they are incredibly cheap. We spent New Year’s Eve in New York with a few Americans and Australians and then traveled to Boston, again by bus. Boston was the last stop on our trip.
You got to know the country from a completely new side, as locals showed us places that tourists usually never get to see. We traveled and did a lot with local people who invited us on holidays like Thanksgiving and showed us their traditions. I had every Friday off and had my first lectures from Monday to Thursday at 12 noon at the earliest. This enabled me to go surfing regularly with fellow students, Americans and Europeans. With the ocean right on our doorstep, we visited every beach from Malibu to San Diego. We visited amusement parks, rode longboards and went skydiving towards the end. The fascinating thing about the USA is that the country is incredibly vast and offers many different landscapes. You were partly on the road, with nothing left and right but mountain ranges and lakes, desert or forests that seemed to lead nowhere.
There was a lot to do during your studies, but you were rewarded with very good grades. At first I worried about not being able to follow the lectures. This was not the case, however, because the very small classes catered to every student. The lectures were very clear and easy to follow. The professors were friendly and helpful.
Through daily life and the many leisure opportunities as well as the many relationships, I was able to improve my English and after a short time I no longer had any problems communicating. The local people are all very friendly and open and make the acclimatization process a lot easier. Despite a very bad exchange rate and high living costs, I can recommend Cal State Fullerton to everyone for a semester abroad, because California was an extraordinary experience for me and I learned to appreciate the country and the people through many positive experiences.