California State University Fullerton Review (5)

California State University Fullerton Review (5)

University: California State University Fullerton

City: Fullerton

Country: United States

Continent: North America

Field of study: business administration

Study type: semester abroad

My name is Alexander Beis, 25 from Hamburg and I’m studying business administration with a focus on logistics at the Leuphana University of Lüneburg. I completed the fifth semester at California State University Fullerton (CSUF or Cal State Fullerton for short). The first important tip is that you have to plan very far ahead. I already completed my minor (e-business) from the fifth semester in the third semester, because not all courses are always offered during a semester abroad and certainly nobody wants to exceed the standard period of study by two semesters for a semester abroad. In the following field report, I will describe to you how I planned my semester abroad, how I liked the university, and report on my varied experiences there. Check to see Semester Abroad In Hawaii Pacific University.


It has always been my dream to live in California, but unfortunately Leuphana Lüneburg does not have a partner university there. In this respect, I decided to organize everything on my own and to study as a “free mover” in California. When choosing a suitable university, my choice quickly fell on CSUF, as the university enjoys a very renowned reputation and has a strong business faculty with some extra offers (leadership seminars, etc.). Tuition fees are $5,800 including health insurance that must be taken out. Thus, the tuition fees for the USA and especially for California are very low. You should also take a look at the SDSU in San Diego, but there are a lot of German students abroad there: https: //

Without the help of MicroEdu I probably would not have been able to organize the semester abroad on my own. Bureaucratic hurdles lurk everywhere. But MicroEdu is always at your side and helps really professionally and, above all, free of charge. If you don’t accept this offer when organizing a semester abroad, it’s your own fault: You will receive checklists of what you have to do and your documents will always be checked by a personal supervisor before they are sent to the university of your choice. Among other things, you have to take care of:

  • Proof of sufficient language skills (depending on the home university – for me it was “C1 level” in the OOPT test in English in combination with the DAAD language certificate, which is often offered free of charge at German universities / often also TOEFL test with a certain number of points)
  • Bank proof of sufficient liquid funds
  • Have passed all courses at the home university by the time of the semester abroad (depending on the university)
  • Letter of motivation (not for the CSUF// my home university for the International Office in English)
  • Transcript (which courses can I get credit for)
  • Apply for a passport (must be valid for at least six months after departure from the USA)
  • Health insurance (must be from CSUF, but I recommend getting your own)
  • Credit card (I would take at least two with me, pay attention to the credit limit and let the bank know in advance about the stay abroad, otherwise they will be happy to block your credit card;-))
  • Apply for a visa (very time-consuming and quite expensive, since you have to appear in person at the embassy in Berlin or at a consulate in Frankfurt or, I think, in Munich for an appointment)
  • Application to CSUF (the checklist from MicroEdu is very helpful here)

After positive feedback from Fullerton, you can now start looking for an apartment. Here you will be provided with information from both Fullerton and MicroEdu. There are a variety of options:

  • Homestay (stay with a host family)
  • On Campus (sharing a dorm room with others, completely normal in the USA)
  • Off campus in a student residence (many different offers)
  • Rent an apartment yourself

Personally, I can highly recommend the “University Village” (Off Campus), just have a look: http: //

I lived there and made many international friends (mainly South Koreans, Americans, French, but there are also many Germans living there). The building complex is only a five-minute walk from the campus and is therefore very close to the university. Three people live in one apartment and they share the kitchen and living room. All rooms are furnished, only linen and crockery, etc. must be purchased. The big advantage is that the $999 rent for the smallest room in a shared apartment includes two meals a day. The Mexican chefs cook extremely well and you can plan on coming home with a few extra pounds.;)

Very important, start planning as early as possible and ask MicroEdu for information and deadlines a year in advance so that your semester abroad turns out to be the expected adventure!!

University of California State University Fullerton

With 35,970 students, California State University Fullerton is one of the largest universities in California and, with a focus on the business faculty, is of particular interest to economists, which is not to say that nothing else is offered. The options for choosing a course are almost unlimited. Courses such as surfing, tennis, American history or similar can be taken as long as this contributes to personal development.;-)

In general, the university is located in Orange County, 30 minutes east of Los Angeles and 30 minutes from Newport Beach and Huntington Beach (times by car). Las Vegas is a four hour drive away and all of the national parks are within easy reach for a weekend getaway.

For the visa you have to take four courses a three units and that is also the maximum of the courses that can be taken for the tuition fees paid. For more courses you have to (of course) pay more.

Ten desired courses are selected in advance from Germany and with luck you get four of them. Otherwise, you have to “crash” the courses, i.e. discuss with the professor before or after the first lecture whether you can take the course after all. For this you need a form from the CSUF International Office, which in turn involves a lot of bureaucracy (stamp here, signature there). It took me two weeks to complete my four courses: Business Writing, Macroeconomics, Understanding Business and Integrated Supply Chain Management.

The degree of difficulty of the courses varies greatly, but most of them involve significantly more effort during the semester than in Germany. Homework or assignments are the order of the day and unannounced tests are also part of it. Being diligent pays off, as points are continuously collected, which count towards the final grade. It is therefore sometimes easier to achieve a very good grade than in Germany.

After you have chosen the course, you will have time to explore the university. The Myhalo College of Business is the showpiece. Overall, all buildings are very modern and always air-conditioned. The library is quite confusing over five floors because it is simply too big. However, you will be helped at the information desk on the ground floor. For me it was unusual that the campus has three Starbucks and all fast-food chains, well America.

Everyday life and free time

The CSUF has many different offers, especially with regard to sports:

  • Modern two-storey gym with basketball hall, volleyball and badminton field, racquetball hall, courses, climbing wall, fitness equipment over two floors, swimming pool, etc. (called Recreation Center, $120 per semester)
  • Intramurals (leisure tournaments where you put your own teams together, I played football there, you get to know a lot of Americans here)
  • Titan Soccer, Titan Basketball, Titan Ice Hockey, Titan Lacrosse, Titan Baseball…etc. (Titans are the names of the CSUF teams, I kicked for the Soccer Club Team)
  • food courts
  • Billiards, PlayStation, Xbox, etc.
  • Very well stocked library
  • Lots of leisure activities through various clubs and organizations that you can join locally


Finally, I would like to thank MicroEdu, especially Anja Heinz, for the incredibly good support. Without you my stay abroad would not have been possible, thank you very much!!
Furthermore, I can only recommend anyone who wants to go to the USA to apply to CSUF in California. For me it was probably the best time of my life. The weather is just perfect there and the relaxed American lifestyle is very good for us Germans.

California State University Fullerton Review (5)