University: California State University Fullerton
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: business Informatics
Study type: semester abroad
When I first heard about the idea of doing a semester abroad in California, I was of course excited about the idea of finally being able to visit the West Coast of the United States. But that also meant that I would have to start making the necessary preparations in good time. One of the biggest hurdles was the high fee, which is estimated to be between 10,000 and 15,000 euros for California. From that point on, my personal expenses had to be cut back significantly, even if every euro saved was worth it in the end (but more on that later). Check jibin123.com to see Semester Abroad In California State University Long Beach.
Another hurdle was the grade point average. A grade point average of 2.5 or better had to be achieved in order to receive approval from the course director and the job. For many students, this wasn’t too much of a problem at first, but as the second and third semester progressed, it turned out to be more difficult than it seemed! But with a little motivation and diligence, this problem can also be quickly eliminated. When the confirmation from the partner university in Fullerton arrived, the required bank proof of sufficient financial means was obtained, and the foreign visa was received, I could finally start packing.
The packing process was much easier than initially planned. It should not be forgotten that many things can be bought locally in the USA and therefore do not necessarily have to be lugged around (duvet covers, pillows, etc.). A suitcase and a medium-sized hand luggage were enough for me. It should not be forgotten that a second suitcase should be bought in the USA for the return flight! Shorts, T-shirts, flip-flops were the most important things for the time being, but one must not forget the fact that medicines are sometimes significantly more expensive in the USA than in Germany. For this reason, it is advisable to take the most important medicines (e.g. for colds, allergy medicine, etc.) with you, as medical bills in America can quickly become very expensive. It is also important not to forget sunscreen, Bring 1-2 gifts for your roommates (German chocolate and sweets always make a very good impression) and withdraw 1-2 hundred American dollars from the German bank in advance. Before I knew it I had to say goodbye to my family for 5 months and was already on the plane to Los Angeles.
Tired and powerless after a relatively uncomfortable and long flight, I finally landed in Los Angeles. Despite all the security routines inside the airport, I couldn’t wait to finally leave the airport and see the California sun for the first time. But the American security guards were not particularly interested in this and carried out their routine investigations quite strictly and apparently in slow motion. After a two-hour taste of American bureaucracy and security regulations, I finally stood in front of the exit and stepped out into the world of Californians.
My first impression is incredibly difficult to put into words. I was simultaneously tired and drained from the trip, but at the same time, the sense of accomplishment spread as soon as I stood in the California sun. I didn’t have much time to savor this moment, as it went straight to the shuttle service, which took you to the desired destination for a fair price. In my case, it was University Village at Fullerton, a cluster of student housing in a beautifully landscaped and well-maintained complex that resembled a resort a lot (pool and palm trees included!).
After a 45-minute ride, the shuttle reached my future home. The main office was quickly found, where I already (after initially skeptical looks) met one of my two Californian roommates after he recognized my name on a form and explained to me that he was employed in the University Village office. This officially began my stay abroad in Fullerton.
I was incredibly relieved to have met my roommate, who immediately showed typical American hospitality. After a short wait, which was easily bridged with the Californian weather, I was shown my room and the 3-person apartment. It was briefly explained to me that my roommates had been living in the complex for a while and therefore wanted to provide some entertainment in our apartment with a mixture of Playstation 1, Wii, Gamecube and countless games. Of course, I was more than enthusiastic about this idea and knew at that moment that I would get along very well with my roommates. In the weeks that followed, I got to know an incredible number of people from every imaginable country in the world. From Iran to Mexico to Japan back to France, all nationalities were mixed together in one place. It’s hard to describe how wonderful it was to make so many new acquaintances, some of which became very close friends.
In addition to the friendships, the many trips were among the things that made the stay in California so eventful. Together with other students we initially went to more local sights, Huntington Beach, Venice Beach, Laguna, LA, but after a few weeks we often went on road trips to Death Valley, Palm Springs or Las Vegas. Over the Easter holidays we even went to Florida for a week, where we could marvel at Miami and the Florida Keys! A few more destinations:
Tips / Rating
The 4 months went by very quickly, so it is incredibly important to use your time wisely. It doesn’t matter whether you go surfing with your roommate at the weekend or take a trip with international friends, the main thing is not to waste time, because time is extremely valuable there. The university does not take up as much time as one might initially think, but that does not mean that the lectures and the material should be taken lightly. Accordingly, the short timetables have to be accompanied by a lot of personal work in your free time, which also makes the semester abroad a semester and not a holiday. It is important to take the professors and lectures seriously, as some deadlines and assignments should be strictly adhered to.
If you want to get the best experience, it’s also important to be open-minded and open-minded. This is the only way to really make contacts and get to know new cultures that you may not have encountered before. In summary, without telling too much, one thing can be said with certainty: It was an experience of a lifetime! The many contacts and experiences are moments that you can probably only experience once in life and I am glad that I made this journey.