University: California State University Long Beach
City: Long Beach
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Study type: semester abroad
I applied to California State University in Long Beach, CA, via MicroEdu and was very fortunate to actually study there for 4 months. First of all I have to say thank you to MicroEdu. I applied for a semester abroad with a friend and we received excellent support from MicroEdu. Every step was explained to us, we were told in detail what had to be submitted, when and how, and no matter what questions we had, we always received a quick and friendly answer. That made organizing the semester abroad so much easier. Check act-test-centers.com to see SSU study abroad opportunities.
But now to the university in Long Beach. We received documents in advance that made the start easier for us. For example, we found our way from the airport in LA to our host family in Long Beach without any problems because CSULB explained to us in these documents, among other things, how we can use the shuttle services at the airport and where. That was great.
When we arrived at our host family, it gave me a little shock. Namely, we received information from CSULB in advance about our host family, in which we were told, for example, that they have 2 cats. Except that the 2 cats have now developed into 3 dogs. In further conversations with our host mother, it turned out that a lot of the information we had received about her was outdated and no longer correct. It was okay for us, but for someone else who might be afraid of dogs, it would have been a big problem.
On our first day at the unit, we received a lot of information for the semester, got our student ID card straight away and we were generally very well prepared for the semester. Personally, I had the feeling that despite the large campus, everything was super organized and really everyone could help you, no matter what problem you had. And if you couldn’t be helped directly after all, at least an effort was made as far as possible and you were referred to someone who could help you. It was very pleasant to study at the CSULB because I felt in good hands and welcome and the campus is just great. There is such a huge variety of food, whether Chinese or Mexican, whether healthy or fast food, you could get EVERYTHING. There must have been 3 Starbucks one of them in the library. The library was amazing. It has 6 floors (basement included) and you will find everything you need there. When I was looking for research books for my Final Papers, I was able to contact 2 people who were there directly to help the students with their research and find books together. The library was open every day of the week, even 24 hours a day, 7 days a week during the final exam phase. I was even able to talk to someone on the library’s website from home in the evening because I had a question about where a particular book was located. This chat room was also occupied 24 hours a day by someone who then took care of all sorts of questions via the Internet. I was able to contact 2 people who were directly there to help the students with their research and to find books together. The library was open every day of the week, even 24 hours a day, 7 days a week during the final exam phase. I was even able to talk to someone on the library’s website from home in the evening because I had a question about where a particular book was located. This chat room was also occupied 24 hours a day by someone who then took care of all sorts of questions via the Internet. I was able to contact 2 people who were directly there to help the students with their research and to find books together. The library was open every day of the week, even 24 hours a day, 7 days a week during the final exam phase. I was even able to talk to someone on the library’s website from home in the evening because I had a question about where a certain book was located. This chat room was also occupied 24 hours a day by someone who then took care of all sorts of questions via the Internet.
As you can see, everything was really well organized and you received support from many sides during your studies. The students, especially those studying abroad, pay a lot of money for the tuition fees, but in return they get a beautifully designed campus where you can do sports, meet friends for dinner, just relax on the lawn or go shopping can go. The bookstore had everything you could ever imagine. T-shirts, trousers, sweaters, mugs, teddies, staplers, Christmas decorations, Halloween decorations…anything with the CSULB or 49ers logo. It was really great in the store. And you got everything you needed: specific pens, multiple choice sheets, examination papers, books, etc.
But not only the campus itself was well organized, but also the lecturers. The best thing was that you were fully motivated. My lecturers lived for what they taught and maintained a rather friendly relationship with us students. The lessons were super pleasant and relaxed, you just had fun and got carried away. In each course, performance was required throughout the semester, be it exams, quizzes, presentations or term papers, articles and essays. In terms of commitment, a lot was required. The lecturers wanted to see that you were dealing with their topic and provided all the required proof of performance. It was a lot of work, there’s no denying that, but I personally learned a lot more and better as a result, and I was also able to motivate myself a lot more because the material didn’t just trickle past me, but I dealt with it intensively. As a German, I am of course used to the strict assessment of our German lecturers, so I was pleasantly surprised at how flexible and relaxed the grading system at the CSULB is.
You could also join many different clubs. For example, we took part in a hip-hop course, which was a lot of fun. What was not so good about it, however, was that some of the courses were held in a building that we didn’t even get into from the “Study at the Beach” program and later only got in for a fee. I wasn’t too thrilled since we were already paying almost three times what regular students at CSULB pay anyway. I was hoping that we wouldn’t have to pay extra for access to the gym. But that wasn’t so bad, it was a great time even without the fitness and wellness center!
What I definitely do not recommend is getting health insurance from the CSULB. A friend there had to go to the doctor urgently because of severe pain and was turned away by the campus doctor because she was not a regular student. The friend I spent the semester abroad with also had to see a doctor who was off campus and had health insurance from the CSULB. However, this was not accepted by the doctor. So I can only recommend everyone to take out health insurance here in Germany so that they can really be cared for without any additional costs.
All in all, Long Beach was an incredibly beautiful experience for me. I’ve met new friends, I’ve seen many well-known places that are just nearby, such as LA and everything that goes with it (Hollywood, Universal Studios, Beverly Hills, etc.), Santa Monica and San Diego. I would go back there again if I could, and I really recommend everyone to have the experience!