University: California State University Long Beach
City: Long Beach
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: engineering
Study type: semester abroad
The application process
I completed my semester abroad in the 2018/2019 winter semester at California State University Long Beach, which was one of the greatest experiences of my career to date. Check act-test-centers.com to see UCSB study abroad opportunities.
It all started with choosing the right university. At various events at my university in Dortmund, representatives from a number of universities in America and mediators between the students and the universities introduced themselves, which is how I came across MicroEdu. After sufficient research and various reviews, I decided to contact MicroEdu and describe my expectations of where I wanted to go and which subjects I would like to take. At the beginning I wasn’t really sure which would be the right university for me. Just that I wanted to go to California, USA. Shortly after the first contact appointment, I received a phone call to discuss all the essential things for the semester abroad in the USA.
Due to the distance to the MicroEdu office, it was not possible for me to make this decision personally, but it was not necessary. After detailed and sometimes long discussions, we found a suitable university, the California State University in Long Beach. I received all the necessary documents and requirements for the application from MicroEdu and all questions were answered quickly. Now it was up to me to get all these documents together and send them to MicroEdu.
MicroEdu not only helped me with the application process and finding out which university was right for me, but also took care of other aspects such as insurance and the search for a suitable mobile phone provider.
The Uni- CSULB
After much deliberation, I finally decided on California State University in Long Beach and I don’t regret my decision at all. The first impression of the university was overwhelming and no comparison to a university here in Germany. The university offers all outdoor and indoor sporting activities. It also offers ample areas to simply relax or meet up with friends for bowling or billiards between courses. There are areas for watching TV together or just playing together on different consoles. You can spend several hours at the university without getting bored. The university offers students enough opportunities to make everyday university life as pleasant as possible.
In the first week, there is a ” getting to know each other ” week, in which we internationals get to know the responsible contact persons and coordinators and can also make initial contacts with other international students. The process of choosing a subject is done by asking the relevant lecturer. That means you choose the desired subjects and then attend the first event. If there are enough free places available, you will be added to the course. It is therefore advisable to look for alternative courses here. During the introductory week, you will receive sufficient information about the exact process of how to search for the courses and how to attend and register for the first event. In addition, the coordinators are always available for questions and help.
I had only taken economics subjects and had no problem getting the subjects I wanted. However, the course system was different than usual. In the courses attended, assignments must be completed or presentations must be held on a weekly basis. In addition, there are three exams per course per semester, which means a lot of effort during the semester. Nevertheless, this does not mean that you have no time for leisure or excursions.
The living situation was one of the hardest and most expensive things in America and the rental prices could not be compared to Germany. In addition, high amounts are required for the deposit. It was an enormous amount of time to find a suitable apartment and the right flatmates. Furthermore, most apartments are unfurnished, so you have to take care of some furniture at the beginning. But sites like Craiglist or Facebook Marketplace help to get used things cheaply.
What I recommend is from home, for example via Facebook, there are numerous groups with international students, to get in touch with possible flatmates and to inquire about rented apartments together. In addition, the university offers a meeting for students who are still looking for an apartment if they do not have a place to stay for the next few months when they arrive.
What is there to experience?
After the initial difficulties of finding and furnishing the right apartment and getting along at the university and in the new environment, the actual semester abroad began as one would imagine.
My stay in Long Beach not only brought me new friends and contacts to people from all over the world, but also got to know the USA in all its facets. In the past five months I had the opportunity to discover California and get as many impressions as possible. Over the weekends, there was usually an opportunity to go away and spend a few days with friends away from the university. These included San Francisco, San Diego, among others, Santa Barbara, Santa Monica, Venice Beach and much more besides. In addition to California, you could also travel to the other states of America such as Texas, Louisiana, and Florida. As the saying goes, “Pictures speak louder than words”, my impressions and experiences cannot be summarized in one report.
In summary, I can only recommend a semester abroad at California State University in Long Beach and without the help of MicroEdu this would not have been possible in the first place. It not only offers you the opportunity to meet new people and improve your language skills, but also to gain new experiences.