University: California State University Long Beach
City: Long Beach
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: journalism
Study type: semester abroad
It has been my dream since the beginning of my studies to spend a semester abroad in the USA. Either lying on the beach under the Californian sun or shopping on 5th Avenue in Manhattan. Check andyeducation.com to see San Jose State University study abroad opportunities.
After studying the partner universities of my university extensively and only finding one university in Missouri, I thought my dream of studying in the land of opportunity was gone. Because honestly, who wants to spend six months in Missouri…
But my research brought me to MicroEdu. And shortly thereafter, the plan to go to California State University, Long Beach was hatched.
No hymns of praise should be sung about CoCo, but I was, and still am, very satisfied with the support – before, during and after my semester abroad – and the organization of my stay abroad. Without this support I would probably not have been abroad today and my studies would have been delayed by a whole year. At this point: Thank you very much, you are doing a great job!
After the application process, which went quite quickly and without any problems, I received a letter with my acceptance from Cal State Long Beach.
I had to apply for my visa at the American embassy in Berlin. You should plan enough time, because just because you have an appointment at 9: 30 a.m. does not mean that you will then be called to a counter. And don’t worry: everyone speaks German and the security measures are similar to an airport. However, all bags, jackets and electronic devices (including headphones) that are not required should be left in the car or at home. I only had my wallet and papers with me, quite a few girls in line ahead of me were turned back because of their handbags.
The time for departure passed faster than I could pronounce the name of my new university. And then I was on the plane to Boston with my girlfriend. We booked a round trip. We started in Boston for two days and spent four days in New York before finally heading to our new home in Long Beach.
Like any foreign student, my girlfriend and I had some trouble finding an apartment. A few weeks before we left, we made friends on Facebook with a boy from Germany who arrived in Long Beach two weeks before us. The night before our flight left, we received word that he had found an apartment. Of course we also tried to find an apartment from Germany, but most of the locals don’t want to find out about the distance, they want you to come by. So it’s probably best to arrive as early as possible and stay in a motel for the first few days or weeks. Also be prepared to share a room, because the rental prices are very high.
Long Beach itself isn’t known for being a very pretty town other than on campus, the beach, and downtown. The crime rate is very high and shootings are said to be more common. Except for bicycle thefts, we didn’t notice anything. At the end of the semester, almost everyone we met still had their first bike.
In downtown there are a number of bars and restaurants that have turned into clubs in the evening. Be prepared that the parties end at 2 a.m. and that’s why you start earlier. Pre-drinking at 7 p.m. is therefore nothing unusual.
But most internationals went to house parties or took the party bus to Hollywood. One is a bit more casual, the other a bit more chic.
The campus is really big, so you should definitely bear that in mind when choosing a course. The 15-minute breaks between the individual courses are urgently needed to change rooms. The basketball games in the pyramid were always a highlight. I would also have liked to have seen a few football games at our university, but the season doesn’t start until February, if I remember correctly. In general, there is a lot on offer on the large campus. In addition to its own cinema hall and bowling alley, there is also its own pub, in which some music groups from Cal State Long Beach perform in the evenings.
Choosing the course got on my nerves. MicroEdu warns every applicant that you won’t necessarily get every course you want. But I didn’t think it would be so difficult.
I have often received an e-mail that I should send a course wish list. I’ve done this two or three times. In the end I didn’t have a single course from that list.
American students have priority when it comes to choosing courses. If the course is full, you have no more options to get into it. In general, study abroad @ the beach students are not allowed to choose any business courses.
In the end, my schedule was such that I had already taken three of the four courses in Germany at my home university.
So clarify as many courses as possible with your professors, at this university you not only need a plan B, but usually also a plan C or D.
In general, the level of difficulty at American universities is not very high. There is a lot to do, lots of homework and it feels more like 7th grade school than college. Nevertheless, you have a lot of free time. There are usually no classes on Fridays, at least I haven’t met any international students who visit the campus on Fridays.
Long Beach is a very good starting point for weekend trips. San Diego is a 90 minute drive and Los Angeles is an hour away. Las Vegas is just under four hours away, only San Francisco is a little further away at a good eight hours.
The Mexican border is right next to San Diego.
I really had a lot of fun, I saw a lot and experienced a lot. I met new people and made new friends. This semester abroad was really an experience I wouldn’t want to miss.
Unfortunately, this experience is quite expensive. For everything together, MicroEdu estimates a budget of at least €10,000. I can well imagine that this works if you don’t do anything and don’t travel around. My budget was at least €15,000, if not more. I still haven’t dared to calculate everything exactly.
And my advice to the girls among you: Try to get as many visitors as possible so that they can always take a few clothes home with them. Otherwise it will end up being a bit too tight in the suitcase.