University: California State University Los Angeles
City: Los Angeles
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: business administration
Study type: semester abroad
I chose California State University Los Angeles because it is in a big city and because the tuition fees are relatively low compared to other American universities. In addition, Los Angeles is very centrally located in California. Once the university had been selected, the application process was not that difficult. I received my documents from MicroEdu, which I only had to fill out and then organize an appointment for a visa. Since the embassy takes a long time, especially in summer, you should make an appointment immediately after being accepted at the university. Check educationvv.com to see Hawaii Pacific University Exchange Program.
On Welcome Inside Day, a week before the start of the semester, we were welcomed as international students at the university. Since there are hardly any Germans at the university, which I found quite pleasant, I quickly made contact with foreign students. Many working people also study in the evenings, and the students also usually have a job and are therefore not really interested in making friends with international students and prefer to keep to themselves. However, if you are there for a year or longer, you can enter a fraternity or sorority and thus have contact with local students. Living in the dorms also makes it easier to make contact.
I was looking for an apartment on site with a fellow student. However, the search has proven to be relatively difficult because most landlords do not want to rent a furnished apartment for 3.5 months. One possibility is craigslist.com, but you have to be careful here and definitely look at the room or apartment first. Otherwise, of course, it’s a lot cheaper in East LA, Monterey Park and the Alhambra than in Pasadena or Hollywood. The areas are very expensive and without a car it takes a long time to get to the university. In general, a car is highly recommended in Los Angeles. The public transport system is not very well developed and it takes over an hour to get from Hollywood to the university, while it takes a half hour at most by car. Since you still have a lot of free time besides the university,
On-site support from the International Office was very good. Our contact person always stood by us with questions about visas and health insurance. When it comes to health insurance, you should make sure that you take out one that also has a seat in the USA, otherwise it will be rejected and you will have to buy the one offered by the university. Unfortunately, my ADAC international health insurance didn’t count. It is also worth noting that the Study in LA program does not equate students with other international students. We had our difficulties, especially when choosing courses. We couldn’t register for the courses in advance like all the other students, we had to go to the professors on site and ask them if we could take their courses. Most are quite friendly and we didn’t get any rejections. However, if you are dependent on courses, this could be difficult. This type of choice of course also had its positive sides. We were able to sit down in the various lectures and consider whether we liked the lecture or whether we would rather choose another course.
The courses chosen were very easy compared to the German university. Textbooks were recommended at the beginning of each lecture, but these are very expensive, especially when you buy them new. At first I waited and in 2 out of 3 courses the books were never used and therefore I didn’t buy them. It is also possible to borrow the books from the bookstore, but a book there also cost $60. Otherwise the classes at the CSULA are very small, mostly 20-30 people sit in the lectures and the professors have a very different style. Some actually give lectures, others more like a lesson like in school. The requirements are very low, but those that are set, such as formalities in homework, should also be observed. It is also interesting that the same courses are offered at different times, but you have to decide on one at the beginning and then attendance is also valued and sometimes points are even awarded for attendance, which are included in the evaluation. If you choose your courses well, you can schedule them all on Mondays and Wednesdays or Tuesdays and Thursdays and enjoy a 5-day weekend. The university also offers a large library and a fitness center where students can train free of charge after registering once. which are included in the assessment. If you choose your courses well, you can schedule them all on Mondays and Wednesdays or Tuesdays and Thursdays and enjoy a 5-day weekend. The university also offers a large library and a fitness center where students can train free of charge after registering once. which are included in the assessment. If you choose your courses well, you can schedule them all on Mondays and Wednesdays or Tuesdays and Thursdays and enjoy a 5-day weekend. The university also offers a large library and a fitness center where students can train free of charge after registering once.
All in all, it was definitely worth it for me to do the semester abroad in California. If you don’t have too high expectations from the university and are really interested in life there, then you can really take a lot with you.