University: California State University Los Angeles
City: Los Angeles
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: business administration
Study type: semester abroad
Before receiving the exchange place
Exactly three years ago, already in the first semester of my studies, MicroEdu offered lectures on possible semesters abroad at my university. Anyone who has toyed with the idea of going abroad should definitely listen to these lectures. Check anycountyprivateschools.com to see Sonoma State University study abroad opportunities.
It was really, really difficult to decide which university abroad was right for you, but I knew from the start that the university had to be in California. The choices were Los Angeles, San Francisco, or Fullerton. In the end, I chose California State University Los Angeles because the university is very central, the cost of living is lower compared to San Francisco, and there are just so many options in this city.
In addition to proof of language proficiency and an overview of grades, the application documents also include financial confirmation, which should show the university that you are able to finance the semester abroad. I am very grateful that MicroEdu supported me during the application phase. I was always able to contact MicroEdu and always got a quick response.
I had already applied for the 2018 semester in mid-February 2018 and was accepted about a week later. The later you apply, the longer it may take to get an answer.
After receiving the exchange place
After getting the spot, the real fun began. visa, flight, accommodation, etc. Obtaining the visa is much easier than you think. I went to the consulate in Munich to apply for a visa. The many safety precautions are a little deterrent, but everything isn’t that bad. Just follow the instructions and everything will be fine. At the counter you are asked simple questions, such as when you will enter the country, how long your stay will be, what you are studying at the moment, who is financing the semester abroad, why you want to go to the States and when and if you plan to leave the country. I booked my flight through STA Travel (you get a small discount thanks to MicroEdu). Students can usually find cheaper flights on this page, especially if you still have an ISIC student card.
Since I’m studying Information Management Automotive, it was already clear to me that I only wanted to take management and marketing courses. That’s why I started preparing for my semester abroad very early on, so I was able to postpone two courses from my fourth semester so that I could write them down abroad. For this, advance applications must be made. The examination committee checks whether the course at the host university covers the same topics.
- Intercultural Business Communication
- Total quality control
- career development
- Introduction to Social Media Marketing
For the preliminary applications you need the module descriptions from the courses. There is a short description of the course on the host university’s homepage, but unfortunately this is not sufficient.
That’s why you write a short e-mail to the respective departments, in my case it was Management and Marketing, that you need the module descriptions of certain courses. So far everything without problems, the biggest problem started in the first week of the new semester.
Unfortunately, exchange students do not have the possibility to register for the courses in advance, which means that you have to explain to the professor on the first day of lectures of the respective course that you need a signature in order to be registered in the course. I got into two out of four courses without any problems because I had already contacted the professors two months before the start of the semester. You can find out online whether the courses you want to choose are still available. Of course it is also possible to be registered in closed courses, it always depends on the professor.
On site, we were looked after by Becky Bishop, who works in the International Office. She contacted us before we arrived and gave us some information. On site, Becky introduced himself again and looked after us well throughout our stay.
This was one of the biggest problems for most students. I was lucky enough to find a list for off campus housing on the host university’s website. My accommodation was only a five-minute walk from campus, which was sometimes an advantage between classes. So I had the opportunity to go home for a few hours. If you want to live close to the campus, you have to be prepared to pay about $700 for a shared room, you rarely find cheap single rooms, so you need a lot of luck.
Los Angeles is an incredibly beautiful city where you can experience something new every day. LA is surrounded by gorgeous beaches like Malibu, Huntington Beach, Manhattan Beach etc. and of course not to forget Venice and Santa Monica. Of course, everyone should also be aware that Los Angeles also has completely different sides to offer. What you see on the internet, series and films is not everything. Some areas should be avoided alone. But overall it’s very easy to travel to all the other cities. Be it San Francisco, Las Vegas, San Diego. But you should also take the Grand Canyon with you. It’s an eight hour drive, but a stopover in Vegas makes it easier.
There are some scholarships that you can apply for. There are also student loans. I got the loan from KFW. If you have any questions, please just let us know. Can give you more information on this.
Cost of living
Frankly, California is a very expensive city. Fast food is of course quite cheap compared to healthy food, but try to test all fast food chains. I won’t forget the burger at Shake Shack. UNBELIEVABLE! You should be aware that you spend at least 1000 € per month. Altogether you get a proud 15000-16000 €. The accommodation and tuition fees alone are quite high.
Tips and useful information
Initially it was said that you absolutely need a car in Los Angeles to get by, but you don’t have to have one. UBER, Lyft, and public transportation were all easy to use. Be sure to check out the 1iota.com page. I had the opportunity to be a guest on many shows. Through 1iota I’ve seen Jennifer Lopez, Neyo, Kelly Clarkson, Jimmy Kimmel, James Corden, Debby Ryan and a few other stars.
I don’t regret a single second of my semester abroad. It was the best time, if not the BEST, of my life. You develop extremely, you become more self-confident. In addition, you improve your English a lot because you are forced to communicate in English all the time. A semester abroad is part of every degree. Don’t think about the costs involved. You can easily pay them off again when you should have finished your studies.