University: California State University Los Angeles
City: Los Angeles
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: Business administration, sociology, economics
Study type: semester abroad
Less than two weeks before the application deadline (March 31, 2017) I thought about doing a semester abroad in the USA. I found out about MicroEdu from my old OE tutor, and she said I might still be able to apply for the winter semester. So I looked on the MicroEdu website for possible universities in the USA. Due to the low tuition fees, it quickly became clear that I would do my last semester at California State University Los Angeles. After that everything happened very quickly. I have an appointment for the English Certificate (DAAD) made, collected all possible documents together, and submitted an application for foreign student loans. And finally, on March 29, 2017, right after I passed the English-DAAD certificate exam, I sent my application documents to MicroEdu. Check educationvv.com to see California State University Chico Exchange Program.
Then the long wait began. Since my registration documents unfortunately got lost in the mail, I didn’t get the confirmation until June. I then made an appointment at the American consulate in Frankfurt. Don’t worry, it’s not all that wild. There’s a lot of security, but at the end of the day you’ll only be asked why, why, how, and how long you want to go to the States at a counter. A week later I found my visa in the mailbox.
I came into contact with other students through the MicroEdu Facebook group. We wrote something and ended up being a group of four who rented an Airbnb in Los Angeles for the first week . We all got along well, so we looked for a place to stay for the whole semester together. We finally found a house with 4 empty rooms via the university website. However, later it turned out that there were seven of us living in the house. We had two bathrooms, but the shower only worked in one. We each paid $1,200 a month in rent. The advantage was that you could walk to the university. Still, I would recommend looking for something cheaper, it really wasn’t worth the price in this case.
In the first week we had to do so-called course crashing, which means you went to the courses that interested you and had to ask the professor before or after the lecture whether he still had a place for you. Unfortunately, it didn’t work for me at all for the first two days, and neither did many others. I finally picked out new courses that finally worked out. The courses themselves were very different, I took a sociology course in which I had to give four presentations and write three essays. However, the demands of the presentations were not very high. An economics course, with which I found it very difficult at the beginning because I simply didn’t know a lot of the vocabulary and you therefore had to concentrate very much. However, in the end, there was online homework and online, as well as in-class exams. My social media marketing course was the most fun for me. It was super time-consuming and demanding, since you had to blog a lot every week and had to submit homework again and again, but I would say I actually learned something here. Finally I took a management course, it consisted of homework and multiple choice exams (not my thing).
Excursions and free time
Since I only had university from Tuesday to Thursday, I naturally had a super long weekend. So I often went to Vegas with a couple of friends, to San Francisco, flew to Vancouver, and visited the national parks. Otherwise, of course, I also spent great weekends with house parties, evenings in bars or clubs. During the day I tried all kinds of beaches with friends from Laguna Beach to Malibu.
It was absolutely the best time of my life ! Los Angeles is a super great and exciting city, I didn’t finish everything I planned to do until the end! Nevertheless, my tip: save on the rent, since you won’t be spending much time in your room anyway, and rather spend money on a car.