University: California State University Northridge
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: business administration
Study type: semester abroad
Organization of the semester abroad
I quickly realized that I didn’t want to spend my semester abroad in Europe. It should go further. Since I’ve always been fascinated by the USA, it quickly became clear where to go. After reviewing the MicroEdu website for eligible colleges, Cal State Northridge was the perfect choice for me. Both in terms of cost and location. To be honest, I haven’t given much thought to the content of my studies. But that was also rather irrelevant for me – who says no to the Californian lifestyle in Los Angeles? Check ehuacom.com to see CSLA study abroad opportunities.
During my search for the perfect university, I got in touch with the MicroEdu advisors. They always answered me very quickly and were able to help me quickly. Both with regard to the search for the university and with questions during the application process. I filled out and sent the application at the same time as a very time-consuming internship. Thanks to MicroEdu’s help, none of that was a problem. A few days after I submitted my application, I was accepted.
After that it really starts. I had to take care of my visa, my flight, my local apartment, etc. The visa and the flight are done quickly and relatively easily. The visa is just a lot of bureaucracy. My tip: take one of the earlier appointments, then you will be back from the embassy quite quickly. I’ve heard from friends who had their appointment at 11am and didn’t get out of the embassy until 3pm. I had my appointment at 7: 45 and was out by 7: 50! Student travel sites are recommended for flight searches, as you can often find much cheaper planes there (also with a comparable travel time).
living on site
I hooked up right from the start with 2 other guys who were also at CSUN with MicroEdu. We found each other on Facebook. This was probably a mistake, since looking for a flat for the three of us not only turned out to be complicated and time-consuming, but also ended up being significantly more expensive. We ended up staying at the Meridian Pointe just across the street from the dorms. If you find somewhere else to live, then definitely don’t go to the Meridian Pointe. There you have a bit of “dorm flair”, but you pay for that. The rents are more expensive, especially for international students who are only staying for one semester, and the handling of deposits etc. is very complicated.
If you are looking alone, you will find accommodation relatively quickly. Of course, luck is a part of it, but there’s always something to be found on Craigslist. Of course, the dorms are also worth considering. Almost all my friends lived there. You definitely meet new people there very quickly.
I’m studying business administration and have taken two finance courses, a management course and an ECON course at CSUN. The subjects were all relatively simple and not really demanding in terms of level. They were just a relatively large amount of work due to compulsory attendance and homework. Nevertheless, it was fun to see how the students in the USA dealt informally with their professors. It might seem strange at first, but once you get into it, you can learn a lot from the professors.
Getting into my classes wasn’t easy. I was only informed on Monday evening that I have lessons on Tuesday from 9.30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jessica and Natalie from CSUN do their best to get you into your desired courses. However, the business college of the university is very bureaucratic and it can therefore take up to 3 weeks until you get your courses (of course there are already lessons in the 3 weeks). In addition, as an international student, you are not allowed to crash the courses of the business faculty. So you have to wait for Jessica and Natalie to give you the okay for the respective courses. But then you might have to live with having lessons on Fridays and Mondays.
Unfortunately there isn’t that much to do in Northridge itself, but LA has all the more to offer. Northridge is located in Northwest LA. Hollywood is about 30 minutes away on a Thursday/Friday/Saturday night. Of course you can go out there. Depending on the rush hour, it can sometimes take 45 minutes to get to Santa Monica. Malibu is also only 30 minutes away. That might sound like a lot at first, but once you’re in the US, you get used to it. Distances become much less important here.
Of course, weekend or day trips to the outskirts of Los Angeles are also recommended. San Francisco is only 6.5 hours away (if taking the direct route), San Diego 2 hours, Santa Barbara 1.5 hours and Vegas only 6 hours. Of course, there are also really great national parks nearby (and some that are a little further away). Do as many things as possible! The trips with my friends were the best thing about the semester abroad!
The CSUN Outdoor Adventures are also recommended. With the organization you can get to a relatively large number of places relatively cheaply. For example, I did the Hollywood Hike there, went kayaking in San Diego and spent 4 days in Zion National Park in Utah. They also offer many other things such as Surfing, Whale Watching, Death Valley, Bungee Jumping, Yosemite and Sequoia National Park.
All in all it was a great experience and a lot of fun. I can only recommend a semester abroad to everyone! I would not want to miss this experience and also all my new friends that I have met.
Good luck and success with your semester abroad!