University: California State University Northridge
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: interior design
Study type: semester abroad
Everything about the organization of the semester abroad:
I heard about this organization from a friend who also went abroad for a semester with the help of MicroEdu and spoke highly of it. So the first step for me was to contact MicroEdu and research which university would be suitable for me. After some time I decided to go to California State University Northridge. MicroEdu was very helpful in compiling all the application documents. The informational materials from MicroEdu were particularly helpful in helping to think of everything during the application phase. All the documents were collected fairly quickly and the application could be sent off. After some time, I received the confirmation there as well and the preparations could continue. During the entire preparation and application phase, MicroEdu was always available for questions, which made the phase much easier. A big thank you to MicroEdu. Check ehuacom.com to see CSUSM study abroad opportunities.
Everything about the university and choosing a course:
I’m studying interior design and am already doing my master’s degree, which, due to my field of study, severely limited the search for suitable universities. With CSUN, however, I found a university where I could take suitable courses. The university itself is one of the largest in California and offers a place for almost 40,000 students.
In the application documents, you had to choose a few courses. But that didn’t mean you could get them. (What I only had to find out on site) In the end, unfortunately, I didn’t get any of the courses I wanted and had to “crash” all courses. The problem with choosing a course is that as an “international student” you only get a place in the seminar if there is still capacity. The university’s own students are given priority.
Our contact person on site was available with advice and action, but she had a lot on her plate, so it was easier to look for the courses you wanted by talking to the professors personally.
My experience with the professors was very positive and they helped me whenever possible. I spoke to the professors personally on all courses and they were really very helpful and open-minded.
The university itself, as mentioned before, is one of the largest in California and has a really big campus, which is very nice. There are plenty of opportunities to take part in sports activities, for example by visiting the really big new gym. In addition, numerous events take place. Participation is definitely worthwhile. There is also plenty of space for learning in the large library, which really has a lot of specialist books ready.
Everything for care:
If you go on a semester abroad via Collage Contact, you have a fixed contact person who will be happy to answer any questions you may have. Be it questions about the courses or life on campus. My experiences with the professors were also very positive. I could also turn to her with any questions. Otherwise there are the fellow students who are on hand with advice and action, for example when it comes to party life. In general, my impression is a very positive one, because Americans are very open to Europeans.
All about accommodation in Northridge:
Arriving in America with the wishful thinking of having my own room and bathroom, I was quickly taught otherwise. Renting your own place is very expensive and in hindsight it was actually very cool to live with other people. In general, you have to consider whether you want to live on or off campus. I decided to live off campus and moved into an apartment with a fellow student from Germany. It wasn’t a luxury apartment, but it was perfectly fine for my time in Los Angeles. A little tip: you might already get in touch with other students from Germany and look for accommodation together in Northridge. Many apartment rental companies don’t just want to rent their accommodation for six months, but if you go there in person, it usually works. The rent increases, but you have accommodation.
Everything you need to know about living in the sunny state of California:
Life in California is very pleasant, not only the weather alone contributes to this. The nearest beaches are about half an hour away by car and are really beautiful. Ideal for the weekend or for a day during the week when you don’t have to go to uni. Unfortunately, there aren’t very many things to do in Northridge itself. You have to drive a bit for that, mostly to Los Angeles, of course. So I would definitely recommend renting or buying a car. Maybe it’s an option if you’re teaming up with several people to take a car for long-term rental. Unfortunately, the positive impression was somewhat clouded by the high cost of living. The rent, groceries,… – everything is pretty expensive, but that’s Los Angeles.
All in all I would recommend everyone to go abroad. The experience that you can have there, nobody can take away from you. You get to know a lot of new people and collect so many new impressions. It doesn’t matter whether it’s Northridge or another location. California State University has its pros and cons, just like any university. All in all, however, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.