University: California State University Northridge
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: business administration
Study type: semester abroad
First things first: USA really is what you make of it!
But let’s start at the beginning: Thanks to MicroEdu, the application was smooth and relatively easy, so that I was through the entire process within a few months and landed in LA a week before uni started. Check ehuacom.com to see HPU study abroad opportunities.
Using public transportation from LAX to Northridge? This is like a little odyssey and is only recommended if you landed during the day as it can take up to 2 hours (most likely longer if you are inexperienced). I arrived in the evening and it got stressful as about half of the buses weren’t running by then. If it is too late to change your booking, a mixture of public transport, shuttles and taxis is recommended.
This brings us to the location of Northridge. Google Maps is deceptive, because the displayed 25 minutes to downtown are rather unrealistic, except for the few times with a bit of luck. Heavy traffic just doesn’t allow it. However, compared to many other LA universities, it is closer to the center.
Northridge is dead with a few bars I could count on one hand. But with the right group, you can also do something there during the week, for example in the dorms, where the international students celebrate regularly, you can sometimes find a wild to damn wild party during the week. Hence my very important tip to you: If you don’t live in the dorms like me, then get in touch with people who do!
You can find accommodation from as little as $350. Of course, this means a shared room. You won’t find anything under $500 for your own room. Apart from the rent, the cost of living is lower because you pay less for clothes, electronics (and alcohol) etc. than in Germany.
An important note: If you find someone, then you should rent a car privately (eg from your landlord) with several people and go on a discovery tour.
Lessons are taught like in school with weekly homework, group work, presentations and tests. It may not suit everyone, but I took away more from the one semester than from the 3 years of studying in Germany. The level may not be that high, but the teaching is more practice-oriented : e.g. in one subject we had to develop a marketing strategy for an American television station, which would also be applied if our team were to win (small note for completion: our team unfortunately does not have won). Due to the lower level and the greater fun, good grades are guaranteed if you don’t get too cross.
About university life:
After initial difficulties, I was able to make friends with the “locals” very easily. The following applies here: Approach people, they are always happy when they are in a good mood and contact details are quickly exchanged! Don’t forget: many of the local students there live a little further afield and have their regular circle of friends, so it’s up to you to get in touch with them!
Unquestionably high, very high in terms of tuition and airfare. Everything else does not exceed the prevailing prices in Germany, but mostly even falls below them. OK, that’s not entirely honest: The admission prices for well-attended clubs are higher than in Germany ($20 upwards), but that only applies to us men. Women very often get in for free (felt like they ALWAYS get in for free).
Sunny San Diego in the south, European-style San Francisco in the north, the incomparably monstrous forests in the national parks with their sequoia trees and picturesque landscapes (approx. 3 hours drive north of Northridge), Nevada as a neighbor with Las Vegas as a cultural center ^ ^ and the beautiful Californians with their sunny dispositions, California offers that and much more and I strongly recommend visiting at least the listed places.
No question, this is THE city. There are almost limitless things to do from relaxing on the many beaches (Malibu is the closest, prettiest and least tourist polluted) to watching the filming of TV shows and concerts, to partying in the countless bars and clubs. (Oh yes, not to forget the malls and outlets, they are also worth a visit and differ only slightly in price)
It’s worth it. The high cost of airfare, the high tuition fees, the bureaucracy of applying, it’s all more than compensated for by the tremendous fun you’ll have in California.
Don’t forget: Don’t be lazy and actively help shape every day of your semester abroad.