University: California State University Chico
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: business administration
Study type: semester abroad
For my semester abroad in Chico, I decided on the one hand because of the relatively humane tuition fees and on the other hand because of the great, green campus with its historic brick buildings. When I made the decision, I wasn’t fully aware that Chico is a three-hour drive north of San Francisco, but in the end, you can get there fairly easily (four hours) by either rental car or Amtrak. The application process was very uncomplicated and pleasant via MicroEdu. I did not contact the university myself. I received positive feedback from the university relatively quickly and because I had applied six months in advance, there was enough time to apply for a visa, meet at the embassy and make travel arrangements (flight, accommodation, credit card limit, International health insurance (MAWISTA)). The application itself was very time-consuming and nerve-wracking due to the clutter of forms. The actual interview at the embassy in Frankfurt am Main was completely relaxed – it is advisable to have one of the first appointments in the morning, as the queue is very short and there is hardly any rush even in the waiting room. The officials are extremely nice and German and English can be spoken. See toppharmacyschools for vocational training in Canada.
I flew to San Francisco two weeks before the start of my studies and traveled to Yosemite NP, Kings Canyon and Sequoia NP during this time. This is easy, since with an F1 student visa you have the option of entering the country 30 days before the start of the training and having a further 60 days to travel after the end of the program.
In Chico I lived privately with an American woman (address and information can be queried via MicroEdu), this is to be recommended in any case, since English is habitually spoken and you also get a little bit of American life. There are also tips for shopping, cooking together and one or the other amenity that a hall of residence doesn’t offer. A bicycle was also made available to me. The accommodation was about 15 minutes by bike from the campus, right by Bidwell Park. There was a bus stop to the campus in the immediate vicinity, which you could use free of charge with your student ID.
Chico is a town for outdoor enthusiasts, with mountain biking and hiking in Bidwell Park as well as plenty of adventures along the Sacramento River. Otherwise, the nearby lakes in Oroville and Lassen Volcanic NP invite you to do so. With Lake Tahoe, there is also a relatively large ski area not too far away and worth a trip in both summer and winter. Slightly further routes such as Aspen, Las Vegas (13 hours drive) or LA (8 hours drive) can be easily reached by plane or rental car. Otherwise, Chico’s bars offer plenty of variety with live music and a good mix of drinks. For those who are more interested in cultural entertainment, the Cafe Coda is recommended. If you are looking for more fitness, you can buy a pass for the university’s own WREC for around $ 150,
At university I took courses in business: Entrepreneurship Law, Investments and Survey of Finance. If possible, all courses should only be taken if you already have certain previous knowledge, because all the necessary “prerequisites” (proven previous knowledge based on the transcript of the home university) are required. If you don’t have it, it’s difficult to get the professor’s signature and to follow the lecture. I could only register for all courses on site and had to present forms to the professor after the first lecture. At home I had already compiled a list of possible courses, which I also had my home university confirm for recognition. All three courses were very time-consuming. In each, several quizzes, midterms and a final exam were written, course-related projects were also carried out and there was homework every day. The teaching materials are provided in different ways, much of which is aimed at textbooks that you have to buy/rent at the beginning, otherwise following the course is difficult if not impossible. Don’t be shocked by the prices – $100 – 200 per book is quite normal. You should definitely look at who teaches the courses and google the name or look it up on an evaluation page for professors, otherwise the lecture may not be as nice. the profs are otherwise all very, very helpful and uncomplicated, as well as the people from ALCI. Compulsory attendance is handled more strictly by some, more casually by others, but ultimately if you are planning a long weekend trip, you should just get in touch with the professor and explain what you intend to do. Approval usually works without any problems.
When it came to crime, my feeling was that very little was happening. You should always lock your bike and, if possible, close the doors and windows when you leave the room/house. I myself slept with the door open at night and also rode my bike in Chico at night and rode through the park. However, everyone is probably best able to assess how high their sense of security is and when they feel comfortable and when not. Taxis are usually available and you can also get home from the well-lit arterial roads.
The cost of living is slightly above the German standard, especially groceries. Worthwhile is the Famers Market, where dark bread is sold in addition to fresh fruit and vegetables. When renting a rental car over a longer period of time, booking via Germany is a good idea in order to get more comprehensive insurance protection and also to get special conditions for young drivers (21 – 24 years). If you are under 25, you have to reckon with considerable additional expenses.
After the end of the semester in December, I went on longer trips and have traveled and tested the Midwest, the entire west coast and Vancouver as well as various Canadian ski areas and tested them. Traveling to Canada was not a problem as long as you fly back to Germany from there. If you want to enter the USA again afterwards, you need an extended I-20 (possible through ALCI), otherwise entry will be denied (during the 60 days of parental leave you can only exit and not re-enter).