University: California State University Chico
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: Business
Study type: semester abroad
I took care of the visa about a month and a half ago. After booking an appointment online, I went to Frankfurt. The queue was long, even though it was only 8 a.m., but everything worked out pretty quickly once we got there. After about 3 minutes of the interview, I received approval for my visa. Already after 3 days my passport with visa was sent back to me. See toppharmacyschools for Japan higher education.
During the interview I was asked what I’m studying and why I want to do a semester abroad in the USA. I didn’t have to show my university confirmation or other documents that secured my return to Germany.
Departure & Apartment
I booked my flight ticket with Delta Airlines from Düsseldorf to San Francisco via Atlanta. I was very nervous and to be honest, shortly before leaving I regretted that I had decided to do the semester abroad. I flew to the US without having a place to stay. Since I couldn’t find anything on the craigslist (www.craigslist.com), I signed up for Couchsurfing. There I contacted a few women about 3 weeks before departure. Luckily a woman contacted me on the day I left. She allowed me to stay with her and also helped to look for a room. It took me about 5 days to get a roomhave found. Be careful with the length of the lease. For example, I didn’t get my deposit back because I left in mid-December and my contract ran until the end of January. I lived with 3 Americans who also studied at the university in Chico.
Life in Chico
Chico is a relatively small university town with a large number of pubs and small clubs. Actually, you can party in Chico every day except Sunday. Low prices attract customers. Fraternity houses were also known for good parties and Chico has a lot of them.
In addition, the ALCI also organized something every day, such as football games or hip-hop dance. On the weekends there were also sometimes excursions, such as to San Francisco or to Sacramento to see the NBA game.
There is also a very modern gym at the university. While it’s not that cheap, costing around $190 for a semester, it’s a very good option for anyone who likes to be active. In addition to the many fitness machines, there are also many courses on offer, such as yoga, fuego (something similar to Zumba) or interval training. There is also a swimming pool and a climbing wall… I definitely did more sport in Chico than in Germany…
Chico is very cheap compared to other American college cities like San Diego or Santa Barbara. Rents usually vary between $300-500. The food prices are comparable to German prices. When I went shopping with my roommates, we usually went to Winco. The selection there is really large and the prices are also very fair. Whenever I was just cycling, I always shopped at Safeway.
I traveled a lot with my German fellows on weekends and during the holidays. We went to San Francisco (which is a MUST if you only live about 4 hours from this city). We also saw the coast of California all the way to San Diego. But we also went to Portland and Las Vegas. Traveling in the US is relatively cheap as car rentals were not expensive and gas prices were also much cheaper than in Germany.
I took three Open University courses, which were also recognized at my university. I took 2 English courses from ALCI, Reading and American Idioms & Slams. The English courses were not demanding, but were definitely fun. As far as the university courses are concerned, you get a lot of homework in the first week, which was sometimes very time-consuming. You write two midterms in the semester and at the end a final exam. I like this school system better than the one in Germany because you are really forced to work a lot during the semester. In addition, you can improve the final grade with a lot of homework. But you really have to invest a lot of time in it. In addition, attendance at almost all courses was compulsory.
The semester abroad in Chico was nice, but I was also happy when these 4 1/2 months were over. But if you are looking for parties, you will surely enjoy the time more. In any case, it was nice to see the beautiful coast of California and Oregon, to go to Las Vegas and also to meet a lot of nice people. I would recommend everyone to do it!!