University: California State University Chico
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: Business administration, alternative medicine, sports management
Study type: semester abroad
I studied at the CSU Chico in the spring semester of 2013. I can say in advance that it was a great experience that I can only recommend to everyone. See toppharmacyschools for India higher education.
I’m studying sports management at the University of Leipzig and had actually been planning to go to the USA for quite a while. However, the decision as to when, how and where the whole thing should happen was only made in the master. I started with the concrete preparations about half a year beforehand, which in the end was completely sufficient. MicroEdu supported me at all times from the beginning of my research to the end and was a great help with the organization and the decision as to which university it should be. Thank you again for that! The hardest part for me was actually deciding on the right university in the US, as the selection of courses in the graduate area was much smaller than in the undergraduate area. In short: if you decide to go abroad during your bachelor’s degree, you probably have a much larger selection of universities. For reasons of crediting my courses in Germany, I was therefore limited to master’s programs, which is how I came across the CSU Chico. To be honest I had never heard of Chico before, in hindsight I’m glad it ended up with CSUC. As far as all the formal preparations are concerned, i.e. application, language test, visa etc., I have to say that based on other reports I had imagined everything to be much worse than it was in the end. If you don’t decide to go abroad at the last minute, everything can actually be mastered without any problems. MicroEdu had checked my application documents and then sent them directly to CSUC and provided clear instructions for all the other steps, so basically nothing could go wrong. In addition, I wanted to study in America with two of my friends. We all got our spot in the spring semester. Experience has shown that the probability that three of you will be accepted for the same university in other programs is relatively low. So if you are planning a stay abroad with friends or fellow students, I can only recommend contacting MicroEdu. It worked great for us.
I flew to San Francisco about two weeks before the semester started and from there I drove to Chico to look after an apartment there. So I spent the first nights in motels. It was clear to me that I didn’t want to live either on-campus or with a host family in order to be as independent as possible. In Chico there are enough apartment villages that offer furnished rooms. For me, that was actually the most important point when looking for an apartment, since I didn’t really want to buy extra furniture etc. for a semester. However, this was not really apparent on the internet. That’s why I decided to take care of it on site. I ended up staying at the Timber Creek Apartments. “The Zoo”, as this apartment village is known to most locals, lives up to its name and is probably the liveliest of all apartment complexes. Admittedly, the mail went off regularly there. Craighall or Redwood Cove, for example, are much quieter. All are priced at around $500 a month with all the trimmings.
Chico is a relatively small town in northern California with around 80,000 inhabitants. The center is anything but big, but convinces with cafés, restaurants, bars and clubs. You really don’t have to worry about boredom in this city. And the party life is comparatively really cheap. I particularly liked the fact that both the campus and downtown were within walking distance from our apartment village (and many others too). In general, you can get along very well in Chico without your own car, which would be unimaginable in larger cities in California. Most of the shopping around Chico Mall is easily accessible by bus, which is free for students, by the way. Scenic Chico is absolutely beautiful. The area offers a lot of green spaces, especially with Bidwell Park, which are perfect for sports and leisure activities or just for relaxing. As far as the weather is concerned, one can only say: outstanding. A coach of one of the Chico State teams summed it up very well with “…I wear flip-flops 300 days a year, I think it’s getting worse…”. Otherwise, Chico is also a good starting point for travelling. Sacramento is just over an hour’s drive away. San Francisco and Lake Tahoe can be reached in three hours and in my opinion an absolute MUST. Highlights are also Yosemite, Las Vegas and a Pacific Coast Highway Trip, for which you should plan a little more time. I’m out and about in flip-flops 300 days a year, I think it’s getting worse…” put it in a nutshell. Otherwise, Chico is also a good starting point for travelling. Sacramento is just over an hour’s drive away. San Francisco and Lake Tahoe can be reached in three hours and in my opinion an absolute MUST. Highlights are also Yosemite, Las Vegas and a Pacific Coast Highway Trip, for which you should plan a little more time. I’m out and about in flip-flops 300 days a year, I think it’s getting worse…” put it in a nutshell. Otherwise, Chico is also a good starting point for travelling. Sacramento is just over an hour’s drive away. San Francisco and Lake Tahoe can be reached in three hours and in my opinion an absolute MUST. Highlights are also Yosemite, Las Vegas and a Pacific Coast Highway Trip, for which you should plan a little more time.
The topic of class crashing is always particularly interesting. So let me start with my experiences. I got my three desired courses. My tip: be there a little earlier before the start of the first lecture, go to the professor, introduce yourself personally and ask politely whether you can get a place in the corresponding course (regardless of whether the status is already “full” or not). It worked fine for me. I took two courses in Kinesiology and one in Business Administration. The course of the semester was a little different than at my German university. The courses were all very reading-intensive and you had to do a relatively large number of partial assignments during the semester in the form of homework, quizzes, midterms, etc. There is no need for the classic final exam, which can be taken alone or largely determines the grade. As far as my courses are concerned, I can say that the level and content were very manageable. The only real challenge was actually the sometimes very large amount of work during the semester. So overall it’s more about quantity than quality. Nevertheless, the professors were all very friendly and were always available for questions and problems. Otherwise, the ALCI Office is the most important contact for exchange students. Here, too, I would like to say again that the employees there were super friendly and really helped with all matters – whether university or outside. In addition, the ALCI regularly organized leisure activities where you could quickly meet new people. But not only the people, but also the campus itself, made me feel very comfortable at Chico State. The university campus is within walking distance of the city center, is very well maintained and has numerous green spaces. The library with laptop lounge is also a good place to study and work. Sports enthusiasts will get their money’s worth in the “WREC” fitness center. In addition to a classic fitness and cardio area, the studio offers everything your heart desires with indoor courts, running track, swimming pool with jacuzzi and sunbathing area as well as a climbing wall. In contrast to “regular” students, membership for exchange students is not free, but the $180 per semester is well worth it. what your heart desires. In contrast to “regular” students, membership for exchange students is not free, but the $180 per semester is well worth it. what your heart desires. In contrast to “regular” students, membership for exchange students is not free, but the $180 per semester is well worth it.
If someone asks me if I would go to Chico again: YES! The overall package is just great. A small but very cool city full of young people, you can easily get around without a car and the weather is perfect. Actually the ideal place for a semester abroad. As already mentioned, San Francisco is only three hours away. In addition to the city, you should not miss a sporting event, such as a Giants game. There are enough teams in the Chico area to make the NBA, NFL, NHL or MLB experience possible. On the subject of travel, I can also recommend from my personal experience to book your flight in advance so that you have enough time to tour around and on the other hand book another departure airport for the return flight. This saves the whole rebooking process and is sometimes even cheaper. My outbound flight was to San Francisco, for example, and my return flight to Germany was from New York. After the end of the lecture I was able to do a road trip from the west to the east coast. Not only California, but the whole country is absolutely worth a trip. If you have the opportunity, you shouldn’t miss it!
The bottom line is that I really only have to say that I had an absolutely great time in California, which I will always look back on fondly and can recommend Chico with a clear conscience.