California State University Chico Review (5)

University: California State University Chico

City: Chico

Country: United States

Continent: North America

Field of study: business administration

Study type: semester abroad

California State University Chico Review (5)

1. Preparations

The preparations for a semester abroad in Chico should begin about nine months in advance. Most exchange universities require a language test for the exchange, in this case the TOEFL (test of English as foreign language, www.toefl.org). This is a computer-aided language test that tests and evaluates English language skills. Depending on the university, a different score in the TOEFL test is sufficient. In the case of Chico war, the score to be achieved was 61 out of 120 points. That shouldn’t be a problem for anyone who can reasonably speak the English language. It is advisable to register for the test in good time, otherwise you will have to travel long distances. Once you have successfully completed the TOEFL test, you can continue with the further preparations. See mcat-test-centers for vocational training in Poland.

First you have to download the documents from the MicroEdu homepage (registration form, etc.). There is also an information sheet here, which you should definitely read through. Here you will find a lot of information about the further process of the application.

Filling out the registration forms is the smallest problem and done in half an hour. Next, you should take care of the so-called “Confirming Statement”. This is a document that confirms to the University of Chico that you have sufficient financial resources. The sum varies from university to university. In Chico, the confirming statement had to cover US$9,800.00. If you have this money in your account yourself, or if you can organize it through your parents or grandparents, this document is also a small problem. The money only has to be in the account once. This means you have it transferred briefly, then have the document issued by the bank and then transfer it back.
However, if you do not have enough liquid funds at hand, this document can also be issued by the Bafög office. The BAföG office responsible for semesters abroad in the USA is in Hamburg (www.studierendenwerk-hamburg.de). The processing time for this is several months. So I can only advise everyone to contact the Bafög office as early as possible.
When you finally have your confirming statement, you can then send the collected documents (registration form from MicroEdu + confirming statement) to MicroEdu.
After a few weeks, you usually get the confirmation. With the approval you will also receive an I-20 document, which is required for applying for a student visa (J1).
As far as I know, a personal appearance at the embassy in Berlin or at the consulates in Frankfurt and
Munich is now unavoidable and must be registered in advance via the
Internet (www.usvisa-germany.com). The appointment and the
subsequent visa issuance cost about $110. This fee must be
paid in advance at a bank (www.roskosmeier.de), as
access to the embassy or consulate is prohibited without appropriate proof. In addition,
before visiting the US branches, the so-called SEVIS fee for
exchange students must be paid, costing $200. An overview of all
the necessary documents for the visa application can be found on the website www.usvisagermany.com; In addition, you will receive a list again after the appointment has been made by e-mail. Appointments in the embassy and consulate are difficult to get at short notice, so it is necessary to register in good time. After registration, other appointments are often free due to cancellations. Since you can change the appointment three times, you can shorten your own waiting time by checking the free appointments every day. You will receive the visa after about 10 days. Since many fees are paid in advance, a credit card is essential. Also for paying later in the United States. A card with little or no fees for international use in non-EU countries is recommended.

Arrival can be very flexible. Chico has its own airport, but there are no direct flights to it. Most of the time you will have to transfer to a smaller plane in San Francisco, which then flies to Chico.
I wanted to enjoy highway driving myself. So I booked my flight to San Francisco and then got a rental car for the remaining 140 miles. After a 3-hour drive you have already arrived in Chico.

  1. Course Choice

The CSU Chico has many areas of expertise. You can study pretty much anything. So you can take a variety of courses. Since I’m studying business administration in Germany, I then decided to take courses at the College of Business.
The assignment of the courses is somewhat critical. Due to the economic crisis, the universities in the USA are also trying to save wherever they can. This means that courses are being shortened and the number of participants reduced. You compete here with the American students for the few places that are still available. In order to be selected at all, you have to fill out a form for each course, which then has to be signed by the professor. Then you should be there at every lecture. As soon as someone does not appear 1-2 times, they will be removed from the list. After about 2-3 weeks the final list of participants will be given. Once you’re on here, you can’t get kicked out. If you don’t – bad luck.
When choosing courses, it should also be mentioned that the office responsible for exchange students (ALCI = American Language and Culture Institute) is really very committed. They try to help as best they can and put in a good word for you with the professors.

  1. The CSU Chico

The university is very centrally located. It consists of several old buildings and lots of green space. There are also a few very modern buildings, such as the brand new “Reg Center”. A gym for all students with free entry. You can actually reach every building very well on foot, except for the agricultural building. This is a bit further away (I still don’t know where exactly that is). The cafeteria is very good, but also a bit more expensive than you are used to in Germany. There are sandwiches, burgers, Mexican, Asian, Italian… everything your heart desires. The price range here is around US$ 4-7 per meal.
CSUC’s mascot is the Wildcats. As at any other university, there are a lot of merchandising products from the university. T-shirts, sweaters, writing pads, mugs and much more. Everything in the university colors red and white.
Of course, there are also some sports teams here. The basketball team is very popular. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to watch a game because the season doesn’t start until January and I flew back at the end of December. In addition to the basketball team, there is also a soccer, baseball, and track and field team. They are not all very successful, but it is still fun to watch one or the other game.

In contrast to German standards, the courses are rather easy. You always have to stay on the ball, because you often get homework and assignments and write a lot of tests, but the level is much lower. If you regularly sit in front of the books for half an hour, it really shouldn’t be a problem to get an A out of the course in the end.

  1. Life in Chico

By American standards, Chico is a small town with around 80,000 inhabitants (around 16,000 of whom are students). As with many other cities in the USA, it is very difficult to get around here without a means of transport. Pretty much everyone owns a bike which is really helpful as bus services do exist but are very infrequent.
Various accommodation options are available to each student. You can look for an apartment yourself, you can move into a student residence, or you can be taken in by a host family. Everything has its advantages and disadvantages.
I myself have decided to stay with a host family and I do not regret this decision at all. I caught a very nice family with whom I still have regular contact today. Such a family stay simply gives you an insight into a real American family. We cooked, ate, shopped together and everything else you do together in a family. Of course, this allowed me to improve my English extremely, since I was forced to speak in English around the clock. What’s more, I lived in a big house with a garden and a pool. So you had a really good time.
But all of this also had its disadvantages. The house was very far from the university and the city center. That means I had to cycle 6 km every morning, which isn’t much fun given the very warm temperatures there. The nearest bus stop was also about 1 km away, so I used my bike for that too, and then just took the bike with me on the bus.

So, now to the party life in Chico. In the early 1990’s, Playboy magazine named CSUC one of the top party schools in the country. While it seems to have lost a lot of its party life of the past, it’s still awesome. There are plenty of bars where you can party very well for very little money. Chico’s famous intersection of Fifth & Ivy Streets, known locally as “Five & I,” is the meeting place every night. Around this intersection are all the houses of the fraternities and sororities. So there is always something to do here.

  1. Conclusion

I can only recommend Chico and CSUC to everyone. I had a great time there, which I will always remember fondly. I met a lot of new people, improved my English and of course had a lot of fun.

Arrival can be very flexible. Chico has its own airport, but there are no direct flights to it. Most of the time you will have to transfer to a smaller plane in San Francisco, which then flies to Chico.
I wanted to enjoy highway driving myself. So I booked my flight to San Francisco and then got a rental car for the remaining 140 miles. After a 3-hour drive you have already arrived in Chico.

  1. Course Choice

The CSU Chico has many areas of expertise. You can study pretty much anything. So you can take a variety of courses. Since I’m studying business administration in Germany, I then decided to take courses at the College of Business.
The assignment of the courses is somewhat critical. Due to the economic crisis, the universities in the USA are also trying to save wherever they can. This means that courses are being shortened and the number of participants reduced. You compete here with the American students for the few places that are still available. In order to be selected at all, you have to fill out a form for each course, which then has to be signed by the professor. Then you should be there at every lecture. As soon as someone does not appear 1-2 times, they will be removed from the list. After about 2-3 weeks the final list of participants will be given. Once you’re on here, you can’t get kicked out. If you don’t – bad luck.
When choosing courses, it should also be mentioned that the office responsible for exchange students (ALCI = American Language and Culture Institute) is really very committed. They try to help as best they can and put in a good word for you with the professors.

  1. The CSU Chico

The university is very centrally located. It consists of several old buildings and lots of green space. There are also a few very modern buildings, such as the brand new “Reg Center”. A gym for all students with free entry. You can actually reach every building very well on foot, except for the agricultural building. This is a bit further away (I still don’t know where exactly that is). The cafeteria is very good, but also a bit more expensive than you are used to in Germany. There are sandwiches, burgers, Mexican, Asian, Italian… everything your heart desires. The price range here is around US$ 4-7 per meal.
CSUC’s mascot is the Wildcats. As at any other university, there are a lot of merchandising products from the university. T-shirts, sweaters, writing pads, mugs and much more. Everything in the university colors red and white.
Of course, there are also some sports teams here. The basketball team is very popular. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to watch a game because the season doesn’t start until January and I flew back at the end of December. In addition to the basketball team, there is also a soccer, baseball, and track and field team. They are not all very successful, but it is still fun to watch one or the other game.

In contrast to German standards, the courses are rather easy. You always have to stay on the ball, because you often get homework and assignments and write a lot of tests, but the level is much lower. If you regularly sit in front of the books for half an hour, it really shouldn’t be a problem to get an A out of the course in the end.

  1. Life in Chico

By American standards, Chico is a small town with around 80,000 inhabitants (around 16,000 of whom are students). As with many other cities in the USA, it is very difficult to get around here without a means of transport. Pretty much everyone owns a bike which is really helpful as bus services do exist but are very infrequent.
Various accommodation options are available to each student. You can look for an apartment yourself, you can move into a student residence, or you can be taken in by a host family. Everything has its advantages and disadvantages.
I myself have decided to stay with a host family and I do not regret this decision at all. I caught a very nice family with whom I still have regular contact today. Such a family stay simply gives you an insight into a real American family. We cooked, ate, shopped together and everything else you do together in a family. Of course, this allowed me to improve my English extremely, since I was forced to speak in English around the clock. What’s more, I lived in a big house with a garden and a pool. So you had a really good time.
But all of this also had its disadvantages. The house was very far from the university and the city center. That means I had to cycle 6 km every morning, which isn’t much fun given the very warm temperatures there. The nearest bus stop was also about 1 km away, so I used my bike for that too, and then just took the bike with me on the bus.

So, now to the party life in Chico. In the early 1990’s, Playboy magazine named CSUC one of the top party schools in the country. While it seems to have lost a lot of its party life of the past, it’s still awesome. There are plenty of bars where you can party very well for very little money. Chico’s famous intersection of Fifth & Ivy Streets, known locally as “Five & I,” is the meeting place every night. Around this intersection are all the houses of the fraternities and sororities. So there is always something to do here.

  1. Conclusion

I can only recommend Chico and CSUC to everyone. I had a great time there, which I will always remember fondly. I met a lot of new people, improved my English and of course had a lot of fun.

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