University: California State University Chico
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: business Informatics
Study type: semester abroad
I completed the 5th semester winter 2012/2013 of my bachelor’s degree (business informatics) at the CSU Chico. I really enjoyed my time there and personally gained a lot. Chico is a cozy place with a variety of leisure activities and a good place to meet many open-minded, hospitable friends. Located a good three hours’ drive north of San Francisco, there are wonderful destinations in all directions, from big cities to national parks to wonderful beaches. See toppharmacyschools for Portugal higher education.
With a population of 86,000, Chico is a small college town in Northern California, so you can bike (or skateboard) pretty much anywhere. The summer was wonderfully warm but very dry, so the 40°C didn’t seem so bad. From November it got colder and rainy.
1. Preparation & application
MicroEdu was a great help with the application process and took care of the contact with the university and checked all the documents to be submitted for us students, so all we had to do was get them. Of course, this includes a visa. I recommend going to the consulate as early as possible in the morning, because then the line isn’t that long and you can get through it quickly. You can submit a TOEFL test as proof of language proficiency, but a DAAD certificate is also sufficient.
If you have time, you can of course travel around before the semester starts, but it is worth looking around for accommodation 1-2 weeks before the semester starts. There are various student housing complexes (such as Timber Creek or Pamona West). However, many can only be rented annually, which is why I checked out http: //chico.craigslist.org/ for accommodation. Ultimately, I shared a flat with two working Americans. Since my roomies had a band and the band rehearsals were in our garage, I met a lot of people and made friends for life. I got along really well with my roommates, so we did a lot together, from band performances to camping trips, cooking and movie nights together.
- University & course choice
The CSU Chico campus is beautiful with large green areas to lie/sit in the sun and study. The library also offers wonderful opportunities for learning on four levels or for study groups with PCs and WLAN.
The normal tuition fees include 3 courses and a language course. Since I had to take a higher number of credits for my home university, I opted for the variant with 4 university courses of 3 credits each and a less time-consuming language course (“elective class”), for an additional charge of $280 per credit.
The MicroEdu students are looked after locally by the ALCI, which also offers the language courses. You can opt out of this halfway through the semester (recommended, since the language courses didn’t challenge us enough).
Unfortunately, we cannot choose the courses at the CSU online like the other students before the semester starts, but only on site in the first 1-2 weeks. To do this, you speak to the lecturer before or after the relevant lecture. If the courses are not overcrowded and you meet the requirements of the course, it is actually not a problem to get into a course.
We all got the courses we wanted, in my case: Purchasing & Supply Chain Management, Introduction to Managerial Accounting, Software Engineering and International Management. It has to be said that most courses require intensive group or project work that is relatively time-consuming but not overly demanding.
The lecturers are very open and offer consultation hours for individual questions.
- free time
In Chico there is a wide range of leisure activities. The university includes the WREC, a super modern fitness studio where you can meet super new people while doing sports. There is a nice outdoor pool and hot tub with good vibes and music, a rock climbing wall, jogging track, weight rooms, indoor games and table tennis. Swimming and kayak training as well as a varied range of courses (Zumba, Yoga, Spinning, Kick-Boxing,…) are offered. There is actually something going on at any time between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. The almost $180 for the whole semester is absolutely worth it.
In Chico, Bidwell Park is an absolute highlight. The park is huge with the Sacramento River running through it, which forms a beautiful pool at “One Mile” and several natural swimming opportunities in Upper Park, e.g. B. Bear Whole and Salmon Whole. You can also go jogging and hiking or explore the landscape by bike. In the summer, especially on Labor Day, it’s popular to float down the Sacramento River, ie you let yourself be carried down the river in a big rubber tire.
Various activities are also offered by the ALCI, such as football, dance class, knitting club, lunch meetings and various excursions e.g. B. to San Francisco or to events like the MBA basketball game in Sacramento, the SixFlags amusement park etc.
Chico is a nice little place that turns into a student town during term time, where there is always something going on. During the day you can settle down downtown (next to the university) in nice cafes and restaurants or go for a stroll. At night, the city comes alive with clubs and bars, some with live music and various student parties. If you want you can go out every evening. Downtown is particularly lively from Wednesday to Saturday. Happy hour is Wednesdays at Crazy Horse and Thursdays at Bear with $2 cocktails and $5 pitchers. Due to the curfew from 2am you will be complimented from the bars from half past one and then you can end the evening at a house party.
The wider area around Chico is also varied and highly recommended for weekend or longer tours. You can easily hire a car from Hertz at the airport (booking through the German website is cheaper). San Francisco is worth several visits and is only a good 3 hour drive away. Lake Tahoe is an absolute must, whether for swimming, hiking and camping in the summer or for skiing and snowboarding in the winter.
For hiking, I can recommend national parks like Lassen, Yosemite and Sequoia, as well as Feather Falls in Butte Country and much more.
There is just so much to see in California, you will find a wide variety of landscapes and vegetation. It’s highly recommended that you allow time for trips north via Portland, Seattle and Vancouver and back up the coast, and south via San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles and San Diego with many pretty coastal towns and beaches. You also have to experience Las Vegas (especially over New Year’s Eve). Other area attractions include Death Valley and the Grand Canyon. As a general tip, don’t get ripped off by overpriced tourist attractions. Most tours can also be organized very well on your own, are cheaper and you usually see and experience much more.
Chico has something for everyone and is a good starting point for trips. The people there are super friendly, open-minded and hospitable and you make friends very quickly. Contacts are made quickly simply through the courses and the associated group work. Although the university can be time-consuming, the teachers are very helpful and motivated. The semester abroad brought me a lot personally, a lot of experiences, new friends from different places and tons of pictures from my travels. I can recommend Chico to anyone who wants to get to know the country and its people and experience a lot. Compared to other universities in the US, Chico is fairly priced in terms of both tuition and living expenses, as well as alcohol prices.