University: California State University Fullerton
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: English / American Studies
Study type: semester abroad
I spent my semester abroad, which is scheduled for the 5th semester of my degree (International Information Management), at California State University Fullerton. After looking at the partner universities of my university, it quickly became clear to me that I would look for a place to study in the United States on my own, since none of the listed locations really appealed to me and if you then anyway for half a year from separates your loved one and moves out into the wide world, you can be a little demanding. America has fascinated me for a long time and I always felt welcome and extremely comfortable during my vacations on the east coast, since the Americans are known to be very open and cordial. After checking out some Florida universities and getting information about the (horrendous) tuition fees there, I was on the verge of failing until I stumbled upon MicroEdu’s site on the internet. There I found a few universities in sunny California that appealed to me immediately and fortunately seemed affordable at first glance. I chose CSUF because it offered a wide range of American Studies and Communications courses, was one of the cheapest universities at just under $5,900, and Fullerton, although not particularly large, is very centrally located in California. See iamaccepted for University of Canterbury Study Abroad Part Ii.
When it comes to organizing, MicroEdu does a lot of the work for you and is there to help and advise you without asking for money. The only downside was that my course selection form never made it to Fullerton, leaving me with no courses at all at first. So for me it was then “crash courses” and that can be quite exhausting, since you only have a limited selection of courses on site because most of them are already full, which in turn raises the questions about creditability that were clarified in advance. So I looked for the courses in which there were still places left and then, after the end of the lesson, I found myself with a surprising number of fellow sufferers at the professor’s and hoped to get his signature. I had to take these to the responsible department first, where I had to get a second signature, with which I could finally trundle to the International Student Service, hoping that others hadn’t already been quicker, because the signatures alone don’t say definitively whether you’ll get the course or not Not. In the end, I didn’t get a single course in the Communications area (you usually take four courses during the semester, each of which has around 2.5-3 hours of attendance time), so I decided to take two American Studies courses enroll in two film courses. Here is a brief overview: because the signatures alone do not say definitively whether you will get the course or not. In the end, I didn’t get a single course in the Communications area (you usually take four courses during the semester, each of which has around 2.5-3 hours of attendance time), so I decided to take two American Studies courses enroll in two film courses. Here is a brief overview: because the signatures alone do not say definitively whether you will get the course or not. In the end, I didn’t get a single course in the Communications area (you usually take four courses during the semester, each of which has around 2.5-3 hours of classroom time), so I decided to take two American Studies courses enroll in two film courses. Here is a brief overview:
RTWF 361, American TV: I love American TV series and had high hopes for this course. Unfortunately, we mostly dealt with series that were discontinued before my time. The amount of work was quite high, every week there were about 80 pages of readings, for which there were now and then tests and a total of five haikus had to be made. Then there was a project and two exams.
AMST 318, Hollywood and America: Sounds exciting, but unfortunately it wasn’t. We spent most of the class watching old movies like Chaplin’s The Immigrant and then we were almost allowed to leave without really engaging with what we were seeing. Fortunately, we received a midterm and final review sheet, on which the professor gave us almost 40 terms, such as film titles, as well as six essay questions, a certain number of which came up in the exam. If we hadn’t been given the questions beforehand, we probably would have been at a loss, as she suddenly wanted us to explain the cultural and historical relevance of the films to her as a whole; that was never an issue in class.
RTWF 271, American Film 1: Professor Sheehan is great! She herself is so motivated that she just skips it and also very enthusiastic about the course topic, even if the course content didn’t quite meet my taste, she made the best of it. American Film 1 deals with early film history, from the beginning to 1945, so you watch a lot of films, often still silent, and analyze them with reference to American history. A blog post had to be created every week for the readings, there were quizzes every two weeks, a project and two exams. All in all, a course of medium difficulty, where you can easily get a B without effort and an A with a little work.
AMST 300, Introduction to American Popular Culture: My absolute favorite course. Brande Jackson was our lecturer and you could tell right away that she knew exactly what she was talking about. We looked at and analyzed artifacts of popular culture from different perspectives. These included Superbowl commercials, film trailers and socially critical series such as Southpark. Brande always has a great sense of humor in her classes and in the end this is the course I learned the most from. There were two papers and two exams. There were also attendance and collaboration points. Despite the relaxed atmosphere during the lessons, she is very demanding and not a fan of multiple choice, instead attaching great importance to formulations and grammar. You really had to work hard here
In general, I would advise you, if you find yourself in the land of unlimited opportunities, to always visit ratemyprofessor.com before choosing a course. There you will find information about the professors themselves as well as the examinations they require.
With almost 32,000 students, Cal State Fullerton is definitely what you would imagine a typical American university to be. The campus is huge and at first you feel quite disoriented, but you quickly get used to it. I had decided with a fellow student from Hildesheim to live in the apartments on campus there, since they were four-apartment apartments and we hoped to be able to make initial contacts that way. Unfortunately, we had absolutely bad luck with our roommates and were appalled at how untidy, unhygienic and inconsiderate people can be. Of course, things can also go differently, but we really pulled the “Zonk”. The whole thing was an expensive mistake, because we paid a good 1200€ a month for our tiny little room. The only positive thing about the on-campus housing was the canteen. We had 112 meals included in our rental and the selection was huge. There was always fresh fruit and salads and stations where the food was freshly prepared. And since fresh groceries are quite expensive in America, that somewhat mitigated our disappointment with the housing situation. From what I’ve heard from other internationals, you have to reckon with at least €600 rent off campus plus additional costs, food, furniture and internet and telephone connections. In addition, if possible, you should take care of a car, because Fullerton is quite cut off from the rest of the world and public transport is hardly available. There are buses, for which you also get a free semester pass,
All in all, a semester abroad in America is definitely recommended, as it will help you a lot, especially in terms of language. The crediting of the courses was not a problem either. However, be aware of the costs that you will incur, because they are really not without.