California State University Fullerton Review (16)

University: California State University Fullerton

Country: United States

Continent: North America

Field of study: industrial engineering

Study type: semester abroad

California State University Fullerton Review (16)

Introduction

A college with over 40,000 students, located in sunny California, right in the heart of the Los Angeles metropolitan area. The best ingredients for a breathtaking semester abroad ! See iamaccepted for Universitat Autonoma De Barcelona Study Abroad.

In this field report, I would like to tell you about my 4.5 months in Fullerton and give you helpful tips along the way. I was lucky enough to be able to spend the semester abroad with my girlfriend, which is why I always say “we”.

Why the CSUF?

We chose California State University, Fullerton (CSUF) because it offers business and engineering courses, among other things, and because it is cheap compared to other universities in the USA.

We had to pay around $5600, which was exactly €5000 at the time. You can read the current tuition fees at MicroEdu.

Application process

The first step after we decided to join CSUF was to apply. The application process was quick and uncomplicated. MicroEdu tells you exactly which documents you need, then you send them to Münster by post and MicroEdu checks the documents for correctness and completeness. They will then complete the online application for you and you can expect a positive response within a few days to a few weeks.

You will have most of the documents together quickly, apart from the language certificate. You should take care of that in good time. The DAAD test and the TOEFL test are recognized at the CSUF, you just have to achieve a certain grade. The required grades for the corresponding English tests can also be found here on the website.

If you have any other questions about the application process, it is best to direct them to MicroEdu. There you will get quick answers and useful information.

Preparation

Once you’ve been accepted into CSUF, the anticipation of California begins. At this point you should give some thought to how you would like to spend the semester abroad and make the appropriate preparations. The most important points for us were: apartment, SIM card and car.

The first thing we did was to look for accommodation. Finding an apartment was difficult for 2 people because we wanted to live together in an apartment near the university. University House (UH) and University Village (UV) are the most popular places to stay in the area. Many German and other foreign students live in the UV, which is why we chose the UV. However, you only get rental contracts there for more than 1 year and you have to find a new tenant if you don’t live there for a year.

A mobile phone contract for the USA was the next big issue. We ended up buying a prepaid SIM card from AT&T in the USA for around $45 a month. This is expensive, but we were both very satisfied with the provider. To do this, you simply go to any AT&T store, which is also near CSUF, and ask for a prepaid SIM card for your mobile phone.

We also thought about a car. DirtCheapCarRentals in San Diego offers cheap rental cars. For 5 months we paid $3375 for a 2015 VW Jetta. Including insurance, young driver surcharge and unlimited miles. Car rental is very cheap, but the cars are only insured for the Los Angeles / San Diego area, ie insurance fees apply for longer trips eg to San Francisco ($100-$150 dollars for a week). If you have any questions, you can email them directly.

Otherwise, you should of course remember to pack all the necessary documents that MicroEdu will give you. Also, when packing, make sure to leave room for US purchases;)

Uni/Courses

When you finally land in California, the university stress will soon start. Neither of my girlfriends and I had been allocated all of the courses and times we wanted, so we had to take part in class crashing. I have 4 tips for this :

  1. You can use the Student Center online to look for the courses you would like to take, see whether there are still places available and find out the contact details of the professor. Before you “crash” his lecture, you can send him an email telling who you are and asking if there’s still space in his class. That’s how the professor remembers you.
  2. If you have a professor’s signature, you still need the stamp of the relevant department to be enrolled in the course. So once you have the signature, you should go to the department to make sure you have the course.
  3. RateMyProfessor is a website where students can rate their teachers. Stop by there beforehand and see what ratings your professor has. In our courses, the evaluation there agreed with mine.
  4. Keep crashing until you are fully satisfied with all courses. The first 2 weeks can be tiring, but you have to remember that you have these courses for your whole semester. Luckily we were able to schedule our courses on Monday and Wednesday, leaving plenty of time for travel.

You will also be told on site how the class crashing works, so you don’t have to worry about it just yet. If you are still interested, there is additional information here on the MicroEdu website.

Otherwise you should get used to writing several exams during the semester instead of just one exam at the end of the semester. In addition, there are oral grades and quizzes in many courses, i.e. smaller tests in between. Here is a brief overview of our courses.

EGME 304 Thermodynamics

  • Professor: Wang
  • Lecture: Very good and easy to understand even as a German.
  • Exams/Test: Fair exams that were easy to master with the appropriate effort
  • Number of exams: 2 midterms + 1 final
  • Recommended: Yes

MGMT 339 Managing Operations

  • Professor: Choi
  • Lecture: Ok, but not particularly exciting. But that is also partly due to the subject. MGMT 339 is the foundation course for all advanced management courses.
  • Exams/Test: Multiple Choice only. You should work hard and study, then you’ll get good grades.
  • Number of exams: 2 midterms + 1 final
  • Recommended: Yes

MGMT 444 Project Management

  • Professor: Frierson
  • Lecture: Boring, because the professor only reproduced the contents of the book.
  • Exams/Test: Multiple Choice only. Very difficult, even with a lot of learning effort. Americans had problems too. There is also unnecessary and time-consuming group work throughout the semester, which accounts for half of the grade.
  • Number of exams: 2 midterms + 1 final
  • Recommended: no

MKTG 445 Global Marketing

  • Professor: William Hernandez
  • Lecture: Very interesting as the professor loves to teach and has a lot of experience in this field.
  • Exams/Test: Some multiple choice, but mainly free text. The exams are very difficult and require a lot of learning. In addition, a homework must be written.
  • Number of exams: 1 midterm + 1 final
  • Recommended: Yes

Travel/Leisure

As mentioned in the previous section, we had plenty of time to travel and do things outside of uni. We’ve been to Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon and San Francisco, among other places. Take your time and do as much as you can. You won’t get that chance again anytime soon and there is so much to see in California, whether city, sea or mountains, there is something for everyone. You can always find people who want to travel somewhere with you.

Money

The financial part of the semester abroad is also important. I think you can count on around €15,000 for all the trimmings. Auslands-BAföG or scholarships, which are also offered by MicroEdu, will help you to finance the whole thing. Find out about the various options and also talk to your parents. Maybe you can wish for some change for Christmas or your birthday;)

Conclusion

Despite all the help, a semester abroad always involves a lot of effort and also costs a lot of money in California. Nevertheless, if I get the chance to study abroad again, I would fly immediately. The experiences you have, the people you meet and the places you see are unforgettable. Not to forget, such a semester abroad also looks good on your CV!

MicroEdu does a lot of the work for you. They organize when and which documents are to be submitted and what needs to be taken care of. At this point, once again, a very, very big thank you.

So, if you’ve read this review this far, why are you still hesitating?

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