University: California State University Fullerton
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: organization and leadership
Study type: semester abroad
The 5th semester of my dual studies is planned by my university for a semester abroad and it quickly became clear to me that I wanted to go to California. I thought a lot about which university I would like to go to and decided on the CSUF because of its location and good reputation . In addition, the tuition fees at CSUF are slightly cheaper than at other state universities in California. The application at CSUF was fairly easy as most of it was handled through MicroEdu. I sent my application documents to CSUF via MicroEdu and was accepted very quickly. Then I was able to take care of my visa, insurance and suitable accommodation. See iamaccepted for San Diego State University Study Abroad.
I lived at University House (UH) Fullerton. The UH is a dormitory mainly for students. I shared an apartment there with three American women. Everyone in the apartment had their own bedroom and bathroom. So only the kitchen and the living room were shared. I found the accommodation through a MicroEdu group on Facebook. I took over the room from another exchange student from Germany.
I can definitely recommend UH. In terms of location, it’s really perfect, as you can walk to the university campus in about 3-5 minutes. In addition, there is plenty of shopping around, which is not the case with Oxford North (another student residence). Smart & Final, DollarTree etc. and various restaurants were only a 5-10 minute walk away. For this reason I didn’t need a car. The UH itself has two gyms, two swimming pools, and a large lounge with 24/7 coffee and tea. There is also a free printer in the UH and the apartments are all equipped with a washing machine and dryer. However, the rent is very expensive. For me it was USD 1,089 per month. However, there are no additional costs for electricity or water.
You could already choose the courses online in November. However, there was no guarantee of getting into the courses as local students have priority. It’s more of a pre-selection and with luck you can get a course beforehand and can then save yourself the course crashing. If you don’t get a course (or not enough), you have to do the course crashing on site and ask the instructors for permission to take the course. The course sizes of my chosen courses have varied between 40-100 students.
BUAD 300: Personal and Career Development at Kate Guerrero
This course was about personal development in the areas of critical thinking, relationship management, diversity management and learnership. The focus of the course was on applications and helping the students find out what they want to do and what their personal path to get there looks like. The course was definitely interesting because I was able to learn a lot about application processes in the USA and the differences to Germany. However, many topics from a course that I had already taken in Germany were picked up. However, the lecturer was super nice and rated it very well.
ECON 335: International Economics by Nyema Guannu
This course deals with international economics. It was mainly about trade relations on the world market and the impact of them on supply and demand. Topics such as customs duties, trade bans, exchange rates and international trade agreements were dealt with. The lecturer in the course was nice, but there was a lot of homework and a paper. Due to the lecturer not planning the time optimally, there was a lot of homework towards the end of the course and he also spontaneously postponed an exam. All in all the course was fine.
MGMT 365: Entertainment Business at Harold Fraser
The course dealt with many different topics, such as film & television, gaming industry, hotel industry, tourism or sports industry. Much was about the development and advances in the entertainment industry. This course was by far my favorite course and I can definitely recommend the course! The lecturer was super nice and conveyed the content very well. The workload was low compared to the other courses. The course was varied and interesting thanks to guest lectures by, for example, Disneyland managers or hotel managers.
MGMT 436: Training and Development at Rommel Salvador
This course dealt with the development of an optimal training concept and employee training. In the beginning there were many different “energizers” and “icebreakers” that were carried out so that you could get to know your fellow students better. An examination performance in this course was to carry out an own training needs analysis and then to develop a training concept in a group work. At the end of the course, one of the training hours from the developed training concept should be carried out with the course. The course was very helpful in gaining a deeper understanding of developing training concepts and how best to convey information. However, the lecturer was quite strict and you had to work hard to get a good grade.
Leisure and excursion possibilities
Since I only took 4 courses at CSUF, I had 3 days off a week and was able to use the time for excursions. In Fullerton itself there are not very many excursion possibilities. However, since Fullerton is very well located, destinations such as LA or San Diego can be reached quickly. There is so much to see and do in California. It’s very quick to get to Hollywood or LA Downtown by train. My personal highlights and recommendations are:
- Catalina Island
- Grand Canyon
- San Francisco’s Muir Woods National Monument
- Yellowstone National Park
- San Diego La Jolla
- santa monica
- Los Angeles National Forest
- Runyon Canyon Park (LA)
- Shoreline Village Long Beach
If you like to do something at the weekend and don’t just want to visit cities or beaches, I can recommend joining the CSUF’s “Adventure Club”. The club did a few excursions over the five months, such as hiking in the LA National Forest, surfing, stand-up paddling, bungee jumping, and laser tagetc. It’s also a good way to meet some Americans or other international students with the same interests. To become a member you pay USD 20 and get a t-shirt, free transport to events and food. Participation in the events is voluntary, but only members can come along on hikes. However, anyone (even non-members) can come along for paid events such as bungee jumping or laser tag.
My time in California and at CSUF was an unforgettable experience ! I experienced a lot, was able to travel a lot and met great people. It was a great experience and I experienced something new every day. I was able to make new friends and I miss spending time with them in the USA. I’m glad I had the chance to do a semester abroad in California and I can only recommend it to everyone!