University: California State University Fullerton
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: business administration
Study type: semester abroad
I highly recommend applying through MicroEdu. All my questions were answered in detail and everything went smoothly. You have to take care of the necessary documents early enough. You need an English proficiency test to apply to Cal State Fullerton. I took the DAAD test, which I could take for free at my home university. The test went relatively quickly and is nothing to be afraid of. See existingcountries for University of California Berkeley Review.
For a stay in the USA you need a visa and in the case of a semester abroad either a so-called F1 or J1. This can be applied for online through the American consulate. You have to answer a few questions online and then make an appointment. I went to Munich for this. For the visa you need a photo that must have certain dimensions. A normal German passport photo is too small for this, so you can go to a photographer beforehand and have a special one taken, or simply go directly to the consulate in a photo box for 5 euros.
You also need a confirmation from the bank that you have the financial means to be able to afford a semester abroad. I stayed at the Oxford North, which I’ll go into more detail about later. I reserved the room while I was still in Germany via their website. With regard to the credit card, the DKB is recommended, since as a new customer there are no fees for the first year.
What’s also important is that you have to be vaccinated against certain diseases in order to be able to take courses at CSUF at all. You can find out which vaccinations these are on their website.
Arrive locally and Oxford North
I took a Taxi2Airport to get to Fullerton from LAX. The driver then waited for me in the airport lobby and everything went smoothly. I paid about $100 for it. If you want to stay at the Oxford North, you need to know that you can only ‘check in’ until 6pm on the first day, as the office staff isn’t around then. So if you only land in the evening or at night, you have to book a hotel room for the first night. Also allow about 2 hours for immigration at the airport and driving from LAX to Fullerton can take about 1.5 hours during rush hour.
The rooms at the Oxford North are furnished with furniture only (bed, chest of drawers, desk, desk chair, clothes rail). Sheets, pillows, hangers, etc. can be bought at Target, just a 10-minute walk away. Target is the closest supermarket to Oxford North. Everything else is relatively far away (at least 30 minutes on foot).
It is a 30 minute walk from Oxford North to the CSUF Farm Building. Riding a bike saves you a lot of time. We bought our bikes used online for $20. From today’s perspective, I would rather move to University House or the UCA Apartments. These are closer to the farm building (5 minute walk) and have more shopping and restaurants around the corner. Many start a flat share in the UCA Apartments and that is why it is usually the cheapest method, but the apartments are usually unfurnished.
I paid a total of $1074 each month for my room at the Oxford North. However, the advantage of Oxford North is that if you request a room via a link (or email) on the university’s website, it will issue leases for as little as five months. The other apartments or rooms are usually issued for annual contracts and then you have to look after a new tenant who pays for the other six months.
1. Human Resource Management with Professor Rommel Salvador
This course was very theoretical, but the professor tried to make it more exciting with practical examples. He was always very concerned about us students. The three exams (usually four, but only three because of Corona) consisted of MC questions, some of which were very demanding. However, it is relatively easy to pass this course. We had no homework in the class. The recommended book is worthwhile, as content from the book is also included in the exams.
2. Entertainment Money Management at Professor Amani Roberts
I can highly recommend this course, as the professor himself has worked at Marriott Hotels for over 20 years and thus has a great deal of practical experience. He is also a DJ himself and very involved in the music scene. Professor Roberts has a lot of connections in the industry and from the many guest lectures we were able to learn a lot for our future and he always tried to familiarize the students with his connections and thus give them advantages for the working world.
The three exams were very fair (no MC, except for individual questions). There are also quizzes that are like homework and in which you had to answer questions about specific texts or podcasts. We also had to give two presentations in groups. We didn’t use a textbook because of Corona.
3. Environmental Economics with Professor Mitchell Livy
This course is an economics course. The topics are rather dry, but the professor makes an effort to explain it to the students as well as possible, so you can understand the topics quite quickly. We wrote three exams that were a mix of MC questions and open questions. You also have to do some arithmetic in the course, but the arithmetic isn’t difficult and, as practiced, only comes with other numbers in the exams.
There is also homework consisting of about five MC questions. But you always have more than enough time (about a week) to do this. I would recommend everyone to buy this book for this course.
4th Newport Beach Film Festival at Professor Gregg Schwenk’s
In this course you plan a festival. You also had to meet weekly with your team members outside of class. In addition, a weekly report, a book summary, various assignments and sometimes a presentation in front of the class had to be made every week.
There are no exams in this course, but it is still more complex than all my other courses. In the end, the performance that you have provided was also fairly evaluated. The lecturer puts a lot of effort into adapting and designing the course as well as possible and is very keen on feedback.
Fullerton doesn’t have much to offer per se. One should also know that the CSUF is a commuter college. This means that most of the students are commuters and work so much on the side that you actually have little to do with Americans outside of the courses and then tend to stay with the internationals. So if you want to deal more with Americans and also want to go to a university with a football team, then Fullerton might not be the right choice.
But it really is awesome to be so close to LA and the most beautiful beaches. There is so much to see in LA alone. Definitely recommend going to Laguna and Huntington as both are close by and the beaches are beautiful. The beaches in Malibu are definitely worth a visit, as well as the rooftop bars in LA.
We also drove to Las Vegas with our rental car (from Chico), which was awesome! You should definitely see Las Vegas!
Since we had to fly back to Germany in March due to Corona, we were no longer able to do a lot of things that we had already planned, but I’m still incredibly grateful for the experiences I’ve had and for all the experiences with my great new ones Friends I probably would never have met without the semester abroad. In the spring semester we were a total of five Germans.
If you still have doubts or are pondering, all I can say to you is: Dare and do it! You will never regret it and will instead have the best semester of your life there!
With regard to Corona, all classes were switched to online in March. The lecturers went to a lot of trouble and made the changeover as easy as possible for us. I then finished my courses from Germany.