University: California State University Fullerton
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: media studies
Study type: semester abroad
I knew very early on that I wanted to do a semester abroad. Actually even before I started my regular studies in Germany. That’s why I started researching on the internet early on and quickly came across MicroEdu. My destination, California, was also set in advance, so I already had some specific questions that were answered very quickly and in detail by MicroEdu, especially Aline Meyer. See jibin123 for Semester Abroad In California State University Chico.
I ended up choosing Fullerton because it was one of the “cheaper” universities in Cali and because of my media studies major. The proximity to Hollywood was also crucial. I traveled through California for a month in 2009 and already knew which areas I liked.
The worst, or rather the most time-consuming part of the whole organization I found was applying for the visa. That should not be underestimated. You pay about $300 in fees while filling it out online, and you don’t get the appointment right away in the next week, so get there sooner rather than later.
Finding an apartment online turned out to be a bit difficult. Most internationals live in University Village or in the apartment complex “The Homestead” for their semester abroad. However, the first was a bit too expensive for me and the second was unfurnished, which was out of the question for me. I then decided to live with a host family for the first three days and then look for an apartment on site. A week before my departure, however, I received an inquiry from the university’s International Office with an offer for a furnished apartment together with another international from Germany. I accepted that and have no regrets. We got along really well and the apartment is in a great location.
The International Office enters the students into the courses. Anyway, they try. The courses that you specify at the beginning and that you “absolutely” have to attend will probably not be the ones you get at the end. You should bring some flexibility with you. Everything worked out very well for me, but I wasn’t too committed either. I’ve met some people who were a bit more difficult to book. However, my professors were all very cooperative and mostly admitted me afterwards.
I find studying itself much better and more pleasant than in Germany. I think it’s more work because you almost always get homework, but I also learned more and was more interested than in my German courses. In my opinion, the tests and exams are easier than in Germany because they don’t cover as much material. With quizzes, tests, midterms and finals, the learning workload is well divided.
The recreational opportunities in California are simply incredible. You can drive 1 ½ hours to the mountains in the morning for snowboarding and skiing and in the afternoon you can go to the beach. The sea is very, very cold though, so no illusions about swimming. But the apartment complexes all have a pool. Other activities I enjoyed in Cali are hiking, rock climbing, surfing, Disneyland and of course the obligatory trips to Vegas, San Diego, Mexico and Co!
The people are all really nice, students and professors, and I’ve made a lot of friends. I originally planned to only stay one semester, but I fell in love with Cal State Fullerton so much that I extended my study abroad program for another semester. That wasn’t a problem with the visa either, I just needed a signature from the International Office in my I-20.
And what was a very big help to me, or rather financed my stay abroad for the most part, was the foreign student loan. Even if the application is even more complex than that for the visa, it is worth it. If you already get normal Bafög, it is even guaranteed that you will receive foreign Bafög. And even if you don’t, there’s a good chance you’ll qualify.
I am very happy that I took the opportunity to do a semester abroad and I can only advise you all to do the same. The whole year was an unbelievably beautiful experience for me that I definitely wouldn’t want to miss.
With MicroEdu you are in competent and helpful hands.