University: California State University Fullerton
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: Business Psychology
Study type: semester abroad
I started preparing in January 2016, eight months before my semester abroad. Dear Anja from MicroEdu gave me extensive advice on a university in the USA, after which I very quickly decided on California State University Fullerton, as this university offers a very wide range of psychological subjects that are relevant to my business psychology studies. See ehuacom for CSUC Study Abroad.
The application to the university went very quickly, and I was accepted just as quickly.
Along with receiving the confirmation, MicroEdu sent an information package on the further procedures ( visa, health insurance, etc.) and useful information on life on site.
Regarding the visa: Don’t worry. It’s not that bad! You have to fill out forms online and make an appointment at an American embassy, also online.
On site, as long as you have all the documents together (you get a list), it goes very quickly. In Frankfurt it took me a total of 15 minutes for my documents to be checked. A week later I got my passport with the visa sent to me.
Since I arrived on site in peace and didn’t want to have any more stress with looking for an apartment and buying furniture, I decided to stay with a host family, which was ideal for me. You don’t live directly at the university and it takes about 15 minutes by bike to get to the campus, but you immediately have your own furnished room to yourself and immerse yourself in the American lifestyle. (Usually if you’re looking for an apartment you’ll be sharing a room with someone, otherwise it’s very expensive.) As I’ve traveled a lot and been out with friends a lot, I found it nice in the evenings or occasionally during the day to have my rest. The stay during the semester cost me 4×700$ (without food).
However, if you share a room with someone and search locally, you usually spend between $400-$550 in rent.
Study and university
CSUF has a beautiful, large campus that fits perfectly with what you imagine American student life should be like. Everywhere you see students with CSUF sweaters;).
The course is fundamentally very different. Attendance is compulsory and you often have homework, presentations and term papers.
During my semester I took three exams in each course and tests in between.
My courses were really great. I’ve been very lucky with my teachers. Every day I looked forward to the exciting lectures and actually really enjoyed learning for the courses!
A little tip: Since most lectures are based on books, it makes sense to buy them, even if they are expensive. Amazon Rentals will definitely make it cheaper. Likewise, if you buy used books from “The Little Professor”. But you have to get there quickly, otherwise they will be gone.
- Beginner course
- very practical
- The lecturer prepares you very well for the exams
- low workload
Educational Psychology – PSYC 311
- top lecturer who combines theory with practice
- relatively high workload (2 term papers and presentation)
Abnormal Psychology—PSYC 341
- Demanding lecturer who is incredibly good, I can only recommend!
- Practical relevance: many guest speakers who work with Dr. Mori are patients who report about their illnesses! Exciting and insightful.
- very high workload
- demanding exams
Industrial and Organizational Psychology – PSYC 391
- super nice lecturer
- relatively difficult exams
- varied lessons
- high workload due to exams and essays
For international students, life in California is everything you would imagine it to be: carefree.
You get to know a lot of new people, you travel a lot, you get a lot of new impressions and of course you take a lot of college house parties with you;).
One should be aware that life in the USA is generally very expensive.
Groceries usually cost a lot more than in Germany, but there are shops like the 99 Cent Store where you can get almost anything. This can save a lot. (The groceries there expire faster, therefore cheaper.)
Personally, I didn’t buy a car and I was happy with the decision. You can get the cheapest cars via Check24.de, where comprehensive insurance is included in the package. The cars were all new, so there were never any problems with them.
If you share it with 4 people, for example, it costs €8 per person per day. In contrast to Germany, the fuel is very, very cheap.
Since Fullerton is very well located, it is very easy to travel. I would recommend this to anyone going to the US. Interesting cities and even more impressive: the diverse nature.
Since all national parks cost money, it makes sense to buy an Annual Pass, which costs $80 and is valid everywhere. If you have an Annual Pass, you can take everyone who travels with you free of charge (so you can get the $80 back super quickly;)).
One way to save money is to organize accommodation through Couchsurfing. I’ve only had the best experiences with it. You get to know the locals, who give you tips and, if necessary, even show everything themselves. Often you even get food! Americans are very hospitable;).
As I have had to be hospitalized once myself, I would advise everyone to take out health insurance. You get one from the university, which is great, but doesn’t cover everything. I had travel health insurance from ERGO (€10 per year! Such an inexpensive one is enough!), which reimbursed me €250, i.e. all the costs that I incurred as a result of my hospital stay.
In total, I spent a good €12,000 for the four months in the USA.
- 2600€ rent
- 800€ flight
- 5100€ (university health insurance and tuition fees )
- 2000€ travel (relatively little, but only because of couchsurfing and sharing the price when renting a car)
- 1500€ food + shopping + other
I can recommend the CSUF to absolutely everyone, just like a semester abroad in itself. You become very independent, surpass yourself and have an unforgettable experience! I would like to thank MicroEdu – without you, the organization and implementation would not have been half as pleasant and uncomplicated!
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me!