University: California State University Fullerton
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: business administration
Study type: semester abroad
I started looking for a suitable university about a year before my stay abroad. It was important to me that I spend the semester in an English-speaking country, so that in addition to the USA there were also Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Great Britain to choose from. For each country, I searched for different universities on the MicroEdu homepage and created a table based on criteria such as the courses offered or the costs. The decisive factor in choosing California State University Fullerton was the wide range of master’s courses in the field of controlling and finance, which thematically supplemented the offer at my home university. See ehuacom for CSUMB Study Abroad.
I found the support from MicroEdu to be very good. There were no problems in the simply designed application process and the competent team always answered questions quickly. The confirmation of acceptance from the American university followed within a few weeks.
Courses taken at the host university
At CSUF I have a macroeconomics course and two finance coursesone of the finance courses was designed as an online course and there was only a face-to-face event for the final exam. All in all, it can be said that the effort during the semester is higher than in Germany, since in addition to several written examination phases, which are about four weeks apart, further tasks had to be submitted or presentations had to be given. For example, there were weekly quizzes in the online course that had to be completed alongside group work. In my opinion, the level of the lectures is lower than in Germany. In all courses, content was taught that I had already learned in my bachelor’s degree. In general, topics are treated rather superficially, since people from all fields of study sit in the courses and it is assumed that they have little or no prior knowledge. You meet accordinglyFellow students with different interests and abilities, so that creative ideas can emerge in group work. However, finding dates for group work is problematic because most students work full-time and do not live on or near the campus.
I started looking for accommodation after the confirmation, i.e. about 5 months before departure. There were several apartment complexes to choose from within walking distance of the university, and their internet reviews and websites served as the basis for the apartment request. In the end I chose Oxford Northdecided and received a contract there for 4.5 months. There are also contracts that are valid for a whole year and where you have to look for a new tenant if you move out before the end of the contract in order not to bear the costs of the unused room. For an extra charge, I lived in a renovated apartment where another German and an American lived. I had my own room, furnished with furniture such as a bed, a desk, two dressers, hanging rails and a ceiling fan. I shared the bathroom with one of my roommates. The kitchen must be equipped with crockery, pots, etc. yourself. Life in Oxford North is okay for a few months, but even a renovated apartment is not comparable to German standards. Unfortunately, the apartment could not score with cleanliness when moving in. Added to this were mold and occasional infestations of cockroaches and ants, with the latter in California is part of everyday life due to the climate.
Leisure and excursion possibilities
California itself offers many excursion options and is an ideal starting point for trips to neighboring states, Canada or Mexico. A car is not absolutely necessary for day-to-day life near the CSUF campus, as shops and bars can be easily reached on foot or by Uber or Lyft. For longer trips or excursions to the beaches of Huntington Beach or Newport Beach, which are about 30 – 40 minutes away, friends and I rented a car on a daily or weekly basis through the provider Alamo. In addition to the tourist magnets such as the Hollywood Sign or the Walk of Fame, we have San Diego, which is about 1.5 hours away and visited Las Vegas.
My highlights were Lower Antelope Canyon and the Grand Canyon, both of which are must-sees in my opinion. Travel as much as possible, because you probably won’t be able to get close to these unique landscapes anytime soon. In addition, I explored San Francisco and Yosemite National Park with a three-day bus tour. With about 50 Chinese also an experience that I will not forget.
The costs for my semester abroad were around 16,000 euros, which I roughly calculated in advance. The biggest costs are tuition and accommodation. Also not to be neglected are the relatively high prices for groceries and cosmetics. If you don’t have that much money at your disposal, you can apply for various scholarships or have your entitlement to BAföG abroad checked.