University: California State University Fullerton
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: business administration
Study type: semester abroad
Preparation and decision
I started researching about 1 year in advance. It was clear to me that, in addition to the usual goals (different culture,..), I wanted to improve my English and have a different lifestyle during my semester abroad. It should be summer climate and an English speaking country. What remained were Australia and the west coast of the USA. I very quickly came across MicroEdu, who, especially Anja, were there to help me with further planning. As a freemover you already have more to organize than, for example, an Erasmus student, a really great help! So I compared the offers that MicroEdu had and Fullerton was what seemed best to me to fulfill my further wishes in the best possible way: inexpensive, great location for travelling, wide range of business courses (including finance), Reputation of the business faculty, not too many Germans. As always in life: “Everything is not possible!” If you choose Fullerton, you clearly have to make concessions when it comes to “not too many Germans”. As in San Diego, Germans (together with Koreans) make up the majority of the internationals, but that can also be managed accordingly if you want to (more on that later);) See educationvv for Brock University Exchange Program.
Even if the research and decision fell into the preparatory phase, I think the living is worth an extra point. From the other experience reports it was clear that all Germans, almost without exception, move to the UV. I lived there with a friend for about 2 weeks and therefore allow myself a few words about it. Relatively far away from the business courses, because at the other end of the campus, you can live quite well there. Pool, 2 meals included, room also adequate. My problem: Living with Americans is unlikely and I would say the majority of residents are German, which is great for organizing trips (contact is important at this point!), but is counterproductive if you aim to live with Americans who want to get to know and going to california to speak more english.
My decision then fell on University House (UH) http: //www.uhfullerton.com. And this decision was spot on! Short walk to campus where my business classes took place, supermarkets, fast food outlets and restaurants around the corner. Great facility with pool, BBQ corner, gym, etc. (see website). A much better apartment than UV and American roommates with a very, very high probability. Now to the compromises that you have to make here: depending on the apartment, of course, higher costs than in the UV and no food included. And a 12-month contract, so you have to find someone to take over the contract if you move out, which I managed to do. Is a risk to be aware of but I consciously accepted it and have not regretted the decision to live there! You can also have a say in who and how you want to live with. Rather quiet, more of a party flat share, everything is possible and can be clarified with the university managers. Because depending on where the apartment is located in this large apartment complex, it is just quiet or a little louder. The UH is still very new and in the first year everything was probably a bit chaotic (see one or two Google reviews). But I can no longer confirm that, since an in-house security system also ensures order (which also applies to the UV, by the way).
Ok, so all in all again: I was super happy with the decision to live in the UH and can only recommend it.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact me. I will give MicroEdu my contact details for this purpose.
University and courses
First of all: I can only speak for business. The selection of courses in 2014 was quite large and I was able to put the courses that suited me on a wish list in advance, from which I found out from the lady responsible shortly before I started university that I had already received 3 out of 4 courses had without having to crash. Crashing one course was no longer a problem for me with the previous email to the professor. In general, the courses are more school-class sized. There is a lot of homework, exams, quizzes spread over the entire semester, which promotes and demands continuous learning and then means that you actually have the majority of yours before the last exam, which then counted for 25-30% in most subjects points together a long time ago. As I said, it means constantly having to do something but you certainly don’t overwork yourself. The bottom line is that the entire workload was a lot less at the CSUF than in Münster.
I chose MKTG 370 Consumer Behavior (simple and actually exciting, but my professor wasn’t particularly motivated, but don’t worry: that was the last time he taught the class), MGMT 343 Human Resources Management (nice professor., The material was ok, the exams were easy, but it was only an international class, since the course was in high demand, so almost only Germans), ECON 418 Behavioral Economics (interesting material, very motivated and fair professor, but also the class in which I most demanded), FIN 340 Introduction to Investments (substance partly already covered in Corporate Finance, but great repetition because of it, some new topics also included, top professor, investment game, my favorite!).
About the university itself: Great campus with everything you need, well-equipped classrooms and committed and helpful professors. The only problem: Commuter College, ie mostly Americans who commute, which in my opinion doesn’t predominate as much as this college life, as you might imagine, although this is almost more a part of free time;)
Yeah, stop California! If you don’t get your money’s worth, it’s your own fault. I had a lot of fun, be it traveling (LA, San Diego, Vegas, San Francisco, Yosemite, Laguna Beach, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, PCH,..) with German and American friends, lounging on the beach in the sun, Partying in Downtown Fullerton, LA and San Diego, the 4 big American sports (short walk to Clippers, Lakers (basketball), Angels (baseball), Ducks (ice hockey), UCLA or Chargers (football)) and with my roommates themselves. It’s just as nice to simply spend Thanksgiving with an American family, for example, and to experience the hospitality and warmth of a Californian family. If you also like to lace up your soccer shoes in the USA,
Otherwise, one or two tips that will certainly help you:
You can’t avoid a car. The two of us bought a jeep from Chicho and let him sell it there again. Chicho has been immortalized in several field reports and rightly so. From my point of view fair and very helpful (buying, selling and borrowing possible). For example, he will also take care of the registration for you and help with the insurance. Almost everything from a single source, which is not bad if you don’t know your way around.
Secondly, at some point you will also have to go to the hairdresser. Guys I can only recommend ambtn. A barber shop like I’ve never seen before. Proper owner and at the same time barber in his shop (Sean, definitely order greetings;)), top ratings on yelp, great value for money.
Finally, something not insignificant: the costs. I reckoned with 12 to 15,000 €, in the end it was 16,000 € with all the trimmings (i.e. tuition fees, which I had to pay in full, for example, insurance, flights, etc. pp). But I would spend every € or $ there again and I have to emphasize that this also includes high costs for Christmas in New York and New Year’s Eve in Vegas.
But now really my conclusion. I still remember the days when I would sit in front of my laptop and go through the testimonials. Many then wrote something like “That was the greatest time of my life”. And I just thought, “You don’t have to exaggerate again.” But now I have to say it the same way! The shittiest day there was one of the last ones when I realized, “It’s going back in a few days, that’s it.” So go ahead and enjoy!