University: California State University Fullerton
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: business administration
Study type: semester abroad
Long before I arrived in Fullerton, planning for my study abroad experience began. The first thing to do was the TOEFL test, which is expensive, but you certainly need it when applying for a master’s degree. If you prepare properly for this test, it is not too difficult. Then came the visa: When you first go to the American Embassy and want to apply for the visa, you don’t really get through the costs that you all have to pay! So, if you have the opportunity, be sure to get help from others who have already applied for the visa! Then it’s very easy. See educationvv for California State University Chico Exchange Program.
When I arrived in Fullerton, I was a little disappointed at first: without a car, almost NOTHING works there!
Renting a car is expensive, but there is no hassle. If you ask the car rental company, you can even get your own insurance, so don’t take the expensive car rental option. 2. Car purchase: plan at least 4000$! Of course you can also buy a car for less money, but you don’t know, for example when you buy from Craigslist, whether the car’s data is all correct, and you don’t intend to pay large amounts of repair costs during the 4 months. At first I was also looking for a car to buy, but I didn’t find anything cheap that looked reasonably functional;) The only way to get to the mall by public transport is once, but that’s about it!
When you arrive in Fullerton, the first thing you do is go to the International Office, where you register and find out which courses you have received. At the beginning I got three courses, later swapped another course and took another course. Crashing courses is one of those things: Many professors are really nice and understand the problem of exchange students. I ended up only having uni on Mondays and Wednesdays, which was really perfect! I had an incredible amount of time to travel and shop! My courses were:
- Principles of Macroeconomics: Recommended
- Intermediate Business Microeconomics: Recommended
- Law for Small Business: Difficult because you are not familiar with American law
- Staffing: A bit boring;)
All in all, it’s a lot easier at American universities than in Germany. However, I found studying at CSUF to be much more stressful because you have to do homework every now and then and take exams in between, just like at school.
I lived in CSUF’s University Village. There you live in groups of 3 or 4 in an apartment. I had the large room with the private bathroom. At first I had the small room where I would have had to share the bathroom. Luckily I was able to switch to the other room. Feel free to take the room with your own bathroom, even if it’s about $90 more expensive, but it’s much more pleasant, since I’ve found that not everyone is so particular about cleanliness. The food is okay. If there’s something you don’t like, you can always make a salad. The breakfast is particularly delicious, although it is only served from 10.30 am. If you want a stress-free arrival without having to search for accommodation, I can only recommend the UV.
Now I come to the best part. It’s really great to travel in the USA, especially the national parks are amazing. The Seqouia National Park is incredibly great with its huge trees and Yosemite also has a lot to offer in terms of landscape. If you don’t like the desert and dry land of southern California, the north is beautiful! I went to Lake Tahoe, which really should be done by everyone! The views over the lake and the forests are fantastic. Sacramento, the capital with the Capitol and Old Town is worth seeing for a few hours. In my opinion, the most beautiful city in California is San Francisco! There is so much to see there and it’s also cheap to fly there for a weekend. You should also have seen Las Vegas, however, I found New York much more impressive. Texas is also definitely worth a visit! I was there in Dallas. There you can see the real Americans (Size XXXL) and the food is just terrific! Really try to have uni in as few days as possible, you’ll never have that much time to travel again!
All in all, my semester abroad was only mediocre because of the university, but the time I had for traveling and shopping was all the better. Personally, I would have preferred to be in a big city, as it is very difficult to get from A to B in Fullerton without your own car.