University: California State University Fullerton
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: business administration
Study type: semester abroad
I graduated from Cal State Fullerton in the Fall 2009 semester. Overall, I was very satisfied and can recommend everyone to do a semester abroad at this university. See educationvv for California State University Long Beach Exchange Program.
MicroEdu gave me a lot of support in the run-up and helped me with every question, whether it was about applying to the university, getting a visa or looking for an apartment.
Applying to CSUF was very straightforward. Simply fill out the form provided by MicroEdu and you’re accepted. To apply for a visa you have to fill out all the forms on the Internet and then personally to Frankfurt, Munich or Berlin and have the visa in your mailbox 2-3 days later.
Once you arrive in Fullerton, you can enroll in the desired courses at the university. Unfortunately, the international students are the last to register for the courses and it is therefore possible that the desired course is already taken. I’m studying business administration myself and fortunately I got all my courses. But others had problems and had to switch to other courses. As a rule, the courses in the field of marketing are very overcrowded.
The university is very different than in Germany. You have a lot to do during the semester, but overall it’s easier than usual. Classes are very small (about 20-30 students) and it feels more like school than university. The final grade includes attendance, homework that you have to do regularly, several exams (approx. 2-3 exams in one course spread over the semester) and group work (including presentations). The relationship with the professors is much more relaxed than usual and you get very good support.
The university requires insurance that you have to take out. Insurance is offered, but it is very expensive. You can also look for insurance yourself in Germany that meets the criteria of the university. I took out insurance with Hallesche (via MLP) (costs: around €60 for the semester). However, the university is very reluctant to accept foreign insurance companies. But if you are behind and have a little discussion with them, the insurance will also be accepted.
The tuition fees are of course very high compared to Germany. But if you compare them to other American universities, they are very low. At the CSUF, however, you also notice the use of the tuition fees and you have the opportunity to study at a modern, good university. So it’s worth it!
There are many opportunities to do sports at the university. There is a gym (recreation center) with many very modern fitness machines, a multi-purpose hall for playing basketball, badminton, volleyball, squash courts, a climbing wall, pool and courses (aerobics, dancing, kickboxing, etc.) are also offered. All of this is available for $25 a month. There are also tennis courts, soccer fields, basketball/softball courts, etc. at the university.
Student ID cards entitle you to free bus travel throughout Orange County. The bus system is really really bad though. It takes about 2 hours to get to the beach, which of course is very long for a 20-minute drive. It is therefore definitely worth buying a car for a more comfortable life.
I lived in the “University Village”. This is an apartment complex very close to the university. There are also other apartment complexes in the neighborhood that are certainly also good for living (e.g. Piccadilly Square, La Ramada, Homestead). Many other international students lived in the University Village, but also Americans, but most of them were at the beginning of their studies and therefore about 17-20 years old. Here you share the apartments with 2 or 3 other people and get food twice a day in your own cafeteria (mainly Mexican cuisine). The complex also has a pool. It’s definitely a place where you can meet a lot of people and have a lot of fun. Events (small celebrations) are regularly organized by the UV. You can rent a bike for $20 per semester which you can use for the way to the university, since the campus is quite large. There are plenty of shopping options nearby (Target, Albertsons, Ralphs, Brea Mall).
Fullerton has 138,000 inhabitants and is a rather small city. It’s not really very busy, but you can go out in the evenings in downtown (Harbor Blvd) quite well (there are a few bars). The good thing about Fullerton is that you have many cities in the immediate vicinity and therefore you have quite a few options. The sea is not far away and of course the proximity to LA is great. In the neighboring city (Anaheim) is Disneyland, where the university offered a free excursion for all international students. The weather in Fullerton is always great. It only rained three times in the 5 months I was there and it can happen that it’s still 28°C in December.
The CSUF is a university that offers very good study conditions. Life under the California sun can be enjoyed very well here and there is no shortage of fun. The investments in the high tuition fees and high rental costs in California are always worth it!