University: California State University Fullerton
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: business administration
Study type: semester abroad
We were fortunate that we were a group of four people who knew each other beforehand. This made the entire planning and preparation much easier. After we had sent all the necessary documents to MicroEdu, we started. First up was the appointment at the consulate in Frankfurt. This went quickly and smoothly. After we all had our visas, we continued with the search for a flight. We all left Frankfurt together on the same day. I would recommend booking the flight as early as possible though as flights in August are very expensive if booked too late. After the flights were booked, it was time to look for an apartment. We looked at many dormitories, but it was difficult to get an entire apartment for the four of us as there was usually only room for one or two people. So I decided to check out Airbnb. Then I came across a very interesting ad. A house with five rooms, garden, jacuzzi, barbecue etc. After I had an agreement with the landlord, we decided on this house. We clarified the whole thing with him privately and not via Airbnb. So we were able to negotiate the monthly rent down from USD 5000 to USD 3500. So we paid USD 875 per person in rent. It still sounds expensive, but for Californiais that very good. For comparison: The Oxford North has shared rooms for the same price. After the search for an apartment was over, all we had to do was wait. I would definitely recommend getting all things like visa, flight and apartment hunting done as early as possible in general. We started about half a year earlier and that was just about enough. Otherwise, I recommend everyone to take out additional international health insurance (KV), since the KV from the university only covers very little. I would recommend the KV from ADAC . It cost around €129. See educationvv for California State University Los Angeles Exchange Program.
A semester abroad in the USA, especially in California, involves a lot of costs. The costs mentioned above, which are already incurred in Germany, are only a small foretaste. I would definitely recommend you if there is a possibility to take advantage of the foreign student loan . The Auslands-Bafög takes over a large part of the study costs with up to 4600€, plus 1000€ for travel expenses and a monthly sum. Otherwise there are scholarships or student loans that you can take a look at. You have to settle for very high living and maintenance costs in California set to. In some cases, shopping for home is even more expensive than going out to eat.
The campus of California State University Fullertun (CSUF) is simply worth seeing and, above all, huge – you can’t compare it to German universities! You can do a lot on campus, such as cinema, bowling, billiards, gym etc. You can also watch football, basketball, volleyball, etc. for all games played by the university teams. go for free and you even get something for free or vouchers every time. There is also a canteen with a food court on campus. There you have a larger selection of different dishes from different restaurant chains. There is always something going on on campus. There are always numerous events in which you can participate. There is always something going on in the evenings too.
Like everyone else, I took four courses at CSUF. You must send the course selection in advance and indicate ten courses that you would like to take part in. I have taken the following four courses:
Financial Management (FIN 320) at Mr. Dasilva:
A very nice Prof with a Spanish accent; course with approx. 50 participants; online homework every week (solutions all on the internet); a total of three exams; the course requires some effort, but an A was not a problem here; definitely recommended.
Introduction to Investments (FIN 340) by Mr. Bhootra:
Very intelligent professor with an Indian accent, which took some getting used to at first; course with approx. 40 participants; throughout the semester you work on a project in groups of three or four, in which you have to invest in stocks online together and at the end you have to write a paper explaining why you invested in which stock; a total of three exams and three quizzes (all quizzes can be called up on the internet); this course also involves a lot of effort, but an A is definitely doable; I would also recommend this course.
Managing Operations (MGMT 339) at Mr. Calabretta:
Nice and funny Prof; Course with approx. 250 participants in a large hall; online homework every week (very easy); a total of 3 exams; you definitely had to sit down for exams; Exams designed very fairly; also recommended.
Business and Its Legal Environment (MGMT 246) at Mr. Smith:
Very nice and above all funny Prof; tells a lot about himself and always makes the huge course of 250 participants laugh; no homework or other duties, but four exams instead of three; I found the course the most difficult because it was about the American legal system and all the legal terms in English were foreign to me; the exams are always very similar to the old exams; would only recommend this course if you are interested in law.
We did a lot during the semester and traveled a lot. There is a lot to do in Fullerton, however I would recommend seeing as much as possible outside of Fullerton. We hired a car from Chico for the entire period. We paid about USD 700 per month and got a Kia Sportage in return. Los Angeles and San Diego are the closest major cities. I have been to both cities several times as there is so much to see. In any case, I would also recommend going to Las Vegas (three to four hours away). I was in Las Vegas for two weekends and would do it again and again. Also San Francisco is worth a trip. You drive there about six hours by car. In the holiday week it is definitely worth flying a little further away for a trip. For example, I was in Miami for a week. Miami is by far the best city I’ve been to in the US. We have also been to some national parks such as Yosemite, Sequoia, Grand Canyon etc. It is worth buying an annual pass for this as it only costs USD 10 more than a day pass. Otherwise, there are many beaches near Fullerton that I would definitely check out.
The five months in the US were by far the best time of my life. I definitely would have regretted it if I hadn’t done it. Every day was special. You got to know so many new places and people. It’s just a beautiful country with very friendly people. The weather has always been very warm and sunny the whole time. Even if the whole thing cost a lot of money (around €23,000), it’s still worth it. It’s worth every penny.