University: California State University Fullerton
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: business administration
Study type: semester abroad
With over 37,000 students, California State University is one of the largest universities in the California State Association. My decision to go to this university was due to the good business reputation, the wide range of courses, the low tuition fees (compared to other American universities), the good location in California (4 hours to Las Vegas, 2 hours to San Diego, 45 minutes to Los Angeles, 7 hours to San Francisco). See educationvv for San Diego State University Exchange Program. I took the following courses at CSUF. International Business & Finance, Working Capital Management & Computer Applications, Forecasting & Budgeting, Principles of Macroeconomics.
As some may already know, Internationals are last in the hierarchy in terms of course selection. First the American students are allowed to choose their subjects and only then are internationals allowed to enroll in subjects (“crashing” courses). Internationals have to walk around with a list at the beginning of the semester and get the signatures of the professors. Only sign this list if you think there is still enough space. It can take up to 3 weeks until you know whether you will definitely get your subject. Since it often happens that American students withdraw from selected courses. You should have a variety of options as you may not get all the subjects you want to take (I only got 3 subjects out of 4 that I wanted to take).
It was relatively easy to get finance subjects because they were not overcrowded.
However, it will be relatively difficult to get marketing subjects, as these are very popular with internationals and Americans.
In terms of difficulty, I have to say that the material is easier than in Germany.
However, you have a lot more to do in the USA, because you don’t just write an exam at the end of the semester, you write 2 to 3 exams in each subject.
In addition, you get a lot of homework for some subjects and you have to read a lot in books!
However, I have to say that I like this system much better, because you are challenged to learn throughout the semester and you find it easier at the end of the final exam.
And don’t be afraid of the English in the exams, the questions are always very easy to understand.
The books are unfortunately a big minus point because they are very very expensive.
If I were you, I would first go to the professors and ask them if the books are really necessary. You can also find out about the professors and the need for books at myprofessor.com. I’ve had the experience myself that the professors said you really need the book, but in the end I only really needed the book in one course.
If you do decide to get books I would buy them on Amazon or Ebay if you were you because at the end of the day you can still hope to get some of your money back (don’t sell at the bookstore as they’d rather give you a bad deal resell on ebay). I would not recommend borrowing books from the Bookstore as they are very expensive.
In Fullerton there isn’t really much to do apart from the campus (only a few bars and discotheques in the evening). However, the campus offers a lot that you can do in your free time. My first address was the Recreation Center which is in the heart of the campus. The gym costs about $25 a month.
All drop-in courses are also included in the fee, which means you can attend any course you like, such as various dance courses, yoga, cardio kickboxing, spinning, etc. and without prior registration.
There is also an outdoor swimming pool, a climbing wall and a hall where you can play volleyball, basketball etc. It is really worth registering there.
What I can definitely recommend is that you join teams or clubs.
For example, I was on a hip hop dance team at Cal State Fullerton and made a lot of new friends there and was able to improve my English at the same time.
Since Fullerton is located in central California, weekend trips such as Los Angeles (45 minutes), San Diego (1.5 hours away), Las Vegas (4 hours) etc. are very easy to do. However, to make trips you usually need a Car, since public transportation in California is not that good.
So having your own car is an advantage.
However, if you don’t have the wherewithal to buy your own car like I do, you can possibly share it with a roommate or rent one with a few other people from time to time. Since you get to know people very quickly here and most internationals also want to experience a lot, it is usually never a problem to find people with whom you can share the costs and who will make the trip with you.
The cost of living in America is generally very expensive.
Cooking yourself is usually a lot more expensive than buying something from a fast food chain (there are a few fast food chains here, my favorite IN ‘n Out is only in California and they make the best burgers in my opinion).
For those who do not have enough money to finance the semester abroad on their own, it helps to apply for foreign student loans and/or to apply for the PROMOS scholarship. The application for the PROMOS scholarship goes through the international office, where a lump sum for the flight costs (USA 1000€) and there is also a surcharge of (1200 = 300 per month) for living expenses.
Auslandsbafög pays the tuition fees abroad up to an amount of 4600 € which do not have to be repaid. In addition, there is monthly Money for living expenses, half of which has to be paid back.
On the subject of housing, I myself have lived in the Resident Halls (Cal State Fullerton dormitory) and can definitely recommend it.
At first it seems much more expensive compared to other accommodation options, but the food is included and, depending on the plan you choose, you can fill your stomach in the canteen.
The canteen is just awesome, not comparable to the German canteen.
Everything is offered there from pizza, burgers, salad, international dishes, cupcakes, cookies etc.
Another advantage of the Resident Halls is that many different nationalities live here, but very few Germans (advantageous for those who want to improve their English)
All in all, I have to say that the semester was better for me than I expected. Although it was a bit of a shame that you didn’t live in a big city like San Diego, for example, I met a lot of nice people from different parts of the world there and was able to gather incredible impressions.
In addition, this experience strengthens your own personality and makes you more open to the world.
I can only encourage everyone to do a semester abroad, be it at California State University in Fullerton or elsewhere. You learn a lot about yourself and you learn to deal better with different situations.