University: California State University Fullerton
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: business administration
Study type: semester abroad
A semester abroad at Cal State Fullerton – a (love) declaration
Living and environment:
For the time of my semester abroad I was accommodated in the University Village. In addition to the 2 daily meals, which by the way have largely exceeded my expectations at the time, the “UV” impresses with a discreet holiday home complex charm. Among other things, the UV also offers an acceptable pool area with enough sun loungers, a rather spartan fitness room, as well as billiards and a ping-pong table (the latter 2 should be exchanged urgently). What I loved most about my “new home” was the cultural and ethnic diversity of its residents and their openness to others. Throughout the semester you had the opportunity to meet new people from different countries, exchange ideas, learn to understand other perspectives and celebrate together! See educationvv for University of California Berkeley Exchange Program.
The rooms in the UV are rather simple by European standards, but they are sufficient in any case – you shouldn’t spend too much time in closed rooms in Cali anyway. The common areas of the apartments are only equipped with a kitchen, 3 chairs, a couch and a dining table, ie any utensils such as cutlery, pans, etc. must be obtained at your own expense.
As for the environment, it’s impossible to starve in SoCal! There are at least 15 restaurants within a 10-minute radius (all times refer to driving minutes), with most of the USA being typically very fast-food oriented. With Target, Ralphs and Co, all shopping facilities are also very close by.
What a country! No matter where I was during my stay, I was welcomed with open arms and an interesting mix of openness and genuine curiosity! Regardless of whether it’s the unbelievable weather or the fact that the USA is the largest immigration country in the world, I can only praise the cultivated friendliness of the Americans/Californians! The aggressive mood and irritability that is all too well known in Central Europe is not even remotely to be found here. I encountered a mixture of coolness and, I think, comfortable confidence everywhere. Everything seems much calmer and less complicated – now that I’m back home I ask myself why is it only like that with us?
My biggest request to my successors: Travel as much as possible, you won’t regret it! I was already a big California fan before my trip to the USA, but I was still thrown off my stool by its size, beauty and diversity! Cali not only impresses with its miles of sandy beaches, but also with a diverse mountain and desert landscape – just awesome!
The best part is that there is a 99% chance the weather will cooperate. It rained 7 times during my entire stay. Don’t miss a chance to discover another piece of California, you’d undoubtedly regret it in hindsight.
As is typical for the USA, the university campus is enormously spacious and cannot be compared to any other European campus. The campus offers a variety of leisure and sports facilities. In addition to soccer and baseball fields, there are a few Starbucks, fast food outlets like Carls Junior and some lovingly landscaped parks. A little insider tip is the university’s painstakingly laid out plant garden, in which plants from all parts of the world come together and are meticulously cared for. The in-house library was also impressive, where there is probably no lack of literature in any department and where the supervisors are also extremely helpful and energetic. Since Cal State Fullerton is a classic “commuter college”, only very few students reside directly on campus. Unfortunately, this has a slightly negative effect on the sense of togetherness, which seems almost non-existent compared to private universities like USC. Fortunately, at the beginning of each semester, the “fraternity parties” known from many American cult films take place, where you can enjoy typical US college life to the fullest.
The courses I chose differed enormously in their level. Basically, I would rate the level of difficulty below that of a renowned European university. If you, like me, choose 4 courses (as every student does) you have 12 hours of “class” per week, which results in a very productive free time. The learning effort at home is rather low and can be estimated at a maximum of 8 – 10 additional hours.
My time at Cal State Fullerton was without a doubt the most beautiful, varied and interesting time of my life. I am firmly convinced that the real purpose of a semester abroad is not to improve your professional skills, but to expand or perfect your foreign language skills and your social and cultural horizons. I got to know a lot of new people, saw different points of view, experienced a beautiful country and also changed my point of view afterwards.
A “semester abroad” is a unique opportunity to enrich your life in the long term and I recommend it to anyone who has the necessary “small change” to be able to finance such a project.