University: California State University Fullerton
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: business administration
Study type: semester abroad
At the end of the 4th semester (January/February) I decided to do a semester abroad as a free mover in the 5th semester. I chose the CSUF because it has one of the largest business administration faculties in the USA and I therefore have many courses could be credited. See educationvv for University of California Davis Exchange Program.
Through an information event at my university, I came across MicroEdu, who helped me a lot with the application. Any questions I had were answered quickly and always in a very friendly manner, which was really great. With the application, everything went super easy. I had to fill out a few forms, get a confirmation from the bank and after a few weeks I got a confirmation. Then I could already apply for my visa. That was a bit more effort, since you have to fill out a lot of forms and drive to the consulate, but in the end the effort was limited. After that, all I had to do was look for an apartment, fill out the learning agreements for the university and book the flight.
I applied to University House and had no problem getting a room. I loved it there as it was only a 5 minute walk to the university and also only 10 minutes to supermarkets and fast food restaurants. It was also perfectly set up for the period and had a pool, gym, printer room, study room and free garage. In addition, many other internationals lived there and many from the university and you never had to drive or walk much to do something spontaneous with them. The only downside is that you have to sign a one-year contract. I had absolutely no problem renting my room to others.
I thought the university itself was great. It was a huge campus and I found campus life much better than in Germany. There was a large canteen where you could hang out, next to it a huge lounge with leisure facilities such as billiards, PS games, bowling, several Starbucks where you could go all the time, a bookstore where you could buy things for the university, a big one Bib and in general there was always something going on on campus.
My courses were all easier compared to Germany. In the beginning I had problems getting into the courses like almost everyone else, but after two weeks everything was sorted out and as far as I know everyone got their courses. In general, it was more effort during the semester because you have homework, compulsory attendance, write quizzes and have to study at midterms. But it was all so little effort that I was able to do a lot and still get good grades.
You definitely need a car to get around. You’ll get bored quickly in Fullerton. Fullerton is a typical small American town and there isn’t that much to do (go to the mall, have dinner or go to the cinema, but not much else).
If you have a car, that’s great. I’ve really gotten around a lot from San Diego to Vancouver and Hawaii and all the national parks that are around. You really have a lot of free time in which you can do a lot.
In the beginning we also drove to the beach almost every day (it takes about 30 minutes to Newport or Huntington).
Even if it looks like you’re about to go to LA on Google Maps, that’s unfortunately not the case. There’s a lot of traffic, I’ve just always been stuck in traffic, so you have to plan more time. It’s a bit annoying at first, but you get used to it and then it’s not that bad anymore.
Otherwise you can also go shopping in different outlets. And you can often drive to LA, there is also a lot to see there.
You also get to know the other internationals quickly and then do something together with them relatively quickly. I wasn’t actually at home all day. And there are also many parties. Wednesday is International Day in Rems, everyone goes there and it’s fun too. There are many house parties at UH and Oxford North. And you can also go to Downtown Fullerton and party there or party in LA or Newport.
In addition to the tuition fees, there are a few other costs you will have to pay at the university. You have to buy homework programs (ranging from $60 to $120 per class) and sometimes you have to buy the class books as well.
Of course, living was also more expensive compared to Germany (I paid about $1100 in the UH). I also found the groceries and eating out very expensive.
Of course, the cost of the free time depends on what you want to do.
Of course, I spent more than I did in six months in Germany, but since I did some research and knew that it would be expensive, I think it was all worth it. So if you save beforehand, it pays off to spend the money on it. I didn’t find anything surprising and actually didn’t have any extra costs that I didn’t expect.
I would do my semester abroad at CSU Fullerton again at any time. I met super nice people, got good grades, traveled a lot and just had fun and experienced something new every day. I would also organize the semester abroad through MicroEdu again. I also found the period of time perfect, one semester wasn’t too long, it was just enough to do as much as possible. So I can only recommend a semester abroad in California.