University: California State University Fullerton
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: Business
Study type: semester abroad
My semester abroad at California State University Fullerton was a very nice and instructive experience.
I’m studying Business Informatics – Sales and Consulting at the DHBW Stuttgart and was therefore somewhat limited in my choice of universities. Instead of going near San Diego with 15 Germans from my university, I decided to join the CSUF together with two very good friends. On the one hand because of the good reputation of their business college and on the other hand because of the size (about 40,000 students) and the location close to LA. Our choice could not have been better! See educationvv for University of California Santa Barbara Exchange Program.
Before we could start, however, a lot of organizational work had to be done. MicroEdu was able to provide very good support here. Especially compared to students at our home university without MicroEdu, we were always one step ahead and knew exactly what still had to be done. The checklists were particularly helpful when applying for a visa, for which we had to go to the consulate in Munich. Once again, a big thank you for the good support! After successfully passing all language tests, signing the learning agreement and confirming the visa, we set off for Fullerton.
University life in general:
The California State University Fullerton has about 37,000 students and a very good but also demanding business college where all my courses took place. The CSUF itself is a typical American university as one imagines it. There are various sports teams whose games, especially the homecoming game of the basketball team, are well attended. In addition, the student council constantly planned events so that boredom never arose. For example, in addition to the Spring Festival, there was a Color Run that took place on campus. The university was particularly convincing because of the Titans spirit, which made you feel like you were in a college film. The German American Club also helped to settle in and meet many new people.
I lived in University House. A private student residence 5 minutes walk from campus and Mihaylo College for Business. The rent was $960 a month. In return you got a room in a 4-person shared flat with two bathrooms, a parking space, two gyms, two pools, a study room and many events organized by the UH. I particularly liked the UH because I lived with three American women with whom I got along very well. They were able to help me with a lot of things specific to the university and of course I spoke more English through them. The only negative thing about UH is that they only offer annual contracts. I was able to take over the contract from a German from the semester before me and looked for a subtenant myself for the period from the end of May to the beginning of August. However, this took a lot of work and perseverance. Nevertheless, I am very happy to have chosen the UH! Above all,to get to know American student life. You see more than enough international students anyway.
Unfortunately, international students at the CSUF cannot select their courses directly via the online portal, but must submit a wish list in advance with the courses that are absolutely necessary. Unfortunately, we only got one course from this wish list and then had to crash the class in the first two weeksfind the rest of the courses you need. This meant that we had to go to any course we wanted with a handout and ask the professors for a spot on their course. Due to the limited seats, this was not always successful, but at the end of the two weeks we had all the courses together. We took four different courses, each with about forty other students (mostly Americans) for three hours a week. That doesn’t sound like much at first, but unlike in Germany, we had a lot to do besides the lectures. Every week there was homework to be done and small projects had to be worked on in addition to the exams in small groups or alone. We also sat in the library for a few hours during exam times.
My courses were:
A project management course in which you went through all phases of a project and learned the necessary steps and had to carry them out yourself. There were also weekly quizzes and two exams. In itself a very interesting subject; Unfortunately, our professor was on his first class at CSUF and was pretty disorganized. That had a negative effect on the whole course mood, but the course still had a good take-away value, since we had to carry out many projects independently and were therefore able to gain a lot of practical experience.
The second of four courses was Accounting 301 A. As usual for an accounting course, it involved a lot of work. We were taught by a very knowledgeable Indian who was particularly considerate of us Germans and initially tried to incorporate as much repetition as possible. This helped a lot since the American GAAP system is quite different from the German accounting system. In the subject there was weekly homework, which always lasted about one to two hours, a paper and three exams. Although most of these were multiple choice, this only made it more difficult because each of the answers could well be possible. The Americans also had their difficulties with this course. (The average was a C+) But all in all we got along well with a lot of work.
In addition to two business courses, two IT courses also had to be taken in order to be credited at my home university. This course was one of the most complicated and was almost exclusively taken by students who were in their last year and about to graduate. A complete IT system had to be developed in small groups of around 5 people, with a database, detailed documentation and everything that went with it. This was presented at the end and evaluated by the course and the lecturers. It was worked in three phases, each of which was graded. In addition, each student had to create an 8-minute research video and a research paper. Depending on the group dynamics, the subject was one of the most complex. But I learned a lot and in the end I achieved a good overall result.
The last course was also an IT course. Systems Analysis and Design introduced us to the concepts of systems analysis. The lecturer was extremely well organized. There were weekly quizzes and homework, and in addition to two exams, a group project had to be created. However, if you did all your homework well, you could take on most of the project and save yourself a lot of work. Since I had already studied this subject in Germany, I wasn’t able to learn too many new things, but it was interesting to get to know the perspective of another lecturer.
I needed all these courses for my studies in Germany. If you want to have a little more free time, you should leave out accounting, since it was one of the most demanding and complicated subjects and choose courses with a 200 to 300 degree. For these, the effort is less, but so is the learning level. As long as you have no direct guidelines from your university, you can choose freely, depending on where you are taken in the class crashing.
- Tuition $5,800
- Health insurance $600
- Visa 300 USD
- Apartment $5,000
- Car $1,100
- Travel $2,000
- Other (shopping, clothing…) $3,000
During my semester abroad I experienced a lot of good things. I particularly enjoyed the spring break road trip around California, Arizona, Nevada and Utah. The rented car was perfect for this! I would also recommend this to anyone who spends a semester abroad in the USA. The public transport network is quite poorly developed. So the three of us rented a car. Our rental company was www.dirtcheapcarrental.com from San Diego. The three of us were all under 21 and therefore had trouble finding car rental. We paid a total of 3,300 dollars for the car for 16 weeks, including insurance. Not the best deal but the only one available for us.
Then try to use your weekends and lecture-free days as well. The LA area offers a lot, especially beautiful beaches like Laguna Beach, but Los Angeles itself also has a lot to see. Remember, you probably only do this once in your life. Don’t hesitate to go to Disneyland, Universal Studios and and and. CSUF often offers discounts as well. Be sure to find out what the university has to offer. Usually I knew more than my roommates, who only used the offers sparingly.
I am very happy to have chosen CSUF. Good luck to all who have the pleasure of going to beautiful Fullerton to see the Titans!