University: California State University Long Beach
City: Long Beach
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: Communication Sciences, Linguistics
Study type: semester abroad
Motivation is everything!
Please read completely!
Dusseldorf, August 14, 2008, I was sitting on my plane to Los Angeles, I was about to take off, I had organized a nice window seat, looked out and then it shot through my head, how do you actually still have all that made? Check allunitconverters to learn information about Study in Nepal.
A year earlier…
I wrote in my diary, my goal: 2 semesters in the USA.
While I was writing my diary, I kept reminding myself that I would like to study 2 semesters in the USA and mentioned it from time to time, otherwise I didn’t shake hands.
Because that was my goal, I noticed more and more study abroad brochures and posters that included the word study abroad and in the USA.
Being an incredibly easy-going person, I read through the brochures but never really started anything. Then the summer semester of 2008 began and many of my fellow students told me that they would soon be going to Mexico, Spain or Italy and I could see myself crying alone in my booth…
At a party in Hamburg I saw the film “The Secret” in which a man had hung something like a wish board on the wall on which he stuck his goals and dreams.
After a while, as the semester drew to a close, I caught a glimpse of the MicroEdu poster on a bulletin board at UNI out of the corner of my eye.
I read: “Study abroad?”
Inspired by the film, I grabbed the poster (sorry) and stuck it to my room door in my flat share. Since it was such a huge thing, I was reminded every time I walked in. I took a felt-tip pen and wrote on the poster: 2 semesters USA.
Everyone at the university asked me what I was doing in the 2008 winter semester and I said, completely unsure, “I think I’m going to study in the USA”. I couldn’t quite believe it myself. Most of the time I had no idea how, only that I would make it.
The next valid question I had to hear over and over again from friends: How are you paying for that? One possibility is offered by the Bafögamt, which covers tuition fees of up to 4,600 euros for one year and also pays a monthly amount for higher living expenses. I filled out all the forms for the Bafögat in Hamburg, the employees complained a few times because I submitted the application only a few days before departure (oops). Then they mixed up my documents, and in the end, unfortunately, shortly before everything would have been approved, the rejection was issued. However, that had to do with my father’s company. So for many applicants this is irrelevant and therefore SUBMIT YOUR BAFÖG APPLICATIONS!!!
And if you don’t get Bafög, you can also look around for student loans.
I called MicroEdu about 3 times a day as there are a lot of forms to fill out. MicroEdu kept me motivated up to the last moment and I support them by awarding them the verbal student Nobel Prize! (Thanks to everyone, especially to Aline Meyer)
And this is how I recommend it:
It is best to start with the TOEFL (Test of English As a Foreign Language), which you can also do in Holland or elsewhere, the main thing is that you can get an appointment quickly. To prepare for the TOELF I only bought one book with a CD by KAPLAN, which I can really recommend!!! Next, I made an appointment at the American consulate (preferably by phone, it’s expensive, but it’s very quick). About 4-6 stupid forms have to be filled out before the visit. They ask the same thing everywhere, many forms and procedures seem daunting, but are ridiculous. Everything really easy! The “interview” in the American embassy lasted about 15 seconds. You pull out a slip of paper like at the employment office and sit down in the waiting room with around 300 others.
Interview US Embassy Frankfurt:
Do you want to study in the USA? How long? Good. Have fun. One more stamp, that’s it.
The entire preparation took about 2-3 months, a year!
The first thing you should do in the USA is a driver’s license (theory + practice), that’s your ID (costs a total of $20) and it takes a few days to 2 weeks depending on the date. The driver’s license is essential, once you have it, you can put the passport away. I’ve even flown domestically with my driver’s license without ever having to show my passport.
Back on the plane, on August 14, 2008, I took off and left Germany behind. Yeah, I’m flying to Los Angeles!
I hadn’t planned anything. No hotel, no overnight stay. AHHHHH!!!
I ended up staying at one of 3 hostels in Hollywood the first day and I stayed in the TV room with 2 bulky suitcases and a backpack because ALL 3 hotels were booked. I hid there for 2 days because it wasn’t officially allowed. Then on the 3rd day I moved in with an American student whom I approached at a Long Beach bus stop.
Americans are different than I expected, they are very nice and helpful.
I can recommend every student who wants to get the most out of their stay abroad to share a flat with American students. www.craigslist.org is the hottest place to find a room/apartment/roommate. In addition, it costs less to live outside of the university and I got to know so much more about the American culture and way of life, and of course learned English much faster. If you want to save money, it is best to share your room with a roommate from the start, this takes some getting used to but reduces the overall costs considerably and creates more opportunities for other things such as food, cars or parties!
A good way to avoid spending $1,000 a semester on books is to simply order used ones online. At www.fetchbook.info, www.half.com I ordered a book for $7 including shipping, another book for $20, which I later sold again for $60 at the buyback on campus. I borrowed a Spanish book from a colleague that would cost me $100 in the bookstore on campus and copied it completely for $18 in the library. Books can now also be leased from the campus bookstore.
One of the best options: 90% of all books can be sent to you free of charge via the university library’s interlibrary loan (Link+). It takes about 2-3 days and you really get everything for free!
You can travel by bus in Long Beach for free with the CSULB semester ticket!! Nevertheless, without a car you are very, very, very… restricted and has only half as much fun. But it’s not impossible to get around without a car. For example, I had roommates who took me everywhere with them or occasionally lent their car because I didn’t have one.
Weather, climate, environment, shopping
The sun shines almost every day in California, the average temperature in Los Angeles County is pleasantly warm and hot in the summer, even in December. The beach in Long Beach is very long! and also wide and you can also swim. However, the sand is dirty in many places and sometimes there is sewage everywhere in the water and then it is not ideal for swimming. There are definitely nice places where you can jump in and swim, but the dreamlike turquoise water is more likely to be found in Florida.
Long Beach is apparently a very well known city, many Americans have a connection to it. There are incredibly rich areas here and gorgeous houses and small clean water canals with adjacent villas. There are many restaurants and clothing stores on 2nd Street, a busy shopping street. You can already have a look at the street on Google Street View. Food is expensive, fast food is almost free. Anyone looking for cheap discounters will find what they are looking for at Fresh&Easy (similar to ALDI).
Los Angeles/Hollywood is about 35 minutes away by car or you can take the metro to LA for $1.25.
Long Beach is becoming more and more bike friendly, there is a very nice wide bike lane for several kilometers right along the beach.
Studies & Campus
The universities that I have seen here are very well and luxuriously equipped and offer a lot beyond the course. The CSULB campus is huge, like a small town with green spaces where hippies also meet and smoke, play guitar and sing together. Studying in Long Beach is highly regarded throughout the US, partly because the university with over 200 student organizations, many of them peaceful student associations, is a very busy, eventful and diverse university. For example, almost every other week we had a rock concert on campus, in the middle of the day between classes, hosted by various organizations.
The university campus is open to corporations, so there are 2 Starbucks and a subway, as well as other chain restaurants, but there is no canteen. This is exactly why I founded the organization “European Food Lovers”, be sure to check it out when you’re there!
If you want to party in the evening, be prepared that alcohol can only be consumed at the age of 21 and that drinking alcoholic beverages is forbidden on the streets, except in Las Vegas. The trade-off in California is that marijuana is pretty much legal and you can purchase it almost anywhere with a simple recommendation from a pharmacist! Tipping is 20%, no tip means no payment and no appreciation of waiters so I would not recommend.
Review & Summary
A stay abroad is priceless for me in two respects,
firstly my tuition cost me 4,250 dollars per semester, secondly the experiences I have made here are priceless!!
If you really want to go to America, you can do that without studying, for example with an internship, which every taco seller here offers.
If you want to study, the CSULB is a very good address for you, even Steven Spielberg studied there, then dropped out after 2 years and then graduated after 30 years when he was already a multimillionaire, and a small wooden wall box in the film department was dedicated to him for this.
You can also study at Cal State Long Beach for relatively low prices, you need a green card and you have to be a resident of California for one year after it is issued.
Then the fees per semester are about a third of the amount mentioned above.
In summary, I would like to tell you, dear reader, that only your will counts. So no cheap excuses! Here we go!