University: California State University Long Beach
City: Long Beach
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: Aerospace Engineering
Study type: semester abroad
I went to America for 2 semesters. I decided to stay as long as I thought otherwise you’d have to go home once you got used to it. I’m not sure if it was the right decision. You miss a lot from home. Alone the food (bread…) is missing a lot. Well, everyone has to decide that for themselves. The reason why I chose America is relatively simple. In my course, language is an absolute must. With Boeing, America owns one of the largest companies in the aviation sector. So it quickly became clear to me that it should be America. The rest was more of a highly subjective decision. The weather played a major role in this. In addition, the location of Long Beach is really awesome. It’s very close to Los Angeles, even if I don’t like you city, San Diego and a few national parks. Las Vegas is not far either. I chose the university because Boeing has a few offices nearby and Long Beach also had a larger aircraft manufacturer nearby. Another issue was the cost. Despite everything, CSULB is cheaper than other universities in California. But I’ll go into the costs later. Check liuxers to learn information about University of Heidelberg.
The application itself was quite a paper battle, but MicroEdu made it much easier. My contact person was Aline. I often spoke to her on the phone and always received detailed and always friendly answers. She even contacted the university in America for me. You will also get a list of everything you need. That’s a real blessing. You just send everything to MicroEdu and they do almost everything for you. Of course you still have to apply for a visa. It’s quite an annoying process. Numerous online forms, some costs and a visit to the embassy included. Takes a lot of time. The CSULB now also accepts the DAAD test. I still did the TOEFL. It costs significantly more and is also heavier. But I was able to take out health insurance from Hanse Merkur. From what I understand, everyone now has to get CSULB health insurance. Again, it is significantly more expensive.
I would like to divide the report about the university into two parts. The negative and the positive sides of the university. First the negative stuff.
The learning content at the university is very academic. Arithmetic is very difficult for Americans. The degree of difficulty is significantly lower than in Germany. Can now also be seen as positive, but if even the professor doesn’t know how to convert micrometers into meters, then that’s rather sad. Americans are not at all familiar with potencies. In addition, the topics are rather scratched superficially. The fact that you apply the knowledge yourself is not used. For example, in a design project, I only had to recalculate the airplane from the book. At my home university, I was only roughly given what I had to design for an airplane and I had to work out the rest myself. So don’t expect demanding lectures.
What is also negative is the course selection process. As some of the previous speakers have already written, you have to crash the courses. For me personally it wasn’t that bad. I only had to show a transcript of courses from the university for one course. Others were even queried once. Since they couldn’t do that stuff, the professor wouldn’t let them. After much pleading, he admitted it. So you should be annoying, then it could work.
The university itself offers all sorts of distractions. Numerous fast food shops as a substitute for the canteen and the Student Union. There is everything your heart desires. I often played bowling, table tennis and table football. If you want to relax, you can also just sit comfortably in an armchair and watch TV or play consoles. Unfortunately, the consoles, billiards, table tennis and bowling cost money, but the price is ok. There is also a piano in a bar. If you have the courage, you can also play a little here.
The library is very large and open late, even on weekends. Even around the clock for the final week. And believe me, there are people who also study on Sunday nights. The funny thing is that you can only borrow the books for 3 hours, if at all. It forces you to buy the books. Fortunately, I quickly found out that it was nonsensical. The books are brutally expensive and many courses can be passed without the books. What I can also recommend is that you don’t take too many classes and add a few physical education classes instead. I did it that way. This way you get to know people faster. Of course, surfing is a good idea. Even if you have to get up very early for the course.
The sporting events are also cool. Check out basketball. It usually goes around there. The vibe is way better than the Lakers.
What I also find funny is that the Unishop offers everything with the Uni logo. T-shirt, sweater, mug, car number plate, lamp, watch…everything.
The costs of the university are unfortunately the weak point of the university. Per semester (university, life support and excursions) you pay well over 10,000 euros. Unfortunately, the foreign student loan didn’t cover anything for me and I didn’t get a scholarship either. So I had to raise all the money myself, with the help of my parents. California itself is also very expensive. The gas is quite cheap, but significantly more expensive than in any other state. If you can afford it, buy a car anyway. The insurance is much more expensive than in Germany, but you can’t get very far in America without a car. The public transport in Long Beach is quite good, but if you want to go into the surrounding area, then it looks bad. If you want to see cities, you can fly relatively cheaply. Personally, I like flying Jet Blue. The flights are not expensive and the service was good too.
Living in California
You could definitely write a whole book about life in America and everyone has their own opinion, but I’ll still write briefly what I think of California/America. People in America especially in California are very leisurely. Very reminiscent of southern Europe. Long waiting times in offices are not uncommon. The employees are often incompetent. In the shop, my grandmother would pull the items over the scanner even faster. Alright, some like it. The people are definitely friendly. Albeit artificially friendly at times. Hollywood’s influence is huge. In my unit (6 apartments) you felt like you were in a soap opera. Everyone has had a relationship with everyone. The women had fake boobs and a 3some with a stripper and the neighbor (best friend, engaged) in Las Vegas. Her husband had a shotgun and 2 pistols in his closet. Taught his wife how to shoot in case of a burglar etc. The sad thing is that so many things in the movies are actually true. In the metro you can also see the Jerry Springer Show with transvestites etc. So it’s definitely worth it. Personally, I also really liked the sporting events. You can watch the NHL, NBA, NFL, MLS and the MLB. It’s a bit annoying that the bars close at 2 am. The last alcohol is sold at 1: 30. A club in LA is open 24/7. However, alcohol is only served here until 1: 30 and then again from 6 to 8. The national parks are very worthwhile. America has so many beautiful different natural phenomena. From desert to green forest, everything is there. Use the time at the end to drive around a bit, I did that too. There’s a lot of cool stuff in one spot in Arizona/Utah.
Maybe I pointed out the negative sides a little too much. But the year was still worth it. You see a lot and get to know a lot about the country and the people. The respect for America is also over. What Americans think they are the best in the world at everything is not confirmed at all. Use the free time to see the surroundings and lie on the beach. It’s really gorgeous. Unfortunately the water is very cold. The university itself is nice to live in, but not necessarily the most demanding.