University: California State University Long Beach
City: Long Beach
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: linguistics
Study type: semester abroad
It has always been my dream to study in the USA and to get to know and live the Californian lifestyle, so it quickly became clear that it should be a university in California, finally I decided on CSU Long Beach. Thanks to MicroEdu, the preparation was very easy and uncomplicated. MicroEdu gives you a checklist and some forms to help you get through the organizational mountain. Nevertheless, you should divide the preparation time well, since, for example, the application for a visa and also the application for foreign BAföG may take a little more time. When I sent off all the documents and took the DAAD language test, it went super fast until the CSULB accepted. Check ehuacom to learn information about University of Dresden.
The campus of the CSULB (Cal State Long Beach) can in no way be compared to a German university. The campus is huge, well-kept, green and, in addition to various restaurants (Panda Express, Nugget, Starbucks etc.), offers a gym, two pools, a bookstore and all leisure activities such as squash, tennis, volleyball, soccer and bowling. I actually spent the entire day on campus from Monday to Thursday and kept discovering new things, so it never gets boring.
I took a total of six courses, three of which were sports courses ( volleyball, surfing and yoga ). I have to say that surfing was my personal highlight! However, it must be remembered that the surf course takes place in Huntington Beach, so you will need a ride or your own car and you will have to buy the surf equipment and surfboard yourself (but it can be sold again relatively easily at the end of the semester). The other three courses were linguistics courses, and I took bachelor courses here. The courses were super interesting and definitely easy to understand.In general, we worked a lot in groups, which was also of great help. The level at American universities cannot be compared with that of a German university, but you need much more time for the individual courses (homework, term papers, projects, presentations, etc.). The size of the courses is comparable to school classes, there are usually 30-35 students per course. The lecturers were all really nice and open and included and integrated us very well into the lessons.
When looking for accommodation the numerous Facebook groups are very helpful. There you can exchange ideas with other students before the semester abroad and, if necessary, look for shared accommodation. I have already found my accommodation in a shared apartment from Germany, which I would not recommend and would not do the same way again. I think it’s easier to assess the situation on the spot, and in my case there were a lot of students who came to Long Beach and didn’t have an apartment yet. I think it’s easier to get to know the local people first and then get together in groups and look for a place to live together. Most students live in desirable apartment complexes such as Beverly Plaza, Park Avenue or Alvista, so I would also recommend these apartment complexes to you. There is always something going on there and you meet many students from different countries, but of course there are also many Americans living there. A shared room there costs about $500, which is normal by California standards.
One of the best parts of my semester abroad was traveling! I was out and about almost every weekend with my friends. Long Beach is a perfect base for exploring the west coast. Los Angeles is about 30 minutes away by car, although you can also get there in 60 minutes by subway (much cheaper than Uber or Lyft). Also located in San Diego, Santa Barbara, Newport, Huntington and Laguna are also around the corner and can be reached by car in about 20 minutes. Other weekend trips went to San Francisco, Seattle, Las Vegas, Palm Springs, the Grand Canyon and Mexico. The west coast offers so many sights and adventures that it is almost impossible to explore everything in one semester. There was definitely not a single weekend that I didn’t know what to do or where to go. My personal highlights were definitely San Diego and San Francisco! The cities are so different but both offer an incredible amount of attractions, beaches and exciting nightlife.
In conclusion, I can say that I would recommend a semester abroad at CSULB to everyone. I already have wanderlust for California and would immediately add another semester to it! I definitely had the best four months of my entire degree.