University: California State University Long Beach
City: Long Beach
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: business administration
Study type: semester abroad
Well, first of all I have to say that the 4 months at CSULB were the best experience I have had so far. It was just a great time all round.
But now to the details. I was there with a friend during the semester. The organization was very short-term for us, we started planning almost half a year in advance. That’s not recommended because it was all very stressful. I think you should start planning a year in advance. MicroEdu supports you with all questions about the application and therefore the process is uncomplicated.
The university is absolutely beautiful, the campus is huge and offers everything you could wish for. From cozy lawns to chill out or learn, a sports field, a pool, various dining options and and and. The ALI (American Language Institute) is located directly on campus. The ALI is responsible for us international students and also organized the Orientation Week. If you had any questions or problems, you could always count on Satoko and the others from ALI. During the Orientation Week, everything was shown to you and you were informed about everything that was important. Check anycountyprivateschools to learn information about University of Berlin.
The range of courses is quite large and offers many possibilities. However, I am studying business administration and there were some problems. The business administration courses were all totally overcrowded and we were only able to register when the university started. That means that all American students had already registered and almost all courses were full. There were waiting lists, but they were always long and you were at the end. So the first 3 weeks were totally stressful and you didn’t know if you would even get a course that you needed. But the ALI also did their best to help us and in the end everything worked out for me personally and I got all the courses I wanted. That was mainly because we found nice lecturers, who understood our situation and made exceptions. (Note from MicroEdu.com: Since the spring semester 2009 it is no longer possible to take courses in the fields of business administration and economics).
The lectures themselves were really great. A lot is done for the students at the university and a lot is offered. For example, we had many interesting guest speakers in a marketing course. The exams are really doable and not too demanding. One change, however, was that you always had to do a little something on a regular basis. About every 3 weeks there were exams and in between there were quizzes, short term papers or projects. But it wasn’t too time consuming. If you divided it up well, there was really enough time to enjoy the sun or to see something. In my opinion, the American system is much better and more relaxed.
The housing situation in Long Beach was also a small problem at the beginning. We were looking for an apartment. However, most require a Social Security Number to rent anything. Since we didn’t have them, of course, many apartments were excluded directly. But after a week we found a super great apartment in Seal Beach. The apartment complex is called Oakwood and has it all. Pool, hot tub, tennis court, volleyball court, exercise room, business center (free print and copy), etc! It wasn’t that cheap there, but if you rent an apartment for four or five people, it gets cheaper and the price is totally okay. You live very centrally. The bus takes you to the university in just 10 minutes and the beach can be reached in 5 minutes on foot.
I really enjoyed living in Long Beach. In your free time you can really do a lot there or in the surrounding area. About a quarter of an hour by bus is Huntington Beach. There’s a lot going on there when it comes to surfing or similar! The beach is huge and you always meet a lot of people. Otherwise you can go very quickly to LA (reachable by metro in one hour). LA is of course worth seeing with Hollywood Boulevard, Beverly Hills etc. You can also do a lot of shopping there, for example in the Beverly Center or on Hollywood Boulevard. There is also a nice shopping center in Long Beach, the Los Cerritos Center. It takes about 3/4 hour by bus. Since we hadn’t rented a car permanently, we drove everywhere by bus, which was totally fine.
On the weekends, however, it definitely makes sense to rent a car. Because Las Vegas, San Francisco, Grand Canyon and San Diego should not be missed. My favorite was absolutely San Francisco. After we didn’t even want to go there, I was so glad to have seen this great city. Really, she’s worth the walk. The city simply fascinates you.
In terms of costs, a little bit comes up. Tuition fees, rent, food and whatever else you need. However, it is totally worth it because you just have a great time. The food is generally rather expensive. If you want to eat something healthy or if you want to cook for yourself, you really have to budget for a bit of money.
Finally, I want to say once again: it was a wonderful, great time that I will never forget. I can recommend it to everybody. Despite initial difficulties when looking for an apartment or the courses, it was just great. The problems from the beginning were forgotten so quickly because you experience so many exciting, exciting things and enjoy every day there. One should not miss such an opportunity and enjoy it to the fullest.