The application process at California State University East Bay was a bit bumpy at times, but doable. MicroEDU provided me with extensive support whenever I had any questions. I would still advise you to allow enough time because something always doesn’t work and problems could arise, such as applying for a visa. In the end everything worked for me and minor problems could always be resolved.
According to act-test-centers,the campus is on a hill / mountain and is pretty clear and very nice. The buildings are arranged around a green area that is like a park. There are numerous dining options on campus such as Subway, Taco Bell, Jumba Juice, Panda Express and Starbucks. Otherwise there is also a cafeteria (Dining Commons), which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. There is also a pretty well-equipped gym on campus, in which I was able to train for a total of 4 months for just under $ 100. Behind the Dining Commons there is a hill from which you can see the whole Bay Area, including San Francisco and Oakland. The sunset up there is gorgeous.
I did a teaching semester abroad at California State University East Bay with a master’s degree in English and history. In the master’s program, you are enrolled as a “graduate student” and have to attend 9 units, which usually corresponds to three courses. I took two courses in the TESOL program (English) with 4 units each and also an undergraduate (bachelor’s) course in history with 3 units and came up with 11 units and therefore had to pay the tuition fees of an undergraduate student. I really enjoyed my courses, I learned an incredible amount because the university system is very different from that in Germany. You collect points throughout the semester, which at the end form the final grade through homework, essays, intermediate exams and so on.
Personally, I liked this system very much because you always had to do something continuously without being stressed 24/7 in an exam phase. The course content, especially in the master’s courses, was partly demanding, but feasible. The professors are very warm and respectful in their dealings and I experienced the atmosphere in my classes very positively. I was able to learn an incredible amount in the courses, both about foreign language acquisition in general and various teaching methods. In my history course, which was about USA history from 1877-1970, it was particularly interesting to see “world history” from the perspective of the USA. Overall, I really enjoyed all three of my courses.
I myself lived close to the campus in University Village, from where a shuttle runs regularly up to the university. Otherwise you can easily reach the university in 5-10 minutes. I shared a bedroom with another student there and we had a bathroom and a kitchen / living room. The apartment was super spacious and big. It was perfectly fine for me to share a room for four months, but I was happy when I had my own room again in Germany. I also had a so-called meal plan, with which I could eat 85 times in the Dining Commons (cafeteria) and 300 flex dollars that could be spent at Starbucks, Taco Bell, Subway and so on on campus. The rent was quite expensive at around $ 1200 a month. If you decide not to live on campus, I would recommend looking for an apartment / room close to the campus because it is a bit more expensive
In my free time I have traveled a lot with other students, mainly those who have also been to CSUEB through MicroEDU. Traveling in and around California was my absolute highlight because there is so much to see there. The variety is particularly beautiful; there are bigger cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles as well as super beautiful beaches like along Route 1 as well as incredibly impressive national parks like Yosemite Park. We usually rented a car at the weekend and were out for two to three days. We have been to Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Las Vegas, Hawaii, Seattle and Vancouver, Las Vegas and Yosemite Park, among others. I liked Lake Tahoe best, a lake that can be reached in about 3 hours by car from Hayward and is simply breathtakingly beautiful. San Francisco is also in the immediate vicinity and easily accessible by train in the Bay Area (Bart). Near San Francisco is a super beautiful beach, Half Moon Bay, which is worth visiting.
I had saved quite a long time in advance for my semester abroad and roughly calculated how much money I would need. I also took into account that I want to travel a lot to see as much of California and the United States as possible. I had planned around $ 5,000 for this, but of course it always depends on what you want to experience in your semester abroad and what your requirements are. When it comes to tuition fees, there are some hidden costs. For example, you have to take out health insurance separately of 700 dollars and another 500 dollars so that you can be treated in the hospital or doctor’s office at the university in the event of illness. Then the health insurance does not cover everything, which is why it is worth taking out additional insurance. So for me there were almost $ 1,500 in payments that I hadn’t taken into account.
Overall, I had an amazingly great time at California State University East Bay with amazing experiences and great people. Although the semester abroad was very expensive, it was worth every single dollar to me and I would do it again in a heartbeat. Since Hayward is a very small town with not that much to do, I would recommend everyone to travel as much as possible and see the many beautiful places in California.