The decision to spend a semester abroad was made for the last semester of my master’s degree, because by then I had already completed all the exams and I could fully concentrate on studying abroad. In addition, I didn’t have the hassle of having to take courses that would bring me credits, instead I was free to choose. Another big advantage was that I had a couple of weeks to travel afterwards.
Since it was unfortunately not possible for me to visit a partner university in the USA from my university, I found out how I could otherwise organize my stay abroad in my desired country. That’s when I came across MicroEDU.
The first phone calls with MicroEDU were very helpful and also very satisfactory, which is why I quickly decided to organize the semester through this organization. The responsible employees were always helpful and supported me very well in choosing the university and in the application process.
It was important for me to find a university that offered Quarter, as the study system in the US is a little different. I would have had to interrupt my semester at the German university early in order to study at a university with a trimester system. Ultimately, I chose the CSU East Bay because it offers the quarter system on the one hand and was comparatively inexpensive on the other. In addition, the university is located in the Bay Area, which offers an incredible number of activities and excursions, but more on that later.
I received the best possible support from MicroEDU throughout the application process, which made all formalities very easy to handle. I was also able to handle all visa matters with the help of the guide.
Studies and courses taken
Although you should create and send a list of your desired courses when you apply, you could only put together your courses on site. I heard that some of my fellow students didn’t get the courses they wanted. In spite of all this, I found it helpful to have created this list, as one has dealt so intensively with the range of courses and the study system.
In the end I decided on the “ International Business Diploma ” because it offers various business courses and was easy to take. The following fields were thematically dealt with:
- Business law
- Supply chain management
- Introduction to finance
- Business strategy
It must be said that you can only attend all of these lectures if you stay two quarters there. If you only have one quarter, you can only take three courses, as three are offered alternately per quarter.
All in all, the lectures were good, if you focus on developing your language skills, as the level of the lectures was not very demanding.
Otherwise, there is general to say about the course that you have relatively few lectures in comparison. But the “homework” that you have to do from week to week takes up a large part. With good planning, however, these are manageable and there is enough time to explore the country.
The university’s international office was responsible for on-site support. Here too, I have to say, I felt that I was in very good hands. You always had a contact person when it came to organizational matters. In addition, the international office organized various excursions, which made contact with other international students very well and which were always a lot of fun.
The organization of the accommodation was unfortunately not as smooth as all other matters. On the one hand, the university’s dormitory spaces are quite rare and, on the other hand, comparatively expensive.
The MicroEDU Facebook page gave the opportunity to meet people who were already studying there and perhaps find suitable accommodation. However, most of them only offer rooms or apartments, for which you have to get additional furniture.
Since I didn’t want to stress myself with buying and selling furniture during my stay, I started looking for furnished rooms and found what I was looking for on the “ airbnb ” website. I got a room in a house with three rooms, which was completely rented to airbnb guests. However, I had to share this room with other guests, which luckily wasn’t a big problem.
Leisure and excursion possibilities
The leisure and excursion opportunities in the area of the East Bay and throughout California are endless.
- Find reviews for more studying abroad programs on anycountyprivateschools.
Hayward as a town is rather small and cozy by American standards, but despite that it has its charms. There is a cinema, many small bars and various dinners where you can dine well.
The nearby San Francisco with its wonderful street canyons is ideal for spontaneous short trips. The nearby cities, the elite universities and the numerous outlets are also worth a trip.
The somewhat wider surroundings, such as the Nappa Valley, could easily be explored through excursions from the international office. These excursions usually take place in larger groups and at least the bus trip is paid for by the university. You have to pay for the food yourself, but that shouldn’t be a problem. Most of the trips take place on one day at the weekend. 4 tours are offered per quarter. In this way I was able to get to know Stinson Beach, the Nappa Valley and Santa Cruz, among other places.
The rest of the state also has numerous excursion options to offer. Very beautiful national parks, such as Yosemite and Muir Woods, and many interesting cities, such as San Diego or Los Angeles, are always worth a trip. Personally, I organized these trips with friends, because you can share the cost of the rental car and it’s just more fun together.
The nearby states are also very easy to travel to in this way.
All in all, I can only say that it was worth doing this stay abroad and I would recommend it to everyone. You should always keep in mind that life there is more expensive than here. It starts with groceries and ends with tuition fees.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank MicroEDU, who were always at your side if you had any questions and who, above all, provided excellent support for my semester abroad.