I have been thinking about doing a semester abroad for a long time . I then became aware of your website through a lecture at our university. With their help I studied for a semester at the CSUEB in Hayward .
Here in Germany I am studying mechatronics as a master Since I mainly wanted to choose courses in the business sector in the USA , I decided to take the master’s degree in Engineering Management there .
First a few words about finding accommodation . Basically there are two ways to do this. Either you live on campus (i.e. in the dormitories of the university) or off campus(you take care of an apartment yourself). I lived off campus in the Sunhill Apartments. These apartments are located right next to the university, so you can walk to the lecture halls in less than 10 minutes. I shared an apartment with five other students there, but had my own room, which is anything but natural in the USA. The price, including all ancillary costs, was around $ 720 per month. I found this room through the CSUEB Facebook group (CSUEB Off Campus Housing / Apts / Rooms / Roommates). Important: To be able to join this group, your Facebook account must be connected to your CSUEB email address.
Personally, I think the off-campus variant is better because it is much cheaper on the one hand. On the other hand, with the on campus variant, you have to share the bedroom with a stranger. It should be noted that you have to pay an application fee when applying for a place in the dormitory. If you get a room, but refuse it, for example because you have already found a room in a shared apartment, you have to pay another $ 100 processing fee. So think about beforehand whether you want to apply or not.
The university is located on a mountain on the outskirts of the town of Hayward. There is actually nothing on this mountain besides the university, a residential area and a few restaurants. But you can get to and from the city for free with the University Shuttle. However, there isn’t really much in the town of Hayward either. With the local train connection you can get to San Francisco in about 40 minutes .
I was enrolled as a master’s student at the university. That means that I had to take three lectures (a total of 9 credits). I have chosen the lectures “Quality and Reliability Management” , “Project Management” and “Sustainability Product and Process Design”decided. In general, studying in the USA is completely different than at German universities and is more like a German school. You get weekly homework, have in-class exercises and also exams during the semester. You can think of it something like teaching in upper school at high school. The level of difficulty of the lectures there is also significantly lower. So if you can have the subjects taken there credited to your home university, this is a good opportunity to collect good to very good grades. Check andyeducation to see more reviews from current students.
Hayward is relatively centrally located in California . So you have a very good starting position for any excursion. If you rent a car and have no problem with longer journeys, most of the destinations can be reached that way. I personally visited the following places: Santa Cruz, Yosemite National Park, Lake Tahoe, Las Vegas, Death Valley National Park, Grand Canyon, Los Angeles , San Diego , Seattle, Vancouver, Hawaii and various places in the Bay Area. I would particularly recommend Lake Tahoe (in summer) and Las Vegas.
I would recommend opening a bank account in the USA. It is not absolutely necessary, as you can pay anywhere with a credit card, but it makes many things easier. If you buy a SIM card on site, you can save a lot of money.
In the USA you are obliged to take out health insurance there , but this does not cover everything. I also found it was hard to see what exactly was covered and what wasn’t. That’s why I also took out German health insurance. There are several providers for this and the whole thing is really expensive. Don’t stress too much with all the homework and other duties, but enjoy the time there and travel around a lot. The homework somehow works out.
In retrospect, I would do a semester abroad again at any time. All in all, I had a wonderful time . My English has improved significantly through the lectures, the numerous homework and, of course, the communication there. California also offers a variety of great excursion destinations and the weather there is also a huge plus .
But I would probably choose another university. The reason for this is that Hayward as a city has next to nothing to offer.