It was late March when I landed in San Francisco. The start of the university was still about a week away. So I had planned to spend my first week entirely in San Francisco.
The first way was by taxi from the airport to the hostel near Fishermens Wharf. Incidentally, I can recommend the hostel, as it is always clean and inexpensive. Unfortunately, this can only be said of a few hostels in SF. In addition, the location is brilliant and the view of the Golden Gate Bridge at breakfast can hardly be topped.
Through your website Facebook group, I had already made contact with some other Germans, with whom I was mostly on the road during the first week and sometimes had a lot of contact afterwards.
We mainly spent our time exploring the city, of course. I can only help everyone to take a little time to explore San Francisco at the beginning! San Francisco is a fantastic city!
Then followed the move-in to the dormitory (yes, I decided to live in the dormitory because I thought I would get to know more people this way). I should be right about that. The I-house is right on the street, the gym is directly opposite. So you never have an excuse not to go.
The Pioneer Heights settlement, which consists only of the dormitories, is not yet old, so all buildings are in good condition. The apartments are not set up as college movies might suggest. An apartment is about 100 square meters and has four bedrooms, in which two people usually sleep. However, I was lucky that I was alone in my room. Then it has two showers and two toilets and a spacious living room (excellent for parties with up to 50 people ;-)). In the living room there is also a dining area and a kitchen. There is a microwave, but this is the only way to cook yourself as there is no stove or oven. A little tip take a closer look at the apartment with your roomies in the first few days and complain about defects, which there will definitely be! Otherwise you have to pay later. For example, we had to pay $ 20 to replace seven slats on the “curtain”. Wasn’t the world angry anyway!
Now for the dining commons. In my opinion one of the best canteens I’ve been to so far! There is always enough choice between freshly cooked dishes, salads, burgers, sandwiches or pizza. There is always fruit and it is generally definitely possible to eat healthily there in the long term. Whether that works in the end is another question: D. I had the meal plan that had 12 meals a week and $ 200 flex. 12 meals a week worked well for me. But it was sometimes difficult to get the most out of them, especially when you are always out on the weekend.
The Flex $ are great, you can use them all over campus in restaurants or in the supermarket. For example, I always used Flex to pay for my coffee in the morning and still had more than enough for other purposes.
The university’s gym is brand new and absolutely great. In addition to a bunch of equipment, there are a lot of cardio machines and classes like Zumba and something. There are also two basketball courts, yes you read that right. Various things such as volleyball or badminton nets can also be built on them. The staff in the gym is always nice and helpful. Check educationvv to see more reviews from current students.
So now to the core of the matter: the university itself and the courses!
The university is relatively well equipped and the business department has a really good reputation for state universities. Of course the UC’s like Berkeley or Stanford are different leagues again, but East Bay is already impressive.
Like most, I chose three courses. I would only have had to choose one subject-related course from my university. But I chose all three subject-related.
First of all, it might be said that you have to do class crashing. This means that as an I-student you cannot simply enroll in the courses over the Internet, but have to ask the professor whether he still has space and ask him for a signature. And then there is a day when you have to go to the department with the slips of paper that the professors have signed and then it is decided whether you can take the course or not. First come first serve!
The first course was one of the three international courses. These courses are always offered as part of an international diploma program and are used as a safe haven for the internationals. That means you can definitely get in, even without the annoying class crashing. The course was about eBusiness Supply Chain Management. I hoped to be able to expand the knowledge I had already acquired. But unfortunately it stayed with “scratching the surface”. Since the course is only 5 weeks long, it is unrealistic to do more than that. Still, there is some work to be done in those five weeks because of the compression. But after that it is nice to only have two courses. In the end, nothing more than an easily earned good grade! Nik Tehrani, the professor in this module, is a nice guy.
The second course I chose was Employee & Labor Relations. At the beginning it was said that leadership concepts etc. will be dealt with. That was the main reason I was interested in this course. It is mainly about unions, i.e. trade unions, and how to work with them or prevent their formation. Mid-term and final were really difficult but didn’t seem to get a lot of attention in the final grade. It was very interesting to get to know the American point of view in the world of work, as their attitude to ours is completely different. Donna Hamlin, the professor in the module, is very experienced in personnel management and in the end I took a lot with me from the course!
My last and most labor-intensive course was Derivatives Markets with Scott Fung. Here first to Prof. Dr. Fung has his Masters as well as his Dr. in Harward and is still in close contact with his colleagues there and has based his material on the curriculum there. The course was fantastic, with three assignments, a group work and a final, very labor-intensive, but Mr. Fung tries very hard! At the beginning different forms of derivatives are explained. In the further course, the main focus will be on options. Incl pricing, etc. Anyone who specializes in the direction of the financial markets should definitely take this course with them, no matter how much previous training they already have.
Finally, a word about Hayward. As such, Hayward doesn’t have much to offer. Some good restaurants, a handful of bars and that’s it! For all martial arts fans: The Maoli Fighter team is one of the best in the Bay, especially when it comes to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and MMA!
BUT in Hayward, as is usually the case in the USA, you should never move around carelessly. The area on the hill where the university is located is absolutely harmless! However, for example, you should not necessarily hike different parts of it alone after sunset. But you shouldn’t dramatize anything either. As a result of my training at the school mentioned above, I was late several times a week in Hayward and nothing ever happened to me.
All in all, I had a great time and can only recommend it to everyone to take the step! In general, the Americans are a super nice and helpful people and also absolutely open and approachable!
And last tip: Use as much time as possible to travel if it is financially suitable. California has some of the most beautiful landscapes and cities ever to offer !!