Hello future solar nationals!
I spent Fall Quarter 11 on Cal State East Bay, and I love looking back at that time in my life. She enriched me with many experiences and impressions that I would not want to miss. In addition to the 4.5 month adventure, I was also able to improve my English and have courses credited to me, which rounded it off really well.
I study business informatics at the University of Münster and generally decided to go abroad quite late. But at the end of January, when the exam phase started, a change came in very handy. Since the USA as a country appealed to me the most and I found the partner universities of my university less attractive, I started looking for an affordable university in California (great weather even in winter!). Since the CSUEB is quite cheap (proportionally, of course!) And I was not dependent on the crediting of special courses due to a semester on leave, the choice was not difficult, especially since I’ve only heard good things about San Francisco.
The other preparations such as applying for a visa, taking out health insurance abroad, discussing courses with your home university in advance, … you have probably read it a lot. As health insurance I had the Hanse Merkur, because it was quite cheap and has an official contact in the USA, which was necessary for this university. My regular health insurance would have charged an extremely high premium for the USA.
The visa was quite easy for me to get, the questions from the security officer in Frankfurt were more “normal” than pervasive, no extra certificate required, as is the case for returning to Germany.
Study + travel
Since the visa gives you the opportunity to spend a certain amount of time in the States before and after the actual studies, I flew there about 3 weeks before the start of the trimester and back about 5 weeks after the end of the term. The travel time is quite expensive, but in my opinion it is totally worth it! I would definitely recommend this to you, because the three months of study abroad go by way too quickly. In addition, during the trimester you will definitely get to know people with whom you would like to travel around afterwards.
The course itself was very relaxed for me. The class crashing in the first two weeks is unfortunately stressful and not well organized, but in the end I got three courses that I was very happy with. I can only pass on the advice from the other experience reports: Talk to the Profs, just keep asking (it’s better to have too much than too little) and be quick when the system is activated.
I have heard the lectures “Human Resource Management”, “Project Management” and “eBusiness Supply Chain Management”, so only business administration courses. Because of the semester on leave, I didn’t need any special courses, as I said, but I was able to have the first two credited as a specialization module, which not only makes me happy, but also looks good on my CV.
After the two weeks, at least my three courses were very relaxed. I hesitated to buy expensive books until the term was over, but the “midterms” and “finals” were very easy to do. In my experience, the level is a lot lower than in Germany, which leaves you more time for the sun, fellow students and excursions 🙂
Campus + trips
I lived on campus in the “ex-International House”. American students can now also move in there, which is very good for socializing. In addition to the already high tuition fees, living on campus is unfortunately very expensive, as you buy a full meal plan in the cafeteria, the prices of which have been significantly increased again. In retrospect, I would still consider it the right decision, because otherwise it is very difficult to live close to the campus (the university is on a hill) and there is almost nothing going on in Hayward. In addition, you can immediately make friends on campus, get to know other nationalities quickly (mainly other international students such as Chinese, Koreans, Swedes, Finns, French) and never miss a spontaneously organized party. Check existingcountries to see more reviews from current students.
The view from the campus / hill over the Bay Area to San Francisco is definitely super beautiful and invites you to unforgettable moments.
Another big advantage in my opinion is the location of the university in California. During the day you can get to San Francisco relatively easily (at night you usually stay in a hostel), but the campus is also a great starting point for a variety of trips (if you can organize a car). The most attractive destinations are certainly Santa Cruz, Yosemite National Park, Lake Tahoe, Highway 1 to Southern California, …
Of course, you shouldn’t miss the trip to Vegas, LA or San Diego, all cities are definitely worth it!
That was a short extract from eventful months. They were super expensive, but worth every penny to me! Because I got new experiences in so many ways, got to know super nice people (!) And just had a really good time! Oh yes, and also studying / taking courses into account;)
I can recommend an international experience of this kind to everyone!