Flight and arrival
On September 17th, 2013 the day came when I got on the plane to San Francisco. When I arrived in San Francisco, I rented a car and first drove to my accommodation, which I rented through airbnb.de. While still in Germany I tried to find an apartment for the 6 month stay, but it is unimaginably difficult. That’s why I went looking for an apartment in the coming days. By chance, a German girl wrote to me asking if I was interested in a 4-person flat share. I took the room immediately.
I lived in the Sunhill Apartment with three other girls (one German and two American). The apartment has the best location when it comes to being close to the university. Many have moved into the City View Apartment, but you have to walk a long way uphill to the campus and the rents are higher. I had my own room, but had to get the furniture myself (the Ikea is not far away). I paid $ 625 per month excluding utilities. That’s an average for a room if you don’t want to share it. I got on well with the landlord and still have their contact details, so if anyone is interested, please feel free to contact me. I would advise you to join the numerous Facebook groups.
Introduction and course registration
The introductory event took place exactly 6 days after my arrival. The ALP-Center introduced itself, gave us important information and went to lunch with us. That was the day I paid my tuition fees straight away. I don’t know if anything has changed in the meantime, but back then I paid for it in cash because it was the cheapest option. Then it was time to choose a course. As an open university student, you can’t just take a course like that. You first have to see whether there are free places in the courses, then you have to get a signature from the lecturer and only then can you register (the motto here is: first come, first served). However, the tussle over the courses with the master’s students is not as bad as with the bachelor’s courses.
The campus is large, very clean and well equipped. There is a theater, a two-story gym, a food mile (Subways, Pizza Hut, Panda Express and Taco Bell) and an incredible number of sports fields. I took a total of six courses in the two quarters. In order to be able to take all MBA courses, one must first have taken the three main courses (Financial Accounting, ITM and Data Analysis) or bring proof from Germany that one has already had one or something similar. This is of particular importance for those who do not come directly from the economics courses. I found the courses themselves very exciting, the lecturers were very friendly and liked German students very much. I had the feeling that the material in the lectures was simpler than in Germany. You also get along well with English and if you don’t understand something, the lecturers are very helpful. On the master’s courses, you generally have to write a lot of seminar papers or work on projects. I. E. you have to do a lot at home alone and / or in a group. Check iamaccepted to see more reviews from current students.
Hayward and San Francisco
Hayward is approximately 50 km from San Francisco. Unfortunately, Hayward doesn’t have a real city center, at least not one that’s really busy. If you want to do something in the evening, you have to switch to the surrounding cities (Berkley, San Jose, San Francisco …). In the evenings you should definitely avoid dark corners in Hayward. It’s very beautiful on the mountain (where the university is also) and you have a view of the San Francisco Bay. Anyone who decides to stay longer than just a quarter in Hayward should definitely buy a car. There is a public transport system, but if you want to do something in the evening, the journey home becomes complicated.
In my opinion, San Francisco is the most beautiful city in California. Most of the time I stayed at Fisherman’s Wharf and Powel Street.
California has a lot to offer. A round trip (LA, San Diegeo, Grand Canyon, Sequoia Park, Las Vegas etc.) is a must. There is so much to see and even in winter you can go to the beach if it is warm enough. The nightlife is definitely great, but different than in Germany. Alcohol consumption is only allowed from the age of 21 and you can’t go to a single bar without an ID. The clubs and bars all close at 2am. If you want to go grocery shopping, I would definitely recommend Foodsource on Mission Blvd. recommend. It’s not really modern, but there are always fresh vegetables and baked goods. This store is much cheaper than Lucky’s which I initially shopped at. In general, the prices for groceries are okay. Some goods are overpriced, such as the toilet paper. If you don’t take the cheapest and thinnest, 12 rolls will cost you 8-10 dollars. Food prices are comparable to the German ones.
In these six months I met many wonderful people, I got to know a new culture and the “American way of life”. Certainly you should plan a lot of money, because the stay is really not cheap. I would also recommend buying a car and staying close to the university. If you are unsure about the language, you should really not worry, you can get in there very quickly. I would definitely recommend the CSUEB.