I went to California for my exchange semester in the 5th semester (fall semester) . The exchange university was called California State University East Bay (CSUEB) and offered quarters . A quarter is a bit shorter than a semester, so the Fall Quarter finally ran from September 18, 2017 to December 10, 2017. I applied to the university via your website, which I can highly recommend, as it is free, the employees handle the entire application and you only have to send the necessary documents to your website.
The university is in Hayward, a rather smaller American town. With around 15,000 students, it is one of the smaller universities in the USA. For exchange students there is the ALP Department (American Learning Program Department) , which is responsible for the entire registration process. This was also the contact person for all possible questions . The university has a huge campus , around a third of which consists of parking spaces. This is because most Americans drive mostly by car and you rarely see people walking. The rest of the campus is actually quite nice with the many green spaces. Because the university offers many different courses, there are accordingly many buildings. The library is quite large , but not necessarily designed for the number of students, so it was sometimes difficult to find a place. There are also many shops on campus such as Starbucks, Subway, PizzaHut, a salad bar and Panda Express. There is also a gym with a swimming pool . Check liuxers to see more reviews from current students.
The cafeteria is very large, but it is never really full as the times to go out to dinner are very long. You can have breakfast, lunch and dinner there . We mostly went for dinner as there was most of the choice there. For breakfast there was cereal, waffles, bacon, fried batter , etc. For dinner there was always pizza, burgers and a salad bar and then depending on the day of the week a Delhi bar and different types of meat. To be able to eat in the cafeteria, you either had to pay with Flexdollars (Felxdollars is money that you can load onto your student ID. You can use Flexdollars to pay in the shops on campus) or use meals from your meal plan. As a student living on campus, you had to buy a meal plan.
There were the following options: “All you can eat” (you can come to the cafeteria as often as you like a day), 80 meals and 150 flex dollars or 60 meals and 200 flex dollars. I took the 60 Meals and 200 Flexdollars plan. At first I thought that 60 meals might be a bit high, but in the end I had 20 meals left at the end of the quarter. This was because the house in which I lived was a 15-minute walk from the cafeteria and you didn’t always want to walk there. There is also a free shuttle on campus that can be used to get from one place to another quickly. He also drove down into town so we rarely had to take an Uber. The bus also drove to the cafeteria.
The CSUEB stipulates that you have to take at least 12, but a maximum of 17 credits in order to be allowed to study there.
When selecting the courses , I would recommend that you find out about the possible courses before the start of the semester abroad and that you send them to the HSG crediting office . It may well be that the desired course no longer has enough places and you are only put on the waiting list. It is therefore good to have alternative alternatives. The best way to get course descriptions is to contact your website (they have many but not all course descriptions) or ask the professors on site.
However, the process of registering for the courses was a bit of a pain. The American students had time to register for the courses a long time before us, so most of them were already quite full. Furthermore, as an exchange student you couldn’t just enroll, you had to do “Class Crashing”. That means, you had to choose the courses you might want to take, join the course and at the end of the lesson have a pink sheet (available at the Business Administration Office) signed by the respective professor. You then send the pink sheet back to the Business Administration Office and a few days later you will receive a code with which you can then enroll in the respective course online.
In the courses you have midterms and extra quizzes / presentations and finals, so that the effort is constant over the entire semester and does not become the learning phase of the finals again.
All courses were very schooled, so that most of the professors knew almost all of the students by name. Furthermore, they were always very open and helpful if you had any questions.
The American visa I requested in Munich. All in all, it took a long time because you needed different documents for the visa. I would recommend not to apply for it shortly before the start of the semester abroad, otherwise you will not be able to enter the USA and you will also want to go to university.