Before my semester abroad, I read a few testimonials myself to get tips and personal impressions. What I found best were reports where you could read directly about the points that were most important to you, so I’ll be writing about some of the bullet points.
I spent the first few days at Motel 6 near Newport Beach. The hotel was good, but too expensive and too far from the university. Since I had to rely on buses and taxis without a car, I only drove to the university once to clarify things in advance. I therefore recommend new students to look for accommodation in the immediate vicinity. In theory, the Marriott is located directly on campus.
The fear that you would not get the courses you want was there with many, but thanks to the advance form regarding the course choice, the university was able to plan relatively well and many got the courses they wanted. If there was still something to be clarified about the courses, you could just go to the office and talk to Ms. Pircher-Banes.
Because of this, the first two weeks were not as hectic as previously feared, you could still look at other courses in peace and change if necessary, the system has apparently already improved in this regard.
First of all, I hadn’t planned to buy a car due to the high costs, but moved in relatively spontaneously with other Germans who had already bought a car. It quickly became clear that this is one of the most important things on site, because without a car you are really lost. I’ve got to know enough who didn’t have any and had to do without a lot. In America it is really spacious and you need a car even for smaller things, let alone that it makes a lot of things easier.
Who I can definitely recommend is “Chicho”! This is a car dealer in Fullerton that is the only one that sells used cars with a warranty and that really cares about customers when something goes wrong with the car. For several years he has specialized in students as customers and sells your cars again towards the end of the semester.
After some back and forth, I finally ended up in the homestead. I was supposed to be staying with a host family that lived in Anaheim. From there it was too far to the university and I only had the option of getting back and forth by bus. Not exactly a great thing with the American bus system.
It is no coincidence that the Homestead is nicknamed “Little Germany”. The majority of German students live there, and according to the people who live there, the number is increasing from year to year.
Since I also flew to America with the aim of improving my English, I wasn’t so enthusiastic about it, but in the end it was the best alternative for the few months there.
You can easily walk or bike to the university, there are several pools, hot tubs and fitness studios on the complex and the next large supermarket is right across the street.
My courses were: macroeconomics, microeconomics, buyer behavior and a communication course.
Before I left I was concerned that I might have problems with the language, especially at university, but that’s really not a thing! I can reassure everyone about that. The language level and the material are easy to pack and good grades are easy to achieve with relatively little effort. The system at the university is comparable to a school system in Germany. There are several exams, assignments, quizzes and presentations in the courses and you often have the opportunity to compensate for a lower grade.
Of course, I thought California would be expensive, but that it shows up so much in all situations and that even the most normal things and groceries are so expensive, I was amazed. The general cost of living is already high and buying healthy food is on the wallet, which is why we mostly lived on things we bought.
The burgers are of course awesome;)
According to TOPMBADIRECTORY, the campus is huge and offers everything you can think of. The university’s own fitness studio, the “Rec”, is probably the best building in the university for those who enjoy doing sports. Definitely register there, for about $ 25 per month more than worth the money!