As everyone knows, there are quite a few universities in America. I decided to do a semester at California State University Fullerton. The reasons for this were, first of all, that this university accepts the most cost-effective English language test, which is the DAAD test, and this could be done at our university. Another reason for the CSUF was the proximity to Los Angeles and the warm climate of California. In addition, the focus for me was on improving my English skills, for which Fullerton and the USA are almost perfect. As several have already written, the preparation of the application and documents takes a lot of time. Since the CSUF is not a partner university, I was quite skeptical at first whether everything goes smoothly and whether I get credit for the courses at my university in Germany. But thanks to the great and helpful support from College Contact, everything worked great.
Compared to Germany, the CSUF was a dream for me, because the warm climate and the many palm trees create a completely different feeling and you are much more motivated to go to university. The course selection already took place in Germany and apart from 2 courses (which I was able to change afterwards) I received my “desired courses”. If there is a change of course, you have to run after the professors, so to speak, and beg them to accept you into the course after all. I was lucky and got into all the courses. My choice of course was perfect! From Monday to Wednesday I only had university and two of the courses I had with Ms. Harich, who is a German-speaking lecturer. The university reminded me a little of my school days, as you had to do a lot of homework, as well as many assignments, quizzes Midterms etc. The university didn’t limit me personally, which is why I was able to do a lot of things and great excursions. Some others were unlucky and had to learn a lot for university every day and on weekends. The university is very nice, has a good gym, a large selection of courses and a great atmosphere.
The search for an apartment was rather problem-free for me or us, as we have already arranged everything in Germany. After a little research, our choice fell on the Homestead Apartments. All in all, we were very satisfied, except for the unfriendly staff, as well as a leaf vacuum “man” who often blew the leaves in front of our window at 8 o’clock in the morning with 100 decibels. You have to be prepared for the fact that a lot of Germans live there. So if you want to improve your English, you should definitely be looking to live with Yanks. We were three girls and shared an apartment with two bedrooms and two bathrooms. The monthly rent was $ 1,890. This amount does not include furniture that costs another $ 300-400 per month. But this is not an obligation you can also set up the apartment on your own, which I would not recommend, because the effort is simply too great to buy the furniture, assemble it and dispose of it at the end of the trip. For all the electricity, water, insurance, refrigerator rentals and wifi, another $ 200 was added per month. What we have not yet been able to understand is that other German apartments 1. Bigger beds, 2. Better air conditioning / heating, as well as a dishwasher 3. A vacuum cleaner, 4. Overall, a better kitchen and 100 $ less for the furniture how we paid. Well, I think it’s easy to negotiate in advance if you don’t let yourself be ripped off straight away. I found the communal pool, whirlpool and gym really cool. I can only recommend the Homesteads.
In my opinion, anyone who goes to America needs a car 100% of the time. Especially if you want to experience something. You are young, want to experience something and have probably only been abroad once in your life for such a long time. So grab a car and explore as much as you can. We rented a car, which turned out to be expensive in the end as we stayed for 4.5 months. Paid € 2,500 (insurance is included in this price as all 3 of us are under 25). Others bought a car. This was out of the question for us, as we have no idea about cars / repairs and this was too unsure for us.
Leisure / Travel / Life:
In itself, Fullerton has little to offer. There are a few bars / pubs in downtown Fullerton, which is less impressive. As already written above, you should get a car, as you can get absolutely no further with public transport. As I said at the beginning, my girls and I in particular have experienced a great deal. We saw a number of stars and celebrated with them, including Justin Bieber, Chris Brown, Snoop Dogg, Floyd Mayweather, Ashton Kutcher, Will I.AM. I will never have this experience again in my life and this is only possible in Hollywood. Trips to Las Vegas, San Diego, San Francisco, Grand Canyon are highly recommended. Many amusement parks such as Disneyland (in neighboring Anaheim), Seaworld (San Diego), Six Flags (Los Angeles) are easy to reach. There are no lectures during Thanks Giving for a week, which you should definitely use: Whether skiing in the north or sunbathing in Hawaii or Mexico, the American West has an incredible amount to offer! The individual beaches (such as Laguna Beach, Huntington Beach, New Port Beach etc.) can also be driven and each has its own charm. We were in Los Angeles 2-3 times a week for different things like city tours, shopping (especially visiting Melrose Avenue), partying in hip Hollywood clubs or just enjoying the flare Los Angeles. The nightlife in OC is also really great and so there are some clubs that you should really try, for example. Hooray Henrys, Supper Club, AV Club, Playhouse and much more. As already said, the weather is a dream. During my entire stay abroad we had 3 rainy days. Even in November there were days when we had up to 32 ° C.
My time in California was just unforgettable! It was the best decision to spend a semester there. Even if a semester abroad is a little more expensive than the semester in Germany, it is definitely an amazingly great experience that is definitely worth it. Enough talk … I hope that my experiences and impressions will motivate you to go to Fullerton.
I wish you all a lot of fun in America!