Long Beach is awesome!
First of all: get yourself a car somehow! – that is the most important thing in CA! I didn’t do it and got excited about the bus system more than once as it is not a system in any way. It takes 2 hours to get to LA and you have to go through the ghetto, Compton, Artesia, etc ..
Second, find an apartment beforehand if you don’t want to live only with other study abroad students or even with Germans. If you still have time to bridge, like I did (2 ½ weeks) then you should try couchsurfing, for free and you get to know very funny Americans right away.
According to SEARCHFORPUBLICSCHOOLS, the course choice should also be determined beforehand, but you are already looking for alternatives, especially with business courses, because you hardly get them. Oh and definitely check the lecture times, I had managed to put all courses on Monday and Wednesday, which was very chilled. Many were allowed to take the bus every day to go to a course, which is really annoying.
The level of difficulty of the courses is okay, but a lot of homework, projects, etc. <- annoying!
Subject books: Very expensive and you hardly get anything in return. 30% of the purchase price, so buy them used directly from amazon or ebay and take care of selling them early if you want to see your money again – I’m still sitting on a $ 100 ham on books! And only buy what you really need, the Americans are rather insensitive and just buy it, paying millions for your studies anyway.
Eat; the offer on campus is bad fast food, only burgers & CO., although you can get a kind of cafeteria food in the campus village for about 7 dollars and actually also healthy.
About the burger places: In’n’Out is and beatable, Mc’s is like us. Burger King, Carls junior, Wendy’s, Taco Bell and especially Jack in da Box are not good, but give it a try – tastes are different, but don’t miss In’n’Out and the rule is that everything that doesn’t look good is mostly preferably. Do yourself a favor and go to MVP on 4th Street and order 4dollar n’chilli cheese fries and a George Foreman IV (<- nobody can do it alone, but very tasty!). Oh and Archiballs on 2nd St is also a MUST, but you can find it automatically after all bars close. Close bars? – Yep, bars close at 2 a.m. if not earlier, I was really excited at the beginning!
When we’re at drunk, please, don’t try to throw butts on the street ($ 1000 fine), don’t try to walk around the street too drunk – call “Drunken in Public” and you’ll find out the rest for yourself, just them both “offenses” are very expensive.
The 2nd is very good for general partying, but you should check out all the dive bars on the 4th corner of Cherry. Oh and if you visit the 2nd too far west it’s gay, but you should be very tolerant in Long Beach anyway. Downtown is also cool here and there, but with an older crowd. For going out yourself – a 10-20% tip is normal, but just order it for your company, then you don’t need to double the bib, otherwise it is a beer = a dollar tip, and please don’t give coins as a tip 😀 then everyone knows that you are German, which for many is not even the worst, try to keep your accent as bad as possible, you will find out why …
Briefly on the ghetto topic, I often risked using the metro, but no fun and if n’Ami says you should never use the metro after 10 p.m., you shouldn’t do that either, I was able to find out. The Americans like to call this “being safe”, at the beginning you make fun of it, in the end you know why. But don’t worry if you know where and when you are SAFE. Oh and look at google maps, everything that is in the upper left square of 4th and Ximeno, don’t rent an apartment there -> ghetto! That is astonishing, however, as long as you stay away from these places at night it is even safer than in Germany.
When shopping, it is very important to use the discount system, it is crazy how much you are “given” while you are actually already satisfied with the price mentioned. If you have to buy things like bed linen, towels, bicycles or other larger things, go to Walmart in any case, they give away more than they sell, but their clienté is very spicy, especially in Walmart downtown …
What is also very important and impossible to know if you do not want to open a bank account, most grocery stores have a so-called money order for customer service, which is similar to a check, in America a lot is still paid for by check (rent, deposit, etc. ). Basically it works like this, get cash from the ATM, go to the supermarket, bib, get money order and fill it out and give it to the person. Nevertheless, you open an ec card account or better debit account, as you may also receive checks and you cannot redeem them without an American account, a lot of us had problems with that.