Choice of CSUEB:
In the spring I chose the CSUEB in Hayward. Certainly not Hayward himself was the reason for my decision (with approx. 150,000 inhabitants rather a small town in the Bay Area), but the main reason was San Francisco. I just loved this city in northern California and so I decided to do my semester abroad nearby. In addition, I had only heard or read good things from business students so far, so that this strengthened my decision.
Unlike many, I decided not to live “on campus”, but wanted to get to know “typical American life”, so I looked for a host family through the agency http://www.isphomestays.com/. The process was relatively transparent, but the person in charge was only able to tell me about 3 weeks before my departure which host family I would be staying with. The cost is $ 750 per month, this price includes 2 meals per day and your own room. You have to talk to the host family yourself about everything else. I still lived with two Chinese people, but still had my own personal retreat, which I found very pleasant. Furthermore, you have to know that fresh food is significantly more expensive in the USA than in Germany, so that it definitely paid off in terms of health that I didn’t have to worry about shopping (apart from the financial burdens). I have found life in the host family to be very pleasant and enriching, as I was able to take a great look at their lives. I was also able to experience traditional celebrations such as Thanksgiving or the holiday season both with my friends and in small groups with the family. See more student reviews of universities in North America on educationvv.
On the negative side, however, you are not directly on campus and therefore run the risk of missing out on spontaneous actions. In addition, one has to keep in mind that the American public transportation system is not too well developed. The consequence of this is that certain bus lines only run every hour and only until 8pm. In addition, most host families live further away from campus. The organization assures, however, that it does not take longer than an hour to get to the university, although the bus timetables may collide with the lecture times and you therefore effectively wait longer. I had a bike myself and used it to go to the BART station and take the free CSUEB shuttle, which runs every 30 minutes.
In fact, class crashing at the CSUEB is anything but easy. Many courses are already full at the beginning of the quarter, so that you may not get the courses you want. However, even the normal students often choose more courses than they want to take, so you just have to go to every course you are interested in. It often helps to speak to the professor personally in order to at least increase your own chances. I have the courses:
- Environmental Science
- Financial management
- Introduction to Production and Operations Management
- Seminar in Strategic Management
occupied. It was relatively easy to get a place for the first two courses mentioned, in the third course it helped that I went there from the beginning, so that the professor set up an extra place for me that he gave me. The last course was a capstone course, ie for this course one would have had to fulfill all the other prerequisites, which of course do not coincide one-to-one with the German ones. At the end of the day there were vacancies there too, but I had to speak to the head of department. But: staying stubborn helps.
Otherwise, the quarter was rather relaxed, I had to complete two courses a week online homeworks that passed multiple choice tests and checked the essentials of the lecture. In every subject I also had to write a midterm, which is also a multiple choice test. In my Strategic Management course, I also had to submit three papers in the 12 semester weeks, which was definitely feasible.
The courses often take place two days a week, for example on Tuesday from 12 noon to 2 p.m. and again at the same time on Thursday. So if you take the courses skillfully and are a little lucky, then it may well be that three days a week are filled with university and four days are left for traveling etc.
California is arguably the most beautiful and diverse state in the USA. So it pays to allow a little time to discover California. The ALP office (you take part in the american language program) organizes weekly “fun trips” that cover numerous sights. However, since I also wanted to have my own experiences, I traveled a lot with friends and was able to discover a lot of California. Absolutely worthwhile and definitely a must on a trip to California was Yosemite National Park, a trip on Highway 1 towards Los Angeles, Sacramento, Santa Cruz and Lake Tahoe. Furthermore we went to Las Vegas for an extended weekend that was also unforgettable.
Overall, there is so much to see and do in California. San Francisco itself offers enough destinations and opportunities to spend several days sightseeing etc. there. The Bay Area with Berkely and Oakland is also absolutely worth seeing.
I definitely don’t want to miss my time in California, it was a great experience and I met great people. Even if Hayward is not the center of the world, you shouldn’t let that put you off, because that’s what made it even more possible for me to go on unforgettable trips and road trips.
For you too it could soon be: “California, here I come.”