Fall & Winter Quarter at CSUEB
After it was clear to me that I would like to spend my 5th semester in the USA, I started the preparations about 1 year beforehand. An intra-European exchange was out of the question for me at the beginning and thus also not the very widespread ERASMUS program. MicroEDU was a great help with the preparations and especially because I am from Münster myself and always had the opportunity to take a quick look during office hours if open questions came up.
As I said, the preparation went well, the only more time-consuming things are the TOEFL test (although you don’t necessarily have to take it, but it is theoretically possible here at the university before the semester starts), then of course the visa and that’s it almost. The visa can only be applied for 4 months (120 days) before departure.
In principle, I would also suggest not just going abroad for a quarter. It takes a couple of weeks to really settle in and since a quarter only has 10 weeks, in my opinion that is far too short. At first I only wanted to leave for a quarter, but then I extended it again and it was the right decision for me. Visit existingcountries.com to get information about vocational training in Sweden.
When I arrived in Hayward, I went to the International House in the first quarter. The dormitory is specially for all internationals, which in plain language means: 90% Asians, 10% Europeans. A great atmosphere, but I had secretly hoped to live with Americans and thereby improve my English even more. That’s why I moved to the Pioneer Heights dormitories for my second quarter. These are also directly on the Camups, the International House is just one of the many buildings there. I lived in my new apartment with two other girls. Actually, there are 4-person shared apartments, but the dormitories were not fully booked to our advantage. It is also a little cheaper than the I-House and has a fully equipped kitchen while the I-House only has a microwave. (Note from MicroEDU.com:
The campus is located on a hill on the edge of Hayward, a long way from any civilization, but from this hill you also have a wonderful view of the whole of the Bay and of San Francisco. To San Francisco you need a good 40 minutes with the BART (similar to the S-Bahn), the bus ride to the BART station in Downtown Hayward is now free with the student ID and takes about 20 minutes all in all. Quite a nice trip However, you are usually not alone and always have someone with you to chat, at least that’s how it was for me.
Course content and study conditions
On this topic I can only speak of myself, I am studying business administration in Münster for a Bachelor’s degree. Compared to the Bachelor in Münster, the lectures are very practice-oriented and not so theoretical. In groups of mostly 30-50 students not only concepts are presented, there is a lot of discussion and joint development. It can also happen that you sit in a mass event with up to 200 people, but this is rather the exception. Because of homework, projects, midterms and presentations, you are kept busy the whole quarter and you don’t end up with a big exam like in Germany. In some cases, participation and attendance are also assessed.
I never had problems getting into the courses I wanted to choose. Sometimes there were waiting lists or requirements that one had to meet for certain courses in order to be allowed to participate. Nevertheless, it was never a problem and if you inform the teachers about your situation as an international right from the start, then nothing can really go wrong.
Life & fun
Living on campus with many other internationals and Americans is a great experience. The many languages and cultures that clash there create a pleasant atmosphere and I really liked it. There are always many people around you, whoever is a loner should consider whether this is really the right thing for him / her. Precisely because you share your room with someone you don’t know, it can be exhausting. Fortunately, everything worked great for me and both of my roommates were very considerate and open-minded.
When it comes to fun, it occurs to me that the mood at the end of the two quarters was relatively divided. For many, campus life was too boring after a certain time and, objectively speaking, a weekend can be long if you can’t get off campus. However, there are always a lot of people there in one heap and there are always some to play tennis, volleyball, basketball, billiards or whatever. Everyone is lucky and can organize their own free time. If you don’t design them at all, you just have to sit around bored at home, which was never the case with me.
And otherwise there is still the opportunity to take part in the fun trips that are organized by the ALP every weekend.
Benefit / reference: 1.0
A look back at the last almost 7 months leaves no doubt that the time abroad was not worth it. In terms of language, my English has really improved a lot. Understanding is now possible without any problems, of course a few words are missing from time to time, but nothing more. Apart from that, in my opinion it is basically a great thing to have this experience as a foreigner in a foreign country to LIVE and not just to take a HOLIDAY. You get a better impression of life and look behind the scenes. The many contacts you make there still exist over the time abroad and great friendships develop.
In comparison to studying in Germany, the tuition fees in the USA are a lot higher. Groceries and rental prices are also more expensive than in Germany. Everything else is generally cheaper, driving a car, clothing, restaurants etc. The exchange rate also plays a major role. In 2008, it was a blessing for us because the euro was almost 1.60 US dollars. Basically, in addition to rent and tuition fees, I would still plan 400-500 € per month for food, life, celebrations and travel. So you can make ends meet, get a lot to see and enjoy the time.
Leisure & Travel
California has a lot to offer from north to south. It is advisable to explore the north and the national parks in summer / autumn, as these are closed due to snow over the winter. If you like snow, you can go skiing in the mountains in winter. The temperatures can even rise again in November, I remember a weekend in mid-November with 30 ° C. January / February was rather rainy, but from March the sun comes out again and you don’t really have to worry about it until October. The usual program with LA, San Diego, Las Vegas etc. should be done once you are there. There are really many beautiful corners outside of the big cities such as various national parks, the Grand Canyon and Highway No 1.
Courses at the CSUEB
Here is a short list of the courses I attended during the two quarters at CSUEB:
- Marketing Principles
- Multinational business
- Corporate finance
- Financial management
- Theories of Management
- Intermediate French II
- Aerobics kickboxing
- Circuit Training & Weight Lifting
Hopefully my report has helped you. If you decide to join the CSUEB, I wish you all the best and lots of fun, enjoy your time in the States!