About half a year before my stay abroad I decided to spend a semester in the USA. When I came across the MicroEDU page while looking for information, it was clear to me that I would organize my stay abroad privately. After I decided on California State University East Bay because of its good reputation, its low costs compared to other American universities, and its attractive location in the vicinity of the metropolis of San Francisco, the application process was initiated through MicroEDU.com very simplified. The greatest effort was getting a student visa. Various documents, such as a language test (e.g. TOEFL) etc., were never used or requested. Visit existingcountries.com to get information about Netherlands higher education.
When I arrived at Cal State University East Bay, which is located directly above the city of Hayward, I was able to move into my room in the International House. In the next few days I got the chance to take part in various courses and then to register for three of these courses using the online system “myCSUEB”. The problem here, however, was that the “regular students” had the opportunity to choose their course two weeks in advance. As a result, most of the courses were already overcrowded. So it came about that I had to choose three finance courses. The level of these courses was roughly comparable to that of German universities, but the workload was significantly higher due to weekly homework, projects, presentations and an examination in the middle and at the end of the quarter.
Regarding the university in general it can be said that the CSUEB is a so-called “Commuter College”. This means that the majority of the students come to the university by car, which is evident from the large parking spaces, which make up about a fifth of the entire university campus. Only the “freshmen” and international students live “on campus”.
In the dormitory or the International House itself, the time can actually only be used for learning and, above all, for reading (!), Since warnings are issued by the dormitory if the volume inside the apartments increases slightly.
The apartments are inhabited by eight people, who are 80 percent likely of Asian origin. The I-House office itself is run in Asia, which can sometimes lead to problems due to the often insufficient English language skills of the employees. The apartments are fully furnished. The rooms in the apartments are always shared by two people. There is a kitchen that does not allow cooking as it only consists of a refrigerator and microwave. Each apartment has two showers, two toilets and a balcony. Every room has an internet connection, but the wireless connection is more than bad.
The students are provided with food, as one of four different “meal plans” is included in the housing allowance for residents of the I-House. This means you can eat up to two times a day in the All-U-Can-Eat cafeteria (Dining Commons) with a burger, pizza, sandwich, salad and fruit station or with so-called “Flexdollars” at fast food restaurants or a small supermarket on campus. The food in the cafeteria becomes quite monotonous over time, as there is the same burger, pizza, etc. every day.
Regarding leisure activities, it can be said that without your own car, unless you want to fill all your free time within the three months with a sports program, the BART (subway-like local transport system, which connects the entire Bay Area), with which you can The Hayward-San Francisco route takes about an hour and is the only way to do something. You even need a car or a bus to do everyday shopping. In Hayward and the surrounding area there are no opportunities to do anything and on the campus itself the monotony that quickly turns into gray everyday life. The best that the campus has to offer is the view of the entire Bay Area (San Francisco, Oakland, Hayward) from one of the small hills behind the dormitories. Therefore, you should use every possible free time to at least explore California, as well as the most important cities such as Los Angeles, San Diego, Berkeley, Las Vegas, etc. with a rental car. That’s why I can advise anyone planning to study a quarter at California State University East Bay to take into account the cost of a rental car.