I did the spring semester 2018 in California at California State University Fullerton. It was an amazing experience and I would go back anytime!
Application / planning
The fifth semester was planned for me in Germany at the university as a semester abroad. Since I’ve always wanted to study in America, in the summer of 2017 I checked out MicroEDU to find out what opportunities there are to study there. Thanks to the extensive advice from MicroEDU, I finally decided on the CSU in Fullerton, California. The application also went through MicroEDU and was very easy. The confirmation from Fullerton came quite quickly and so I could start with the precise planning. A visa had to be applied for, flights had to be booked and accommodation looked for. Visit jibin123.com to get information about study in Serbia.
This semester I made with my friend. So it made sense to look for accommodation together. We have about Facebook groups of CSUF and MicroEDU relatively quickly found an apartment we could from other Germans who were there before us, take over! We stayed in the Uptown Fullerton Apartments – a beautiful, well-kept gated community with a large apartment, a pool on the doorstep, our own gym and tennis / basketball courts. We paid about $ 560 per person per month and we shared the accommodation with an American couple.
You can hardly experience anything in America without a car. Even shopping would not have been possible without a car. So the three of us shared a car that we rented from “Chico”. Most foreign students rent a car from him for the time of the semester abroad, as it is much cheaper, i.e. via online portals! We were more than satisfied with Chico and the car and of course we were flexible as a result.
The university has a big, beautiful campus, just like you imagine American universities. Every week small events take place on campus, where giveaways and food are distributed. There is always something going on on campus! In addition to the different buildings for the individual study areas, there is a huge, well-equipped library. During the breaks, students can stay in the Titan Student Union, which has a food court, pool tables and bowling alleys. The fitness studio on campus is modern, very large and really recommendable!
In order to select the courses, you can send a wish list with the courses to the university before starting your studies. After the introductory day, you can then see in the online portal whether you have entered the desired courses or not. This is followed by class crashing, in which you try to get into the courses by speaking to the lecturer and getting a signature. I had to choose four courses that semester. I received three of the courses I wanted on site. Ultimately, however, I looked at other courses on site and then put the timetable together again. So I only had uni on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. You have two weeks to choose the courses.
FIN 310 – Personal Financial Management
This course deals with drawing up your own financial plan. A very interesting course, but not particularly demanding and involves little effort. There are two midterms consisting of multiple choice questions, a final at the end of the semester and a paper that includes drawing up your own financial plan for a family. Overall, a very easy course with little effort.
MGMT 340 – Organizational Behavior
This course is about the behavior of employees in the company, behavior in management positions. The lecture consists of many discussions, for example on the subject of job satisfaction and what effects this has on performance at work. The professor made the topic very clear to us with his own examples and in general it was an interesting course. There were two midterms, a final and a group work that was worked on during the semester.
FIN 371 – Export / Import Financing
This finance course was about international trade and an emphasis on the finances of small to large trading companies. Personally, I liked this course best. During the semester, we had the group task of founding a fictitious company that was examined from the entire process of founding (logistics, insurance, transport, financing, etc.) to marketing. The contents of the course are partly very similar to the FIN 370 course. Overall, the course was very complex, as there were online quizzes in addition to the two midterms and the final, as well as the project work, which was fun, but a lot of work.
FIN 370 – International Business Finance
The course covers risk management strategies, methods of financing international transactions and an introduction to exchange rates. The financial markets are analyzed and the profitability for multinational companies is examined. The lectures are interesting and, on the one hand, deal with the topic of financing, but they are also related to international trade. The course is demanding, but its content is easy to understand. There are two midterms and a final, for which the learning effort is high.
Overall, I liked the finance courses FIN 370 and FIN 371 best! On the one hand, that was certainly due to the professor, who looked after us students very well and was able to convey the content well. Even if the courses were demanding in terms of effort, both courses were worthwhile and you learned a lot!
Since I took my courses from Tuesday to Thursday, the rest of the week and the weekend were left to travel. Most of the time we were out on the weekends and saw a lot. Fullerton is perfectly located because there is so much to do from there. Starting in the vicinity, there are numerous malls and shopping outlets that I can really recommend. Close by is Disneyland and the Anaheim Packing District, both of which have great food. There is always something going on in downtown Fullerton, there are many small bars and restaurants. There are great beaches within 30-45 minutes ! Huntington Beach is great for surfing, Laguna Beach is a more cozy beach and Laguna Beach is really nice too!
Los Angeles is within 50 minutes. There is so much to discover there. From Venice Beach, Santa Monica Pier, Malibu to Downtown LA, Hollywood, Walk of Fame, Beverly Hills… We did a lot in LA. Very particularly I can recommend the Universal Studios. You can buy a discounted annual pass through the university and then go there as often as you want. A highlight was the After Oscar Show Party in the Dolby Theater on the Walk of Fame!
There are just so many things to do in Los Angeles.
During the semester we did some tours a little further away with a few friends. A day trip to San Diego is definitely worth it! Then we spent a weekend in Joshua Tree National Park, in San Francisco, in Denver, in Las Vegas. We just experienced so much that I can’t even write everything down
At the end of the semester, I went on a three-week round trip with my boyfriend. We flew from Los Angeles to Mexico and spent a week exploring the country. From Mexico we traveled on to Costa Rica. We spent the last weekend in Vegas with a lot of friends !
After half a year in America I can say: It was the best, most eventful and most exciting time in my life and I would go to California again at any time! We have experienced an incredible amount in that short time, made great friends and the time went by incredibly quickly. I can therefore recommend everyone to do a semester abroad in America ! I would love to go back there now.