I was at CSULB with a friend in the fall semester 2008. The four months were a great experience! We had a great time and experienced a lot. So right at the beginning: Long Beach is a great city, the CSULB is a university with great courses and committed professors and California is simply perfect for a semester abroad!
We decided at very short notice, around five months before the start of the semester, to do a semester abroad at the CSULB, which in retrospect is really too short. You should start the preparations about a year in advance so that it doesn’t get too stressful in the end and you don’t have to worry about the visa not arriving on time.
The first challenge in Long Beach was finding an apartment. Most landlords wanted a Social Security Number from us, which we didn’t have. So many apartments were out of the question from the outset. With a bit of luck we have found a furnished studio in Oakwood Seal Beach. However, we did not expect such a high rent. We paid around $ 1,500 for a studio. But you could live there very well: only a few minutes away from the beach, pool, whirlpool, tennis courts, a fitness studio, a barbecue area, breakfast and a bus stop in front of the door. The bus goes directly to the university. Visit jibin123.com to get information about 10 best teaching hospitals in the USA.
When it comes to buying a car, I can only say: If you are only in Long Beach for one semester, it is not worth buying a car for that time. The university, downtown, the shopping center and LA are easy to reach by bus or metro. With the student ID, bus travel is also free. When we drove to San Diego, San Francisco and Las Vegas, we rented a car. California has many great cities and beaches, so do as much as you can on the weekends. Huntington Beach is an absolute surfing paradise. LA also has a lot to offer: Hollywood Boulevard, Rodeo Drive, Santa Monica are just a few great places. Since we didn’t have any courses on Friday or Monday (there are very few courses on Friday, so it’s not that unusual to have Friday off), we could also go to San Francisco and Las Vegas for a few days. Both cities are really worth seeing. The longer journey is worth it! Above all, it is worth driving up Highway 1 to San Francisco. The steep cliffs, the miles of beaches and a great sunset were definitely worth it. BUT you shouldn’t forget to refuel beforehand! Otherwise you won’t be spared to refuel in Gorda, the only town on the highway. Five times as expensive and a scary movie backdrop for free. You can easily reach Yosemite Park from San Francisco. A tour to the Grand Canyon can be easily combined with Las Vegas. However, we didn’t go to the Grand Canyon until the end of November. Maximum temperature: 1 °, which was really too cold. It’s still warm there in September and early October. The Grand Canyon is definitely worth a visit, even if it’s colder. Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Santa Barbara are also cities worth seeing.
Anyone planning a semester abroad in Long Beach should expect high costs. The tuition fees were okay compared to other Californian universities, but there are also the rent, the food and the books. The books are very expensive in the USA compared to Germany. It is not uncommon for new books to cost $ 180. The bookstore also sells old books that cost around $ 80. You can sell some books to the bookstore again, depending on whether they will be needed next semester. However, we weren’t able to sell any of our books because new editions came on the market and our books became virtually worthless. In retrospect, I would have preferred to buy the books on the Internet at significantly lower prices.
My courses were very interesting. I mainly took marketing courses (including consumer behavior, advertising), which I had to fight for at the beginning. The American students were able to choose their courses before us, so particularly popular courses were closed to us. The business administration students in particular had major problems choosing a course. The ALI and Collage Contact tried to help us. In the end, thanks to understanding professors, I got all of my courses. So don’t give up, explain your situation to the professors and persevere.
The courses were also all doable. You take regular exams and have to work on various projects, but you still had a lot of time to enjoy the sun. (Note from MicroEDU.com: Since the spring semester 2009 it is no longer possible to take courses in the fields of business administration and economics.)
I am glad that I did my semester abroad in Long Beach. I had a great time and we went through a lot. Despite the initial problems, I can only recommend Long Beach and the CSULB.