California State University Long Beach Review (22)

California State University Long Beach Review (22)

North America

University: California State University Long Beach

City: Long Beach

Country: United States

Continent: North America

Field of study: economics

Study type: semester abroad

California State University Long Beach, fall semester 2014

Selection and application process

It was clear to me from the beginning of my studies that I wanted to do a semester abroad in an English-speaking country. That’s why I found out about possible universities about 8 months before I started studying abroad. MicroEdu was always very helpful throughout the selection and application process and had good documentation on the relevant universities. After much thought and browsing through countless testimonials and websites, I finally decided on Cal State Long Beach – and didn’t regret it for a moment (more on that later). See for information about Bolivarian University of Venezuela.

After the decision to go to university was made, I received some documents from MicroEdu that described the timing and organizational process very well. The preparation effort is quite high, so you should start as early as possible in order not to have to stress yourself too much. In any case, make sure that you fill out everything correctly when applying for a visa and that you don’t have any transposed digits or the like in it! I got proof of my language proficiency by taking a TOEFL test, don’t worry, it’s easy to get the required number of points, but the test is quite expensive.

Since I always wanted to experience typical college life, I opted for a 2-bed room in a dorm (student residence on campus). It was definitely a special experience to have to share a room with another person. Even if you’re looking for an off-campus apartment, it’s not uncommon to share a room with someone, but you get used to it faster than you think. I also wanted to avoid the stress of looking for an apartment. I got to know other German students who ended up living in a shared flat with 4 Germans, which certainly has its advantages, but was out of the question for me.

In the dorms I met people straight away and it was not far to the classrooms, the gym, my bank, my hairdresser and other places on campus. A big plus for me was the dining hall. In addition to the dorm room, you automatically book full or partial catering in the canteen, as there are no kitchens in the buildings. I booked the “Gold Option”, which allowed me to go to the canteen 19 times in one week. Booking a cheaper option was not worth it for me, as I would have had to spend a lot of money on other groceries.

With the student ID you can enter the canteen and from then on you have all-you-can eat & drink. There were 2 different canteens on campus whose menus could be checked using the app. The offer was really good, there was always a salad bar, a pizza area and constantly changing daily specials. There was not only “typical American fast food” but also healthy balanced meals, for example you could always have chicken breast fried.

There is a strict alcohol ban on campus with the exception of a few bars and pubs on campus (yes, there are pubs on campus), which can limit dorm life. Violators of the alcohol ban were prosecuted and had unpleasant consequences…


In Germany, I chose a list of courses and, to my surprise, had no problems getting the courses I wanted in class crashing.

It is difficult to compare the lectures with the lectures at my German university. There were tests and homework almost every week and sometimes even points for participation and attendance in the lecture – with sometimes only 20 students per lecture, it is really noticeable when you are absent. The level of the lectures was lower than in Germany – although I have already booked 300 and 400 courses. On the other hand, I found the content more interesting and practice-oriented and was able to learn a lot from the lectures and take them with me.


  • ECON 320 – Money&Banking:

Interesting course where a former Wall Street banker told us first hand about financial market trades.

  • ECON 366 – Intro to Development Economics:

My personal favorite subject. Very interesting course, but in which you have to write a lot of homework and is therefore quite work-intensive.

  • ECON 372 – International Economics:

The course was not very demanding and relaxed.
ECON 464 – Natural Resource Economics:
Practice-oriented course in which we conducted surveys and evaluations ourselves.

  • KIN 124A – Surfing I:

Every Thursday morning at 7 a.m. we went on the water.


Cal State Long Beach offers a huge variety of clubs and recreational opportunities. From a Pokemon club to an engineering club, everything is there. Even if the fees for a club are sometimes very high (up to $500), I can only recommend everyone to take advantage of the offer. I decided to join the Wakeboard Club and soon became part of the team. I drove with the team all over California to various tournaments, for example to San Diego and Sacramento, and experienced a lot.

And even if you don’t want to join a club, you can register in the gym. There are basketball, badminton, volleyball and squash courts, an indoor running track, spinning courses, an indoor climbing wall – just to list a small part of the possibilities.
I have to mention here that almost nothing is free in America. You have to pay for everything. While Cal State Long Beach is a great value university, there are always hidden costs.

The International Office was always able to help me with questions of any kind and I always felt very well looked after.

Long Beach

The city of Long Beach is the perfect home base for exploring and touring Southern California. It is close to Hollywood and everything it has to offer – festivals, concerts and movies. The greater LA area also leaves nothing to be desired with Universal Studios, many amusement parks and shooting ranges. It’s also not that far from San Diego, Venice Beach, Laguna Beach, and Newport Beach, which makes for weekend getaways.

However, my favorite spot was Huntington Beach. For those who want to learn to surf or who already know how to surf, it is the perfect place and is rightly called “Surf City USA”. I can also recommend Laguna Beach for surfing and exploring. The Southern California climate and laid-back mentality of many Californians rounded out the whole picture.


During my semester I met a lot of new people from all over the world, traveled a lot and had an unforgettable time. Looking back, California State University Long Beach, with everything it has to offer, was a very good decision and I can only recommend the university.

California State University Long Beach Review (22)