University: California State University Long Beach
City: Long Beach
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: Electrical engineering, information technology
Study type: semester abroad
A friend advised me to contact MicroEdu for help with my semester abroad. After getting an overview of the things I needed to prepare before my departure, I started taking care of everything relatively early compared to others. I had my TOEFL test in mid-January and then had to decide on a university. I chose California State University Long Beach (CSULB) and sent off all the required documents. Towards the end of March I got the offer! So the only thing between me and the USA was the visit to the consulate, which wasn’t a problem either. The only annoying thing is that you are not allowed to take any electronic devices with you, so my father, who drove to Frankfurt with me, waited in front of the entrance the whole time. See microedu.com for information about Andres Bello Catholic University Venezuela.
In order to be able to finance the semester abroad well, I applied for the foreign student loan. I don’t get domestic student loans, but the borders for foreign countries are different, so I recommend everyone to try it anyway, because I was lucky and got it. As a result, the tuition fees were covered in full and there was a large share of the airfare, as well as a little money each month.
I flew to Long Beach with a friend who also wanted to spend the semester at CSULB. Luckily we had friends there with whom we could stay for the first time while we were looking for roommates and apartments. Actually, we had planned to look for two international or American roommates. Unfortunately, this didn’t work because we simply didn’t get any answers to our inquiries. Apparently Germans are a little more conscientious about replying to emails. So we wrote to the other Germans who came to the university with MicroEdu and received answers the very next day. We met up with the first two guys and rented an apartment from the Beverly Plaza Apartments. This apartment complex is quite well located, so close to the university that it’s easy to cycle and also right next to a bus stop (the bus takes less than 10 minutes to the university). In addition, several shopping possibilities were almost on the other side of the street. You didn’t have to worry about security at all either, because there was a security service at night and a police station was also only a few minutes’ walk away.
The apartment we had consisted of two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a terrace and a kitchen, which adjoins a dining room, which then opens into the living room. There were also two pools and a jacuzzi in the complex and a renovated fitness room is supposed to open soon. Unfortunately, they had converted the tennis court into parking lots. You can easily get a parking space for each apartment. However, one thing to keep in mind with these apartments is that they are unfurnished and people don’t necessarily tell you all the costs up front. On top of the rent, which was higher than advertised as we had only rented for four months, there was also water, waste and electricity. You also have to take care of the telephone and internet yourself. But you can maybe share this with the neighbors and thus reduce the costs again. There is also insurance for the rent, which we only found out about when we had already signed it. However, this is not very high and overall we still paid less for our apartment including our own furniture than elsewhere. The advantage of these apartments is definitely the very good location!
Regarding the university and everyday university life, one can say that the entire campus is a lot nicer than that of my home university. It’s very green and clean. All the rooms I was in were well appointed. What I found a pity was that unfortunately there was no canteen, only fast food shops where you could buy something to eat. Luckily my courses were so good that I was at home in between or finished so early that I didn’t have to depend on food at the university.
The course wish list that I had compiled in advance actually turned out to be superfluous. It is good to have looked at the courses on the Internet beforehand, although the courses listed there were for the old summer semester and therefore some of them were not offered at all during the winter semester. Some of the courses were already full when we could register, because all other students have priority and we choose last. We couldn’t do the registration online either, we had to run from course to course and get the signatures of the professors and a stamp from the faculties (which only took a week for me). Even though I didn’t get the courses listed above as I originally thought I would, I was able to choose some pretty good subjects.
I took tennis, badminton and karate as sports courses, where you can get to know other students. My course in Germany is called Electrical Engineering and Information Technology and with this in mind I have selected the following other courses: Electronic Control of Motors, Energy and Environment: Global Perspective and Flight Mechanics. These courses were all very interesting and I definitely recommend the last two in particular. The professors were also extremely nice and interested in the students. If you had problems, you could always come to them and they helped you. I also find the entire system fairer than in Germany, because here the performance of the students is assessed over the entire semester and the final grade is not made up of an examination at the end of the semester or at the end of the semester. together after two semesters, as is the case in Germany. Therefore, you can easily make up for a less-than-optimal form on the day. I’m still studying for a diploma and we have to take a few compulsory electives in Germany, so it wasn’t a problem at all to have the three subjects recognized by my home university.
Since I had every Friday off, my roommate and I were able to plan all of our long weekends with excursions. Luckily we didn’t have to worry about a car as our friends lent us one of theirs for our entire stay! Otherwise we would probably have rented one, which would probably have been a bit more expensive compared to buying one, but you also have to buy insurance when you buy it and then you have to sell it again at the end of the day. However, I know from others that they had no problem renting a car with their German driver’s license. I have never had any other problems with my German ID. I was only able to buy alcohol everywhere with my ID card, and I was always able to get into clubs with my ID card. My tip is that as soon as you arrive you should take care of a car. While you can get around Long Beach reasonably well by public transportation and you can also get to LA, but to be really independent and to see some of the area, a car is highly recommended. We could go anywhere whenever we wanted and the distances that are not designed for walking are no longer a problem. a car is highly recommended. We could go anywhere whenever we wanted and the distances that are not designed for walking are no longer a problem. a car is highly recommended. We could go anywhere whenever we wanted and the distances that are not designed for walking are no longer a problem.
My roommate and I figured that while we’re in the US and have the time, we want to see as much as possible. We have been to Yosemite National Park, Sequoia National Park and Kings Canyon, Grand Canyon National Park and Death Valley National Park. For this I highly recommend the annual pass for all national parks in the USA. It cost us $80 and we easily had the money back, even on the west coast alone. I’ve also been to a few national parks on the east coast.
We’ve also been to Los Angeles, San Diego, Las Vegas, and San Francisco, as well as a bunch of smaller cities. One weekend we drove up Highway 1 and slept on the way. We did San Francisco on a different weekend because it gives you more time to see everything in detail. There were also some bank holidays during the semester which made the weekend even longer, which is great for trips further afield. We’ve also been to Hoover Dam, Disneyland, Universal Studios, Sea World, Hollywood, the Queen Mary, a baseball game, a basketball game, a late show, and more. It’s really worth not sitting in the apartment all the time, but going out and seeing something! You should use the time wisely, because it goes by far too quickly!
So my conclusion about California State University Long Beach is very, very positive! If you are thinking about a semester abroad in the USA, then this university is a very good choice. Overall, California is probably a great state to study in because you can’t beat the weather and the people are terribly nice. Long Beach is not a big city, it is right on the sea and you can be in LA quickly. It was the best semester of my studies and such an experience, if you can, you should definitely have it! If you still have enough money after the semester, you still have enough time to travel around the country, since the semester in Germany is not over yet. So I made good use of the two months after the end of the semester to take a little vacation.
My tip: go to Long Beach and spend an unforgettable semester under the California sun at California State University Long Beach!