University: California State University Long Beach
City: Long Beach
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: Political Science, English / American Studies
Study type: semester abroad
Long Beach. One can only say: Phenomenal. At the beginning of our studies in Germany, my girlfriend and I quickly decided to complete our stay abroad near Los Angeles. But the only question was, WHERE EXACTLY? When we stumbled across MicroEdu’s site, we knew it would be Long Beach. The fact that Hollywood is only about 30 minutes away (depending on the time of day), that Long Beach is right on the beach and, above all, that it is close to beautiful beaches such as Laguna Beach or Huntington Beach, made it easy for us to choose Long Beach. However, I should mention that Long Beach and the area around Los Angeles has a very poorly developed bus and train network. In other words, without a car you are almost lost in Long Beach. See medicinelearners.com for information about Ort Uruguay University.
Actually anyone who can speak a little English can go to Cali State Long Beach. At the beginning you have to “pass” the TOEFL test and need 61 points, which are actually not difficult to achieve. My girlfriend and I flew to Long Beach in August 2010, but we took the TOEFL test almost a year ago, in October 2009. That was a good idea and I really want to recommend it to everyone to avoid unnecessary stress. When we got the results of our tests, we completed our application, sent it to MicroEdu and about 3 weeks later received our confirmation to study at California State University. So by November we had everything wrapped up and didn’t have to lift a finger until May. I would also recommend that to you. Life is simply much better if you know early enough where you will be studying in the coming year and thus do not have to stress yourself. We finally got our visa in June and started looking for an apartment. We had an apartment at Beverly Plaza and therefore a place to stay when we arrived in Long Beach. This apartment complex is really to be recommended, since a lot of young people and especially students of the CSULB live there and we were at the university in 10 minutes by bike.
As for the university itself, it can be said that the campus is simply beautiful and very large. You can’t compare it to Germany at all and if you want to get an idea of it, you should just turn on the TV and watch a film that takes place at an American university. Sometimes I felt like I was in a movie walking across campus and seeing the typical stereotypes, like skateboarders. The only disadvantage in my opinion is that there is no real canteen, but one fast food restaurant after the other. To put it in a nutshell: Eating healthy at university is almost impossible. Before I was in Long Beach, I couldn’t imagine that fast food was that bad, but it’s even worse: there’s Carl’s Junior on every corner,
It is really difficult to eat healthy, but if you want to and are not too stingy with money when it comes to food, you can eat healthy. However, many cannot resist the fast food craze and then it is not surprising if you have gained 5 kilos or more in the four months. I don’t want to scare anyone because, as I said, there are plenty of ways to eat healthily IF you’re not too stingy with money when it comes to food
A few more words about the choice of course: It was actually pretty easy to get into the courses. I only chose 4 courses that I would like to attend. At the first lecture, I went to the professor before class and got his signature. By signing, you were part of the course and were therefore allowed to participate. If you are considering having the grades from the USA counted in Germany, then do it. Anyone who works hard at the CSULB and adheres to all framework conditions will quickly be rewarded with good grades. In this case, it pays to be diligent. However, the system is different than in Germany. You get homework and have to write a lot of essays. In some courses there is even an attendance list. But as I said, those who work hard will be rewarded.
Outside of university I traveled a lot. If you’re already there, then you should also look at the area. Where everyone needs to go is Las Vegas. I don’t want to give too much away, but it’s well worth it and Las Vegas is an experience in itself. San Francisco is also well worth seeing and is only a 6 hour drive from Long Beach. Since domestic flights are so cheap, you should also consider flying to Hawaii and New York for a few days. Sounds expensive, but can be very cheap due to the domestic flights. Friends of mine flew to Hawaii and I went to New York.
Los Angeles itself has a lot to offer. There is Universal Studios, Six Flags, Disneyland and many other attractions. At the CSULB you can buy tickets for the respective parks and imagine, they are even cheaper there. What I couldn’t miss were movie premieres. In Hollywood there are movie premieres almost every week, which are free. That means you go there and wait a bit for the actors to come to the red carpet. A lot of very famous actors come there and my friends and I had the pleasure to see Bruce Willis for example. If you love movies and actors, you’re in good hands here and if you’re lucky, you can even take a picture with the actor. What’s also great are the late night shows. Los Angeles has shows like Jay Leno’s Late Night Show or Craig Ferguson’s. The great thing about the shows is that you get the tickets for free and you can sit in the audience. There is no catch to the story. My roommates even went to Two and a Half Men and sat in the studio while the series was being taped. Like I said, it’s all free. There is also Jimmy Kimmel’s show, which is right on Hollywood Boulevard and actors and singers come here every day and tickets are free. We students often took advantage of this offer and it was just great to see so many actors and to experience a late night show in the audience.
The nightlife in Hollywood has it all. We often went to clubs that were on the Walk of Fame and you can’t compare the clubs with those in Germany at all. The DJs are much better and of course the music that only arrives in Germany months later plays here.
The beaches around Long Beach are also worth mentioning. I guess many of you know Huntington, Laguna or Malibu Beach. The beaches are very close to Long Beach and just beautiful. If you’re lucky, you can even see dolphins swimming past the coast. Since winter in Long Beach starts later anyway and is not nearly as cold as in Germany, it was even possible to go swimming in the sea in November.
In a nutshell: Long Beach was a breathtaking experience that is worthwhile for everyone. Take the chance and have the experience of your life.