University: California State University Long Beach
City: Long Beach
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: English / American Studies
Study type: semester abroad
Hello, my dears!!!
I graduated from California State University in Long Beach and have had the best time of my life in California. During the semester I learned a lot and the university is just great! After I finished the semester I stayed 2 more months to travel and enjoy the last time with my friends. When the return trip was imminent, I was very sad, but I will definitely fly back. See liuxers.com for information about University of Heidelberg.
With its large, green areas and many palm trees, the university is an ideal place to study and relax. There are many different restaurants, cafes and shops on campus. The university is not only a place for learning, but also for having fun. Exhibitions of the ‘fraternities’ and ‘sororities’, so-called university organizations, often take place. There is always something happening on campus and although it is a large university, it is easy to get from one room to another. But there are also university buses.
The university also has a great new recreation center where you can play basketball, volleyball, tennis, squash and much more. There is a swimming pool with beach volleyball (of course fantastic in summer). This new gym is not included in the tuition. But for about $70 per semester, it’s definitely worth it.
You need 12 credit points to be considered a full-time student, that’s 4 courses. There will be a meeting where everything will be explained in detail how to register. I chose four English courses and almost regretted it afterwards because I had to read a lot for these courses and write an essay every few weeks. I chose 3 literature courses and an essay course. I did homework for several hours every day and I often stayed at home on the weekends because otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to keep up with the literature. The lessons were really very intensive. The lessons take place like in school, so the students have to participate and work together, otherwise they will be kicked out.
The teachers are very qualified, friendly and happy to help. The learning atmosphere is very pleasant, so it’s fun to go to the university. Although I had to learn a lot and it often got on my nerves, I am happy that I chose these courses. My knowledge of American literature has definitely increased.
Of course, the subject matter always depends on the subject. I know other students who had to study a lot less.
I arrived without having a permanent place to stay. When I arrived in LA late at night, I first checked into the Hotel Hacienda. A bus goes directly from the airport to the hotel. A friend picked me up the next day. I was allowed to stay with her until I found something. I wouldn’t recommend anyone coming to LA alone with no help and no apartment. I then searched for apartments in Long Beach on craiglist.com. It is difficult to get a firm commitment from Germany via the Internet. Landlords often need an American co-signer to sign the lease for you. My friend’s father signed this for me.
But as soon as you are mobile in Long Beach, the search for an apartment is relatively quick. There are many housing offers. I then met an American girl on craiglist.com who was looking for an apartment with me and so we found a two-bedroom apartment near the university in the Beverly Plaza condominium. We were then four girls in an apartment, which was very interesting and exciting. Each paid about $360 a month.
I would recommend everyone to look for an apartment near the university because the bus connections are very bad.
California is very expensive, especially rents and healthy food. Apples are more expensive than burritos or tacos. However, if you go shopping in larger supermarkets and cook yourself, then you can definitely live. I have received foreign student loans. The complete tuition fees were paid and I received money transferred monthly. With Bafög I was able to finance my stay abroad very well. It was a lot of paperwork, but it was definitely worth it!
Long Beach is ideally located for going out and things to do. Fantastic beaches are nearby, such as Venice Beach, Santa Monica, Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach. Hollywood and LA are only half an hour from Long Beach (not if you’re traveling during rush hour, of course). Hollywood is perfect for going out!! In Long Beach there is Second Street with many bars and pubs. There are also bars and a few nightclubs in downtown Long Beach. Long Beach is a very beautiful port city that is very chilled.
San Diego is a must-see!
Las Vegas is only 4 hours away by car and has the best party there : -)! I’ve been to Las Vegas five times;).
San Francisco is about a 5 hour drive and is a beautiful city.
I met a lot of friends who were always willing to help me. Almost all students in California have a car that will happily give you a ride when going out. Without a car you are of course lost. People in California are very open, nice people. In any case, some stereotypes about Americans have been proven wrong.