University: California State University Long Beach
City: Long Beach
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: Business
Study type: semester abroad
At the beginning of December 2016 I started thinking about my semester abroad. It was immediately clear to me that I wanted to go to the USA. I’m studying economics in Würzburg and was in my 4th semester at the time. Since my faculty only had one partner university and places were limited, I decided to set off as a free mover. My dream was to go to California. More specifically, I wanted to go to Los Angeles to enjoy the Endless Summer. See jibin123.com for information about University of Mainz.
Right at the beginning I came across MicroEdu. The team accompanied me through the whole process from application, visa to arrival and also helped with problems on site. I can only recommend MicroEdu to everyone.
After I had informed myself on their website, only two universities were shortlisted, CSULB and CSUDH. In the end, I chose California State University Long Beach. I was impressed by the location not too far from Los Angeles and, above all, right on the beach and only a short drive to the surfing paradise of Huntington Beach.
Fast acceptance and stressful semester preparation
After I sent my application to MicroEdu in early February, the CSULB accepted me within two weeks. That started the stress. The visa had to be found and the flight booked. To get the visa, you have to apply online and then drive to the embassy. I chose Frankfurt. Once there, you have to know that cell phones are not allowed and you will be checked through like at the airport. After the security check you have to talk to a few officials who then decide whether you get the visa or not. In my case everything went great and I was out again after 30 minutes. I was insured through the CSULB. Everyone had to buy this insurance (about 450 dollars).
The next problem that came up was finding a place to live. I did some research on the university website and then came across Elizabeth Manor. This is more or less a house where rooms are rented to students. There are 13 rooms in total, all fully equipped. I decided to do this and then didn’t have to look for an apartment on site anymore. I definitely have no regrets as my roommates were like family. It was a motley mix. We had students from America, Italy, France, Switzerland, Morocco, Japan and Namibia. I can only recommend staying here.
Class crashing and surfing
After two weeks, the university started. The first week is orientation. There you will be told everything you need to know. How to choose your courses, where what is on campus, how to get your student ID and and and. Everything was very helpful.
Course selection at CSULB is, shall we say, annoying.;) You have to do a class crashing, so to speak. You have the chance to reserve a few courses in advance, but usually you still have to go to class crashing to fill out your list, because the visa requires 12 units to be taken. This means you have to go to the individual teachers and ask if you can still go to the class. Everything went smoothly for me and the professors were all very accommodating. : ) My courses were Money and Banking, International Economics, Economics in Movies and then I chose three sports courses to get my 12 units, including surfing. I would do the surf course again at any time. However, you have to get up very early for this, but it is worth it if you are then on the sea and can enjoy the morning. If you’re lucky, you can also see dolphins.
In general, I would say the material is a bit easier, but it takes more effort because there is compulsory attendance, homework, papers and so on. Still, I had enough time to travel. I was accepted at the university very quickly and was able to make friends easily. Americans are usually very open-minded and easy-going.
Ideal starting point for city and road trips
Long Beach itself is very well located. You can make many trips. Of course Hollywood, Santa Monica, Venice Beach, Malibu is a must visit. But there are plenty of other destinations worth considering for a weekend trip, such as San Diego, San Francisco, Yosemite, Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon. We were then able to travel a little further over Thanksgiving because we had a week’s vacation. We were in Texas, among other places, and then went on a road trip through the national parks (Bryce Canyon, Antelope Canyon, Monument Valley, Grand Canyon). I can only recommend that.
I can recommend everyone to do a semester abroad. It was the best time of my life at CSULB and I got to make friends for life.