University: California State University Long Beach
City: Long Beach
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: Business administration, trade management
Study type: semester abroad
I spent the spring semester at California State University Long Beach ( CSULB ) as a Study Abroad student. So I was able to fulfill a long-awaited dream of being a student in the USA, just like you know it from the movies. See educationvv.com for information about University of Bonn.
The preparation, on the other hand, wasn’t quite as brilliant. I started by researching which of the huge selections might be the right one for me, although it’s easy to lose track. Since I vacationed in California a few years ago and I really liked it, it was clear where the journey had to go. Luckily, I was also supported by the MicroEdu team in my search for the right university. In the end, I settled on California State University Long Beach, which is pretty much right on the border between LA County and Orange County. In retrospect I can say: The perfect spotfor a great time and unforgettable road trips.
After I decided on the CSULB, the application process started. Here, too, MicroEdu supports you with a to-do list. Everything is listed, from proof of language proficiency to a transcript of records including an explanation of the grades, to a letter of motivation and proof of vaccination in English. There are many things that come your way that you never thought about before. Once everything has been applied for, sent or proven, an F1 visa for students must be applied for, for which you finally have to go to the US consulate in Frankfurt must drive in order for his application to be approved. So my tip: Start organizing early enough so that it doesn’t get stressful towards the end.
Once everything has been approved and you are registered, the question arises: Where do I actually live? There are basically two options. 1. On campus in the dorms or 2. Off campus, where you have to take care of everything yourself. I finally decided on the first variant and do not regret it. I stayed in a double room, equipped with a normal sized bed, a wardrobe and a small desk per person. I was allowed to share a bathroom with 6 other residents. All in all a bit spartan, but absolutely fine. I never stayed in my room for long anyway, as there was something interesting on or off campus every daythings to do in and around Long Beach.
University life and courses
After everything was finally organized and my flight booked, I could look forward to my semester abroad. On January 11th I flew to Los Angeles, where I spent four days in Santa Monica until the introductory phase for the spring semesterfinally started on January 15th. All international students had to take part in this introductory phase, which lasts four days. During the introductory phase, useful information was shared, a campus tour was conducted and some events were organized for the international students to get to know each other better.
The semester started on Monday of the following week. Usually this is the day when the so-called course crashing takes place, where you put your name on the course listings for the lectures you want to attend, provided they are still available. Luckily I was spared that because the CSULB Study Abroad team sent out a list of selected courses for which you could register early. I chose the courses: Business Professional Communication, Digital Marketing and Media, International Business and Principles of Management and Operations. Contrary to what was previously thought, these courses were for both international and local students, which made me a bit nervous at first. After a short time, however, I got used to the language and the level of the lectures, which is comparable to the level in Germany. Most courses consist of several midterms, homework, papers, lectures and the finals. This means you have a bit more to do during the semester than in Germany, but it is also pleasantly staggered and there is not just one important final exam on which everything depends.
In addition to studying, there were an incredible number of leisure activities on campus, such as a huge sports center, a cinema, a bowling alley, a library, a park and many lounges that you could use together with your friends for free. In addition, many events were offered by the Study Abroad team, such as a beach cleaning followed by a meeting in the pub, bus tours to various cities, campfires on the beach, etc. I learned very quickly, among other things,met a lot of nice people who all had the same goal of wanting to experience as much as possible in the short 5 months. I had the closest contact with international students. The group I did everything with consisted of Germans, Dutch, Australians, Spaniards, Swedes and French. Some of you have now become good friends and have already visited me in Germany, or I have visited them in their hometowns. Together we’ve been to Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, San Diego, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Miami, Cancún, impressive national parks and beautiful beaches, of which there are an incredible number in California.
As a conclusion I can say that even if the study and the travel were relatively expensive, it was worth every single penny. For me personally it was the best time of my life and even better than I could ever have dreamed of. I will happily look back on the incredible experiences and impressions for the rest of my life. If I were faced with the same choice again, I would do it the same way I did in an instant.