University: University of California Riverside
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: business administration, economics
Study type: semester abroad
Riverside itself is certainly not the prettiest town. In addition to the university, the city consists of an estimated 100 fast-food restaurants, a few bars, a club and more or less beautiful residential areas.
The nicest thing about Riverside, however, is the location to other destinations, such as LA/Hollywood and to beaches such as Malibu to Laguna Beach (approx. 1-1.5 hours drive) or San Diego (approx. 1.5 hours drive). Las Vegas can be reached in a good 3 hours and is an absolute must.
Unless you really want to have everything conveniently arranged in advance, I would definitely advise you against the student dormitories of the university. The university halls of residence are easy to book, but with single rooms (approx. 1500 $) they are completely overpriced and for the price of a two or three-bed room I will certainly get a decent (single) room in a student flat share or maybe a small single apartment Find. Visit jibin123.com to get information about Semester Abroad In California State University Chico.
In my opinion, the best thing to do is rent a car for the first week and reserve a room in a motel/hotel near the university for a few days and look for an apartment locally. Although this is also relatively expensive at first, it is quickly worth it again and you will certainly find a suitable apartment in just a few days via sites such as craigslist.com or rommates.com.
The campus of the university is laid out very nicely and actually corresponds to the typical American campus. The individual faculty buildings are beautifully situated in the countryside. The University has a Recreation Center with a fully equipped gym, as well as tennis, beach volleyball and basketball courts. The range of sports courses is also relatively good, but, like the parking spaces at the university, are subject to a fee and are not included in the tuition fees.
The quality of the lectures is relatively decent in relation to other American lectures, but in my opinion well below German university level. I myself have taken a bachelor’s course in business administration and economics, as well as an MBA course (which didn’t really live up to its name).
However, it is positive that you can choose interdisciplinary subjects, as long as there are still places available in the respective course. Basically you have (except for the Summer Sessions) the problem that you cannot register for a course in advance and can therefore only register for the remaining free courses after the Americans have voted. With the Extension Center you have dedicated contact persons who are always there to help you, but choosing the course was a bit chaotic for us.
As for the scope of learning, it can usually be said that it will not be particularly high and you will find enough time to travel and party. However, in the USA you often have to write short tests or homework during the semester, which take a little time but are usually not particularly difficult.
Transportation/Means of Transport
America is an absolute car country. You can hardly get anywhere in California without a car (exception: San Francisco). This means that if you don’t live directly at the university, you have to rent a car at least for the excursions.
If you live a little further away from the university and/or spend more than one semester in the USA, it is usually worth buying a cheap car, as renting it becomes relatively expensive in the long run. (You can also find cheap cars on craigslist.com).
From Riverside you can reach almost all of California in a relatively short time by American standards. The beaches around LA (Malibu, Santa Monica, Venice Beach, Huntington and Newport Beach, as well as Laguna Beach) are all about a 1-1.5 hour drive away.
Universal Studios are just as worth seeing as San Diego (incl. Sea World) as are Las Vegas and Death Valley. I also found San Francisco really great, even if you travel a few hours more here. For San Francisco I would recommend flying one way (domestic flights are relatively cheap in the US) and the other way by rental car on Highway No. 1 to drive along.
By far the most expensive here are the tuition fees. For me, this was around $4,000 including mandatory health insurance (although you still need international health insurance, since the university’s health insurance only pays a proportionate share for emergencies outside of Riverside). You should budget at least $600-800 for the apartment. You should also calculate generously for visa, flight and of course for traveling and shopping (which is relatively cheap). In my experience, depending on your lifestyle, you should budget between €7,000 and €10,000 for a quarter.
Well, I hope I was able to help you a little further in your decision-making process and I wish you a lot of fun with your studies abroad!
Finally, a big thank you to the MicroEdu team, who are always available to answer any questions free of charge!