Dear prospective CSUF students,
At the beginning of 2012, I swapped my university in Germany with California State University in Fullerton for a semester. I spent my semester abroad there and I’m excited about the university and California. If you are looking for good courses at a renowned university together with good weather, sun, beach and fun, this is the right place. Since I was just as excited before leaving and during the planning as most of the people who are leaving Germany for half a year, I hope that this report will make it easier for all interested parties to choose a university for the semester abroad and a few tips for life in and next to the campus there.
Once the decision has been made in favor of the University in Fullerton, to which this report may also contribute, the first step is the application. I applied for the spring semester 2012 in summer 2011, about half a year beforehand. The process is essentially fairly straightforward, as your website provides extensive information that explains the entire process in a clear and simple way. A few documents have to be collected, but the overall effort is limited. After the documents have been checked by your website, they will be forwarded to the University of Fullerton. If you meet the requirements and the application documents are complete, it will take a few weeks for you to receive the acceptance with the documents from the university. Check andyeducation to see more reviews from current students.
Then it comes to the visa for the USA, which you apply for at the American embassy or consulate. Here again some paperwork is necessary and also a personal appointment at the consulate. But you don’t have to worry about that, because within a few minutes you will be through there and should get your visa approved. This will then be sent. There is also information from CC.
Now you can start planning your stay. You can find a lot of information about this in the documents that the university sent with the confirmation of admission. I decided not to live on campus or in an apartment offered by the university because I wanted to be independent and I was in Fullerton with a fellow student and we wanted to live there together outside of the university. The advantage of the accommodation offered by the university is that you don’t have to worry about anything, but the costs are quite high. We quickly found an apartment very close to the university. The offer is also big enough and was even a week before the start of the semester when we arrived in Fullerton. Unfortunately, these apartments are unfurnished, which is why we had to buy furniture. But that’s not a problem because there is also Ikea there 🙂 In the end, we were able to sell almost all of the furniture again. In terms of costs, the apartment was roughly in the same price range as a furnished apartment in the university dormitory, but larger and we had it to ourselves. But since the apartment was a five-minute walk from the university, we were always there 🙂
The CSUF, California State University Fullerton, has a huge campus that is beautifully designed with meadows, palm trees and completely bright buildings. The staff and the professors are all super friendly and helpful. In the International Office, the employees have always helped us with all questions about the university, apartment, etc.
Now to the courses: As is customary at many universities in the USA, the course selection for international students takes place via class crashing. In the beginning I was afraid that I would not get into many courses that I would like to take, but that was not a problem.
The professors were all very nice and still included us in the course, so that after just 3 days I had all of my four courses together. I have opted for two marketing courses (International Marketing & Multicultural Marketing), a Communication course (Principles of Advertising) and an American Studies course (Introduction to American Pop Culture) in order to gain content for my international business studies as well to learn a little more about American culture. Since you can choose the days and times depending on the offer and course, I have only set the courses for 2 days in order to have as much time as possible for traveling and free time J.
In terms of the demands of the courses, I think that you have to do a lot, but it is very feasible, especially if you have previous knowledge of this from Germany. University life is great too. Most of the students are nice and there are also many international students. So I quickly made friends. There is always something going on on campus, such as basketball games by the university team or concerts where popular acts such as LMFAO or Mike Posner performed back then.
Finally, a few impressions of life in Fullerton and California. To put it bluntly, I found Fullerton rather boring;) There isn’t really much you can do outside of the university, at least on foot. There are many restaurants, bars and pubs with a lot of student life, but those looking for big city life and nightlife have to go to LA. Fullerton is perfect for many ventures. It is about 30-40 minutes by car to LA Downtwon and Hollywood, 20-30 minutes to the beach and only 15 minutes to Disneyland. So we decided to buy a car, which is actually pretty easy. You look for a car on the Internet that you can have for as little as $ 1000. All you have to do is re-register the car and get insurance, and then everything is done. We even sold the car two weeks before we went home without any major loss. As a result, it was almost free for us to drive a car instead of having to pay an expensive rental car every month.
We had a really great time there and thoroughly enjoyed Southern California as we could get to everything by car. LA, Hollywood, Santa Monica and also cities like San Diego, which are not far away, are just great! I got used to life there so quickly that I didn’t want to leave 🙂 I can only recommend everyone to spend a semester abroad there and I hope that my experiences and impressions have contributed to it 🙂