California State University Chico Student Review
Flight to California
To get to Chico quickly, Sacramento Airport is the best airport due to its proximity to Chico. The flights to and from Sacramento are often much more expensive than to San Francisco. Since I wanted to see San Francisco anyway, I decided to take a flight from Hamburg to San Francisco. I spent the weekend there, got used to the nine-hour time difference and then traveled to Chico on Monday with the greyhound bus. As a tip: the greyhound is always late. And since you have to change to the Greyhound to Chico in Sacramento, it can happen that you miss the connecting bus and spend a night in Sacramento or have to take an Uber for around $ 100. So it is best to arrive here at least two days before the start of the orientation week.
The search for an apartment turned out to be a little more difficult than expected, mainly because I didn’t want to live in a student dormitory. On the one hand, because of the very high rent and the mandatory meal plan, which you then have to pay extra. On the other hand, because only Freshmans live in the dormitories and you share a room with one or two other people.
I started looking for apartments on the internet in June, mostly on Craiglist.com. According to usprivateschoolsfinder.com, many providers did not respond or wrote that the room was already taken. So I took the risk and booked accommodation in Chico for the first weekvia Airbnb to find a room for the rest of the semester on site. I found two apartment complexes on site that rent rooms for just one semester. Many other leasing offices as well as private shared apartments that still had rooms available only offered a contract for at least 10 months or a whole year. All other apartment complexes that also offer semester contracts were already fully booked. I then had the choice between “Cedar Flats” and “the Urban”. In the end I decided on a room in the brand new apartment complex (completed August 2018) “The Urban” (http://theurbanchico.com/), mainly because of the location. The campus and the city center can be reached within 5 minutes by bike, the nearest supermarket (Safeway) can be reached within 10 minutes and most bars within 5 minutes on foot. It’s also in the University Village, which means you live where many other students live. A disadvantage, especially at night, is that the train goes there and gives warning signals (so it’s best to pack your earplugs). I can definitely recommend the Urban – it’s furnished, you have your own bathroom, a fairly large jacuzzi (more like a pool), two other roommates and everything is well looked after. However, it is a little more expensive than other accommodations. However, you have to expect a more expensive rent everywhere than in Germany. Many accommodations range from $ 500- $ 700. Often times, the rooms in private shared apartments are cheaper,
Chico is a small town that only really comes to life when all students return from home after the long summer and winter break. Even if Chico is not on the beach and you can’t surf every day, contrary to all expectations of a California semester abroad and also doesn’t have as much to offer as one of the big cities of LA or San Francisco, you can definitely experience a lot. Downtown Chico has some cute boutiques to stroll through, cafes to meet up with friends, Upper Bidwell Park with various bathing opportunities such as the Bearhole, many surrounding hiking routes, which you have to get there by car, and Sacramento is also not far for a day trip. At the weekend you can go on trips to San Francisco (about 3.5 hours by car), LA (about 7 hours by car) or even to Las Vegas (about 12 hours by car).
In Chico itself, especially in the warmer months, there is always an event on campus – open-air cinema, job fairs, roller-skating in the Wrec (Wildcat Recreation Center, the university’s own fitness studio) and much more. There is also the Farmers Market on Thursday evenings until the end of September, where you often meet up with friends, as well as a market on Saturday mornings, where you can buy regional fruit and vegetables for often less money than in the supermarket. The nightlife is definitely not neglected in Chico. There are numerous bars that also have different offers during the week and are always well attended, many associations (fraternities and sororities) that often host parties and many American students who invite you to house parties. The university also offers numerous clubs, such as tennis, water skiing and a marketing club .
First of all, yes, it is much easier to get good grades. However, the workload is a little higher because you have assignments, midterms and other small quizzes and attendance during the entire semester. All courses have a number according to their thematic classification. The 100 courses are primarily intended for Freshmans and the 400 courses for seniors. This division can also be seen very clearly in the level of demand and workload. The 400 courses are much more complex and the professors expect more. On the other hand, the class sizes are also significantly smaller with around 20 students.
I have taken the courses Entrepreneurial Marketing (MKTG 368), Entrepreneurship Law (BLAW 415), Marketing Research (MKTG 380) and Macro Analysis (ECON 102), which are credited to me at my home university and, out of interest, the course Intermediate Tennis(KINE 121) selected. If you also plan to choose the Marketing Research course, make sure that you choose the Matthew Meuter course. The course is offered by two different professors. Matthew should make the course much more interesting and, above all, explain the content in a much more understandable way. I can only confirm that Matthew is a good professor. But I can also highly recommend my other courses. In entrepreneurial marketing, a lot of group presentations have to be made. When I found out about this, I wanted to deselect this subject because I don’t like to present myself in German. But I wanted to face the challenge and it was absolutely worth it. The professor, Lance Blanshei, is himself an entrepreneur with a restaurant in Chico and Sacramento “The Teabar” and thus brings you closer to the topic in an authentic way. The most labor-intensive and, for me, definitely the driest subject is Entrepreneurship Law . Here you have to read a lot, have a quiz almost every week, in addition to the final, a final presentation and two midterms, instead of often just one midterm. But the professor knows what he is talking about, he is a full-time lawyer and conveys the content very well and, as far as possible, also interestingly.
Best decision! I enjoyed every single second of my semester abroad and would have loved to stay there for another semester. The university in Chico was also a good choice, both in terms of size with around 20,000 students, all the offers, the atmosphere and the teachers. The USA is definitely one of the more expensive countries to do your semester abroad, be it the expensive tuition fees or the cost of living . But it’s definitely worth it.