California State University Monterey Bay Student Review

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The CSUMB is the newest university in the CSU network and is located in Marina in Monterey Bay, about 2 hours from San Francisco and 5 hours from Los Angeles . A semester abroad is possible in all areas of the CSUMB offer, which provides a comprehensive range of courses . Even if the area around Monterey is not exactly known for partying and is generally rather quiet, there is a lot to discover. So if you don’t necessarily like big cities, but prefer a bit quieter, but live in a beautiful area , you should definitely deal with the CSUMB!

Plus, CSUMB is one of the most affordable universities in California . The $ 5200 tuition fee already includes a semester ticket, compulsory health insurance costs around $ 400, and the cheapest accommodation on campus is around $ 2700

Application and arrival

The CSUMB starts relatively late compared to other universities in California, which postpones the organization of the stay. I only got my acceptance for the spring semester in October and only then was I able to take care of visas , flights and other organizational matters . In principle, however , the application is very simple . All necessary data is entered via the online portal, will help with any uncertainties !

Once accepted at the university, you will be regularly informed about the steps that are still necessary, the CSUMB also sends a schedule of what you have to pay attention to before you fly (possibility to order bed linen to the accommodation, which airports and transport options are suitable, …) .

On site, the internationals will be picked up at a bus stop and taken to the campus for check-in. All in all, the CSUMB employees were super friendly and even drove you to go shopping in the first few days! The International Programs Office was also able to answer questions later, in the Student Center you could at least always find out where you had to go to get a question clarified, the Campus Service Center was helpful for all questions about insurance, payments and holds There is a Housing Office on the East Campus as well as on the Main Campus for all questions about housing.


The CSUMB offers various accommodation options on campus and on the East Campus. While the on campus accommodations often have a mandatory meal plan (and are also relatively expensive), you live relatively independently and without restrictions on the East Campus (15 min bus ride or bike to campus). If you want to have a meal plan voluntarily, you can still buy it.

The accommodations on the East Campus are inhabited by three people and consist of two bedrooms (one single, one double) a living room, a kitchen with dining room, bathroom and a storage room for washing machine and dryer (can be rented per semester, otherwise communal laundry room within walking distance). In addition, each apartment has either a small garden or a balcony, depending on the floor.

Personally , I would move back to the East Campus at any time , as the On Campus apartments are, firstly, significantly more expensive and, secondly, there is less space there. One disadvantage of the East Campus, however, is definitely that you come into less contact with other students than in the on-campus accommodations. In addition, East Campus Apartments are fully furnished (bed, desk, chair, couch and table in the living room and dining table and chairs in the dining room), but everything else has to be bought: pots, dishes, rubbish bins, …)

As I have heard, one of the reasons the university plans to stop putting students on the East Campus is for this reason.


The CSUMB is one of the few universities in the USA that allows you to choose a course in advance. Recommendation: Choose more courses than you ultimately need , take a look at them in the first week and at the end only choose what you like. Deselecting something in the first week is easily possible and can be done by the students themselves via the online portal. In order to choose additional courses, first of all there must still be places available in the course, or you have to ask the lecturer whether he or she will still allow you; secondly, the responsible employee at the university must be contacted so that he can register you in the course. (Usually no problem and the entire course change process was done within a few hours.)

My courses

BUS305 – Principles of Management, at Maj-Britt Kimm: Definitely recommendable, 30P

Similar to the TSK courses of the EUFH in some points, but goes much deeper and covers significantly more content than the TSK lectures. My course was a partially online course, so I only had 2 hours a week in this course (instead of the usual 4 for a 4 unit course). However, this means that you have to be prepared for additional work at home in order to work through these two hours (in the form of chapter reviews and further written elaborations). The course consisted for the most part of group work, at the beginning of the semester a group was chosen that stayed the entire semester and many papers and presentations were given as group work.

BUS306 – Fundamentals of Marketing, from Angeline Nariswari: Somewhat recommendable, 30P

The course consisted for the most part of chapter work, weekly quizzes, in order to then repeat the previously worked on chapter again in the lecture. Basically still interesting because not only the classic marketing content (as in the EUFH marketing lecture) but also more extensive content is conveyed that does not necessarily correspond to marketing in the narrower sense.

GS379 – Ethics of CSR at Dr. Angie Tran, only recommended if you are interested, 25P

The course mainly dealt with the history and effects of (missing) CSR initiatives and dealt with mostly case studies from different countries (40 pages were mostly to be read per week, the exams and quizzes are open notes). The course was very interesting to combine many perspectives ; Business , Social and Governmental. However, if you are not necessarily interested in the situation of forced labor or the destruction of the rainforest and the economic effects, you are definitely in the wrong place here.

I was very happy with my classes and was able to spread them out over just 3 days a week, which was very nice to do the extra work outside of class for the classes and still have a weekend off.


Even if the CSUMB is a small university, a semester abroad is worthwhile . I have nowhere seen more beautiful nature than there (including coyotes and raccoons I met several times on the campus or on the East Campus), the relatively manageable distance to San Francisco, LA and inland, for example to Yosemite, round off the whole thing. Basically, students are not thrown after their grades , you definitely have to invest a little time, but the overall level is lower than at my home university.

I have not regretted the decision to go to CSUMB and would go there again at any time!

California State University Monterey Bay

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