Study in California State University, East Bay (10)
Since I decided to spend a semester abroad in the USA at the last minute, I looked for support from MicroEDU. I received the best advice and the application and the entire process went smoothly – without the help I would not have been able to organize the foreign project at such short notice. For the California State University East Bay [CSUEB] I decided, because it is one of the few universities that offers my degree course and at the same time relatively low tuition fees. However, caution is required here: Check the university’s catalog carefully beforehand to see whether the respective course you would like to take is offered. Many of the courses do not take place every quarter and there should not be any problems with the transfer of credits.
Like many others, I stayed at the City View. The apartment I shared with four other German girls. There was a triple and a double room. Sharing rooms is quite normal in the US due to the high rental prices and you get used to it pretty quickly. The “University Village” dormitory is located right next to the City View Apartments. There is also a shuttle bus from there to the campus. In terms of price, the dormitories were a bit more expensive. In return, the use of the CSUEB fitness studio and food in the cafeteria were included and there were also coupons for the restaurants on campus.
Here are a few arguments for or against living in the City View:
- Very nice, well-kept apartments
- Close to campus
- Pool and gym included
- Completely unfurnished (It takes a lot of effort to get all the furniture and other items and to get rid of them in the end. A little tip: Normally you don’t need an international driver’s license to drive a rental car. But if you want to rent a van for your move, you should but keep it ready.)
- It took a lot of effort to conclude electricity and internet contracts (unfortunately we repeatedly had problems with the providers because, for example, excessive amounts were debited, which ultimately cost a lot of time and nerves.)
I would generally advise against living in Hayward Downtown, as you probably don’t get that much connection to the other internationals.
Ultimately, everyone has to weigh up for themselves which accommodation suits them best.
Although the university is relatively small compared to other universities with around 15,000 students, the campus was still much larger than I am used to at my home university. There are various restaurants and cafés on the premises, including Pizza Hut and Subway. I only ate once in the cafeteria. There was a large selection, the food was good and classic for the USA it was ‘all you can eat’. The lecture rooms are not ultra-modern, but they are still well equipped. There are no huge lecture halls, but rather smaller “classrooms” with a maximum of 50 people. All in all, I felt very comfortable.Another small plus point for me was the location: The CSUEB is on a mountain and at some points you have a wonderful view of Hayward. In good weather you can even see the skyline of San Francisco.
When choosing the courses, one can differentiate between Open University and the so-called International Diploma courses. The latter are special courses that are only taken by internationals. These courses are a little cheaper in terms of price, the level is very low and overall these courses are mostly attended by Germans. I found it nicer to go to the Open University courses, as you could get in touch with locals that way.
In principle, attendance applies. However, it is entirely up to the professor how closely he sees it if you do not appear. Unlike most of the others, I took four instead of three courses – it’s feasible, but I would advise against more than four courses due to the workload. From my point of view it was a lot more effort than in Germany, but also strongly dependent on the respective course. I have taken the following courses:
International Human Resource Management, Kaumudi Misra
Very nice lecturer, unfortunately you learn little useful. Absolutely not to be compared with HR in Germany, difficulty: super easy!
Examination performance: 2 tests (multiple choice), presentation, group paper.
Consumer Behavior, Lan Wu
Really a very exciting subject. Difficulty: Slightly more demanding than YOU, but still easy.
Examination: Regular homework that is included in the final grade. 2 tests (multiple choice), presentation, group paper.
Environmental Issues and Green Building, Cristian Gaedicke
Since the Germans are pioneers when it comes to sustainable building, the course has little added value for those studying in this area. Nevertheless, I learned a lot and the professor was very nice, helpful and interested in every single student.
Examination performance: weekly online tests had to be completed, which firstly were included in the grade and, secondly, entitled to take part in an examination, the passing of which one could receive a Green Building Certificate (LEED). However, an additional fee had to be paid for this. From my point of view, however, the certificate made no sense, so I didn’t take the exam. In addition to the online tests, there were 2 other tests. In terms of content, they were more difficult than in any of my other courses. In addition to the tests, I wrote a paper to improve my grade.
International Business Law, Fernando Garcia
You can go to the International Diploma courses if you want to improve your style. More is nothing more to say. The professor enjoyed his job and even bought pizza for everyone on the last day.
Examination performance: 2 tests, 1 “group negotiation” and a team paper.
Life in Hayward and the USA
According to mcat-test-centers, Hayward is not a typical California town, but it still has a certain charm. It’s not very busy, but there is a cheap cinema, a bowling center, and several small bars. If you want more action, you can take the train (Bart) about 35 minutes to San Francisco. In my opinion, San Francisco is one of the most beautiful cities around. The city is shaped by Europe and has a lot to offer.
I recommend everyone to arrange their courses so that you have a long weekend. Hayward is a great starting point for touring California. Trips to Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Diego and the many national parks should definitely be made. Everyone should be aware that the general price level is very high across California. If you would like to visit the big attractions, you should definitely get an international student ID while in Germany. This offers many discounts for well-known attractions (e.g. Universal Studios).
I got to know a lot of people from all over the world and this enabled me to broaden my personal horizons. However, if you do the semester abroad to improve your English skills, you will be disappointed, as you meet a lot of Germans and unfortunately the locals have little interest in making real friendships, which of course is always up to you. The semester abroad was an unforgettable time for me and I can only recommend everyone to have this experience.