Study in California State University, East Bay (4)
Unfortunately, my home university does not have a particularly large selection of partner universities, which is why many of my predecessors have chosen to go to the semester abroad via MicroEDU. So did I, which turned out to be a very good decision. MicroEDU offers a very large selection of universities all over the world, where everyone is sure to find something for themselves.
Ultimately, I chose California State University East Bay because it is in a great location and offers a wide variety of courses for my business administration degree. Once you have decided on a university, the application process is made very easy for you. You get the documents from MicroEDU, fill them out, enclose all the necessary documents and send them back. After about 6 weeks I received a confirmation from CSUEB for the Fall Quarter 2013. Then everything else could be organized. I had to apply for a visa (plan enough time for this, it can take a while!), Book a flight and clarify the formalities with my home university (change examination regulations, etc.). In addition, I have already tried to find an apartment in advance. I got to know future fellow students through the MicroEDU Facebook group, with whom I rented an apartment in the City View Apartments. It’s a bit risky to rent an apartment only through photos, but on the whole you don’t have to worry about City View, the apartments are all in good condition, according to my experience.
When everything was settled, we could start. On September 5th I flew from Berlin via London to San Francisco. Since there was still plenty of time until the start of the semester and I didn’t have to organize an apartment anymore, I went on a west coast tour with a few friends before the semester. We drove down Route One, went to LA, San Diego, Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon. We also saw Yosemite National Park and Palm Springs before the semester. Despite having traveled so much before, there was still enough to experience during the semester. Around Hayward alone there were beautiful corners such as Santa Cruz and Half Moon Bay, but above all, of course, San Francisco! In my opinion this is the prettiest city on the whole west coast. You can do a lot there such as a tour with the cable car, a bike tour over the Golden Gate Bridge or a crossing to the prison island Alcatraz. There are also enough events there, for example, there was a free concert by One Republic in Golden Gate Park at the end of September.
According to educationvv, the CSUEB is located on a mountain in Hayward. I recommend you to move up this mountain because it is really exhausting to walk up there every morning. I lived in the City View Apartments. These apartments are well equipped, with a kitchen and built-in wardrobes. The complex has a pool area, a gym, a pool table and a volleyball court. There were also tennis courts, a jacuzzi and much more. Everything was very well looked after and if you had problems in the apartment, someone came very quickly to fix it. The rents are relatively high, in order to curb that one should look for roommates, then life there is no more expensive than in a student residence. In my experience, you can find enough interested parties for a flat share through MicroEDU alone. Hayward itself is a dangerous place and you shouldn’t be alone in the streets in the dark. The area on the mountain is harmless.
From time to time I also went to university. Due to the requirements of the visa, I had to take 3 courses. The international students are not allowed to choose their courses until two weeks after the American students. To do this, they have to go through class crashing. It works in such a way that in the first two weeks you attend all courses that might interest you and get the signatures of the respective lecturers. With these signatures you have to go to the secretariat of the respective faculty by a certain date and receive codes with which you can then enroll in the courses online. Unfortunately, it happens again and again that many students do not get a place in their desired courses. Fortunately, my university is relatively flexible when it comes to crediting the courses, so that I had no major problems finding something suitable at all. It was very difficult to get a place in the interesting courses. Ultimately, it became Marketing Principles, International Human Resources Management and International Business Law. The International Human Resources Management course was particularly good. The professor Prof. Dr. Rao had a lot of knowledge in the field of human resource management. We worked out a project on the subject of expatriates as part of groups, which was very interesting. The last course was part of the International Business Diploma, a program for international students with which they can obtain an international degree in the field of “Business”. So there were no Americans in these courses. The courses themselves were quite interesting, but below the level of German university courses. So easy to manage and perfect for learning the language better. The courses are usually held twice a week. It is possible to spread all three courses over the same two days. I was lucky enough to have more time to travel. Unlike in Germany, you have to do your homework at American universities. They can be very time consuming, but they also help you improve your English. Whether a course is very complex can be seen in the syllabus, which is presented in the first lecture.
Towards the end of the semester, I flew to the Hawaiian island of Maui for another week. If you’re attentive enough, you can get really cheap flights there and it’s really worth it! After the semester we went home via New York. New York at Christmas is very impressive and a great way to end it.
All in all, it was a really great time in California. A semester abroad in general is a great experience that I absolutely do not want to miss. I can only advise you and I hope you have a lot of fun with yours! 😉