Study in California State University, East Bay (8)
The general rule is: As early as possible. It is advisable to start about 1 year before departure. MicroEDU has helped me a lot with this. I got an answer immediately to questions about the application process and about the university. I decided to go to California State University East Bay. The university convinced me on the one hand with its good reputation in the field of economics and on the other hand with its price-performance ratio. The tuition fees and housing costs at CSUEB are affordable compared to other American universities. It was also crucial for me that the university teaches in quarters, i.e. trimesters, since I am studying at a dual university in Germany.
At the beginning you fill out a registration form with contact details, origin, course requests, etc. To do this, you have to submit a financial confirmation from the bank. In addition, you have to get a transcript of records from your home university, which reflects your current grade. These documents are checked for accuracy by MicroEDU and forwarded to the university. Then you get the confirmation including the I-20 form (this will play a very important role in your project). You then use this I-20 to go to the embassy and have your F1 visa issued, which you previously applied for online. A few days later you will receive it in the mail and you can then officially enter the USA (your ESTA application, which you would otherwise have to fill out for holiday purposes in the USA, is no longer required). You should also apply for a scholarship as early as possible. I tried the DAAD, but unfortunately it didn’t work because there is always a very high number of applicants. I also took a DAAD language test at my university, which has been sufficient evidence of sufficient English skills for the CSUEB for a year. So I was able to bypass the expensive TOEFL test. In addition, you have to take out a foreign health insurance, which is offered by the university. Since this is usually very expensive, it is better to bring your own from Germany. You should have your family doctor checked whether you have all the necessary vaccinations and (if you don’t have one yet) have an international vaccination certificate issued. To get a cheap flight, it is also advisable to book as early as possible (if someone has a stopover at JFK in New York don’t let yourself be persuaded that a 1.5 hour transfer time is sufficient!). Once in San Francisco, I can recommend the Hotel Vertigo near Union Square for everyone who wants to get a first impression of the city. The same applies here: book in good time. Because after a 14 hour flight you are happy not to have to look for a hotel. And then you can start…:-) Because after a 14 hour flight you are happy not to have to look for a hotel. And then you can start…:-) Because after a 14 hour flight you are happy not to have to look for a hotel. And then you can start…:-)
The CSUEB campus is very well maintained, has lots of green areas, sports facilities and, what I personally liked best, offers a unique view of the Bay Area, as it is located in the middle of a California Hill. Do not miss the opportunity to take a tour shortly before the orientation week (the campus is deserted) to explore everything in peace. If necessary with a delicious vanilla latte from Starbucks, which opened in front of the library in April. In addition to Starbucks, you will also find Einstein Bros. Bagel, Panda Express, a POD market and Jamba Juice, where you can squander your Flex Dollars. In the new fitness center (RAW) you can burn off the excess calories. It’s worth registering for $ 85 because it has everything an athlete’s heart desires. If you prefer to do “outdoor” sports, the university has a few tennis courts, baseball and basketball fields, an outdoor pool, etc. for them. I didn’t miss out on a morning jog around the campus including a view of the bay. There are also sufficient ATMs (bank machines) on campus. The campus is not suitable for larger purchases. Although you get a small selection of food and beauty utensils in the small POD market, Luckys, Walgreens, WallMart etc., which are located in Hayward, are recommended for upcoming parties or the first basic facility. Unfortunately, the campus is a bit out of the way, so you always have to rely on the shuttle bus, taxis or some dear fellow students who have a car.
As a newcomer, it is certainly advisable to move to the I-House. On the one hand you get to know a lot of new people there, it’s not far to the lectures, fitness or dining commons, but above all you don’t miss a party 😉 Food is also provided. You can choose between three meal plans. Option C is sufficient for most. This includes 11 meals per week in the Dining Commons and $ 250 flex. Flex Dollars are credit on the Bay Card with which you can pay in all facilities on campus (except the bookstore). The Dining Commons have a salad and fruit bar, pizza and pasta station, dessert corner, vegetarian dishes, sandwich bar, burgers and a changing menu at the frying station. But after four weeks everything repeats itself
The apartments in the I-House consist of 3 or 4 rooms, a living room with shared kitchen and balcony as well as two toilets, a shower, bathtub and two sinks. You share the bedroom with your roommate. Each has its own bed, desk, dresser and closet. A laundry can be used by all students at a low cost. However, if you want to live with Americans, you will be disappointed with the I-House. Mostly Asians and a small number of Europeans live there. American students are very rare. They live in the Pioneer Hights. As an international student, however, it is difficult to get a place there. So if you prefer to live a little more secluded and quieter, you should try to find one of the nearby apartments yourself or choose a host family.
The CSUEB offers a wide range of courses in numerous study programs. The courses themselves are very valuable. The course content was neither too demanding nor too easy. The professors tried to make the lecture a success and were always helpful. After a two-week acclimatization phase, you can easily follow the courses. I personally have taken the following three courses:
- Introduction to Financial Accounting
- Marketing Principles
- Elementary Spanish
The enrollment process in the courses requires a lot of patience and perseverance. Since American students have the right to one place, international students are only allowed to choose their courses 2 weeks after the start of their studies. You have to attend all the courses under consideration beforehand. The first two weeks I took 6 courses. Unfortunately, some of the courses I wanted were taken and I had to look for alternatives. If you talk to the professors and are a little lucky, you can still do it (that depends on the professor). In any case, you need a permission code for the entry. You will receive it from the responsible secretariat after you have submitted the signature of the professor. You cannot register without it. On the first day of enrollment, you should open your MyCSUEB account as early as possible and hammer the codes into your laptop. If this hurdle is cleared, you have your place safe 🙂
Most courses require homeworks (written or online), one to three midterms and a final at the end of each quarter. My three courses were very different. For marketing I wrote two midterms and could even cancel the final if I was satisfied with the midterm grades. Accounting and Spanish required weekly homework, three midterms and a final at the end of each. The effort is significantly higher than at a German university. The requirements for this are not quite as high. With a little hard work you can earn a good grade and there is still enough time for excursions, shopping trips, sports, parties… 😉
According to jibin123, there is a lot to do in California. Unfortunately, Hayward himself is not one of them. Apart from a cinema and a few bars and clubs, it doesn’t have much to offer. However, parties often take place on campus. In this regard, it is recommended to live in the I-House. 😉 An absolute must as a destination should be San Francisco. The shuttle bus, which is free for students, takes you to the BART station Mon-Fri. From there, it takes about 30 minutes to get to downtown San Francisco. Cost: $ 10. Once there, a bike tour from Pier 39 to the Golden Gate Bridge and over it is worthwhile, ride the cable car, shop in Westfield Center, visit Little Italy and Chinatown, have a coffee in Union Square, climb Russian Hill and a wonderful view from Coit Tower enjoy, Take a break at Fisherman’s Wharf and explore Alcatraz. You should turn around south of Market Street (too dangerous!). If you have chosen your courses well and thus have Fridays free, you can use the weekends perfectly for road trips. On the plan should be: Santa Cruz (beautiful surfer city: definitely rent a beach house!), Pismo Beach, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, San Diego (if that is too far for you by car: flights from $ 90), Las Vegas, Yosemite Park, Death Valley, Stanford, Sacramento and Lake Tahoe. If there is still time: discover Mendocino north of San Francisco. In the state of Oregon there are the Redwoods, Oregon Dunes (driving around on the dunes with a quad bike ;-)) – but it is also possible at Pismo Beach – and whale watching. There is a lot to explore, and California is the best way to see a lot in a short amount of time (and three months can be really quick). In addition to its own explorations, the I-House also organizes regular fun trips. On the one hand you should cheer for the San Francisco Giants in AT&T Park, taste wine in Napa Valley, drive scooter costers in Great America and shop in the Gilroy Outlet until the doctor comes!
Do’s and don’ts
- Open a free account (e.g. at the DKB) to be able to withdraw money free of charge
- Read through the course offer (at http://www.csueastbay.edu/ecat/current/index.html) before starting, this makes it easier to search for alternatives later
- Discuss the crediting of the courses with the professors at your home university in advance
- Add dictionary (electronic dictionaries or apps on smartphones are not allowed in the exams)
- Borrow books in the library or order them via Amazon (NOT in the overpriced bookstore)
- A total of around 9,000 € should be calculated for a semester abroad (visa, flights, tuition fees, dormitory and meals, learning utensils, road trips / excursions, cinema, bars / clubs, clothing…)
Last but not least
When I look back on the past quarter of a year, I know that was “The Time of My Life”. I got to know a lot of lovely, funny and interesting people, broadened my English horizons, marveled at indescribably beautiful spots on earth, experienced countless parties, suffered one or the other shopping spree as well as experienced new cultures and gained unique experiences. I can really recommend: Study Abroad! It does involve some effort and costs and sometimes there are doubts as to whether it will be possible and whether it is the right thing to do, but I can only say that it was the right decision. I don’t want to miss a single minute or experience. California has captured my heart and I will definitely come again!:-)